KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Perspectives On Health Law Debate: Will Trump Break The System? Praise For Freedom Caucus

Opinion writers look at the simmering questions about what Republicans should do about health care.

The Washington Post: Does Trump Want To Be The President Who Broke Health Care?
"Obamacare is dead next month if it doesn’t get that money,” President Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday in a barely veiled threat to defund a crucial part of the Affordable Care Act. The president delivered this threat even though he has no viable replacement plan. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the president said, “should be calling me and begging me to help him save Obamacare.” No. Mr. Trump should be working to preserve the Affordable Care Act, which is delivering health insurance to millions of Americans. (4/16)

San Antonio Press Express: Blame The Freedom Caucus? No, Thank It
So why did the so-called Freedom Caucus object to this legislation? Well, simply, the caucus is for individual freedom and liberty. ... The brave members of this small body probably saved the Republican Party from a tremendous amount of embarrassment by helping stop legislation that did little to nothing toward lowering health care costs. (Alan Preston, 4/15)

The Washington Post: Trump Is Now Destroying A Healthy Health-Care System
President Trump this week threatened not to pay $7 billion to insurers in annual subsidies for giving discounted coverage to low-income Americans. If he follows through, it ends Obamacare as we know it. But even if he’s bluffing, the threat itself is outright sabotage and goes a long way toward dismantling the Affordable Care Act. (Dana Milbank, 4/14)

The Wichita Eagle: Still Hope For Medicaid Expansion?
Good for health care advocates for not giving up on Medicaid expansion this legislative session – though it likely is a long shot.Large bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate approved Medicaid expansion last month. But the House fell three votes short of overriding Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of the bill. That seemed to doom expansion this session. But advocates are still holding out hope, the Kansas News Service reported. (4/14)

Arizona Republic: Can David Schweikert Fix What's Wrong With Obamacare?
There should be two goals for the replacement of Obamacare. First, create a robust and sustainable individual health insurance market as an alternative to employer-provided insurance. Second, create a safety net to subsidize the health care of the poor and the seriously or chronically sick. To do that requires understanding why the individual health insurance market created by Obamacare is imploding. (Robert Robb, 4/14)

Arizona Republic: Why Health-Care Reform Will Never Make Us Happy
Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but the fight over what the program should look like is not going away. We will never all agree about what a health-care policy should accomplish. But if we consider four things that we seem to all want from health insurance and two that many simply fail to understand, our discussion will at least be more informed. (Michael O'Neil, 4/15)

Seattle Times: All Americans Deserve Quality Health Care
Last year, I returned to the U.S. after living in Australia, which has a single-payer health-care system. The myths conservatives and self-interest groups spin about such systems is wrong. The quality of health professionals is on a par with the United States: appointments scheduled easily, care provided quickly, with a high degree of competence and costing substantially less. I never had to wait, and the system worked efficiently compared to our excessive administration and higher costs due to profit motives, and the complexity of our system with too many providers, insurers and payment companies. A single payer system, along with optional private insurance, is a cost effective, less complex way to provide health care. (Christopher J. Wachholz, 4/14)

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