KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: October 28, 2010

Today's news includes headlines about the reasons behind rising health premiums.  

Physician-Owned Hospitals Racing To Meet Health Law Deadline
Kaiser Health News staff writer Christopher Weaver, working in collaboration with USA Today, reports: "At the Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital here, construction workers scrambled on a recent day to turn a mud pit into a parking lot and put other finishing touches on the $35 million physician-owned facility" (Kaiser Health News).

Health On The Hill – October 27, 2010
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with The Fiscal Times' Eric Pianin and KFF's Jackie Judd about the latest news in politics and health policy, including the campaign ads making claims about the health law that are flooding the airwaves and how they are impacting the behavior of Democrats and Republicans (Kaiser Health News).

KHN Column: What If The President Had Changed His Priorities? A Pre-Election Analysis From An Alternate Universe
In his latest Kaiser Health News column, done in collaboration with The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn writes: "Mere days stand between the Democrats and a major defeat at the polls. And a lot of analysts think it's because of the way President Obama handled health care. If only Obama had followed up on his campaign pledge to pursue comprehensive reform, rather than postponing action in order to work on the economy, he and his party would be in better shape today. One Sunday morning news pundit, a veteran of public radio, summed it up this way: Americans voted for change but see a president who actually changed very little and couldn't even deliver on his signature campaign promise" (Kaiser Health News).

Republicans, Heading For Big Gains, Ready Agenda
Republican leaders, ever more confident of their chances of winning control of the House and possibly even the Senate, have begun plotting a 2011 agenda topped by a push for more than $100 billion in spending cuts, tax reductions and attempts to undo key parts of President Barack Obama's health care and financial regulation laws (The Associated Press).

Health Law Unpopular In Key House Districts
A majority of likely voters in the most competitive House districts support repealing the Democrats' health overhaul, according to recent polling data (The Wall Street Journal).

Democrats Stress Social Issues
Polls show men leaning heavily Republican this year. That has Democrats and their backers trying in the campaign's last days to spur left-leaning and independent women to vote, by emphasizing abortion and other social issues (The Wall Street Journal).

Health Law Hardly At Fault For Rising Premiums
Dan Thystrup, owner of a paddleboat manufacturing company in Indiana, says he was told it was the new health care regulation that helped prompt a doubling of his firm's premiums. Thystrup, who'd been providing health insurance for his workers for more than two decades, said he had to make the difficult decision to drop coverage for both his workers and himself (NPR).

A Campaign Of Few Details, But Questions Keep Coming
The question for Rick Scott at last week's debate had been asked countless times: Why was he qualified to be Florida's governor when his tenure as a chief executive of Columbia/HCA led to $1.7 billion in fines for defrauding the government? Was he involved, or too out of touch to know what was going on? (The New York Times).

Harvard Looks To Lift Primary Care
Harvard Medical School has received a $30 million anonymous gift to create a major center to transform primary care medicine, a specialty that provides routine front-line care to millions of people but that many doctors consider unglamorous and underpaid (The Boston Globe).

Ind. Parents Told Drop Disabled Kids At Shelters
Indiana's budget crunch has become so severe that some state workers have suggested leaving severely disabled people at homeless shelters if they can't be cared for at home, parents and advocates said (The Associated Press).

Obama Administration' Sex-Ed Program Criticized By Both Sides Of Abstinence Debate
Over the past decade, politicians have battled about how to reduce the teen pregnancy rate: safe-sex vs. abstinence-only sex education programs, even as films such as "Juno" and births by famous teens such as Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears seemed to make adolescent pregnancies more socially acceptable (The Washington Post).

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