KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Viewpoints: Quit Fighting Health Law And Fix It; The Money Trigger That Sets Hospital Stays

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

Los Angeles Times: Yes, Obamacare Is In Dire Need Of Fixing. Here's A Guide To The Best Options.
You can set your watch by it, or at least your calendar. If it's a day of the week ending in "Y," the House congressional majority is preparing to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. These days are no exception: A repeal vote in the House is scheduled for this week, linked to a provision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Both will be DOA at the president's desk. What's lost in this openly partisan waltzing around is that many aspects of the ACA are in dire need of fixing. (Michael Hiltzik, 1/4)

The Hill: So What Would Happen If We Repealed ObamaCare?
The recent action by the Republicans in the Senate to repeal ObamaCare through the procedural vehicle of reconciliation appears to be delayed. The passage by the House of numerous repeal bills has allowed Republicans to achieve a campaign promise from virtually every campaign since 2010. Maybe the president should sign one of these bills. Let's see what would happen. (Former Rep. Bill Owen, D-N.Y., 1/4)

Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World: Medicaid Barriers
Although a study released last month indicated that Kansas would at least break even or perhaps realize financial benefits from expanding its Medicaid program, there seems to be little chance that expansion even will be discussed in the upcoming legislative session. ... Legislative leaders who oppose that expansion were quick to discredit the study, saying that the firm that conducted it was biased and that a five-year analysis was too narrow. However, they didn’t present any hard data to repute the study’s conclusions. (1/5)

Sun Sentinel: Florida Medicaid Expansion Would Show True Leadership
Over the past several years, arguments for Medicaid expansion in Florida have been made using sound economic, budgetary and public health rationales, only to collapse under the reflexive antipathy toward the Affordable Care Act of Gov. Rick Scott and conservatives in the state House of Representatives. So let's reset the debate and look at Medicaid expansion by itself in the context of the long and successful history of other state/federal partnerships that have been a hallmark of Republican governance for more than a century. (Ron Pollack, 1/4)

The New York Times' The Upshot: The Hidden Financial Incentives Behind Your Shorter Hospital Stay
After one of her operations, my sister-in-law left the hospital so quickly that she couldn’t eat for days; after other stays, she wasn’t discharged until she felt physically and mentally prepared. Five days after his triple heart bypass surgery, my stepfather felt well enough to go home, but the hospital didn’t discharge him for several more days. You undoubtedly have similar stories. Patients are often left wondering whether they have been discharged from the hospital too soon or too late. They also wonder what criteria doctors use to assess whether a patient is ready to leave. (Austin Frakt, 1/4)

The Baltimore Sun: Md. Schools Must Offer Healthy Lunch Options
Our kids are being poisoned every day in their schools. It's not from lead paint or pipes, but by the food and drinks being served to them — the cheapest to make and deadliest to eat and, in some instances, the same food fed to the inmate populations in our state prisons. (Aaron Maybin, 1/4)

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