KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Different Takes On Political And Policy Realities: Bipartisanship’s Demise; Trumpcare Absurdities; ‘Tweak And Move On’

The opinions just keep coming as editorial writers struggle with the goings on surrounding GOP efforts to reach an intraparty consensus on health care.

Bloomberg: Bipartisanship Dies On The Hill Of Obamacare
With the Republicans' health-care bill in crisis, some have suggested they try a bipartisan approach. To understand the prospects of such a thing, recall the most important political distinction about health care: Republicans hate Obamacare, but they are mostly indifferent about the Affordable Care Act. (Jonathan Bernstein, 6/29)

The Washington Post: This Remarkable Moment Perfectly Captures Trumpcare In All Its Cruel Absurdity
With the GOP’s repeal-and-replace bill hanging in the balance, Politico reports that Republican Senate leaders are trying to entice moderate GOP holdouts with the promise of an additional $45 billion in spending to counter the opioid crisis. One administration source tells Axios that the game plan is to try to “bribe” moderates with this extra spending, while trying to win over conservatives with longer-term reforms. (Greg Sargent, 6/29)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: 'Repeal And Replace'? Try 'Tweak And Move On'
Perhaps for policy reasons, and certainly for political reasons, it is impossible to unwind reliance on employer-provided insurance. But this fact, combined with the “pre-existing conditions” consensus, means that henceforth the health care debate will be about not whether there will be a thick fabric of government subsidies, mandates and regulations, but about which party will weave the fabric. (George Will, 6/29)

The New York Times: The Blood On A Tax Cut
Pretend you are that most improbable of combinations — a lovable billionaire. In other words, you’re Warren Buffett. The politicians who worship guys like you have another treat in store: They will cut your most recent tax bill by $679,999, making you even wealthier. (Timothy Egan, 6/30)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Don't Fall For The Distractions: Nation's Health And Welfare At Stake
It is important to note that this is an extremely unpopular bill throughout the country. Recent national polls suggest that fewer than 30 percent of U.S. citizens support the House bill. Furthermore, credible and mainstream institutions such as the AARP, American Medical Association, American Hospital Association and American Cancer Society, among others, oppose the bill. This fact is not lost on Senate Republicans who formulated their bill behind closed doors without any plans for a public hearing to discuss its merits. They understand the deep unpopularity of their proposal and have gone to great lengths to essentially bury their heads in the sand. (Jon Mizrahi, 6/29)

San Antonio Press-Express: What’s Really Ailing Health Care
The Senate health care bill, which was scuttled Tuesday until after July 4, was doomed by two narratives: Republicans are mean, and poor people would be dropping like flies. Assisting the opposition was none other than President Donald Trump, who called the earlier version passed by the House “mean.” (Kathleen Parker, 6/29)

Los Angeles Times: As Depression, Anxiety And Suicide Skyrocket, The GOP Wants To Gut Our Mental Health Coverage
Since the Senate healthcare reform bill was released late last week, there’s been tons of conversation around what’s in the darn thing. Among the rotten provisions in the current iteration of Trumpcare — and there are many — arguably the least discussed are those affecting individuals with mental illness. Mental illness is an extraordinarily broad category, by the way; it includes everything from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ADHD, schizophrenia and more. To escape the bill’s clinical, impersonal language and get to the point: Folks living with mental illness are about to get completely screwed. (Melissa Batchelor Warnke, 6/29)

WBUR: A Mother's Response To The Health Care Debate
Notwithstanding their seven year crusade to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are failing yet again because they refuse to address the fundamental barrier to achieving their goal... Even as the House and Senate proposals are particularly cruel to the poor, the bills do not spare many from their ravages. (Lauren Stiller Rikleen, 6/30)

The Wall Street Journal: The ObamaCare Waiver Breakthrough
Senate conservatives wish the health-care bill was more ambitious on deregulation, and so do we, though the benefits of its state waiver feature are underappreciated and worth more explanation. This booster shot of federalism could become the greatest devolution of federal power to the states in the modern era. (6/29)

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