KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Lawmaker Calls Government Funding Bill A ‘Trojan Horse’ For Health Reform

Politics continue to swirl around health overhaul and deficit reduction issues. A new Bloomberg poll, for instance, indicates that the public wants the deficit addressed, but still wants Congress to stay away from Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs. Meanwhile, a GOP senator targets the catch-all spending bill to fund the government as a "trojan horse" to fund the health overhaul. Off the hill, groups are paying particular attention to the words used in discussing health policy issues. And, The New York Times profiles the lawyer who is charged with defending the health reform law.

Bloomberg: Americans In Poll Want Deficit Cut With Entitlements Secured
Americans want Congress to bring down a federal budget deficit that many believe is dangerously out of control, only under two conditions: minimize the pain and make the rich pay. The public wants Congress to keep its hands off entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. They oppose cuts in most other major domestic programs and defense. They want to maintain subsidies for farmers and tax breaks like the mortgage-interest deduction. And they're against an increase in the gasoline tax (Przybyla and Dorning, 12/10).

The Hill's Healthwatch Blog: GOP Senator: Funding Bill A 'Trojan Horse' For Healthcare Reform
A Republican senator criticized the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through next year as a vehicle for funding the health care reform law. "Using the end-of-the-year spending bill as a Trojan horse to fund the new federal health care law is hardly the mandate from the November elections," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in a statement Thursday (Millman, 12/9).

Fox News: Senator Denounces Federal Budget Bill as 'Trojan Horse' to Fund New Health Care Law
A Republican senator on Thursday denounced the $18 billion in provisions added to a catchall spending bill to keep the government running through next year, saying they're a "Trojan horse to fund the new federal health care law" (12/9).

Politico: Fox News: Avoid 'Public Option' In Health Care Debate
Fox News executives told the network's journalists to avoid referring to the "public option" when discussing Democrats' proposals for a government-run health insurance plan, according to internal e-mails released Thursday (Epstein, 12/9).

CQ HealthBeat: AEI Explores Alternatives To Health Law Including Defined Contribution System
Aiming to develop a more compelling alternative than proposals bandied about by Republicans so far, the American Enterprise Institute this week launched a "Beyond Repeal and Replace" project that will emphasize rebuilding health insurance as a "defined contribution" system. House Republicans in particular have outlined a mix of proposals, such as increased interstate competition among insurers, pooled purchasing arrangements, and tax incentives to buy coverage but not necessarily a comprehensive scheme. The AEI approach appears to hinge on a single unifying idea to pull market-based changes together: defined contributions (Reichard, 12/9).

The New York Times: Long Road For Lawyer Defending The Health Care Law
Memo to the third floor at Justice Department headquarters: Ian Gershengorn will soon be pacing the corridors again. … There has been a lot of pacing lately. Since March, it has fallen to Mr. Gershengorn, 43, a deputy assistant attorney general, to defend the Obama administration against nearly two dozen legal challenges to the president's health care overhaul (Sack, 12/9).

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