Viewpoints: Lessons On The Election’s Impact On US Health Policy; Pros, Cons Of The Candidates’ COVID Goals

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Editorial pages express views about the future of health policy and how policy impacts the pandemic.

New England Journal of Medicine:
Implications Of The 2020 Election For U.S. Health Policy

This article explores the implications of the 2020 election for the future of health policy in the United States. A substantial body of research has shown that policy decisions made by nationally elected officials in recent years more closely reflect the views of their party’s adherents than they do the views of the general voting public as a whole. People who identify with a party are more likely to have voted in a partisan primary election and are often more active in political affairs. The elected officials’ decisions also reflect to some degree the views of each party’s largest financial donors. (Robert J. Blendon and John M. Benson, 10/29)

USA Today:
‘Wartime President’ Donald Trump Surrenders To COVID-19

Early in his fight against a novel coronavirus, Donald Trump proclaimed himself in a call-to-arms moment a “wartime president.” But as a third surge of COVID-19 infections sweeps across the country, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows capitulated on Trump’s behalf. “We are not going to control the pandemic,” he told CNN last Sunday.Beyond consigning Americans to a wretched winter of sickness before a vaccine becomes widely available, surrendering in the face of a viral enemy is a tragically fitting capstone to perhaps the worst crisis-management performance for a president in U.S. history. (10/29)

USA Today:
Biden And COVID: His Presidency And Plan Won’t Fix Everything

As the 2020 presidential election hurls itself at us, there is one thing upon which the far right and far left agree: The COVID-19 pandemic should be over within days after Nov. 4. The right says the “deep state” is holding on to a secret vaccine that it will introduce to the world once Donald Trump is thrown out of office. The left says that Trump is the primary cause of the virus’ spread, and that with the biological weapon in chief out of office, people will soon be out safely ingesting each other’s disgusting germs. Alas, despite these extremes being so far out there that they meet again in the back, neither is right. Trump is not entirely to blame for the virus’ spread, and Joe Biden’s election will not be a panacea in stopping it. (Christian Schneider, 10/29)

The New York Times:
Donald Trump’s Divided America

Social media and the former reality star have entwined to make cruelty and fake news central elements of the nation’s discourse. Who could have conceived of a president calling a vice-presidential candidate from the other party, a respected senator and groundbreaker for women, “a monster”? This fog of fakery peaked with Covid-19, with Trump politicizing the mask and turning Democratic governors and his own health officials into the enemy. (Maureen Dowd, 10/30)

The Wall Street Journal:
Joe Biden’s Covid Fairy Tale 

The Democrats want to turn Covid against the president, and they appear to be succeeding. But their strategy makes no sense in the end—perhaps because Joe Biden makes no sense. The first big problem is that President Trump’s handling of the plague has been sensible from the start. Be careful until treatment improves and a vaccine is ready. (David Gelernter, 10/29)

Health Policy In The Supreme Court And A New Conservative Majority

Within 8 days of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a pioneer of women’s rights and a liberal icon—President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat. Her elevation to the Supreme Court will have profound consequences for health care and policy. (Lawrence O. Gostin, Wendy E. Parmet, and Sara Rosenbaum, 10/27)

The Wall Street Journal:
Justice Barrett May Inspire Pro-Life Votes For Trump

Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation will likely drive turnout among pro-choice suburban women. But there may be a countereffect: Pro-life voters who aren’t enthusiastic about Donald Trump could be inspired to vote for him. The Susan B. Anthony List has been laying groundwork for that to happen since before her nomination. (Nicole Ault, 10/29)

The Washington Post:
Trump Rejects Science And Endangers Lives. I Can No Longer Remain Silent. 

Almost 63 million people voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but in 1983, more than 106 million people watched the last episode of “M.A.S.H.” So, it seems that by this president’s standard, I’m a bigger deal than he is. But I don’t write here as a formerly famous person; I write just as a citizen who might have something in common with you. After spending a decade doing everything I could to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified, I made a decision 37 years ago to keep much quieter in public about my political opinions. If I was going to make a contribution, it should be by doing what I was good at: writing and acting. (Alan Alda, 10/29)

The New York Times:
Lies, Damned Lies And Trump Rallies

On Tuesday the White House science office went beyond Trump’s now-standard claims that we’re “rounding the corner” on the coronavirus and declared that one of the administration’s major achievements was “ending the Covid-19 pandemic.” Who was that supposed to convince, when almost everyone is aware not only that the pandemic continues, but that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging? All it did was make Trump look even more out of touch. (Paul Krugman, 10/29)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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