President Obama Picks New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden For CDC Director

May 19, 2009

President Obama on Friday appointed New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden as CDC director, according to Obama administration officials, the New York Timesreports. According to the Times, Frieden, an infectious disease specialist, has “cut a high and sometimes contentious profile” in his seven years as health commissioner in New York City, during which time he has advocated for a smoking ban in restaurants and bars, made HIV testing part of routine medical exams and protected a program that distributes 35 million condoms a year.
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President Obama Picks New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden For CDC Director

May 19, 2009

President Obama on Friday appointed New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden as CDC director, according to Obama administration officials, the New York Timesreports. According to the Times, Frieden, an infectious disease specialist, has “cut a high and sometimes contentious profile” in his seven years as health commissioner in New York City, during which time he has advocated for a smoking ban in restaurants and bars, made HIV testing part of routine medical exams and protected a program that distributes 35 million condoms a year.
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Obama Should Consider Canadian Health Care System ‘Hardships’ When Developing Overhaul Plan, Editorial States

February 12, 2009

President Obama and congressional Democrats last week took a “first step … toward government-run health insurance” with the enactment of a law to reauthorize and expand CHIP, but they should consider “Canada’s experience” before “proceeding further,” Nadeem Esmail, director of Health System Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

He writes, “Health care resources are not unlimited in any country … and must be rationed either by price or time,” and as a result, when “individuals bear no direct responsibility to paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting.” Esmail cites several “constitutional challenges” filed by Canadian patients placed on waiting lists for health care that “share a common goal: to win Canadians the freedom to spend their own money to protect themselves from the inadequacies of the government health insurance system.”
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Obama Should Consider Canadian Health Care System ‘Hardships’ When Developing Overhaul Plan, Editorial States

February 12, 2009

President Obama and congressional Democrats last week took a “first step … toward government-run health insurance” with the enactment of a law to reauthorize and expand CHIP, but they should consider “Canada’s experience” before “proceeding further,” Nadeem Esmail, director of Health System Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

He writes, “Health care resources are not unlimited in any country … and must be rationed either by price or time,” and as a result, when “individuals bear no direct responsibility to paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting.” Esmail cites several “constitutional challenges” filed by Canadian patients placed on waiting lists for health care that “share a common goal: to win Canadians the freedom to spend their own money to protect themselves from the inadequacies of the government health insurance system.”
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Obama ‘Must Not Bow’ To Demands Of Abortion-Rights Supporters, Editorial Says

January 16, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama was “largely hesitant” to discuss abortion rights while campaigning, and he “had good reason to be apprehensive,” a Washington Times editorial says, adding that abortion-rights groups “want to pull out all the stops, and their wish list has no bounds.” The editorial states that abortion-rights advocates are lobbying Obama’s transition team to “remove all restrictions on abortion instituted by President Bush and Republican-led Congresses over the last eight years.”
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Efforts To Reduce Payments To Medicare Advantage Plans Expected From Obama Administration, Congress

January 11, 2009

The incoming Obama administration and Democratic-led Congress likely will cut payments to private Medicare Advantage plans in 2009, an aide to Senate Democrats said Monday during a briefing sponsored by the journal Health Affairs, CQ HealthBeat reports (Weyl, CQ HealthBeat, 11/24). According to The Hill, a “longstanding ideological battle between liberals and conservatives over the propriety of turning over a growing portion of the Medicare entitlement to private companies is meeting head-on with the need for Congress to make cuts to certain programs in order to finance other priorities.”
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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Possible Obama Policy Change To Allow Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

January 11, 2009

The Tennessean on Monday published an editorial and an opinion piece examining issues related to embryonic stem cell research.

~ Tennessean: If President-elect Barack Obama issues an executive order to overturn the Bush administration’s ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, the way in which he addresses the issue “could be an early sign as to his effectiveness as president,” according to the editorial. The editorial says, “The new president would be wise first to thoroughly explain his reasoning for the decision but also do so in ways that persuade, not just inform.” The editorial continues that Obama “should also highlight the views of prominent Republicans” who support the research, including former first lady Nancy Reagan and former Sen. Bill Frist (Tenn.). According to the editorial, “Polls have shown that a majority of Americans believe the government should ease current restrictions on the research. The more the new president can illuminate a consensus on the issue the better his efforts will be.” It adds, “If Obama wants to make stem cell research a priority, he should make his decision look as inclusive as possible,” concluding, “A contentious start on a controversial issue would not be a good way to begin a presidency” (Tennessean, 11/24).
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