KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Voters Voice Abortion Positions; Obama’s ‘Tough Road Ahead’ On Health Reforms; Mass. Paves The Way On Cost Control?

The New York Times: Voters Speak on Abortion Rights
On Election Day, Florida voters wisely rejected a proposed amendment to the State Constitution that would prohibit abortion coverage as part of health plans for state workers and Medicaid recipients (such coverage is already severely limited by law). ... The measure received only 45 percent of the vote -- far short of the 60 percent required for a constitutional change. The defeat should send a strong message to politicians in Florida and elsewhere who might want to broadly attack women’s reproductive rights (11/8).

Los Angeles Times: The Tough Road Ahead
[Obama] earned reelection by keeping the country from falling into a depression and persuading Congress to enact vital reforms to healthcare and the financial industry. ... As hard fought as the campaign was, the task of governing this divided country will be even more difficult. ... The longer-term problem for the president will be coping with the dueling pressures of an economy that's growing too slowly and a federal debt that's growing too fast, largely because of the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid (11/8).

Minnesota Star Tribune: Health Care Shopping
Teamwork still will be needed to build a Minnesota health exchange, even though the DFL now has the legislative votes and the governor's signature to unilaterally make the new online health insurance shopping site a reality. … The new DFL leadership can create the sorely needed buy-in by inviting the business community and Republicans back to the table. The main mission for Minnesota's exchange: getting consumers to use it. Gathering good ideas and forging a consensus among stakeholders will create the foundation to make that happen (11/8).

The Lund Report: A New Way Of Shopping For Health Insurance Gets A Trial Run
Earlier this week, I took part in a trial run of the user interface system for the website of the Oregon health insurance exchange -- now called Cover Oregon. Cover Oregon is a lot of things: a new marketplace for health insurance, a means to leverage the buying power of hundreds of thousands of Oregonians to drive a hard bargain with the insurance industry, and a new way to spark competition between insurers, to the benefit of consumers. But it’s also a website, and like all big IT projects, it faces some real challenge (Jesse Ellis O’Brien, 11/8).

WBUR’s Cognoscenti: Advice To The Next President: Health Care Cost Containment
As anyone following the 2012 election knows, Massachusetts has served as a model for the expansion of health care coverage nationally. ... Now, Massachusetts could become the standard bearer for how to get costs under control. In August of this year, state lawmakers passed landmark legislation aimed at containing rising health care costs. In a discussion held just days before Tuesday’s election, four veteran observers of and participants in Massachusetts’ ongoing efforts to provide universal health care access at affordable prices ... offered their advice to the next president (David Seltz, James Roosevelt, Regina Herzlinger, and Stephen D’Amato, 11/8).

Minnesota Post: Time For Minnesota To Move Forward On Health Care Reform
Thursday, the Access Work Group of the Minnesota Health Care Reform Task Force will vote on whether to recommend that the state cover nearly all non-elderly individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line through Medicaid ... A "yes" vote from the Work Group will keep Minnesota moving forward on improving access to affordable health insurance. If Minnesota fails to expand Medicaid, it will not only increase costs for the state, for people with private insurance and for health care providers, it will also leave tens of thousands of Minnesotans struggling to get the health care they need (Christina Wessel, 11/8) .

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