KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s OpEds: Positive and Negative Consequences Of Health Reform

If Reform Fails The New York Times 
Any change as big as this is bound to cause anxiety. Republicans have happily fanned those fears with talk of "dangerous experiments" on the "best health care system in the world." The fact is that the health care system is broken for far too many Americans. And the country cannot afford the status quo (3/6).

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, ObamaCare The Wall Street Journal
House Democrats are suspicious of each other, none of them trust their Senate counterparts, and vice versa, and a Soviet mole has infiltrated the highest levels of British intelligence. Sorry, that last part is from a John le Carré thriller, though it might take a novelist to do justice to the ObamaCare-induced paranoia that now engulfs Congress-not to mention the double game that the White House may well be running (3/7).

How Blue Cross Became Part Of A Dysfunctional Health Care System Kaiser Health News/The New Republic 
The only solution is to prohibit all insurers from discriminating against the sick and to make sure that everybody is part of large, financially sound insurance groups in which there are enough healthy people to subsidize the cost of the sick. This is precisely what the Democratic health care reform plans would do (Jonathan Cohn, 3/8).

Bending The Cost Curve In The Wrong Direction The Salt Lake Tribune 
Today's health-care system is fraught with perverse incentives that generate artificially increased spending. But nothing in the House- and Senate-passed health bills, or in the president's plan, would reduce these incentives. And some provisions would make them worse (Jason D. Fodeman and Robert A. Book, 3/5).

Fix Medicare First – We Already Have Health Care, And It's Broken - San Francisco Fox News
Medicare's lesson is loud and clear: Government programs rarely work as intended, have problems of their own, and come at enormous cost (Matt Patterson, 3/8).

The Way Forward On Health Care - The Huffington Post
Go back to the core principles that Americans are enthusiastic about for a reason, and go back to a plan closer to what the president campaigned on that matches them. It can be achieved through reconciliation, just as can the current White House plan (Drew Westen, 3/7).

Obamacare: Truth vs. Propaganda - Fox News
The president must know Obamacare is a huge risk for the country, and at this point, I believe the risk is not worth taking. Strict government oversight and new rules on health insurance companies does not cost anything. Try private reform first, even as you figure out how to pay for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (Bill O'Reilly, 3/5).

Tax Us To Help Us The Baltimore Sun
The state of long-term care in Maryland is strong, but it faces significant challenges. That's why the majority of nursing homes in Maryland are asking the Maryland General Assembly to raise the "quality assessment" -- a tax that nursing homes pay. Sounds strange, doesn't it? Let me explain (Joe DeMattos, 3/7).

Biologics Boondoggle The New York Times
Congress should allow biologics no more than five years of protection. That would provide drug makers plenty of incentive for innovation, and still protect consumers from the high prices that extended monopolies allow. Striking the right balance will ensure that Americans can afford the most effective medicines available (Anthony D. So and Samuel L. Katz, 3/7).

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