Health Care is a Moral Issue First

“If you share these moral values, of course you should support the push to repeal. You have absolutely every right to do so,” writes political scientist David Siegel. “But if you do not share these moral values and are considering supporting a repeal anyway, perhaps it’s worth thinking about how you might better align your policy stances with your moral values.”

Read More in The Hill

How Health Care Reform Could Hurt Women

Proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would remove requirements to cover maternity care and contraception. Those changes would hurt women especially hard, says Dr. Megan Huchko, an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Duke Global Health Institute.

 

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Fat Years And Lean Years — Don’t Be Too Enthusiastic About Tax Cuts

“In the Bible, Joseph told Pharaoh to save during the seven fat years to support society during the seven lean years. This story is worth remembering now that the Trump administration is proposing a new round of tax cuts in an effort to stimulate economic growth,” writes Dr. Kevin Schulman, a professor of medicine. “It is also worth remembering that this tax-cut approach was tried in the 1980s, and led to increases in the federal deficit.”

Read More in The Hill

An Increase in Women Legislators Is Linked to Fewer Infant Deaths

A study led by Patricia Homan, a doctoral candidate in sociology, finds that American states with higher percentages of women in their legislatures enjoy lower infant mortality rates. She found this relationship both when making state-to-state comparisons, and when looking at the same state’s statistics over the years. “These findings underscore the importance of women’s political representation for population health,” Homan writes in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

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GOP Keeps Obamacare ‘Fragile’ as Trump Nears 100 Days

It’s unlikely any repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act can be achieved anytime soon, leaving markets where Americans buy individual Obamacare policies in a “fragile” state, perhaps for another year or longer. “The fragility (of the market) will continue for some time,” says Dr. Mark McClellan, director of Duke’s Margolis Center for Health Policy and a former top health official in the George W. Bush administration.

Read More in Forbes

Is Fight to Repeal/Replace Affordable Care Act Dead?

Dr. Kevin Schulman says President Obama is often blamed for skyrocketing health care costs even though it long preceded the Affordable Care Act and affects everyone, not just those who have insurance through the law. Yet Schulman doesn’t see any serious attempts to address that core issue among the health care policy proposals floating around Washington. “It doesn’t seem like a lot of people on the Hill have agreement about what the problems are,” he says. “Coming to a consensus on a solution is even more challenging. I’m not optimistic that they can get there.”

Read More on PolitiFact

The GOP Effort To Repeal Obamacare Appears Dead, For Now

David Anderson, an expert in insurance plan design at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, explains how under the GOP plan insurers would use their newfound freedom to exclude potentially costly customers. “The first stream of product design will be aimed to cover very little,” he says. “They will be very narrow networks with no major academic medical centers involved; their benefits will be designed to drive away sick people with chronic conditions.”

Read More in The Los Angeles Times

 

Sesame Street’s New Muppet With Autism Is a Reminder That Congress Can’t Pass the AHCA

“It’s a challenging moment for the one in 68 children and millions of American adults who are on the autism spectrum. President Donald Trump and Republicans’ proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would eliminate the law’s Medicaid expansion, which serves many people with autism,” writes Geraldine Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development and president of the International Society for Autism Research.

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A Budget for the People?

“The core purpose of federal taxing and spending is to provide the American people with the government services and public goods they need, want, and deserve. The new administration’s budget, if we can even call it that, does nothing of the sort,” writes Mark Paul, an economist and postdoctoral associated at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity.

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Terror Or No Health Care Will Kill You Just As Dead

“The best evidence shows that the average morbidity benefit, or reduction of the incidence or severity of disease, associated with gaining health insurance coverage for one year would equal 3.7 to 6.8 days of healthy life,” states a 2014 commentary written by Christopher Conover, a research scholar at Duke’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, that’s cited in this column.

Read More in the Chicago Sun-Times

Know the Basics of Why Obamacare Stumbled Before Adopting Trumpcare

“Of course, it’s too much to ask these days for a reasoned discussion of the underlying economics of health care in Washington. However, without such a discussion, the most likely result will increase the cost of health care to you and your family. Real reform will require a hard look at the economics of our health care system — its strengths and its failings,” writes Dr. Kevin Schulman, a professor of medicine.

Read More in The Plain Dealer

Cuts To EPA, NIH Budgets Would Hurt Local Economy

President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget includes cuts to two federal agencies that could make a noticeable dent in the Triangle economy if it wins congressional approval. Dr. Nancy C. Andrews, dean of the School of Medicine, says in a statement she hopes Congress rejects any reduction of NIH funding and funding for other programs critical to people’s health and well-being. “Everywhere you turn, there is clear evidence of the impact of science and biomedical research on human lives,” she says.

Read More in The News & Observer