KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: August 25, 2009

Today's headlines indicate that age is an issue in the health overhaul debate --  the GOP offers a "seniors' bill of rights" and some observers speculate that Obama's youth supporters are not engaged.

Children's Advocates Fear Health Reform Could Undermine CHIP
As Democratic leaders pursue their quest to provide millions of Americans with health care insurance, some advocates see an unlikely casualty of reform: youngsters now covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program whom they fear could end up with reduced benefits (Kaiser Health News).

Calm, But Moved To Be Heard On Health Care
Until Thursday evening, nothing in Bob Collier's 62 years had stirred in him the slightest desire to take a stand - about anything - in public. But on Thursday, Mr. Collier drove more than an hour down Route 19 to attend a health care forum in Albany, Ga., being held by his congressman, Representative Sanford D. Bishop Jr., a Democrat serving his ninth term (The New York Times).

GOP Tees Up Medicare Manifesto
The Republican Party issued a new salvo in the health debate Monday with a "seniors' health care bill of rights" that opposed any moves to trim Medicare spending or limit end-of-life care to seniors (The Wall Street Journal).

Why GOP Sees Seniors As Crucial To Health-Reform Battle
Why did the GOP on Monday issue a "seniors' healthcare bill of rights"? Perhaps because in the battle over health reform, the opinion of senior citizens could be a key factor determining victory – or defeat (The Christian Science Monitor).

Young Obama Backers AWOL From Health Care Fight
Add this to President Barack Obama's problems in selling his health care overhaul: A lot of the tech-savvy activists who helped put him in office are young, feeling indestructible and not all that into what they see as an old folks issue (The Associated Press).

Dems Increase Talk Of Moving Healthcare Without GOP
A leading House Democrat on Monday said Democrats are prepared to pass healthcare reform without Republican support, echoing comments made over the weekend by a leading Senate Democrat (The Hill).

Policy Experts Call Fear Of Medical Rationing Unfounded
"Rationing." It is what many people say they fear most from an overhaul of the health care system - the prospect of the federal government's limiting the medical care they can receive (The New York Times).

Living-Will Guide For Vets Stirs Health Overhaul Fears
A Department of Veterans Affairs booklet is stirring up new controversy over the federal government's role in end-of-life care (NPR).

Bioethicist Becomes A Lightning Rod For Criticism
Few people hold a more uncomfortable place at the health care debate's intersection between nuanced policy and cable-ready political rhetoric than President Obama's special health care adviser, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel (The New York Times).

Hospitals Own Up To Errors
Medical errors kill as many as 98,000 Americans each year, according to the Institute of Medicine, a government advisory group. In an effort to improve this record, some hospitals like Baptist Children's are taking steps to admit grievous mistakes and to learn from them in order to overhaul flawed procedures. That represents a sharp departure from hospitals' traditional response when something goes terribly wrong-retreating behind a wall of silence to guard against potential lawsuits (The Wall Street Journal).

Getting Cheaper, Better Healthcare At Home
Fanning out through this city's old neighborhoods, doctors and nurses from a local medical center have adopted a practice that harks back to a bygone era: They're making house calls (Los Angeles Times).

Health Scare Sent to 1,800 Veterans
More than 1,800 Gulf War veterans were sent letters from the Veterans Administration this month informing them that they had Lou Gehrig's disease - a fatal neurological disease. But at least some of the letters - and the diagnoses - were a mistake (USA Today).

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