KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: What Price For A Life?; Texas Tort Reform; Health Law And Job Creation

Los Angeles Times: Putting A Price On Prolonging A Doomed Life
Bob Iritano died Thursday morning. He was 51. ... His insurer, Health Net, decided last year not to cover a life-extending procedure that had worked just a few months earlier. ... Iritano faced a situation that many others with terminal illnesses or chronic diseases face: What price do you put on a life? How much money and medical resources are too much when it comes to prolonging a doomed existence? (David Lazarus, 9/1).

The Washington Post: Perry’s Campaign Against The New Deal
Perhaps this ideological moment is just different, in the same way the 1930s or the 1980s were different. Another dip into recession — a continuing, sputtering failure of the American job-creation machine — might do more than call three years of Obama policies into question. It might call seven decades of accumulating entitlement commitments into question (Michael Gerson, 9/1).

McClatchy: Repealing Health Care Legislation Will Create Jobs
The best thing that Congress can do to unleash jobs creation is to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law is discouraging businesses from hiring. ... The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart, says that "prominent" among the obstacles to hiring is the "lack of clarity about the cost implications" of the legislation (Grace-Marie Turner, 9/1). 

iWatch News: The Mythical Benefits Of Tort Reform In Texas
Advocates of tort reform have long claimed that one of the reasons for escalating health care costs is the “defensive medicine” doctors practice, such as over-treating and prescribing more medications and diagnostic tests than necessary, out of fear of being sued. Well, if Texans believed their own health insurance rates would go down once tort reform made defensive medicine less prevalent, they have by now been disabused of that notion (Wendell Potter, 9/2).

The Miami Herald: Healthcare For A Select Few 
[T]he issue isn’t the governor and state legislators and other high-ranking department heads getting a break on insurance costs. The issue is there are hundreds of thousands of Floridians searching for work and unable to pay for health insurance and millions working in jobs that offer no insurance. Even middle-class workers can’t afford the expensive individual or family plans in the private marketplace. What have the governor and Republican-controlled Legislature done about that? (9/1). 

The Washington Post: How We Can Protect Our Youth From Big Tobacco
Four of the nation’s largest tobacco companies went to court last month to try to block graphic health warning labels that are scheduled to begin appearing on cigarette packages next fall. With hundreds of thousands of young Americans annually developing deadly tobacco addictions before their 18th birthdays, this would be a huge setback for our children’s health (Kathleen Sebelius, 9/2).

McClatchy / Chicago Tribune: Is Your Hairstyle Making You Fat? Surgeon General Wants Women To Exercise More
WARNING: The U.S. Surgeon General has determined that hair relaxers can be hazardous to your health. ... It's because a woman who spent $60 and four (or eight) hours in the stylist's chair is not going to be eager to hit the gym and wreck her hair, and if you don't get that, well, you're probably a guy. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin gets it (9/1). 

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