Viewpoints Playing Politics With Ebola Hyperbole The Value Of Comparing Health Plans

first_img I was Google ’s first employee to go on maternity leave. In 1999, I joined the startup that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had recently started in my garage. I was four months pregnant. At the time the company had no revenue and only 15 employees, almost all of whom were male. Joining a startup pregnant with my first child was risky, but Larry and Sergey assured me I’d have their support. This month, I’ll go on maternity leave once again—my fifth time—joining the nearly 5,000 women who have done so since I joined Google. And though I’m now CEO of YouTube (which is owned by Google), I’ll be entitled to the same benefits as every single woman at the company who has a baby: 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. (Susan Wojcicki, 12/16) Los Angeles Times: PolitiFact’s Liars Of The Year: The Politicians Who Played The Ebola Fear Card The Wall Street Journal: Paid Maternity Leave Is Good For Business Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam … is showing political courage to do what’s right – and to attract millions in federal dollars for his state’s struggling hospitals. It’s the kind of path [N.C. Gov. Pat] McCrory has indicated he might be willing to take, and Haslam’s example should help McCrory stay open-minded amid pressure from his right. Haslam has been negotiating with the Obama administration for months to craft a Tennessee-specific Medicaid expansion proposal. It includes some co-pays and some premiums not typically required under Medicaid. Such alterations to Obamacare’s approach has turned past opponents – such as Tennessee Lt. Gov. and Senate speaker Ron Ramsey – into potential supporters. The state’s two Republican U.S. senators also support Haslam’s proposal. (12/16) Bloomberg: Obamacare Is Only Human E-cigarettes, once seen as a harmless alternative to tobacco smoking, are beginning to look more like a new gateway to addiction. This year, for the first time, more teens used electronic cigarettes than traditional ones: 17% of high school seniors used the devices, vs. 14% who smoked cigarettes. Kids in eighth and 10th grades favored them 2-to-1 over traditional smokes, according to an eye-opening University of Michigan survey released Tuesday. (12/16) It turns out that most people who enrolled in health insurance for 2014 through HealthCare.gov didn’t bother going back to the site to shop around for better prices for 2015. That means they will pay higher premiums than necessary. It also raises a separate question: What’s the point of having options if so few people use them? (Christopher Flavelle, 12/16) The Charlotte Observer: A GOP Push To Expand Medicaid It was a Republican who once paid Democrat Henry Waxman the rough compliment of being “tougher than a boiled owl.” Many of the big things Waxman helped to make into law in his four decades in Congress took bipartisan work, the kind that has all but disappeared in Washington: tobacco regulation, easier access to generic drugs, increased food labeling and safety, cleaner air and water, AIDS healthcare and Obamacare. But that’s not why Waxman — a vastly influential legislator and among the last of Congress’ 1974 “Watergate baby” generation — is retiring. He figures he has a lot of tread left on his tires, but he wants to drive down roads other than the ones leading to Capitol Hill. (Patt Morrison, 12/16) E-cigarettes aren’t threatening the progress of continued smoking reduction. They are helping even hard-core cigarette smokers quit. If society gives equal treatment to these two very different products with dramatically different health risks, we will undermine e-cigarettes’ promise as powerful harm reduction tools. (Jeff Stier, 12/16) The New York Times: Tortured By Psychologists And Doctors center_img Open enrollment is important. It should be the time people choose the health plan they believe would help them become healthier. Instead, many purchasers make a decision based entirely on how big a dent they’ll see in their wallets, despite the fact that consumers have tools to help them understand which plans provide the highest quality and which do not. For the first time in the health industry’s history, there are numerous objective quality measures available if purchasers are willing to take a little time and look for them. (Scott Armstrong and Patricia Smith, 12/16) USA Today: E-Cigarettes Cloud Progress On Teen Smoking: Our View Viewpoints: Playing Politics With Ebola Hyperbole; The Value Of Comparing Health Plans; E-Cigs A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. One of the most disturbing revelations in the Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program was the deep complicity of psychologists and doctors in torturing suspected terrorists. We already knew from earlier reports that health professionals had facilitated the torture by advising the interrogators when their brutal tactics might inadvertently kill a prisoner. (12/16) Members of Congress, mostly Republicans, warned that Ebola could be carried into the country by immigrants arriving illegally or even terrorists, and demanded a ban on travelers entering the United States from the affected countries. Governors scrambled to draft quarantine regulations, producing a showdown between Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and a nurse he tried to confine to a tent. (The nurse won.) And now? The crisis is all but forgotten. We’ve moved on. (Doyle McManus, 12/16) Los Angeles Times: Mr. Waxman Leaves Washington USA Today: Rally Behind E-Cigarettes: Opposing View The Seattle Times: How You Can Find The Best Quality Health Care — For Free This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img

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