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Health Care Archive

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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.

Congress Take Note: 29 Million Diabetic Americans Wonder "Who is Minding the Diabetes Supply Store?" | Commentary

You see the small, handmade signs at the intersections of streets across the country, touting “CASH PAID FOR DIABETES TEST STRIPS.” Signs of the times? Perhaps, as ad hoc resellers of medical supplies provide a secondary market to someone in need of a few quick dollars while possibly flouting pesky safety laws. But it’s also an indicator of a larger-scale issue: the difficulty faced by federal policymakers in regulating a multifaceted industry crucial to the survival of many of the nation’s 29 million diabetes patients.

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.

Hepatitis is Still the Silent Killer | Commentary

Although the price of a revolutionary new hepatitis C treatment has made headlines recently, the real hepatitis crisis continues largely unreported. A more immediate problem for many Americans is not how much one hepatitis C treatment might cost; it is how many Americans are infected with viral hepatitis and do not even know it.

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Nutrition Facts Label May Take a Hard Line on Sugar

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration unveiled a revamped Nutrition Facts label for food packages, proposing changes to the iconic white box for the first time since it was adopted 20 years ago.

A Reflection on the Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 | Commentary

This September will mark the two-year anniversary of the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012 currently blocked by the Senate. The bill, which was drafted on bipartisan lines, would have created jobs for up to 20,000 veterans. This defeat came at a time when one out of four young veterans were unemployed, when 76,000 veterans went homeless on any given night, and when suicide rate for veterans was more than 500 a month. So, why did this happen? What caused the Senate to vote down a bill that would have benefited thousands of the dedicated men and women who served this great country? First, let’s take a look at what the bill would have done.

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