KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Opinions and Editorials

Abortion And Health Care Reform The New York Times
In a rational system of medical care, there would be virtually no restrictions on financing abortions. But abortion is not a rational issue, and opponents have succeeded in broadly denying the use of federal dollars to pay for them, except in the case of pregnancies that result from rape or incest or that endanger a woman's life (9/30).

Medicare Mythmaking The Washington Post
Indeed, for all the difficulty the finance panel has had scrounging up the money to pay for the insurance expansion, it is going to have find $200 billion-plus more to pay for the "doc fix" - the scheduled cut in physician reimbursements that Congress ends up reversing every year (10/1).

On Removal Of The 'Public Option' San Francisco Chronicle
They should maintain the pressure. The public option would offer the best chance of delivering what should be the bottom-line goal of any reform plan: affordable coverage for Americans who now lack basic health care (10/1).

How The U.S. Government Rations Health Care The Wall Street Journal
When private plans ration care, patients can appeal directly to an insurer's medical staff. Only a small fraction of Medicare's denied claims-about 5%-are ever formally appealed because its process is so impenetrable (Scott Gottlieb, 9/30).

The Public Option Contradiction Kaiser Health News
Obama and many Democrats believe new and improved versions of governmental control can do the job, despite nearly a half century of history that indicates otherwise (James Capretta, 10/1).

Trial Bar V. Tort Reform Politico
Medical professionals should work to reduce the number of deaths due to errors, but we cannot forget the millions of lives they save each year. If we attack every lifesaving attempt that ends poorly, fewer and fewer doctors will choose to help in the next time of need (Rep. Lamar Smith, 10/1).

Tort Reform Is The Healthcare Debate's Frivolous Sideshow Los Angeles Times
Every circus needs a sideshow, which must be why every time the issue of rising medical costs gets debated, politicians start clamoring for "tort reform" (Michael Hiltzik, 10/1).

Should Health Reform Legislation Provide Care For Undocumented Immigrants? No The Modesto Bee
If we actually enforced our immigration laws and encouraged more illegal immigrants to return home, we could significantly reduce the size of the uninsured population, save taxpayers money, and free health-care dollars for legal immigrants and native-born Americans who need care (Steven A. Camarota, 10/1). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.