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Health Care Archive

In Diagnostic Innovation, Something Incredible Is Waiting to Be Known | Commentary

Astronomer, scientist and writer Carl Sagan is thought to have said, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” I know what that statement means because I live and breathe the reality of discovery every day, as do my colleagues practicing at nonprofit clinical laboratories in academic medical centers across the nation. We are engaged in scientific innovation that has improved the lives of countless patients. Congress has shown admirable leadership in this area by launching the 21st Century Cures Initiative with the objective of ensuring regulation does not stand in the way of scientific achievements that are changing how we practice medicine.

The Next Ice Bucket Challenge? Making NIH Whole | Commentary

I’ve seen a hockey player do it on the top of a glacier and a senator do it in a freezing Alaska lake. I’ve done it. My kids have done it. These days, it’s hard to turn on the television or log on to the computer without seeing a friend, family member or celebrity dunk themselves with icy cold water in the name of ALS awareness.

Taking Care of Our Nation's Seniors and Women

When Obamacare was sold to the American people, it was sold under the guise it would improve our access to and quality of health care. It was relayed to us that this law would bring about fairness and equality to women. But the reality is that this law has failed us — and it has failed women in particular. So when Obamacare called for a whopping 14 percent cut to Medicare’s home health funding, it became clear that little regard was given to potential consequences. The Obama administration overlooked the devastating repercussions this would have on our nation’s 3.5 million home health beneficiaries — 60 percent of whom are women.

Medical Data Use Broadened by Human Genome

The completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 did more than unlock many of the secrets of man’s DNA. It also fundamentally broadened the collaborative use of medical data, according to a top National Institutes of Health researcher.

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Tech Firms Ask Congress to Redefine Medical Privacy Rules

Tech firms, including Amazon.com Inc., are asking Congress to redefine the rules on medical privacy, saying the risks of potential disclosure should be weighed again against the anticipated benefits of wider sharing and easier access to crucial health data.

Between a Woman and Her Doctor Is No Place for U.S. Policy | Commentary

You’ve probably heard of this summer’s Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby that let employers pick and choose what birth control methods they would cover, inserting themselves in a key decision between a woman and her doctor. Many Americans were justifiably angry. What you might not know is there’s a U.S. policy that’s been undermining the trust between women and their doctors around the world for the past 30 years.

For-Profit Colleges Educate the Military and Veterans | Commentary

Based on my experience as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve and as a veteran of the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars, I feel that I have a deep understanding of what our service members, veterans and military families have sacrificed for this nation. This is why I am concerned that there is a concerted effort, on Capitol Hill and in the administration, to block access to for-profit colleges for active duty military and veterans.

Stopgap Could Mean More Juggling for Border Agencies

Days after Congress skipped out of Washington for recess last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans to shift some $400 million in funding from other agency programs to manage the Southwest border crisis.

Congress: Seniors With Diabetes Deserve Medicare Coverage for Life-Saving Technologies | Commentary

Since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1961, Chris Stiehl has witnessed every innovation in care over the past 50 years. Yet, with all the great medical and technological advances, he lives each day — like everyone with diabetes — with the threat of dangerous low blood sugar levels. And he fears that in two years, he will no longer be able afford the device that has helped him easily manage his glucose levels because it’s not covered by Medicare.

Now Is the Time for Congress to Enact Comprehensive Mental Health Legislation | Commentary

As Congress returns next week from the summer recess, it’s time to finally take action on comprehensive mental health reform. Nearly two years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn. focused attention on the nation’s broken mental health system, there has been much discussion in Congress about how to improve mental health care but very little resolution.

Why the VA Should Look Toward Proven Health Care Solutions | Commentary

While it is not a secret that the Veteran’s Affairs hospital system has had inefficiencies for many years, the recent spotlight on veterans’ long wait times for basic medical attention has made headlines for good reason.

Groundhog Day for Bad Ideas in Medicare Part D | Commentary

Some bad ideas never seem to go away.

First Step to Fix VA Can't Be the Last | Commentary

The Department of Veterans Affairs health care access crisis was a long time in the making. Many years of inadequate funding, creative accounting, budget gimmickry, and lengthy delays in passing appropriations bills stretched the VA’s capacity to the breaking point and made competent management of the agency next to impossible.

Save Medicare's Home Health Benefit | Commentary

The Affordable Care Act was sold to the American public with the promise of improved access to health care for all who previously could not afford it. In a September 2013 speech on the ACA, President Barack Obama recalled examples of Americans he had met during his campaign who, because of financial obstacles, had to unfairly choose between their home and their health care.

Protecting the Ryan White Program | Commentary

More than 25 years ago, a young boy named Ryan White stole the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere when he was diagnosed with a rare and mysterious disease called AIDS. A lot has changed since the disease claimed the lives of Ryan and countless others. There are now more than 1.1 million people living with HIV or AIDS in the U.S. today — the highest level of people ever in our country living with HIV. That’s largely due to both people living longer and the level of new infections, roughly around 50,000, each year.

Something to Celebrate: America's Lifesaving Work| Commentary

Dire headlines from around the globe and polls showing a record-breaking plunge in the public’s confidence in our Supreme Court, Congress and the office of the president may make the average American want to throw up their hands in despair. But in what many might consider the least expected place to look, I have found something truly worth celebrating. I wish more Americans knew about the unprecedented American effort that saves millions of children’s lives around the world every year providing a true beacon of hope.

Reforming the VA Requires Standing Up for Science | Commentary

Robert McDonald’s nomination to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs was unanimously approved by the Senate recently.

Industry an Effective Partner in Preparing for Biological Threats | Commentary

Recently, news emerged that six vials of smallpox were discovered in an old storage room at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Fortunately, the vials were quickly isolated and secured, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that onsite personnel have not identified any infectious exposure risk to lab workers or the public. The week prior, workers at a CDC lab were exposed to anthrax, though thankfully none became ill.

Bipartisan Legislation Built With Quality Patient Care in Mind | Commentary

Although Americans might struggle to find consensus on many policy issues related to health care, when faced with a serious health issue we unite behind the common goal of helping those living with it. Policymakers, health officials and the public have thrown their muscle behind putting a stop to once-deadly childhood illnesses, harmful toxins, and other threats to our health and safety.

If Prevention Is Good for People -- Why Not Medicare? | Commentary

Over the last decade, the discussion about reforming our health care system has focused on changing from a “sick” care to a “well” care system — or in other words being less reactive and more preventive in our approach to medicine. If we can prevent illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer, we have the potential to make millions of people healthier and reduce the cost of treating these diseases. However, making this change requires an up-front investment that may not yield a return for some time. This does not make the idea unacceptable, but in order to gain support, it must be fully understood.

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