KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Perspectives: Where Purists And Politicians Intersect In The Health Care Debate

Editorial pages nationwide take on the politics of the Republican efforts to dismantle Obamacare.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Republicans Purists Could Doom Obamacare Repeal - And Their Party
Purity, apparently, is what some conservative Republicans are demanding in a health insurance bill, which likely will be voted on this week, unless it is held back because Speaker Paul Ryan doesn’t think it has enough votes to pass. Supporters of the evolving House bill emphasize that this is a three-step process designed to get what virtually all conservatives want, a more cost-effective health plan, only they can’t muster enough votes, especially in the Senate. Some conservatives are taking an all-or-nothing approach, which is likely to guarantee they will get nothing. (Cal Thomas, 3/19)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Why Stop With 24 Million? Let's Dump Everyone With Last Names "L" To "Z" Off Health Care. Think Of The Savings!
Last fall when he was winning hearts and minds in the Midwest, Mr. Red Cap promised to remove the curse of Obamacare from the nation and replace it with something beautiful that would cover everybody. Now that Trumpcare is out for previews, he is still upbeat and says he is in a "beautiful negotiation" and will wind up with a "beautiful picture," but it's no longer about everybody. And the picture seems more like a watercolor than a photo. (Garrison Keillor, 3/18)

Arizona Republic: The Stealth Attack On Health Care Through Obamacare Repeal Efforts
Health care should be a right for every American. That was an applause line for Sen. Bernie Sanders at a recent town hall in the very deep Trump territory of West Virginia. Sanders is in sync with a decades-long national trend of increasing access to health care. But the party in power is doing something completely different. (Linda Valdez, 3/18)

The Washington Post: Medicaid Is Out Of Control. Here’s How To Fix It.
It’s time to take control of Medicaid before it takes control of us. Unless we act — and there is little evidence that we will — Medicaid increasingly becomes another mechanism by which government skews spending toward the old and away from the young. In the raging debate over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), this is a subject that neither Republicans nor Democrats dare touch. It’s an ominous omission that obscures the overhaul Medicaid really needs. (Robert J. Samuelson, 3/19)

Richmond Times Dispatch: Medicaid Provides A Critical Foundation For Children's Success 
The largest threat to children’s health in the new proposal is that it dismantles the Medicaid program, a primary source of health insurance coverage for children. In Virginia, more than 488,000 children and more than 15,000 pregnant women are covered by Medicaid. One in three births are covered by Medicaid. Roughly 30 percent of children with disabilities or special health care needs are insured through Medicaid, as are all children in foster care. (Margaret Nimmo Holland, 3/19)

The New York Times: Gripes About Obamacare Aside, Health Insurers Are In A Profit Spiral
Over the last few years, big managed care companies like UnitedHealth Group have contributed to the furor over the fate of the Affordable Care Act by saying that important parts of it are fundamentally flawed. But Obamacare hasn’t been a curse for the managed care companies. Over all, based on their share performance, it has been something of a blessing. (Jeff Sommer, 3/18)

Austin Statesman: Google ‘Universal Health Care’ For Startling News
The people in our government who oppose universal health care try to scare us by talking about how we’ll lose the personal connection we have with our doctor. Ha. I like my doctor fine, but if we were in an elevator together, I know he’d be trying to place me. “She looks familiar,” he’d be thinking, “but …” If I’m feeling sick, can I reach for the phone and call my doctor? I’d be lucky if I could get an actual person instead of a recording. And as for being seen, well, my doctor is booked for weeks in advance. If I’m sick, it’s Urgent Care where I go. (Carolyn Banks, 3/18)

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