KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s OpEds: SEIU And Kids’ Coverage; States Opting Out Of Medicaid?; The ‘RomneyCare’ Legacy; Trimming Defense Health Costs

The Smallest Victims Of ObamaCare The New York Post
To manufacture support for ObamaCare, desperate Democrats pandered to the college set and their parents. … Now, confronted with the thorny allocation of scarce resources, money managers at the SEIU are dropping thousands of kids' health coverage because they, too, can't afford to foot the bill (Michelle Malkin, 12/1).

Why The Dump-Medicaid Idea Makes No Sense The Dallas Morning News
The economic impact of dumping Medicaid and CHIP, which requires Medicaid participation: nearly $900 billion in lost economic activity. Affected most: The one in 12 Texans who work in the health-care industry. A governor who was elected on a pro-business platform would have a hard time defending that (Steve Jacob, 11/30).

Opting Out Of Medicaid Isn't An Option The State (South Carolina)
In a normal economy, dropping out of Medicaid would be heartless, as it would throw nearly a quarter of the state's poorest and sickest citizens off of the only medical insurance program they have, and an economic lose-lose. In this economy, it would be economic suicide, sucking more than $4 billion a year out of the state and crippling hospitals (which still would by law have to provide care to anyone who seeks it), as well as doctors and pharmacies that rely on that money (11/30).

Mending ObamaCare The Wall Street Journal
Republicans should remember that while 60% or more of people who are polled may support intrusive regulation of insurance companies, a majority of voters who elected the new Republican House majority probably don't. Unless Republicans come up with other ways to deregulate the insurance market, their pre-emptive surrender on key aspects of ObamaCare will ultimately accelerate the country's move toward socialized medicine (John Fund, 11/30).

Why Conservatives Should Embrace Romney's Health-Care Legacy The Boston Globe
GOP primary voters will surely have a variety of options to consider for their nomination in 2012. But if the former Massachusetts governor does enter the race, it should be with a robust sense of confidence that what he accomplished was a sterling example of conservative success. He should embrace his record, and conservatives should follow suit (Nick Tzitzon, 11/30).

Health Insurer Surplus Should Be Limited The Seattle Times
Mike Kreidler, insurance commissioner, is asking the Legislature to renew and increase his authority over the individual market for health insurance in Washington. We support the idea. Kreidler's proposal does have a problem. He is asking for power to deny rate increases in specific lines of business, and proposes to use a financial limit - surplus - descriptive of a whole company. If the company is in surplus but the line of business is in the red, the effect may be to kill that line off (11/30).

Congress Should Heed Gates And Chiefs On Defense Health Foreign Policy
And the joint chiefs have finally come to realize that health care is devouring the rest of the defense budget, and has been doing so for a decade. They too now concede that it is not too much to ask those on active duty to increase their co-pays by the minimal amount that an inflation-based increase would represent. Nor is it outrageous to ask that the family free for TRICARE Prime, be raised from its current minimal level (Dov Zakheim, 11/30).

Drug Firms Have To Stop Paying Doctors CNN
Doctors who take money or gifts from a pharmaceutical company are more likely to prescribe that company's drugs, write favorable journal articles about the drugs, give lectures recommending the drugs and suggest adding the drugs to a hospital formulary. That influence does not disappear when the payments are disclosed. To fix that problem, the payments must be eliminated (Dr. Carl Elliott, 11/30).

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