KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: August 28, 2009

Even as politics seems to pause to remember Sen. Edward Kennedy, the health care debate still gains media attention.

Grassley: No Longer Sure Bipartisan Health Deal Possible In September
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa indicated Thursday he was no longer sure whether negotiators can reach a bipartisan deal in September, citing mounting public concern about excessive government spending and soaring federal deficits (Kaiser Health News).

Sen. Charles E. Grassley Discusses Prospects For Health Legislation
Kaiser Health News caught up with Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, as he prepared to attend a town hall meeting in Northwest Iowa on Thursday (Kaiser Health News).

Nurses, Once In High Demand, Face Job Shortages
It wasn't supposed to be this hard. Nursing student Barbara Lopez had been told for a long time that she would have an easy time finding a job (Kaiser Health News).

Amid The Acrimony, Congress Has Consensus On Some Healthcare Issues
With a virtual civil war raging over parts of President Obama's healthcare agenda, the smoke of battle has obscured a surprising fact: Democrats and Republicans actually agree on a bundle of proposals that could make medical insurance better for millions of Americans (Los Angeles Times).

Dealing With Being The Health Care 'Villains'
Max Shireman says that when he looks in the mirror he does not see the monster the politicians have made him out to be (The New York Times).

Kennedy Saw Health-Care Reform Fail In The '70s; Today's Lawmakers Don't Have To
Steven Pearlstein offers this reminder: Asked about his greatest regret as a legislator, Ted Kennedy would usually cite his refusal to cut a deal with Richard Nixon on health care (The Washington Post).

In Health Care Debate, Fear Trumps Logic
Past efforts to overhaul the nation's health care system had different proponents, different opponents and different plans that were under consideration. But they have two things in common: They all ended in failure, and in every case, opponents used fear as a key weapon in their arsenal (NPR).

Health Reform Fact And Fiction
As Congress considers multiple versions of health reform, misunderstanding and falsehoods have crept into the national debate. Ray Suarez separates fact from fiction (The News Hour With Jim Lehrer).

Can Senate Pass Health Bill Without Kennedy?
A Senate giant who defined American liberalism for generations now will be absent as a historic cause of the Democratic Party – expansion of healthcare – faces a fateful hour (Christian Science Monitor).

Conservatives Warn Of 'Wellstone Effect'
Edward Kennedy was that ultimate political creature, a "lion of the Senate," and the last son of the archetypal American political family - his passing is inevitably political. In his final days, he focused on a narrow political goal, pleading with state leaders to change state law to posthumously fill his Senate seat with an interim appointee who would be a vote in favor of the health care legislation he championed (Politico).

Some Roman Catholic Bishops Assail Health Plan
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been lobbying for three decades for the federal government to provide universal health insurance, especially for the poor. Now, as President Obama tries to rally Roman Catholics and other religious voters around his proposals to do just that, a growing number of bishops are speaking out against it (The New York Times).

Conservative Christians Say U.S. Health Care System Is Working
Conservative Christian groups on Wednesday ramped up opposition to health care reform, saying the current system "has problems" but "it is working" (USA Today).

Galvin Presents Two Dates For Vote
Massachusetts voters would go to the polls either Jan. 19 or 26 to choose a successor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, under an electoral calendar that the state's chief election officer presented to Beacon Hill leaders yesterday (The Boston Globe).

Design Intended To Reduce Errors At New Mercy Center
Demonstrating the patient lifts and video monitoring system, Mercy Medical Center-West Lakes Administrator Dan Aten beams with pride when he shows visitors the metro area's latest medical facility (Des Moines Register).

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