OpEds: Sebelius, Fla. Attorney General, USA Today, Wash Post Opine About Repeal Strategies

Chicago Tribune: Don’t Repeal Health Care Law
Over the past nine months, I’ve traveled around the country and seen the benefits of this law firsthand. Unless we want to take coverage away from cancer patients, reduce oversight for insurance companies, raise prescription drug costs for seniors, weaken Medicare, add $1 trillion to the deficit and undo dozens of other reforms that are improving health around the country, we can’t afford repeal (Kathleen Sebelius, 1/5). 

The Washington Post: GOP Congressional Leaders Are Acting A Lot Like Their Predecessors
For incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his House Republicans, something strange happened on the way to Wednesday’s ‘Opening Day’ of the new Congress. For two years, Cantor and his colleagues campaigned against high deficits. Now, in the new majority’s first major act, they plan to vote to increase the deficit by $143 billion as part of a repeal of health-care reform (Dana Milbank, 1/5).

USA Today: 5 Questions For 112th Congress 
1) If not ObamaCare, what? … What’s important to remember, though, is that whatever flaws the new law has, repeal would return the nation to an unacceptable status quo: Too many Americans can’t get or can’t afford medical coverage, and too many who do get it find it taken away when they get seriously ill or lose their jobs (1/4).

Salon: The GOP’s Risky Bet To Repeal Healthcare Reform
House Republicans will try to play games with funding and throw whatever wrenches into the machinery they can, and it’s even conceivable they could try to demand big changes in the law in exchange for raising the debt limit. (Although its hard to imagine a more risky political strategy: reduce healthcare coverage for Americans or we’ll force a sovereign default!) (Andrew Leonard, 1/4). 

The Wall Street Journal: The States Versus ObamaCare
This week begins the inauguration and swearing-in ceremonies for newly elected officials all over the country. One thing many of us have in common is that the voters rewarded us for our outspoken opposition to ObamaCare (Pam Bondi, 1/5).

Detroit Free Press: Health Care Exchanges Are A Losing Bet For Michigan
One of Gov. Rick Snyder’s 10 points to reinvent Michigan is to move the state to a more patient-centered model of delivering health care. But Michigan cannot achieve this goal unless the Affordable Care Act is undone. The federal health law is unpopular, unwieldy, expensive, unconstitutional and soon to be under attack by a congressional majority committed to repeal (John Graham, 1/4). 

The Dallas Morning News: GOP Should Fix Obamacare For The Long Term
One part that deserves more attention is the measure’s long-term care entitlement. Like most Americans, we wouldn’t mind having access to good home health care in our later years, which this part of the bill seeks to provide. But the CLASS Act, which stands for Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, could explode the deficit in a few years (1/4).

Philadelphia Inquirer: Fearing The Doctor More Than The Reaper
Apparently, the [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] spends billions annually on a losing battle to briefly prolong the lives of terminally ill oldsters. Its bottom line would definitely improve if we would just skip this costly medical fuss and take the E-ZPass lane into the next world. This would have the added budgetary benefit of prying our cold, dead lips from the Social Security udder sooner rather than later. Given the government’s pressing need to get us off its books, I wonder what form its end-of-life counseling will take? (George Parry, 1/5). 

Kaiser Health News: The Avastin Decision: A Rational Decision Or Rationing?
You wouldn’t know it from the commentary, but the FDA has been rejecting drugs without proven benefits and such serious side effects since long before the phrase ‘Obamacare’ was even part of the political lexicon. That’s what drug approval agencies like FDA do, and it helps explain why advocacy organizations like the National Breast Cancer Coalition, who very much want what’s best for cancer patients, endorsed the decision (Jonathan Cohn, 1/4).

Houston Chronicle: Syringe-Exchange Programs Can Save Money, Lives
If Texas is serious about saving lives and saving taxpayer dollars, decision-makers should allow injection drug users to have access to effective HIV and HCV prevention programs. Syringe exchange is life preservation, not drug support (Jenny Panzo, 1/4).

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