KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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No Regrets: Kasich’s Medicaid Expansion Haunts Candidacy, But Governor Stands By Decision

The move could prove radioactive in a Republican race entrenched in ideological purity, but Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in The Washington Post, says, "I didn’t care about the political implications. I mean, you can’t do that in this business.” In other 2016 election news, Republicans are pushing to allow insurers to sell across state lines. The catch: It's already in the health law. And the GOP candidates call for compassion in addiction policy at New Hampshire forum.

The Washington Post: John Kasich Broke With The GOP On Obamacare. And He’d Do It Again.
[John Kasich] is in the bottom tier of presidential candidates, polling around 2 percent nationally, but he’s burdened by more than poor numbers. As governor of Ohio he made a decision to accept the expansion of Medicaid as part of Obamacare — a choice that brands him as a moderate or, worse, a RINO (Republican in name only). ... His decision, he knows, is a radioactive credential for a Republican seeking the endorsement of a base that wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As he would observe in a GOP debate several weeks later, “People have accused me of, at times, having too big a heart.” Why Kasich approved the Medicaid expansion — and how — forecasts the type of president he would be: sometimes compassionate and often cunning. (Zak, 1/5)

U.S. News & World Report: An Obamacare Provision Even Republicans Can Love
Meet the unlikely champions of Obamacare: Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio. The Republican presidential front-runners, along with their trailing competitors, are all big fans of allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, arguing that doing so would boost competition, resulting in lower costs and greater choice for consumers. Often, conservatives have framed such a plan as part of a replacement package for Obamacare. The thing is, such permission is already part of President Barack Obama's health care law. (Leonard, 1/6)

The Associated Press: GOP Candidates Call For End To Stigma Around Drug Addiction
Republican presidential hopefuls called for a more compassionate discussion around drug addiction Tuesday, with emphasis on substance abuse as a curable disease, not a moral failing. "This is a national calling," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said at the New Hampshire Forum on Addiction and the Heroin Epidemic. "We should be able to talk about this without all the stigma attached to it. We need to eliminate the stigma." (1/5)

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