Abolishing Private Health Insurance Is Bad Policy for Democrats
Four of the Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination committed to replacing private health insurance with a government-run system in debates this week: Senators Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York.
Harris later maintained she had misheard the question and supports Medicare-for-all with supplemental private insurance.
She, as well as Sanders and Warren, stand a real chance of becoming the nominee (de Blasio is a long shot), so it’s worth pointing out why abolishing private health insurance is such bad policy for Democrats. Read more
Trump’s Drug Policy Is Destroying Lives
Politico reports that President Donald Trump’s crackdown on opioids is backfiring.
Hundreds of patients told the political news website they have been suddenly refused prescriptions for medications they relied on for years — sometimes just to get out of bed in the morning — and have been left to suffer untreated pain on top of withdrawal symptoms.
Many … described being tapered off narcotics too quickly or, worse, turned away by doctors and left to navigate on their own. Some said they coped by using medical marijuana or CBD oil, an extract from marijuana or hemp plants; others turned to illicit street drugs despite the fear of buying fentanyl-laced heroin linked to soaring overdose death numbers. A few … contemplated suicide.
Republicans Are Killing Market-Based Health Care in America
Matthew Yglesias makes a convincing argument in Vox that, by resisting Obamacare at every turn, Republicans are making European-style universal health care more likely in the United States. Read more
Donald Trump’s Instincts on Drugs Are All Wrong
Axios reports that President Donald Trump envies countries that execute drug dealers, tells confidants a softer approach to drug reform will never work and that America needs to teach its children they’ll die if they take drugs.
His administration is looking into triggering five-year mandatory minimum sentences for traffickers who deal as little as two grams of fentanyl. Currently, the threshold is forty grams.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be lethal in extremely small doses. Overdose deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have increased sixfold since 2013, outstripping those from every other drug.
Health Insurance Sticking Point in German Coalition Talks
One of the sticking points in attempts to form another grand coalition government in Germany is the country’s mixed public-private health insurance system.
The Social Democrats campaigned on merging the two. Their argument is that the one in ten Germans with private insurance (mostly people with yearly incomes over €50,000) get better care: shorter waiting lists, more services. Read more