Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

“A new fed­eral study found that Amer­i­cans are get­ting screened for three ma­jor can­cers—breast, cer­vi­cal and col­orec­tal—at rates far be­low na­tional tar­gets. The short­fall is es­pe­cially high among adults who lack in­sur­ance or reg­u­lar ac­cess to a doc­tor, partly be­cause the re­ces­sion drove em­ploy­ers to lay off work­ers or cut health ben­e­fits. Many low- and mid­dle-in­come peo­ple are now un­able or un­will­ing to pay for screen­ing tests or vis­its to the doc­tor. Their plight un­der­scores the ur­gent need to re­tain the health­care re­form law that will ex­pand proven screen­ing and preven­tion pro­grams at no charge to pa­tients.”

—New York Times “Even be­fore this year’s grand de­bate about con­tain­ing health­care costs be­gins on Bea­con Hill, a pointed dis­agree­ment has bro­ken out among key play­ers in the state health­care arena. The health plans fear that leg­isla­tive med­dling is open­ing holes in the very cost-con­trol­ling ar­range­ments that a re­cent law re­quired, while leg­is­la­tors con­tend they are sim­ply look­ing out for in­di­vid­u­als who might be hurt by pol­icy changes. ... In this case, it’s easy to imag­ine a rel­a­tively small num­ber of peo­ple with se­ri­ous ill­nesses in the midst of rig­or­ous treat­ment at Chil­dren’s, Dana-far­ber or Float­ing Hospi­tal hav­ing a le­git­i­mate need to con­tinue see­ing the same doc­tors. ... The Leg­is­la­ture should avoid med­dling with a re­form that truly has worked.”

—Bos­ton Globe “A new Min­nesota Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion re­port de­tail­ing soar­ing ‘char­ity care’ costs is a sober­ing re­minder not only of a still-weak econ­omy, but of the need for a health in­sur­ance man­date—a key but con­tro­ver­sial com­po­nent of the new fed­eral health re­form law. … The man­date has been de­rided as a big-gov­ern­ment in­va­sion of privacy. In­stead it is a tool—one pre­vi­ously em­braced by con­ser­va­tives—to get peo­ple to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their health­care costs. Those who can’t af­ford poli­cies will get sub­si­dies un­der the ACA or may qual­ify for public health pro­grams, but they’ll have to take steps to make this hap­pen.”

—Star Tri­bune, Min­neapo­lis

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