KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Single-Payer Perspectives: An Opening Bid Or A Way To Change The Subject

Editorial writers offer their thoughts on the single-payer approach to health care that appears to be gaining traction in the ongoing policy debate.

The Washington Post: Bernie Sanders’ Single Payer Plan Is Here. Think Of It As An Opening Bid.
Bernie Sanders is releasing his latest single payer health care plan today, and while there are some small differences between this one and what he has proposed in the past, the biggest difference is that this time, he’s got lots of company. Fifteen Democratic senators are co-sponsoring his bill, including most of those considering running for president in 2020. Support for some kind of universal coverage is now the consensus position among Democrats. And Sanders’ single payer plan is the one that has gotten the most attention, so it’s going to be the one against which other plans are measured. (Paul Waldman, 9/13)

The New York Times: How The Bernie Sanders Plan Would Both Beef Up And Slim Down Medicare
In his big new single-payer health care bill, Senator Bernie Sanders says he wants to turn the country’s health system into “Medicare for all.” But his bill actually outlines a system very different from the current Medicare program. The Sanders plan envisions changing Medicare in two important ways. First, it would make it more generous than it has ever been, expanding it to cover new types of benefits and to erase most direct health care costs for consumers. Those changes would tend to make it more expensive. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 9/13)

Axios: How Single Payer Helps Republicans Change The Subject
Since the collapse of the GOP effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, single payer has gained new life on the left. Sen. Bernie Sanders released his “Medicare for all" plan yesterday, and a majority of House Democrats have signed on to another version proposed by Rep. John Conyers. (Drew Altman, 9/14)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: And Now, The Push For Single-Payer
Apparently, the thinking in Democratic Party circles goes something like this: Since Obamacare has been such a smashing success, let’s inject even more government into health care. ... Several leading contenders for the party’s presidential nomination have come out in favor of single-payer health care, and some Democratic skeptics are now coming around. (9/13)

Fortune: What It Would Take To Make Bernie Sanders’ Single Payer Health Care Plan Work
Senate Democrats, including nearly all of the party's potential 2020 presidential candidates, haven't so much been jumping on Bernie Sanders' single payer, "Medicare for all" health care bandwagon as they have been elbowing past each other to snatch a prominent political seat on it. But the increasingly popular idea, unveiled by Sanders and at least 16 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate Wednesday, is already brushing up against scrutiny from the medical industry and some health care analysts who question how the proposal would be paid for and implemented in practicality. (Sy Mukherjee, 9/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Bernie’s Socialism Goes Mainstream
Hillary Clinton’s memoir of her presidential campaign is getting most of the media attention this week, but that’s the politics of progressive nostalgia. If you want to know where the Democratic Party is going, Bernie Sanders showed the way Wednesday with his proposal for a complete government takeover of health care. (9/13)

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