Viewpoints: The Last Happy Doctor; The Controversial Notion The Government Should Boost It’s Citizens’ Wellbeing

Syndicated from Kaiser Health News

The Charlotte Observer:
Why I’m The Last Happy Doctor

So, how did I end up as the “Last Happy Doctor”? It was a series of responses I made as the insurance industry began to reshape health care as a for-profit efficiency driven business. The first choice was to resist reducing the time spent with my patients. When I refused to schedule less than one half hour per patient, it became obvious that I would need to start and manage my own practice. Because of my choice to focus primarily on caring for older patients, my revenue stream was approximately 96 percent Medicare funded. Unaware, I had wandered into a “Medicare for All” financed healthcare practice. (Marsha Fretwell, 9/26)

Los Angeles Times:
Americans Have Been Fighting Over Government’s Role In Medical Care For Decades. That Fight Will Continue

In 1978, I was on overnight duty in the pediatric emergency room at Los Angeles County Hospital. It had been a busy night and I was looking forward to the end of shift. At about 4 a.m., a man with a frantic expression came rushing into the ER carrying what looked like a small log wrapped in a blanket. His 4-year-old son had suffered an asthma attack and the man had bypassed several private-hospital ERs on the way to the public hospital. He’d previously been refused emergency care at the private hospitals due to lack of insurance. On this occasion, the father did not want to waste time and took the much longer drive to Big County. I took the bundle from his arms and rushed into the treatment room. (Steve Tarzynski, 9/27)

The Washington Post:
Protecting The Rights Of People With Disabilities Is Not Optional

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 is perhaps the most wide-ranging civil rights act in the world. After decades of political struggle by disability rights activists and their allies, the ADA gave new rights to one-fifth of the population. It was a proud bipartisan accomplishment, passed by huge majorities in a Democratic-led Congress and signed by a Republican president. (Lennard Davis and David Perry, 9/26)

Los Angeles Times:
If The Hepatitis A Outbreak Doesn’t Convince You To Wash Your Hands After Using The Toilet, Nothing Will

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health last week declared an outbreak of hepatitis A, citing 12 cases as of Monday. Only four are cases in which people acquired the disease locally, but that’s enough for officials to sound the alarm. And few populations are more vulnerable to acquiring it — and suffering more severe cases of it — than the homeless community. More than three-quarters of the cases identified here have been among homeless people. (9/27)

Chicago Tribune:
Rauner Should Veto The Abortion Bill

On the campaign trail, Gov. Bruce Rauner assured voters he had “no social agenda.” So why is he now considering expanding taxpayer-funded abortion access in Illinois? It was never any secret that Gov. Rauner and his wife, Diana, are longtime supporters of the abortions-rights lobby. (Brittany Clingen Carl, 9/26)

The Des Moines Register:
Anti-Choice Lawmakers’ Crusade Defunds UnityPoint And Limits Women’s Health Options

Some Iowa lawmakers have a creepy obsession with women’s reproductive choices. Elected officials craft misguided laws to target abortion that result in limiting access to health care. And they never seem to learn anything from their mistakes. In the latest example, UnityPoint Health, one of Iowa’s biggest health systems, says the state is barring its hospitals and clinics from participating in a new family planning program because a few occasionally perform abortions in cases of severe fetal abnormalities. The state says the ban applies to all clinics and practices affiliated with UnityPoint, even those not owned by the health system. (9/26)

Chicago Tribune:
How Campaign Donations Could Sway The Soda Tax Repeal Vote

We reached Carol Bollacker on Tuesday afternoon at her place of business: Boz Hot Dogs on Ridge Road in Lansing, about 2 miles from the Indiana border. She and her husband also own a Boz Hot Dogs in Dyer, Ind. Which location pays less in taxes? No need to strike up the “Jeopardy” trivia music. You know the answer. (9/26)

The Des Moines Register:
Anti-Choice Lawmakers’ Crusade Defunds UnityPoint And Limits Women’s Health Options

Some Iowa lawmakers have a creepy obsession with women’s reproductive choices. Elected officials craft misguided laws to target abortion that result in limiting access to health care. And they never seem to learn anything from their mistakes. In the latest example, UnityPoint Health, one of Iowa’s biggest health systems, says the state is barring its hospitals and clinics from participating in a new family planning program because a few occasionally perform abortions in cases of severe fetal abnormalities. The state says the ban applies to all clinics and practices affiliated with UnityPoint, even those not owned by the health system. (9/26)

Chicago Tribune:
How Campaign Donations Could Sway The Soda Tax Repeal Vote

We reached Carol Bollacker on Tuesday afternoon at her place of business: Boz Hot Dogs on Ridge Road in Lansing, about 2 miles from the Indiana border. She and her husband also own a Boz Hot Dogs in Dyer, Ind. Which location pays less in taxes? No need to strike up the “Jeopardy” trivia music. You know the answer. (9/26)

Los Angeles Times:
Why Replacing L.A. County’s Health Director Won’t Be Easy

When Los Angeles County supervisors describe the kind of person they want for a top department post, they often say something along the lines of, “We want a Mitch Katz type. “That certainly speaks volumes about Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, who on Friday told the supervisors he’d be leaving the county at the end of the year. His departure culminates a stunningly successful run as leader, first of the massive Department of Health Services and then of the new and even more massive county Health Agency, which takes in the formerly stand-alone departments of mental health and public health. Katz turned about a third of the county’s operation and budget into a nimble human services organization that not only runs hospitals and coordinates clinical care, but also provides housing for the homeless and diverts the addicted and mentally ill from jails to clinics. (9/26)

 

 

 

Some stories produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation. Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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