KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Perspectives: A Bipartisan Path To Insurance Market Stability; Single-Payer’s Political Traps

Editorial writers offer their views on ways forward on health reform and where partisans have gone wrong.

The Washington Post: Five Bipartisan Steps Toward Stabilizing Our Health-Care System
At a meeting in California this spring, we sat down with a number of insurance company chief executives who are major participants in the Affordable Care Act exchanges. They asked us to carry back a message to Washington: Put partisanship aside and end federal uncertainty about support for the ACA; otherwise, they will end up setting premiums higher than necessary or withdrawing from markets across the country. (Bill Frist and Andy Slavitt, 9/11)

Los Angeles Times: If The GOP Would Only Give Up On Repeal And Replace It Could Actually Make Healthcare More Affordable
Time is rapidly running out before health insurers have to commit to the policies and premiums they’ll offer next year to roughly 20 million Americans not covered by an employer-sponsored health plan. Although those premiums are expected to jump 10% or more in many states, Congress can rein in that increase significantly — if it acts quickly. Doing so, however, will require Senate Republicans to stop flirting with yet another partisan proposal to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, and start focusing instead on steps to make coverage more affordable that can win broad support. (9/12)

The Washington Post: GOP Leaders Made A Huge Wager — And They’re Losing
The wager was large and lost. The attempt to revive a health-care alternative in the Senate seems halfhearted and doomed by the same ideological dynamics that killed the legislation the first time. Republican enthusiasm for the Mexican border wall is limited by the fact that it is among the most wasteful, impractical and useless ideas ever spouted by an American president. And ambitious tax reform has been tabled in favor of a few tax cuts that are likely to reaffirm public impressions that the “P” in GOP stands for “plutocracy.” (Michael Gerson, 9/11)

The New York Times: How Single-Payer Health Care Could Trip Up Democrats
Many Democrats giddy from their recent health policy successes are starting to reach enthusiastically for a mountaintop goal: establishing a single-payer system for all Americans. But they may want to learn the lessons of their opposition. Like “repeal and replace,” “single-payer” is a broadly popular slogan that papers over intraparty disagreements and wrenching policy choices. Republicans fumbled multiple attempts to replace the Affordable Care Act this year. If the Democrats eventually wrested back power, they could find themselves similarly factionalized and stymied over the details. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 9/11)

The New York Times: 5 Questions About Single-Payer Health Care
Welcome to single-payer health care week. Bernie Sanders plans to introduce his Medicare for all bill this week, and it’s already winning support from some Democrats. Even Max Baucus, the powerful former Montana senator who long opposed single-payer, now supports it. With Republicans controlling every branch of government, single-payer health care has no chance of becoming law anytime soon. But the attention to it still matters. The odds are rising that Democrats will make a push toward single-payer when they next are in charge. (David Leonhardt, 9/11)

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