KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Selection Of Opinions and Editorials

The Health-Care Sacrifice The Washington Post
Mr. Obama's soothing bedside manner masks the reality that getting health costs under control will require making difficult choices about what procedures and medications to cover. It will require saying no, or having the patient pay more, at times when the extra expense is not justified by the marginal improvement in care (7/26).

We Need A Personal Health Reformation Politico
I am glad to see investments in health information infrastructure, but this is not sufficient to deal with the global age wave that will overwhelm our waiting rooms, work force and economy. We are mired in the past and need to innovate beyond a centralized, expert-driven medical model to distributed, personal health at home (Otellini, 7/27).

Obama's Detailed Dilemma On Health Care National Public Radio
When President Obama held a prime time news conference last week, he hoped to push along the revision of the nation's health care system. He wanted it passed in the House before it left for the August recess and to the brink of passage in the Senate (Elving, 7/27).

Medicaid Reform: Changes Needed To Improve Cost, Quality The Sun Sentinel
Given traditional Medicaid's unsustainable fiscal trend and substandard care, critics of reform would do well to offer a viable alternative that slows the spending increases and improves the quality of care. Yet when it comes to offering alternatives to Florida's ambitious reform, the critics have been silent because they have nothing much to offer except more of the same (Bond, 7/26).

Our New Medical Judges? The Washington Post
Obama's proposal almost certainly would accelerate change in the way health care is delivered -- and it might actually save money in the long run. But Congress will have to decide if it is willing to yield that degree of control to five unelected IMAC commissioners. And Americans will have to decide if they are comfortable having those commissioners determine how they will be treated when they are ill (Broder).

Would God Back Universal Health Care? USA Today
Religious texts give us a good idea. The common theme: Don't turn your back on the needy (Thomas, 7/27).

Speed Isn't The Enemy Of Reforms Sun Journal
They say speed kills, but nothing will kill America faster than foot-dragging on health reform. The country is traveling head-long toward fiscal and systemic oblivion under current conditions, yet our leaders are bogged by endless discussions about which countermeasures to endorse (7/26).

Public Plan Should Build On Medicare Network Politico
A public plan is not perfect, as it isn't single payer, but it will make a big difference in the lives of many (Woolsey, 7/27).

Health Care Reform and You The New York Times
Many crucial decisions on coverage and financing have yet to be made, but the general direction of the legislation is clear enough to make some educated guesses about the likely winners and losers (7/25).

An Incoherent Truth The New York Times
Right now the fate of health care reform seems to rest in the hands of relatively conservative Democrats - mainly members of the Blue Dog Coalition, created in 1995. And you might be tempted to say that President Obama needs to give those Democrats what they want. But he can't - because the Blue Dogs aren't making sense (Krugman, 7/26).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.