KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Texas And Florida Should Concentrate On Uninsured; Health Law’s Costs To Young Adults Being Overlooked; Obscure Case Could Impact Abortion Issues

The New York Times: Uninsured In Texas And Florida
A new Census Bureau report documents the alarming percentages of people in Texas and Florida without health insurance. Leaders of both states should hang their heads in shame because they have been among the most resistant in the nation to providing coverage for the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act, the law that Republicans deride as "Obamacare" (9/4). 

Politico: Burn Your Obamacare Card
The biggest weakness in President Obama's controversial health-care scheme is the individual mandate, an incredibly regressive tax imposed on young healthy people that forces them to buy health-insurance plans that they can’t afford and don’t need, or pay a fine. ... What would Jerry Rubin, the Yippie war protester, do? He would torch his Obamacare card without a moment's hesitation, chanting "Hell no, we won't go" (Matt Kibbe, 9/5).

The New Republic: Bill Clinton Explains Obamacare (He Does It Better Than Obama Does)
The Secretary of Explaining Stuff is back on the job. On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech about Obamacare—why it was necessary, how it will work, and what it will do in the future. ... But it's simply not possible to fix a dysfunctional health care system without some adverse effects. The best you can do is limit the disruptions, undo or repair the damage, and maximize the benefits. According to Clinton, Obamacare is doing just that. And he makes a good case (Jonathan Cohn, 9/4).

The Hill: Defunding Is Loser Strategy For GOP
Back in May, Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, my counterpart here in the pages of The Hill, correctly argued that Republicans are on the right side of the polls when it comes to disapproval of ObamaCare but then squander any political advantage gained from opposing the Affordable Care Act by advocating for something that is even less popular than the president's folly — that being the complete defunding of the healthcare plan. It's all there in the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll results, with several confirmatory waves having been conducted since Mellman last reviewed the data (David Hill, 9/3).

The New York Times: Opinionator: The Next Abortion Case Is Here
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, author of the 5-to-4 opinion in June that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, may well be a hero to the gay rights community, and deservedly so. But he's also the author of the 5-to-4 opinion that upheld the federal ban on so-called partial birth abortion back in 2007, and abortion-rights advocates have viewed with something close to dread the prospect that he could play a similarly decisive role in the Supreme Court's next abortion case. That case has arrived (Linda Greenhouse, 9/4). 

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Safety Net Clinics A Crucial Community Resource
There's nothing simple about the state of health care in America, and many people have already made up their minds about who [is] to blame for it being broken. But as important health care reform is debated and implemented, doctors and health care practitioners quietly continue to make a difference every day in Denver's communities. For instance, the Inner City Health Center provides health care services to anyone regardless of ability to pay. It's done on a modest budget without any federal funding. Last year alone, the doctors, nurse practitioners and other health care providers (some of them volunteers) provided more than 24,000 patient-visits to people who had few options for care (Sharon Adams, 9/4).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Drug Innovation Drives Colorado's Economy
These new weapons in the battle against skin cancer represent just a couple of the many powerful drugs now in development. But medical innovation doesn't happen by accident. For Coloradans and all Americans, it's crucial that legislators craft a favorable regulatory environment that enables and supports new drug research (Richard Duke, 9/4).

The Lund Report: For The Convenience Of The Tobacco Companies
Oregon holds the dubious distinction of ranking number one in the country for retailers illegally selling cigarettes to underage kids. Moreover, we have ranked number one three out of the past five years and ranked in the top five the other two years. Tobacco companies know very well that if you don't start smoking before age 18, chances are you never will. That's why their advertising is aimed directly (although often imperceptibly to the unknowing public) at teenagers (Rick North, 9/4).

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