Health Care
The Left believes universal healthcare is a right. They support President Obama's passage of the Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka ObamaCare. The middle are afraid of ObamaCare because they don't know what's in it, it means more taxation and higher federal debt, but they are equally afraid of skyrocketing healthcare costs. The Right believes that healthcare is an individual choice just like buying a home and the individual should control their personal healthcare decisions. Therefore, the Right believes PPACA (ObamaCare) is a misguided attempt at Socialism and should be repealed. The Right also believes the US cannot afford such a program when other countries are trying to relieve themselves of their previously instituted universal healthcare programs, and, under its current design more people will just opt out so it does not help access. Because ObamaCare is a federal program, costs will certainly rise in the form of both taxes to pay for it and the services it provides. The individual mandate was believed to violate the Constitution, but on June 28, 2012, SCOTUS issued an opinion which affirmed ObamaCare as a tax and as such was allowable under the Constitution. The fight now returns to the political arena. A very good healthcare blog where you can follow Healthcare and ACA issues can be found here. Below, and in the associated sub-categories, you can follow the arguments on both sides.

Vermont’s Radical Experiment to Break the Addiction Cycle

12/24/16
from The Wall Street Journal,
12/24/16:

Stocking shelves in a local store, Todd Popovitch felt his skin flush hot with worry. After years of using heroin, sometimes laced with the painkiller fentanyl, he had stayed clean for the summer, landing a job making $10 an hour. But by late September, his work had grown stressful. He and his girlfriend split, forcing him to find a new place to live. He sought help not from family or friends, but from the state’s top law-enforcement agency, which is pioneering a novel program seeking a way out of the country’s drug crisis. “I’m barely holding sh— together,” he wrote in a Sept. 26 text to Ellen Wicklum, a liaison to the Vermont Attorney General’s office. “Don’t use,” she wrote back.

Ms. Wicklum and her colleagues are taking a chance on Mr. Popovitch, a 35-year-old former standout high-school basketball player and drug user for 15 years. In May, he was arrested twice in eight days for alleged heroin possession. If convicted, he could have faced up to two years in prison. Instead, state officials decided to enroll him in a program that steers low-level lawbreakers with drug addictions into treatment and other services, bypassing incarceration and using the threat of prosecution as leverage. Operating entirely outside of a courtroom, prosecutors in participating counties can allow people arrested for drug crimes to move on with no charges if they adhere to a contract. Bearded and heavily tattooed, Mr. Popovitch now faces a daily struggle over whether the program’s ultimate payoff—a clean record and no jail, probation or work crew—is enough to motivate him to stay off heroin and fentanyl. For now, he is winning. “I’ve been beat down and owned by it for so long,” he says. “I’m not going to be owned by it anymore.” This idea is one of many local initiatives that have popped up all over the country to tackle the scourge of opioids, from Albany, N.Y., to Santa Fe, N.M. “This is a big kind of newish idea,” says Marc Fishman, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty member who helped start such a program this year in Montgomery County, Md., adding, “We like the early signals.” In 2015, University of Washington researchers found participants in Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program were 58% less likely to be re-arrested than individuals in a control group.

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