KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama’s Health Reform Pitch Leaves Questions Unanswered For Many Viewers

The New York Times spoke to several families as they watched President Obama's Wednesday night news conference. Thirty-six year old Craig Brown found that the event, meant to explain and gain support for health reform proposals, left him with many questions. He and his wife "remain frustrated by the lack of available detail about his plan's contours and cost. They say they feel they are being asked to buy on spec from a government they do not trust. ...  A similar unease was apparent in three other living rooms where families gathered to watch the news conference."

"You see, he's saying he wants to continue private insurance, but then he says they're part of the problem. Well, which is it? It's just ridiculous," one viewer told the Times while watching the press conference. Another said he was worried about what the overhaul would do to small businesses, like his own, that already provide coverage to employees (Sack, 7/23).

"Very smart people are zoning out of the health care reform debate because they think it's just too complicated," CBS News reports. Defining the goals of the overhaul – expanding coverage, reforming the insurance market, improving the delivery system and increasing the focus of disease prevention – are "relatively easy to understand, CBS reports. But, explaining how the government plans to implement them makes people "feel stupid - partly by special interest groups who intentionally or unintentionally confuse the debate" (LaPook, 7/23).

Forbes presents a primer on "the hot-button topics of cost, coverage, funding, taxes and improving value… [t]o help you better navigate the sprawling and complex debate, here's our primer on the issues driving reform" (Ruiz, 7/23).

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