KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Food For Thought: Ideas For The GOP On Pushing People Toward Coverage; And What If Some Places Have No Health Plans?

Editorial writers across the country contemplate different aspects of how Republicans continue to mull repealing and replacing Obamacare and how some states are continuing to consider and act on the Medicaid expansion.

The Wall Street Journal: How The GOP Could Nudge The Uninsured Toward Coverage
Republicans in Congress say they’ll keep working on health-care reform. It never made sense to give up after only a few months of trying, but their plan would have better prospects if they modified it to address the criticism that it would leave too many people without insurance. The solution is to enroll uninsured Americans automatically in no-premium health coverage. (James C. Capretta and Lanhee J. Chen, 4/18)

Los Angeles Times: Republicans Base Their New Obamacare Repeal On A Maine Program They Call A Success. Don't Believe Them
When our hard-working members of Congress return to work next week refreshed from their 18-day Easter recess, they’re planning to take up healthcare reform again. This time, their Affordable Care Act repeal effort has been dressed up with a new provision known as “invisible risk sharing,” based on what they assert was a successful program in Maine. They’re blowing smoke. (Michael Hiltzik, 4/18)

The (Baton Rouge, La.) Advocate: Roll Out Of Medicaid Popular In State
Perhaps it sounds a little odd, but people both in Louisiana and elsewhere are sometimes fuzzy about the differences between the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, expanded Medicaid, and “Obamacare” — the politically charged term that involves the whole of the parts. ... The survey, conducted by the LSU Public Policy Lab, found that Louisiana residents approve of the state’s decision to expand its Medicaid program last year under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA — but respondents to the survey remain deeply divided over the ACA itself. ... Many GOP members of [the] House and Senate balked at Medicaid expansion when it was a party litmus test during the terms of former Gov. Bobby Jindal; now, though, [Gov. John Bel Edwards] actions have provided a significant financial lifeline for working people in low-wage jobs who had no meaningful access to health care before. (4/19)

The Kansas City Star: Reconsider Medicaid Expansion Before Another Kansas Hospital Closes Its Doors
Let’s be clear: Expanding Medicaid might not have been enough to save St. Francis Health, the Topeka hospital that stands on the brink of closure. But few doubt that the millions of dollars that expansion would have brought to the nonprofit Catholic health center would have made a substantial difference. Most likely, the doors would have remained open for months longer. In the words of House Minority Leader Jim Ward, a “lifeline” would have been extended. (4/18)

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