KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Different Takes: Health Law ‘Stalemate’ Leaves Many Questions On Marketplaces; What’s Next In The Debate?

Opinion writers offer their thoughts on where Obamacare stands now and what should happen next as well as a number of other policy issues. Those include Medicare and Medicaid buy-in ideas, health data privacy and security, and hearing aids.

The Chicago Tribune: Stalemate In D.C. Leaves Health Insurance In Limbo
What should you expect now that the drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act appears dead — at least for the moment? Given how legislation gets made in Washington, I wouldn't be surprised to see some elements of the repeal and replace bill surface again, possibly tacked onto what's known as must-have legislation. (Trudy Lieberman, 8/25)

Boston Globe: Predictions Of Obamacare’s Demise Fail Again
More broadly, a Republican Congress truly concerned with making the health insurance exchanges work better could restore the now-expired reinsurance program that helped offset costs for the most expensive cases, thereby keeping those costs from pushing up premiums for others. If the administration and the Republican-led Congress instead tries to sabotage the law’s functioning or undermine it through malign neglect, the Republican Party will bear the political responsibility for the consequences. (8/27)

The New York Times: Looking Beyond The Obamacare Debate To Improve Health Care
Now that Republicans in Congress appear to have at least temporarily abandoned their crusade against the Affordable Care Act, it seems like a good time for lawmakers to come up with plans to fulfill their promises to increase access to health care and to lower costs. Let’s stipulate up front that congressional leaders and President Trump are unlikely to lead that effort, given that they narrowly failed to take health insurance away from millions of people. (8/26)

The New York Times: Why Medicare And Medicaid Can Outmatch Private Plans On Cost
In recent days, Democrats have stepped into the health policy vacuum created by the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Proposals making the rounds include allowing Americans to buy into Medicare at age 55 or to buy into Medicaid. Both Medicare and Medicaid pay lower prices to health care providers compared with private market plans offered by employers and in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. On that basis, you might think these public programs are more cost-efficient. Are they? (Austin Frakt, 8/28)

Newsweek: Americans Have Decided Universal Healthcare Is A Basic Right
The collapse of the seven-year Republican campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was caused in large part because a majority of the American public has come to view a government guarantee of universal access to healthcare as an entitlement that cannot be taken away. The effect is to bolster American support for the principle that healthcare is a human right, a norm accepted by most countries and especially by other advanced democracies, but long ignored in mainstream American political discourse despite its origins in the work of [President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.] (Lawrence Moss, 8/22)

RealClear Health: Health Data Privacy And Security: Finding The Right Balance
Health is a very unsynchronized system. The failure to collaborate and share information is slowing down our ability to find new cures and achieve the goals that we have for patients. It also disrupts the creation of business models to support the health care challenges for our aging population and the coming generations. The health care system needs to be healthy, and right now it’s not. (Pamela Buffalone, 8/28)

The Wall Street Journal: Hearing Aid Breakthrough
One reason health care is so expensive is that government rules often distort the price of care. Consider the market for hearing aids, which after decades of regulation will soon be open to competition and innovation that lowers prices for patients. President Trump recently signed a Food and Drug Administration funding bill that includes a directive for the agency to develop standards for over-the-counter hearing aids. (8/26)

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