Health Care Reform Debate Centers on Cost, Access
Two newspapers recently published opinion pieces weighing in on the health care reform debate in the U.S. and California. Summaries appear below.
- Sally Pipes, San Diego Union-Tribune: "To the degree that politicians are successful at expanding Medicaid, they will exacerbate the cost shift, prompt private premiums to increase and cause people to lose private insurance," Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, writes in a Union-Tribune opinion piece. "To the degree that uninsured actually purchase insurance, this increase in the so-called insurance pool is not likely to have a large effect on premiums," Pipes writes. "With higher premiums, higher taxes and more uninsured, the next round of health care reform will focus on single-payer government solutions," Pipes writes (Pipes, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/10).
- Deborah Burger, San Francisco Chronicle: "Scrambling for a response to the popular reaction to Michael Moore's 'Sicko' and a renewed groundswell for" a single-payer health care solution, "such as SB 840, the big insurers and their defenders have pounced on Canada, pulling out all of their old tales of people waiting years in soup kitchen-type lines for medical care," Burger, president of the California Nurses Association, writes in a Chronicle opinion piece. However, insurers will not admit that "[w]aiting times in the U.S. are as bad as or worse than Canada," Burger writes. "And, unlike the U.S., in Canada no one is denied medical care, referrals or diagnostic tests due to cost, pre-existing conditions or because it wasn't pre-approved," according to Burger (Burger, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/10).
- Ken Terry, San Francisco Chronicle: "Wherever our health care system is heading, Americans should demand that employers pay their fair share for health care," Terry, a senior editor at Medical Economics Magazine, writes in a Chronicle opinion piece. "Employers, as well as individuals, must make health care contributions in proportion to their means," according to Terry. "Only by sharing the pain can we start to build a better health care system," Terry concludes (Terry, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/10).