KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Opinions And Editorials

Health-Care Help From The Rookies The Washington Post
The headlines went to a possible compromise on the contentious issue of the public option, but the greater victory may lie in less-publicized Senate action that might actually cut the costs of our impossibly expensive health-care system. This week, the outlines of such a change emerged in a package of amendments proposed by 11 freshman Democratic senators -- who have an abundance of common sense that more than compensates for their lack of seniority and renown (David S. Broder, 12/11).

My Abortion Anguish Baltimore Sun
As I listen to the debate regarding abortion coverage in the proposed health care system, I can't help but ask: What about circumstances like mine? How can families -- especially federal employees -- facing such a terrible prognosis be omitted from insurance coverage for abortion? The majority of private health insurance plans cover abortion; however, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program prohibits coverage of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment. This policy forces federal employees and their dependents in my situation to pay out of pocket for abortion care (Dana Weinstein, 12/11).

It's The Health Care Payment System, Stupid! The Salt Lake Tribune
Most Americans agree that U.S. health care costs are breaking our collective bank. What may be less well known is how current payment mechanisms strongly encourage overuse of health care services. Further, cost-conscious states like Utah are effectively underwriting wasteful practices of high health cost regions such as New York City and Los Angeles (Brian Jackson, 12/11).

Pharmacy Lobby Limits Access To Lifesaving Drugs Des Moines Register
Despite costing the same or less to make, biologics would receive 12 years of data exclusivity, a market monopoly distinct from the patents they already have, whereas conventional drugs receive three or five years of additional protection. Notably, earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission recommended zero years of data exclusivity for biologics (Jim Curry, 12/11).

Worse Than the Public Option The Wall Street Journal
It's hard to imagine a better illustration of the panic and recklessness stringing ObamaCare along in the Senate than the putative deal that Harry Reid announced this week. The Majority Leader is claiming that a Medicare "buy-in" for people from ages 55 to 64 has overcome the liberal-moderate impasse over the "public option." But if anything, this gambit is an even faster road to government-run health care (12/11). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.