Martin O’Neill’s squad went third in Group D with a 4-nil win over Gibraltar in Faro. Monday’s opponents did Ireland a favour by beating Scotland in Tblisi, but Shay Given knows that will make the Georgians an even tougher prospect at the Aviva.
If you are about to retire or already retired, you are already thinking about your potential health care costs and wondering if you are going to have enough to pay the bills as you age. While costs can be staggering, some planning can help increase the likelihood that you will in fact have enough wealth to pay for things like doctor’s visits, hospital stays and even long term care facilities. The numbers are big. Fidelity did a study in 2002 that showed a retired couple, both age 65, spends about $160,000 on medical expenses in retirement. (Byron Ellis, 10/24) The Wall Street Journal: Another ObamaCare Shock Viewpoints: Impact Of Obamacare Sticker Shock; What’s Next On The Health Policy Agenda? A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. The New York Times: Why The U.S. Still Trails Many Wealthy Nations In Access To Care Obamacare has substantially increased the number of Americans who have health insurance, as the president boasted. Some of his other claims — notably, “This law has actually slowed down the pace of health care inflation” — are more dubious. But the core problem with his speech was not that he overestimated the merits of Obamacare (as much as I believe that he did). Nor was it the partisan silliness in which the president sometimes indulged. It’s that he refused to acknowledge that conservatives have reasonable disagreements with him about the direction of health-care policy. (Ramesh Ponnuru, 10/24) RealClear Health: The ACA Revisited The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in serious trouble, and the next president and Congress may well have to gut or replace it. While many Affordable Care Act supporters remain optimistic, concerns are bipartisan. An article by two conservative writers proclaims, “ObamaCare’s Meltdown Has Arrived … half of Tennesseans covered under the plan are losing their coverage.” Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Mark Dayton says the law has “some serious blemishes and serious deficiencies” and is “no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.” Former President Bill Clinton said, “the people who are out there busting it … wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.” (Robert Graboyes, 10/24) The Wichita Eagle: Kansas Safety Net For Disabled Strong And Improving Kansas’ safety net for the disabled is strong and improving every day. The state is spending more now on its disability services than ever before, while still responsibly managing resources and improving the quality of care provided. (Tim Keck, 10/24) Houston Chronicle: Healthcare Costs In Retirement Could Break You Obamacare has been a failure for the many Kentuckians who lost their insurance despite the president’s promise that if you “like your plan, you can keep your plan.” The law’s red tape, mandates and taxes continue to drive up health-care prices forcing many Kentuckians to choose between insurance plans they cannot afford or government-run plans they do not want. Next year, health insurance premiums in Kentucky will increase an average of 27 percent. A report from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky found that only 26 percent of Kentucky small businesses will be able to offer their employees health insurance, a drop of 10 percent in the last year. And the collapse of the Kentucky Health Cooperative forced 51,000 Kentuckians to find new insurance, many for the second or third time since the law was enacted. (Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., 10/24) President Obama took a health-care victory lap last week in Miami, celebrating “all the progress that we’ve made in controlling costs” and portraying the law’s critics as “false and politically motivated.” Does that apply to the actuaries at the Health and Human Services Department too? On Monday they reported that ObamaCare premiums will soar 25% on average next year, and this is “progress” all right, in the wrong direction. (10/24) Last Week Tonight host John Oliver delivered one of his signature barnburners on Sunday. This time, the HBO comedian’s target was the pharmaceutical industry, and its role in America’s devastating prescription painkiller and heroin overdose epidemic, which has seen 165,000 prescription opioid-related deaths since 1999. But while Oliver nailed how drug makers’ marketing of powerful opioids, like OxyContin or Percocet, helped set the stage for 2.6 million Americans getting addicted, he missed a crucial part of the story: that Big Pharma and the U.S. health system, including insurance giants, which helped create the crisis, are now actively involved with coming up with answers to address it. (Sy Mukherjee, 10/24) RealClear Policy: Our Next Administration’s Health-Care Agenda Bloomberg: Why Obama Won’t Listen To Reason On Obamacare Many are still unhappy with Obamacare. The main intent of the Affordable Care Act was to expand the safety net (Medicaid), regulate the non-employer-based private insurance market (the insurance exchanges) and help people buy that insurance (subsidies) in order to reduce the number of Americans who are uninsured. On those metrics, it appears to be succeeding. (Aaron E. Carroll, 10/24) Fortune: John Oliver’s Anti-Pharma Rant Had One Glaring Omission Lexington Herald Leader: Reject Obamacare; Let Free Market Lower Costs, Expand Access Many reasons have been offered to explain the gap between the salaries of male and female physicians and scientists, between their levels of federal funding for research and their academic promotions. One pervasive problem has been overlooked. I call it “the invisible woman” problem. In reality, female health care professionals are everywhere — women account for approximately 75 percent of hospital employees and health service managers, 50 percent of US medical school graduates, and 40 percent of the faculty of US medical schools. They hold positions at every level — including president, CEO, and other positions in the C-suite. Yet their names, faces, and voices are often not seen or heard. (Julie K. Silver, 10/24) For the past six years, Republicans have been voting to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But they never actually came up with an alternative until June 22, 2016, when House Republicans unveiled their plan. It declares: “Obamacare simply does not work. It cannot be amended or fixed through incremental changes. Obamacare must be repealed so that Congress can move forward with the kinds of reforms that will give Americans the care they deserve.” Are the Republicans right? Does the ACA not work? No matter the metric — access, quality, or cost — the ACA has undeniably been a success. It may not be perfect — but it is still a success. (Ezekiel Emanuel and Emily Gudbranson, 10/24) Stat: Why Are Female Doctors Being Hidden In Plain Sight? This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.