Today’s OpEds: Individual Mandate In Court, On Ballot And In Campaigns

First-Round Victory on Health Reform The New York Times
The first federal court decision on the constitutionality of the new health care reform law upheld its validity and dealt a well-deserved setback to opponents who are trying to overturn it. … [Judge George Steeh of the Federal District Court in Detroit] ruled that a failure to buy health insurance was not “inactivity,” as the plaintiffs contended, but rather an economic decision to try to pay for health services later, out of pocket, rather than now, through the purchase of insurance (10/12).

ObamaCare Blowback The Boston Globe
If the law with its expensive mandates remains on the books, millions of Americans are going to lose the health care plans they have now — plans the president repeatedly promised they could keep. Which is why just about the only Democrats campaigning on ObamaCare today are the ones who voted against it (Jeff Jacoby, 10/13).

Changes Wrought By Health Reform? Well, Maybe Not Kaiser Health News and The New Republic
So far, the big McDonald’s controversy is turning out to be a big nothingburger… Limbaugh and gang think it’s scandalous the government might effectively abolish the company’s minimalist health plans. The real scandal is the government probably won’t do it until 2014, when the Affordable Care Act makes more comprehensive coverage available to everybody—i.e., when people who currently have those “mini-med” plans have access to a better alternative (Jonathan Cohn, 10/13).

Unhealthy Approach: Amendment 63’s Health Care ‘Fix’ Is Just A Mess (Boulder, Colo.) DailyCamera
We support the individual mandate. We don’t think the watered-down health care bill that passed was the perfect solution, but it is certainly better than the spiraling costs and dubious results our enormous health care system was getting before (Erika Stutzman, 10/13).

Planning For Enough Physicians For Future The Bristol (Conn.) Press
Some people think the shortage, which will be most acute among primary-care doctors, is one reason to repeal the bill. …
Certainly, most of us would reject this selfish stance and seek other remedies (10/12).

Shopping For Health Insurance Can Be An Adventure Forbes, the White House’s new and lauded health reform portal…invites you to, of all things, “Find Insurance Options.” …Yet after completing the find-a-plan wizard, you discover that it doesn’t allow you to actually apply for coverage. After selecting the best plan you have to surf to the Web sites of Humana, Cigna or whichever, and start from scratch (David Whelan, 10/11).

Missouri’s Disgraceful Level Of Public Health Spending Hurts Children Kansas City Star
Scrimping on low-cost immunizations and awareness of them doesn’t save money. Children who contract measles, chicken pox and other diseases need medical care. If the children are poor, the state often winds up paying the bill. Other costs of childhood diseases are time off from school and missed work days for parents (10/12).

Long-Term Care Needs Planning (Long Beach, Calif.) Gazettes
The federal government says people who reach the age of 65 have a 40% chance of needing a nursing home. Financial planning is extremely important to long-term care, as Medicare generally does not pay for long-term care. It’s a complicated issue, but it boils down to this question: who will take care of you when you are old and perhaps can no longer take care of yourself? (Kurt Eichsteadt, 10/12)

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