Editorial, Letter Focus on Health Care Reform
The Los Angeles Times recently published an editorial and responding letter to the editor discussing the nation's health care system and methods for reducing costs and improving care. Summaries appear below.
"[N]ot even a state the size of California has enough scale or influence to affect some of the afflictions bedeviling the health care industry, such as spiraling costs and unreliable quality," a Los Angeles Times editorial states. The editorial cites a number of state programs that have been implemented to expand health insurance to residents, as states are becoming "fed up with Washington's endless dithering on health care."
However, states alone likely will not "be able to repair the U.S. health care system," the editorial states. The "real solution to the nation's health care problems will have to come from a Washington ZIP Code," according to the editorial. If Congress is "smart," it will "study some of the states' innovative ideas to determine whether they could work on a national level," the editorial says(Los Angeles Times, 6/14).
"A more politically pragmatic solution" than a national healthcare system "would be for the federal government to partner with states that want to experiment with new coverage-expansion approaches," Tom Epstein, vice president of public affairs at Blue Shield of California, writes in a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times.
According to Epstein, federal legislation has been introduced that would "grant states funding and relief from federal restrictions if they met certain requirements for expanding coverage, improving health care quality and reducing administrative costs." The bill might "offer Washington its best hope yet of breaking the ideological gridlock that has stymied progress for decades," Epstein writes (Epstein, Los Angeles Times, 6/16).