KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Different Takes: Look Past Capitol Hill To See Real Reform; GOP Health Plan ‘Insults’ Women

Opinion pages nationwide highlight some of the key elements of the current repeal-and-replace debate.

Bloomberg: Health Care Is Reforming, Just Not In Washington
As lawmakers in Washington continue their debate over how to modify the U.S. health-insurance market, health-care investors and business leaders around the world need to see past the political drama and run their businesses with a view toward improving value in health care. If they succeed, it will make a bigger difference for the cost and quality of care -- globally and for most Americans -- than whatever action is taken by Congress. (David Gluckman and Peter R. Orszag, 5/15)

The Huffington Post: This Mother’s Day, We Must Acknowledge The Negative Impacts Of The AHCA
Becoming a parent, as any of us who’ve made this incredible journey know, is one of life’s most awesome experiences. It’s intensely joyful, often challenging, sometimes bewildering, and completely transformative. And for a mom-to-be who doesn’t receive the right care, it can also be unnecessarily dangerous, resulting in costly and sometimes devastating complications. As parents and grandparents, we are teaming up to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of the U.S. House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). (Sen. Jon Tester and Heidi Murkoff, 5/14)

The New York Times: The Health Care Bill’s Insults To Women
When Representative John Shimkus questioned, during a debate in March, why men have to pay for prenatal care, it was a sign of things to come. Soon Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, was joking that older men didn’t need maternity care. When asked about repealing a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, Senator Pat Roberts replied, “I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.” (5/12)

WBUR: Women Must Rise Up Against Republican Assault On Female Health Care 
The health care bill developed by the Trump administration and members of the House should serve as a call to action for women throughout the country. In the desperate quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans passed a bill that sets women’s health care — and women’s rights — back decades. As a sea of white male faces took an unprecedented victory lap at the White House following their narrow House win, one wonders how these Congressmen face their mothers, wives and daughters after voting for a bill that is demonstrably hostile to women. (Lauren Stiller Rikleen, 5/15)

San Antonio Press Express: The Pre-Existing Lie In Health Care Debate 
If you’ve only followed coverage of the Republican health care bill loosely in the media, you might believe that House Republicans, after much effort, passed legislation to deny people with pre-existing conditions health insurance. The issue of pre-existing conditions has dominated the debate over the GOP health care bill out of all proportion to the relatively modest provision in the legislation, which is being distorted — often willfully, sometimes ignorantly — into a threat to all that is good and true in America. The perversity of it all is that the legislation is properly understood as doing more to preserve the Obamacare regulation on pre-existing conditions than to undermine it. (Rich Lowry, 5/13)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Straight Talk On ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ 
As Senate Republicans prepare for their turn in the health care meat grinder, it increasingly appears that the question of pre-existing conditions will be toughest to address. This is an issue so fraught with emotion as to cry out for some straight talk. First, let’s be clear about who we’re talking about when the conversation turns to pre-existing conditions: people who are already sick or at high risk of becoming sick. (Michael Tanner, 5/12)

USA Today: GOP Health Bill Creates Separate Countries Of The Sick And The Well.
Let me tell you a story. A young, healthy, athletic man was struck down by a heart attack and, the following year, a diagnosis of cancer. These crises moved him to write a memoir, a letter to his younger self, describing the insights and transformations he underwent as a result of these profoundly life-altering experiences. It became At the Will of the Body, the powerful book by Arthur Frank, who has touched and informed not only patients but also their caregivers for many years. (Sara T. Baker, 5/15)

The New York Times: A Trumpcare Change Of Heart
I want to tell you a story this morning about two men from New Jersey. A few months ago, Tom Moran, a columnist for The Star-Ledger, went to Washington, D.C., to interview Representative Tom MacArthur, a Republican from his state. During their conversation, MacArthur explained why he was one of the renegade Republicans blocking his own party’s health care bill. “I want to be sure we don’t pull the rug out from 20 million people,” he said. “No American should lack insurance. And I’m not talking about access — I’m talking about insurance.” ... Last week, MacArthur switched his position on the Republican health care bill, from opposition to support. Not only that, he wrote a provision that helped the bill win enough support to pass. Without Tom MacArthur, Trumpcare might not have passed in the House. (David Leonhardt, 5/12)

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