KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Viewpoints: The Heat Of Health Care Rhetoric; The Link Between Access To Care And Curbing Opioids

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

Bloomberg: Hot Rhetoric Is OK For Liberals, And For Me
Over the weekend Hillary Clinton tweeted that if Republicans pass the health-care bill, they should be called “the death party.” Senator Bernie Sanders had his own tweet .... Republicans denounced these remarks. ... My own reaction to the Democrats’ words was to consider calling a copyright attorney about Clinton, since a decade ago I wrote a book about abortion and related issues titled "The Party of Death." Liberals were outraged by my title then, as conservatives are by Clinton and Sanders now. It seems to me that today’s outrage is, as yesterday’s was, misdirected. A healthy democratic culture would not consider any of this rhetoric out of bounds. (Ramesh Ponnuru, 6/26)

Los Angeles Times: Blood Money And The Death Party: Let's Tone Down The Trumpcare Rhetoric
Earlier this month a political zealot went to a baseball practice with the intention of killing as many Republican congressmen as he could. As often happens after such horrible events, various politicians and media figures suggested that we should tone down the rhetoric and not paint everything in apocalyptic terms, casting Republicans or Democrats as villains with traitorous or evil intent in their hearts. Words have consequences, they sagely said into the TV cameras. Two weeks later, many of the very same people are describing the Republicans as murderers for proposing changes to Medicaid. (Jonah Goldberg, 6/27)

Slate: Want To Curb The Opioid Epidemic? Don’t Limit Access To Health Care.
Still, fighting this epidemic is one of the few things that unites people across the political divide these days. In fact, Sens. John McCain and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent overprescribing for acute pain, one attempt to limit the scope of the problem. And yet, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the reworked version of the American Health Care Act currently waiting for a vote in the Senate, is poised to allow insurers to stop covering care for the mental health problems that often lead to addiction. This could make coverage excessively expensive. It would make it harder for these people to access the right health care that could help them and protect them from addiction. (Jen Simon, 6/26)

The New York Times: The ABCs And Ds Of Whether To Get Prostate Cancer Screening
It can be hard for physicians to follow current thinking of experts on medical care. It must be exponentially harder for the public to make sense of it. Recently, the United States Preventive Services Task Force changed its recommendation on prostate cancer screening from a D (that is, don’t do it) to a C (discuss it with your doctor). (Aaron E. Carroll, 6/26)

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