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Health Care Archive

Pallone Brings Health Policy Chops to Energy Panel Post

By choosing Frank Pallone Jr. to be ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress, House Democrats tapped a lawmaker with a track record for helping some of the poorest Americans gain access to medical care.

Fighting Ebola Requires Better Planning | Commentary

The number of Ebola cases in the United States may have subsided, but the epidemic in Africa is far from over. And while it is clear the U.S. health care system ultimately rose to the challenge of caring for multiple Ebola patients, the grave mistakes made in Texas should serve as a wake-up call. We must ensure our health care system is better prepared to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of Ebola and other diseases, which is why we are proposing specific legislation to advance this vital goal.

Supreme Court Pits People v. Politics Again | Commentary

Political games are de rigueur in Washington and the Supreme Court is no exception. With its grant of review in King v. Burwell, the nation’s highest court has set the stage for yet another Affordable Care Act showdown.

Caribbean Medical Schools Can Help Reduce Doctor Shortages in Hispanic Communities | Commentary

Among some Washington policymakers and the media, there is an unfair bias against Caribbean medical schools. Caribbean schools specialize in training primary care physicians, who often return home to serve communities all across our nation. Many of these physicians are first turned away from medical schools in the United States because there are not sufficient openings to meet the high demand.

On Ebola Funding, Don't Forget Lessons from the AIDS Epidemic | Commentary

A well-founded sense of urgency gripped the recent Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the proposed $6.2 billion emergency funding bill to combat the Ebola epidemic. Lives are being lost as Congress deliberates.

New Year of Open Enrollment Brings Choices, Changes

People who bought insurance through the marketplaces created last year by the new health care law and who were then offered medical coverage through an employer may feel as if they have more choices than ever before. But the arcane rules about federal subsidies for buying coverage could wind up costing them in the long run.

HHS Pledges Easier Health Care Signups, But Open Enrollment May Bring Extra Bills

This year, 37 states will use healthcare.gov as the website to enroll people through the marketplaces created by the health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). The rest have their own websites. The sign-up period goes from Nov. 15 until Feb. 15.

Emergency Spending Requests Weighed in Omnibus Talks

White House emergency spending requests are taking a back seat to a debate about whether to use a wrap-up fiscal 2015 spending package to block executive actions on immigration.

Veterans' Access Law Stresses Transparency | Commentary

It takes a crisis to raise an issue.

Michigan Democrat May Join With GOP on Health Law Tweaks

Senate Republicans lacking a filibuster-proof majority next year will need to attract crossover votes from a shrinking pool of centrist Democrats if they are to have any hope of making legislative changes to the health care law. 

Congress: Honor Veterans by Acting Now | Commentary

Veterans Day should be more than a once-a-year occasion for elected officials to pay tribute to the brave Americans who sacrificed and suffered to keep our nation free. It should also be a day when they ask themselves whether our government is doing enough to uphold the sacred compact we make with our veterans — that in exchange for their service, a grateful nation will do everything possible to ease their burdens and create opportunities for them to lead high quality lives when they return.

'Organic' Label Rules Attacked by Watchdog Groups

The average consumer faces a bewildering array of food labels and symbols in the grocery store aisle. Some of these are sanctioned or overseen by government regulators. Some bear the mark of voluntary, industry-led initiatives. Some come from third-party groups. Others occupy a gray area, making marketing claims that sound good but sometimes mean very little.

Needed: U.S. Quarantine Policy Based on Facts Not Fear

The governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, announced last week that people who have traveled to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the past 21 days, regardless of any known exposure to anyone infected with Ebola, are not welcome in the state, lest they be “confined to [their] room.” This follows poorly thought out quarantines issued by Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey. The shortsightedness of these policies is now getting the media attention it deserves. These policies, based on fear and politics and not science, reinforce the growing global perception that the U.S. approach to the Ebola crisis is full of contradiction and inconsistencies.

The Case for Foreign Aid: There Is No 'Them' Only 'Us' | Commentary

With the advent of the few Ebola cases that have emerged in the U.S., Americans and the global community can and should turn their attention to the plight of fragile health care infrastructure in poor countries. This outbreak is a stark reminder that our own health and prosperity is directly linked to that of the developing world. Foreign aid is a catalyst for building healthier families and communities — and in turn, helping our own.

A Clear Opportunity for America's Children | Commentary

As leaves turn and campaign season signals colorful change ahead, politicians at the local, state and national levels debate what works in education programs designed to improve academic outcomes for America’s children.

Congress, FDA Must Put Patient Safety First in Biosimilar Approval Process | Commentary

Breakthrough medicines known as biologics are already benefitting millions of people in the United States and around the world. With the prospect of an emerging category of biologic drugs known as biosimilars, however, concerns about patient safety and the efficacy of biosimilars have been raised. Congressional and Food and Drug Administration oversight is critical to make sure patients will not be at risk.

Congress Has Thin Legislative Record on Combating Disease Outbreaks

Although Congress has publicly fretted over the threat of infectious disease pandemics, there have been few legislative attempts in the last two decades to address such health emergencies, leaving lawmakers with a limited set of policy options as they try to contain the Ebola outbreak.

For Low-Income Children, Findings Reveal CHIP to Be a Vital Resource | Commentary

Between 1997 and 2012, uninsured rates among low-income children fell from 25 percent to 13 percent despite recession conditions that separated many families from employer-sponsored coverage and left them with fewer resources to purchase coverage on their own. Our findings attribute this persistent decline to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, whose coverage rates among children increased from 41 percent to 63 percent over the same 15-year period.

Preparedness Issues Linger as Ebola Worries Intensify | Commentary

With each passing day, unfortunately, comes more and more uncomfortable, gloomy, even downright terrifying news about Ebola, which the Boston Globe recent exclaimed in a headline as “the next great American panic.”

It's Time for Congress to Make Integrated Care Central to the Nation's Patient Experience | Commentary

The primary objective of our health care system is to ensure that quality health care is readily accessible for patients. However, as health care becomes increasingly entangled in a web of networks, insurers, and providers, the patient’s best interest can get lost.

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