KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Opinions And Editorials: The Benefit Of Reviewing Insurance Increases; Privatizing State Employee Health Funds; A Doctor’s Compassion

Actually, Wellmark Rate Hike Review Paid Off The Des Moines Register
State lawmakers who questioned Wellmark and the state insurance commissioner realized the actuarial insider baseball is virtually impossible for average people to understand. More transparency is needed (4/14).

Gov. Chris Christie Must Privatize Health Benefits The (N.J.) Star-Ledger
Millions more could be saved over time by changing laws to bring state benefits in line with those provided in the commercial world and by requiring the state's insurance vendors to do a much better job at disease management, wellness and transparency (Brian Litten, 4/14).

The Power Of Compassion The Wall Street Journal
As we learned firsthand, a kind bedside manner is not merely a quaint characteristic you hope for in a family doctor. A doctor's attitude toward a patient and the patient's family colors every moment of a health crisis (Katherine Rosman, 4/13).

Could The Abortion Debate Become More Partisan? Politico
Stupak isn't just another Democrat declining to run for reelection this fall. Circumstances leading to his departure could signal the end of the anti-abortion Democrat as a potent political force (W. James Antle III, 4/14).

Health Reform Puts Maryland On The Hook Baltimore Sun
Tucked into the newly enacted federal health care legislation is a mandate that states expand Medicaid, which will cost Maryland hundreds of millions of dollars (Marc Kilmer, 4/13).

Discussion Of Costs Missing Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune
The bill requires over $500 billion in new taxes. How else will we pay to cover 30 million people, 159 new commissions and agencies and 100,000 new government employees? (Rick Berg, 4/12).

CMS And Health Reform Health Affairs
Much of the burden of implementing the newly passed health reform legislation will fall on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ... How well equipped is the agency to handle all of this? To discuss this and other issues, we convened a Health Affairs Blog Roundtable consisting of four people intimately familiar with CMS and the challenges it faces (Chris Fleming, 4/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.