KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Perspectives: Medicare Should Be Part Of Health Policy Conversation; How Medicaid Cuts Play Out In States

Opinion writers take on health policy issues related to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act as well as health care cost transparency, among others.

RealClear Health: Medicare Can’t Be Ignored Forever
For now, Medicare is not part of the national conversation on health care. While campaigning, Donald Trump promised not to touch Medicare, and, in his first budget, he basically kept that commitment to voters. In addition, Congress and the new administration are consumed with rolling back key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replacing them with different provisions. Medicare does not feature prominently in that debate. That will need to change at some point because Medicare is simply too big and important, both in terms of its fiscal consequences and its effect on the overall health system, to leave on autopilot indefinitely. (James C. Capretta, 6/12)

Dallas Morning News: Cuts To Medicaid Would Badly Damage Health Care In Rural Texas
Six-week-old Lilly was born premature and is struggling to gain weight. She needs regular weight checks to monitor her progress, breastfeeding support for her mother, and a nutritionist to ensure her caloric intake is sufficient. Her difficulties are particularly stressful for her mother because Lilly's family lives in a rural county in northeast Texas with limited health care resources. ... Thankfully, Lilly and thousands of other children in rural Texas have health coverage through Medicaid to provide them the best chance to grow and thrive. ... Included in the American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May was an $800 billion cut to Medicaid. This goes far beyond rolling back the Medicaid expansion created in the Affordable Care Act and will create deep cuts to existing programs and shift burdens to states for care for children, the disabled and the elderly. (Valerie Borum Smith, 6/12)

Chicago Tribune: Obamacare, Medicaid And Illinois: Springfield, What's Your Plan?
If f you've been following the Obamacare repeal and replace struggle, you know this much: The GOP-backed bill that passed the House won't become law. It's DOA in the Senate. Senators are crafting their own version. But that House bill, known as the American Health Care Act, was valuable because it reminded us of a larger truth about the 2010 law President Barack Obama championed: America has not one Obamacare population, but two. (6/11)

The New York Times: You’re Probably Going To Need Medicaid
Imagine your mother needs to move into a nursing home. It’s going to cost her almost $100,000 a year. Very few people have private insurance to cover this. Your mother will most likely run out her savings until she qualifies for Medicaid. This is not a rare event. Roughly one in three people now turning 65 will require nursing home care at some point during his or her life. (David Grabowski, Jonathan Gruber and Vincent Mor, 6/13)

The New York Times: The Halfhearted Opposition To The G.O.P.’s Health Care Misery
The Republican health care bill now sneaking its way through the Senate has a good chance of becoming law, even though it would do miserable damage. And it has a good chance partly because some of the bill’s most influential opponents have not had the courage of their convictions. I realize that sounds harsh. These opponents generally have good intentions. But they haven’t been very effective so far, and they don’t have much time to summon the courage to become more effective. (David Leonhardt, 6/13)

The New York Times: The Senate Hides Its Trumpcare Bill Behind Closed Doors
A coterie of Republicans is planning to have the Senate vote before July 4 on a bill that could take health insurance away from up to 23 million people and make changes to the coverage of millions of others. And they are coming up with the legislation behind closed doors without holding hearings, without consulting lawmakers who disagree with them and without engaging in any meaningful public debate. There is no mystery why the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is trying to push this bill through quickly. The legislation would repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Opening it to scrutiny before a vote would be the congressional equivalent of exposing a vampire to sunlight. (6/13)

Los Angeles Times: Trump Wants To Deny Nursing-Home Residents And Their Families The Right To Sue
Let’s say your elderly parent was neglected or abused in a nursing home. In the past, your only recourse might have been arbitration, rather than going to court. But thanks to a rule put in place last fall by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes that receive federal funding — which is most of them — could no longer include so-called mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts. In other words, residents and their family members were given back the right to sue. (David Lazarus, 6/13)

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