KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Op-Eds: Cost-Cutting Strategies; Health Reform Faces Political Opposition; Primary Care & Physician Shortages

To Save Money, Save The Health Care Act The New York Times 
Sure, the health care law is not perfect, but it would cut the nation's long-term fiscal imbalance by a quarter and reduce the projected deficit within Medicare by three-quarters. That may seem fanciful, given how distorted the public discussion has become. But that's what the projections show, as long as Congress sticks to its guns and the Obama administration does a good job carrying out the provisions of the law (Peter Orszag, 11/3).

Martyrs to ObamaCare The Wall Street Journal
The irony is that opposing ObamaCare didn't save Democrats who voted no either, presumably because these dissidents still enabled the larger White House agenda. Seventeen of the 34 Democrats who voted against the bill in March lost, while nay-sayer Charlie Melancon whiffed in his bid to defeat Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Then there are the Senate spear-catchers: Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas) and Russ Feingold (Wisconsin), and for good measure Congressman Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania (11/4).

Health Care Cost Control Is Hard, And Humbling Kaiser Health News 
The history of health care cost control suggests that the chances of long-term success of any particular idea are low. This concept or that may be a political winner today, but that doesn't make it a fiscal winner of tomorrow. Do you think you know how to control health care costs? Don't bet on it (Austin Frakt, 11/3).

Election Gives States Momentum To Defeat Health Care Reform Law The San Francisco Examiner
Beyond the refusal to collaborate, governors and legislators can seize the initiative by passing the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, model legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Newly elected insurance commissioners will have to struggle against the Obamacrats in the federal government's newly established Office of Consumer Information and Consumer Oversight (John R. Graham, 11/4).

Strengthening Primary Care Will Combat Physician Shortages Green Bay Press Gazette 
It will take at least 10 years to make modest improvements to the physician shortage. In the meantime, health care is better when primary care physicians, advanced care providers and specialists work together. It is best when there are more of all of them (Brad Hahn, 11/4). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.