KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Longer Looks: Andy Slavitt; Medicaid Explained; Genetic Testing And The Insurance Industry

Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.

The New York Times: Andy Slavitt Wants To Unite America On Health Care
In 2015, Barack Obama nominated you to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Are you surprised that health care isn’t more of a uniting issue? If you give me 15 minutes, I can create a common bond around a story of the health care system with almost any American. (Cox, 8/9)

Vox: Medicaid, Explained: Why It's Worse To Be Sick In Some States Than Others
Medicaid works, even if it works better in some states than others. But how did we arrive at this complicated system in the first place? Many countries around the world offer single-payer health care or tightly regulate private insurers to make sure every person can get coverage for what they need. So why didn’t that system catch on in the US? Video. (Liam Brooks, Liz Scheltens and Mallory Brangan, 8/4)

The Economist: Genetic Testing Threatens The Insurance Industry
If a genetic test could tell whether you are at increased risk of getting cancer or Alzheimer’s, would you take it? As such tests become more accessible, more and more people are saying “yes.” The insurance industry faces a few headaches as a result. (8/3)

The Cut: Why I Hid My Second Pregnancy From The Internet
About two months before our first baby died, I announced to the internet I was pregnant with her. I had no idea she’d die when I posted what I’ll reluctantly refer to as a “bumpie” on Facebook — meticulously art-directed in my living room; wearing a soft gray-and-white striped maternity shirt, my favorite; cradling a four-month belly that seemed almost to glow in the morning sun. It’s hard to look at this photo now, at the satisfied smile of the woman posing for it, the woman taking it. She exudes calm and bliss, and in about eight weeks, she’s going to have to print a retraction. (Katie Coyle, 8/8)

Vox: Why It's So Much Easier To Get An Opioid Prescription In The US Than In Europe Or Japan
When Dr. Eriko Onishi came to the United States from her home country of Japan, she ended up with culture shock on the number of opioids being prescribed.Onishi got her medical training in Japan and spent about a year there practicing medicine before coming to the United States. She was used to that country’s strict attitudes around opioid painkillers like Vicodin or Oxycontin, which are generally only prescribed in cases where a patient is in severe pain, as with cancer. In Japan, opioids for acute pain aren’t typically covered by insurance. (Ella Nilsen, 8/8)

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