KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Medicare Bigger Problem Than Social Security; N.Y.’s Long Term Care ‘Bad Grade’

The Washington Post: The Frontrunner Has No Clothes
Sometimes they challenged Perry from the left (on Social Security and Medicare) and sometimes from the right (on immigration, taxes and mandatory vaccines), but it all came back to the same thing: The frontrunner was befuddled – seemingly stunned that his rivals would question his right to the Republican presidential nomination (Dana Milbank, 9/13).

Des Moines Register: Let's Not Demonize Social Security
The Bigger Problem: Medicare
Medicare's trust fund that pays for hospital care for seniors will be exhausted before Social Security's trust fund. That isn't just because more Americans are signing up for the government health insurance and medical care is more expensive. It's also because workers are not paying enough in payroll taxes to fund the program (9/13).

The New York Times: Bad Grades On Long-Term Care
New York has a surprisingly poor record in providing long-term care for its residents, according to a new score card ... some factors that drove down the state's ranking — such as the extremely high charges for nursing home care for the small percentage of patients who pay their own bills — are related to market forces in a high-cost, high-wage state with expensive real estate. There may be little the state can do to mitigate them (9/12).

The Kansas City Star: Ending Free Flu Shots Is An Unhealthy Move
As a cost-cutting measure, this one is enough to bring on a headache, accompanied by chills and fever. Cutbacks at the federal level will mean that adults who show up at the Kansas City Health Department for a flu shot will have to pay $20 or be turned away. No longer will the city offer free shots for low-income patients who are uninsured or whose policies won't pay for the immunization. That's an unhealthy and unwise strategy (9/12).

The Archives of Internal Medicine: Collaborative Care And The Medical Home
Given the substantial resources necessary for the implementation of collaborative care, health systems will need to prioritize which conditions and patient populations are appropriate for these models. Not all models of collaborative care are the same, and, depending on the setting and intensity of the intervention, they do not always work well (Dr. Patrick G. O'Malley, 9/12).

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