The New York Times: Health Care Reform Survives A Lawsuit
A long-shot lawsuit that could have damaged the effectiveness of health care reform got a well-deserved brushoff from a federal district judge on Wednesday. The suit was brought with the help of conservative legal groups and cheered on by Congressional Republicans eager to disable the Affordable Care Act (1/16).
The New York Times' Economix: The Real Health Care 'War' On The Young
A common theme among critics of Obamacare has been that it basically is a war on the young and especially on men. ... But the authors cited above do not base their case on purely technical, economic grounds. Language such as "the greatest generational theft in world history" or "a war on the bros" is meant to generate moral outrage. A case in point is the gender neutrality baked into the community rating required by Obamacare, which has unleashed this so-called war (Uwe E. Reinhardt, 1/17).
Los Angeles Times: Maternity Leave In America: How Do We Stack Up?
When I was waddling through the L.A. Times newsroom last fall very pregnant, the issue that weighed most on me had little to do with my actual baby bump. It was whether I could afford to take all the time I needed to bond with and care for my daughter in her very early development and still support my family financially. When it comes to maternity leave, the U.S. is by no means a leader (Michelle Maltais, 1/16).
The Wall Street Journal: The FDA Nixes A Pathbreaking Drug For MS
Alemtuzumab is used today as an intravenous treatment for a form of leukemia. But 20 years of research centered at Cambridge University also has shown that the action of this drug—depleting immune cells that become misdirected and attack one's own body—is effective in treating multiple sclerosis. ... The primary reason FDA reviewers gave for rejecting Lemtrada was that the studies demonstrating the drug's efficacy did not conform to the agency's standard requirement of double-blind, placebo-controlled drug trials—where some patients, unbeknownst to themselves and their doctors, receive placebo treatments. There are excellent reasons for the standard approach, but only up to a point. Lemtrada and many established MS treatments have immediate side effects, such as nausea and headaches, that are well known to doctors and patients. A double-blind trial would not really be blind (Christopher Demuth Sr. and Christopher Demuth Jr., 1/16).
Bloomberg: To Fight Poverty, Conservatives Will Have To Spend
There’s a simple way to tell whether the Republican Party's newfound commitment to fighting poverty is more than rhetoric: Follow the money. ... The party promised its anti-tax wing no tax increases and lower tax rates. It promised older voters that Medicare and Social Security would not change for those over age 55. It promised defense hawks that sequestration cuts to military spending would be reversed. And it promised its Tea Party allies that it would cut trillions from government spending and balance the federal budget. The only way to square all those promises is through draconian cuts to programs for the poor (Ezra Klein, 1/16).
WBUR: Health Care Spending Is Down, Why Aren't Our Premiums?
Happy New Year and welcome, most of you, to another year of sometimes-painful health insurance premium increases. Does this have to happen again? I ask because health care spending is down — or is at least not rising as fast as our premiums. We have proof for 2012 in two recent reports (Martha Bebinger, 1/16).