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Healthy choices

   Leading off today's Buffalo News Opinion section, two editorials about health care issues:
 - First things first
   Here’s the first, and most important, test regarding the idea of building a children’s outpatient center on Childrenshospital the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus: Is it medically necessary?
   If an ambulatory outpost of Women and Children's Hospital is not medically necessary, then that should end the discussion. If it is needed, then planners at Kaleida Health and other stakeholder groups can deal with the inevitable follow-up issues: cost and community impact.

- Not just blowing smoke
   Barring an unexpected reversal, one of the long-term lunacies of American health regulation soon will be rectified as Congress and President Obama prepare to give the Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products. summary and bill text are here. Roll call House vote is here. [Vote in the New York House delegation was 28-0 in favor.] The Web page that should soon be fired up again is here. Statements from sponsors Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Henry Waxman and from supporter Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport. [Hard to find a posted statement from a congressman in opposition. Anybody throw me a link?] And the case against, from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.    

   And an Another Voice column from Dr. Michael Cropp, the CEO of insurer Independent Health:
-  Independent Health backs collaborative reform 
   Reversing the high cost of health care is a collective responsibility requiring visionary leadership; wide-ranging partnerships involving employers, consumers, community groups and not-for-profit organizations, elected officials and others; and renewed collaboration among the public and private sectors.

   And, in the My View slot, James Costa of Elma offers a prescription for a longer, and happier, life:
Let’s not be grouchy in our golden years 
   We’ve made it this far; many never do. So let’s celebrate our longevity and our families

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News     


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