KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Viewpoints: GOP Sabotage Could Set Up A Health Care Emergency; Taking On Obamacare Yet Again

A selection of health-related opinions from around the country.

Boston Globe: President Sisyphus Tries Once Again To Repeal Obamacare 
As Trump has demonstrated time and again, he doesn’t consider factuality a stumbling block to his political goals. Alas for him, at least some Republicans who have to live with the consequences of his action do. Which is why ACA repeal is about to start its latest careening journey back down the hill, there to lie in shambles on the floor of the House or Senate, another Trump effort thwarted by the gravity of truth. (Scott Lehigh, 5/2)

The New York Times: My Medicaid, My Life
I am a Medicaid welfare queen. When Republicans talk about safety net programs like Medicaid, Social Security and food stamps, they evoke images of people like me gabbing on their smartphones, eating steak and watching TV from the comfort of home. Political rhetoric and media coverage paints us as unmotivated and undeserving individuals, passive consumers of taxpayer dollars who are out to “game the system,” taking resources away from hard-working people. (Alice Wong, 5/3)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Medicaid Needs Thoughtful Reform, Not Budget Cuts And Caps
Medicaid is our nation’s largest health care plan, serving 65 million Americans and nearly a million Missourians. Importantly, Medicaid is the only public program that provides long-term care for the elderly and disabled. Two-thirds of Medicaid spending supports these vulnerable populations and their caregivers. (Christine E. Crouch, 5/2)

WBUR: A Potential Casualty Of Republican Health Bill: Group Homes For The Mentally Disabled
We might think that the desperate conditions of the institutions like the Fernald, Dever and Willowbrook are part of a hellish but distant past. But if House Speaker Paul Ryan's American Health Care Act is passed as originally proposed, we may see adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities reduced to drastically insufficient care again, with state agencies no longer able to maintain the staff or the homes themselves. (Susan Senator, 5/3)

Stat: Before You Act On Health Care, Congress, Consider Children Like My Wendy
Dear senators and representatives of the 115th United States Congress,The media tell me that you will once again be taking up legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. If you do this, please make sure that whatever new law you come up with keeps three key features of the Affordable Care Act that I need to keep my daughter, Wendy, alive. (Darcy Daniels, 5/2)

RealClear Health: 100 Days Of Health Care
Before November 8, no one anticipated that health care would be the predominant focus of the next president's first 100 days. Now, let the record reflect, that is precisely what has happened. What have we learned in the process and what do we have to show for it? The latter question is easier to answer: nothing, save for considerable uncertainty and burgeoning disruption for the health care system. As for the former, Republicans have hoisted their own petard in epic fashion. (Billy Wynne, 5/3)

Louisville Courier-Journal: New Health Bill Even Worse Threat For Kentuckians
Let’s be clear, rather than a compromise, the new version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) makes a deeply harmful plan even more destructive. The original proposal, the House’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, failed in part because some members were rightly worried about 24 million people losing health coverage, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. The so-called “Meadows-MacArthur amendment” is the only change in Congress’ second attempt. This new version keeps all of the damaging components of the first bill while threatening coverage for even more Americans by scrapping protections for people with pre-existing conditions. (Dustin Pugel, 5/2)

JAMA Pediatrics: Relationship Between The American Academy Of Pediatrics And Infant Formula Companies
In 2005, the board of directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) adopted a policy supporting relationships with companies that, “through their products, activities, and/or their philosophy, enhance the quality of life for children and their families and are aligned with the AAP’s values and mission” .... In doing so, the organization chose to apply a higher standard than simply asking whether corporate funding can be put to good use. Under this policy, the AAP should reassess its engagement with companies that sell infant formula. (Joshua M. Sharfstein and Dana L. Silver, 5/2)

Stat: More Physical Activity Among Children Will Save America Billions
[W]e’re worried that many kids won’t reach a healthy future because they aren’t active enough today and won’t be as they grow older. Based on results from a model we just published in the journal Health Affairs, too little physical activity among children now and later will translate into heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, and billions of dollars of avoidable health care costs. Fewer than one-third of children are “active to a healthy level.” (Bruce Y. Lee and Marie Ferguson, 5/2)

The New York Times: New Soldiers For Trump’s Anti-Abortion Army
The leadership of the Department of Health and Human Services is getting an anti-abortion makeover. Charmaine Yoest, the former head of Americans United for Life, was named assistant secretary of health and human services in charge of public affairs late last week. (The post used to require Senate confirmation, but no longer does.) And Teresa Manning, a former lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee, is said to have been chosen for the post of deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. (Emily Bazelon, 5/2)

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