Randy Shaw: If voters believe that Obama’s re-election is essential to preserve national health care reform – which, for all of its shortcomings, is better than the status quo and is popular with voters – the President has a path to victory.
Steve Hochstadt: The delivery of health care in the US is being transformed in my lifetime from individual practice to corporate medicine. It can be difficult to find a family physician who will take on a new patient.
Carol McGruder: Big Tobacco is the Mack Daddy of all corporate pimps and while many people might wince at the politically incorrect analogy, it certainly does get your attention. It is the one industry, that no matter how often it is sued, taxed, regulated, or maligned, always manages to come out on top, selling its deadly products at all cost and raking in billions in profits.
Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.
Tina Dupuy: 40% of Americans actually make New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I did it once – five years ago this week I reluctantly quit smoking. How did I quit? Arctic turkey. I simply didn’t smoke. People who have never smoked think this is the moment of triumph. I went from heavy smoking to heavy sobbing.
Robert Reich: Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What are they going to do about government spending? Knowing they don’t stand a chance of getting a direct repeal of the healthcare mandate, they’ll try to strip the federal budget appropriation of money needed to put the healthcare mandate into effect. This could lead to a standoff with the White House over government funding in general, and a possible government shutdown.
Wendy McElroy: A new slate of drugs now addresses a wide range of so-called disorders, or dysfunctions, that former generations considered environmental problems or lifestyle choices: from obesity to attention deficit, from erectile dysfunction to social anxiety (shyness), from menopause to alcoholism.
Diane Lefer: In South LA, the pressures of gentrification and loss of income now have two and three families sharing apartments that would be a tight squeeze for one. Even so-called “affordable housing,” is beyond the reach of most when you consider that Los Angeles considers a living wage to be $12/hour.