KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: It’s Time For Congress To Talk About ‘Death Panels;’ Will Health Law Opponents Help Constituents Get Coverage?

Los Angeles Times: Bring Back The 'Death' Panel Bill
Probably nothing causes members of Congress more unease than having to talk about death. It's only been four years since healthcare reform became more about whether President Obama wanted to throw mama from a train via "death panels" than, well, how best to reform a broken healthcare system. Still, there are several representatives from both parties who want to discuss it (Daniel Rothberg, 7/22).

The Washington Post's The Plum Line: Republican's Dilemma: How Aggressively Should They Sabotage Obamacare?
I'm not talking about whether Republicans will continue arguing against Obamacare or calling for its repeal. Those are actual policy positions, and Republicans obviously are free to advocate for them (though at a certain point the endless repeal votes would seem to become counterproductive). I'm talking about whether Republican lawmakers will do the absolute minimum when it comes to making the law work for their own constituents — whether they will offer basic assistance navigating the law as it goes into effect (Greg Sargent, 7/22). 

Roll Call: Collaboration Needed To Address Prescription Drug Abuse And Access Issues
Partisanship usually gets the blame when Washington fails to muster an appropriate governmental response to the nation's challenges. But when it comes to confronting prescription drug abuse, the divide within the government is caused not by the culprit of partisan stripes but rather by departmental silos. That needs to change (Steven C. Anderson, 7/22).

The New Republic: Hoosier Hustle? Another Dubious Attack On Obamacare
Obamacare got some bad news late Thursday afternoon. State officials in Indiana announced that premiums for residents buying insurance on their own next year would be 72 percent higher than the premiums such people typically pay this year. They also announced that the typical cost for an individual plan next year would be $570, up from $255 this year. ... But, from the very beginning, there was something odd about the announcement. ... information suggested [Logan Harrison, chief deputy commissioner for the state insurance department,] hadn't been particularly forthright in his announcement—although, even now, it's not entirely clear what the Indiana numbers really show (Jonathan Cohn, 7/21).

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