Parsing Policy: How One Jurist’s Death Can Upend Health Care; Personalized Medicine, Abortion Rights At Risk

Editorial pages focus on these health care policies and others.

The Washington Post:
How RBG’s Death Could Trigger A Devastating Blow To The U.S. Health-Care System

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last week was undoubtedly a loss for those who loved and admired her. It also may have dealt a devastating blow to the entire U.S. health-care system and nearly every American who interacts with it — young and old, Republican and Democrat, healthy and sick alike. The week after Election Day, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a case seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The case, filed by 20 red states and supported by the Trump administration, rests on a convoluted legal argument: When Congress reduced the penalty for not having health insurance to zero dollars, the individual mandate ceased to be an exercise of Congress’s taxing power and became unconstitutional. (Catherine Rampell, 9/24)

NBC News:
Trump And Republicans’ Health Care ‘Plan’ Would Endanger People Like Me Amid Covid-19

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has dramatically affected the future of our nation’s health care. The fate of Obamacare could very well be decided mere days after the election, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about its validity on Nov. 10. And without Ginsburg on the court, the conservative wing may finally have the votes to declare the landmark law unconstitutional. (Laura Packard, 9/24)

Trump Administration Proposals Could Stymie Personalized Medicine 

“It is more important to know what kind of patient the disease has than to know what kind of disease the patient has.” Although Hippocrates made this keen observation more than 2,400 years ago, physicians did not have the tools to decipher the biological and environmental factors influencing an individual’s health and well-being until recently. (Edward Abrahams, 9/25)

The Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Hold Abortion Rights Hostage

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has amplified a classic Democratic election argument: that a Republican victory could lead to the end of legal abortion. The rhetoric obscures a question that Democratic voters might want to ask themselves: Why didn’t Democrats enact a federal law legalizing the termination of a pregnancy nationwide when they controlled Congress and the White House after the 1992 or 2008 election? A partial answer is that the parties were less polarized on the issue in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton, trying to appeal to the center, said abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Democrats have since evolved closer to the absolutist position that Kimberly Inez McGuire of Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity calls “abortion positive.” As she told Vox in 2019: “For us that means, not only do we think abortion should be legal, but we think it’s a really good thing when people can get abortion care who need it.” (Ted Rall, 9/24)

The Wall Street Journal:
Woke Science Is An Experiment Certain To Fail 

Mr. Trump should order that federal science initiatives return to a color- and sex-blind basis. All NIH, NSF and CDC projects targeted at alleged systemic inequities in STEM should be eliminated. Advancing knowledge, not the pursuit of diversity, should be the goal of federal science funding. America’s scientific competitiveness depends on supporting our most talented scientists, regardless of their race and sex. (Heather Mac Donald, 9/24)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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