Editorial pages focus on issues centering on health care programs.
Los Angeles Times:
New In GOP Logic: Antipoverty Programs Worked So Well, We Must Get Rid Of Them
For many decades now the GOP has sought to undo the New Deal and the Great Society. But a report released last month from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, lost in a sea of grabbier news items, applies a new logic to the goal of shredding the safety net. According to “Expanding work requirements in non-cash welfare programs,” comprehensive antipoverty programs are no longer necessary because 50 years of antipoverty programs — yes, those same interventions long hated, and their effectiveness belittled, by the GOP — have succeeded so spectacularly that poverty is largely a thing of the past. (Sasha Abramsky, 8/10)
Major Medicaid Cuts To Address The Increasing Federal Deficit Are Misdirected
Words are weapons in the Trump administration’s “War on Poverty, 2018,” a term recently coined by Sara Rosenbaum, a professor at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. The original War on Poverty, announced by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, included a number of programs designed to “not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” Medicaid and Medicare are the crown jewels of Johnson’s War on Poverty. The Trump War on Poverty 2018 is misnamed as “A Brighter American Future.” Rather than painting a picture of a brighter future for poor people, the Republican budget proposal makes a dim picture dimmer. It signals a switch in the War on Poverty from one that addresses the root causes of poverty and provides assistance to poor people to one attacking poor people with words and a million cuts. (Carole R. Myers, 8/9)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Push For New Medicaid Work Requirements Just A Way To Distract Attention From Health Care Inequities
In compliance with a law passed by a heartless majority in the legislature last year, a few months ago the Ohio Department of Medicaid requested a waiver to implement work requirements for “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients. …Their motivation appears to be purely political – to deepen the divide between those struggling to pay the increasing copays and deductibles for private insurance and those who qualify for public coverage through Medicaid. (Kenneth Frisof, 8/20)
GOP Tax Law Isn’t Just About Taxes — It’s Undermining American Health Care
As President Trump and Republicans in Congress push for a second round of tax cuts, it’s important to look at how the first Trump-GOP tax law adopted last December hurt working families. One of the worst ways has nothing to do with taxes. Besides giving most of the benefits to the wealthy and corporations and failing to increase worker pay as promised, the tax law also jeopardizes health care for millions.It does this in two ways. (Frank Clemente an Magarida Jorge, 8/9)
The Tale Of Two Medicares: Canadian And American
Medicare for all — or the idea that every American should have some form of public health insurance — continues to forge its way into political debates. With such momentum, however, can come fearmongering and obstructionism. History and data may be of some help in disentangling any distortions.The United States and Canada launched their respective Medicare programs within a few years of each another: July 30, 1965 in the U.S. and July 1, 1968 in Canada. In the U.S., amid pushback from health care industry groups, American seniors were the only ones who received health insurance coverage, whereas all Canadians gained coverage regardless of their age or income. This divergence was really a matter of politics — there is, after all, no constitutional right to health care in Canada. But it’s now hard to argue that there is a more unifying social program up north than Medicare. (Andrew S. Boozary, 8/10)
Real Clear Health:
Do Democrats Want Obamacare To Fail Under Donald Trump?
In their quest to take back the House and Senate in November’s midterm elections, Democrats have received a bit of bad news. The Hill recently noted: Health insurers are proposing relatively modest premium bumps for next year, despite doomsday predictions from Democrats that the Trump administration’s changes to ObamaCare would bring massive increases in 2019. That could make it a challenge for Democrats looking to weaponize rising premiums heading into the midterm elections. Administration officials confirmed the premium trend last Friday, when they indicated that proposed 2019 rates for the 38 states using healthcare.gov averaged a 5.4 percent increase—a number that may come down even further after review by state insurance commissioners. So much for that “sabotage.” (Christopher Jacobs, 8/8)
The Washington Post:
Three Reasons Trump’s New Immigration Rule Should Make Your Blood Boil
Once again, the Trump administration is looking to punish immigrants. And once again, innocent children are getting hurt in the process. This time, however, many of those innocent children are likely to be U.S. citizens. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that the Trump administration is readying a new rule that should make your blood boil. The initiative, in the works for more than a year, would make it harder for legal immigrants to receive either green cards or citizenship if they — or anyone in their households — has ever benefited from a long list of safety-net programs. These include the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), food stamps or even health insurance purchased on the Obamacare exchanges. (Catherine Rampell, 8/9)
Healthcare Policy: By The Elite, For The Elite
While many of us, particularly in medical institutions, interact with those in less rarified circumstances, we have the luxury of retreating into our fortunate bubble when we leave the office. This bright, monochromatic life skews our thinking about public policy. When we ask ourselves, “What can the government or employers do to improve people’s health?” we tend to conjure up solutions we imagine would work on ourselves or the half-marathon runner in the adjacent office or the overweight colleague across the hall. (Robert Graboyes, 8/9)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.