| Aug. 19, 2014, 11:10 a.m.
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.
| Aug. 15, 2014, 5 a.m.
Some bad ideas never seem to go away.
| Aug. 13, 2014, 10:21 a.m.
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.
| Aug. 12, 2014, 5 a.m.
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.
| Aug. 11, 2014, 5:53 p.m.
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.
| Aug. 11, 2014, 5 a.m.
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.
| Aug. 7, 2014, 5 a.m.
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.
| Aug. 7, 2014, 5 a.m.
Robert McDonald’s nomination to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs was unanimously approved by the Senate recently.
| Aug. 6, 2014, 5 a.m.
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.
| Aug. 6, 2014, Midnight
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.
| July 31, 2014, 5 a.m.
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.
| July 25, 2014, 3:03 p.m.
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.
| July 24, 2014, 5 a.m.
In his recent opinion piece, Ascension Health CEO Robert Henkel pleads with Congress not to tinker with the 340B Drug Discount Program (“Placing the Health and Well Being of Patients First”, Roll Call, July 16). The program was created in 1992 to benefit medically underserved patients in the outpatient setting, but it has grown into a lucrative opportunity for many disproportionate share hospitals (DSH).
| July 24, 2014, 5 a.m.
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.
| July 23, 2014, 5 a.m.
As we approach the 24th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, our nation has seen great advancement in opportunities for millions of Americans with disabilities to lead fruitful, productive lives as a result of this law. The ADA has also served as a standard for disability rights movements worldwide and as a framework for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty which seeks to ensure the rights of people with disabilities worldwide.
| July 21, 2014, 6:36 p.m.
Rehabilitation hospitals and skilled nursing homes at odds over whether their Medicare payments should be the same have different industry profiles.
| July 21, 2014, 6:28 p.m.
Medicare patients who need rehabilitation after a hospital stay can get their care from several types of medical providers. Depending on their medical needs and other factors, they may be able to get treatment from a specialized rehab hospital, at home with help from home health care aides or outpatient therapists, or in a nursing facility.
| July 21, 2014, 3:24 p.m.
The North American Metal Packaging Alliance Inc. appreciates the continued focus on public health expressed by the authors of new legislation regarding food additives. However, in the case of Bisphenol A, we strongly believe the concerns of Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and his House colleagues are misguided, and the legislation unnecessary. The proposed bill may do more to push America backward in public health than to advance consumer safety.
| July 18, 2014, 5 a.m.
With three weeks left in the work period before Congress leaves for its long summer recess, the Senate is likely to leave nearly 300 House bills aimed at spurring economic growth gathering dust on Leader Harry Reid’s desk.
| July 17, 2014, 5 a.m.
Seniors in our districts and across the country depend on Medicare to cover important cancer prevention tests, such as colonoscopies. With the current Medicare reimbursement rules, many seniors may opt to forgo this potentially lifesaving test due to their inability to pay for the unexpected co-pay for the removal of any polyps discovered during the procedure.