KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Where Is The Surgeon General; Unions’ Health Law Waivers; Mass. Plan To Aid Municipalities

Los Angeles Times: The Invisible Surgeon General
Although some of the nation's healthcare issues are abstruse and vexing, others are relatively approachable. Many in this latter category fall within the province of the U.S. surgeon general. But the incumbent is nowhere to be found (Henry I. Miller, 1/28).

Yahoo News: Waivers For Favors: Big Labor's Obamacare Escape Hatch
President Obama's storytellers recently launched a White House blog series called "Voices of Health Reform," where "readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law." I propose a new White House series: "Voices of Health Reform Waivers," where taxpayers can meet all the politically connected unions benefiting from exclusive get-out-of-Obamacare passes - after squandering millions of their workers' dues to lobby for the job-killing, private insurance-sabotaging law from which they are now exempt (Michelle Malkin, 1/28).

The Boston Globe: Municipal Health Care Reform?
The fine print often determines whether a reform really works. That will certainly be the case with Governor Patrick's scheme to help municipalities lower their health care costs and thereby preserve other vital services. After temporizing throughout the gubernatorial campaign, Patrick has now embraced the idea that Beacon Hill needs to bring generous local health care plans into line with state government's less costly offerings (Lehigh, 1/28).

Politico: Health Reform's Political Fallout
The Democratic and the Republican approaches are both unacceptable to the American people. Both parties need to get serious about pursuing practical, meaningful health care reforms that a majority of Americans wanted 10 months ago - and still want today. They want a bill that permits purchasing insurance across state lines, covers pre-existing conditions, ensures portability, supports malpractice reform, incrementally increases coverage and contains initiatives to hold down costs (Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell, 1/28).

Hollywood Reporter/Reuters: HBO Documentary Probes Oregon's Euthanasia Law
"How to Die in Oregon," a compassionate documentary about terminally ill patients who choose the physician-sanctioned end-of-life option under the Northwest state's Death With Dignity law, will stir healthy debate and provide invaluable context on the issue when it airs on HBO later this year (Lowe, 1/28).  

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