For no reason I can remember, I put the ’90s classic Four Weddings and a Funeral on my Netflix queue and re-watched it recently. The scene etched in my mind all these years was that of the funeral. John Hannah, with his beautiful Scottish accent, reads “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden. What the clip leaves off is the funeral officiant, presumably an Anglican priest, introducing the beloved partner of the man in the coffin as “his closest friend.”
The ACA is no longer just an idea. It is how millions of people access health care—and the Supreme Court stands poised to gut it.
It’s easy to imagine health-care reform that does more than the ACA. It's almost impossible to see it getting enacted, as Steven Brill's book reminds us.
In October 2013, a program entitled “Health Care from the Pulpit” was introduced by Enroll America, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to increase enrollment in services provided by the Affordable Care Act among the previously uninsured. They intend to bring churches of different faiths together to “be engaged in the education and outreach efforts around the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.” Programs like “Health Care from the Pulpit” have existed for centuries and in a number of national contexts. The greatest example occurred during the spread of the smallpox vaccine in France in the early 19th century.
Remember in the fall, when Obamacare's insurance exchanges got off to a shamefully bad start, and people who never liked the health-care law in the first place started cheering its impending doom? Yeah, they were wrong.
Instapundit’s op-ed on the problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals reads like a plug-and-play template for libertarian commentary: “The cleanup will be, basically, impossible. That’s because the VA is government health care.” He goes on to argue that the unacceptably long wait times, deceptive record keeping, and undeserved executive bonuses at VA facilities are due to a lack of free-market competition: there’s no bottom-line issue, so managers mismanage with impunity. This would be a more compelling argument if the free-market alternative—the real-world one, not the theoretical one used so often to bash (real-world) government work—actually performed consistently better, and actually had a better system for accountability.
There are few heroes in Sheri Fink's harrowing narrative of overwhelmed health-care workers during and after Hurricane Katrina.
Several GOP governors have made plans to go along with Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid. This is very good news.
When a hospital charges you $1.50 for a Tylenol pill—which a consumer can buy for 1.5 cents— you may shrug and figure you just don’t understand the system. But Steven Brill’s cover story in Time magazine shows that the 10,000 percent markup on Tylenol is just a hint of the vast price-gouging that goes on in hospital billing.