KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Rep. Frank Says Obama’s Push For Health Law Was ‘Mistake’

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said in a magazine interview that President Obama made a "mistake" pushing for health reform and that he urged Obama to take up financial system reform instead. In the meantime, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said a single-payer health care system is the only "obviously constitutional" health care plan.

National Journal: Barney Frank: Obama Made 'Mistake' With Health Care Push
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he advised President Obama against taking up health care reform following a special election in 2010 that changed Democrats' fortunes in the Senate, saying that he should have instead turned his focus to financial reform. Frank referenced former President Bill Clinton and his failed health care plan from the 1990s (Miller, 4/16).

The Hill: Rep. Frank Says He Urged Obama To Back Off Health Care Reform
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) thought President Obama was making a "mistake" in pressing for health care reform in 2010 and urged the White House to back off after Democrats lost their 60-seat majority in the Senate, the congressman tells New York magazine. "I think we paid a terrible price for health care," Frank told the magazine in a lengthy interview as he prepares to retire at the end of his 16th term. "I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after [Sen.] Scott Brown [R-Mass.] won [in January 2010], I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform, but certainly not health care" (Pecquet, 4/16).

The Hill: Kucinich: Single-Payer The Only 'Obviously Constitutional' Health Care Plan
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is continuing to argue for a single-payer health care system, saying it would not raise the same constitutional questions that have dogged President Obama's health care law. Kucinich on Monday highlighted a recent report that said a single-payer system would save the state of Minnesota nearly $190 billion over 10 years. "Single-payer health care is inevitable in the U.S. and the states are the first to recognize it," Kucinich said in a statement (Baker, 4/16).

In the meantime, a Catholic cardinal said Monday that the U.S. bishops' opposition to mandated coverage of contraception in the health care law isn't politically motivated --

Chicago Tribune: Cardinal Tries to Clarify Bishops' Stance On Health Care Law
Though the church's concern primarily focuses on the Obama administration's proposal to provide contraception coverage to all employees, including those who work for religious groups, George clarified in his talk to the Union League Club of Chicago on Monday that the church's opposition isn't personal or politically motivated (Brachear, 4/16).

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