KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Opinions: Exchanges Reach Beyond Political Squabbles; Missouri’s Choice On Nullification; Losing Jobs For Health Reform

A Fair Exchange The New York Times
The battle over health care reform won't end just because Republicans and Democrats find they can cooperate on exchanges. But a commitment to establishing exchanges in a constructive, nonpartisan fashion could bring relief to the real casualties in this fight: those who can't afford decent insurance coverage for themselves or their employees (Frank Micciche, 7/27).

Our Bloated Government Can't Fight Obesity The Washington Times
Much attention now is focused on the eating habits of American children, thanks in large measure to Michelle Obama's campaign to raise awareness of the serious problem of childhood obesity. … Unfortunately, enthusiasm for Mrs. Obama's obesity agenda is causing some folks to apply the typical, knee-jerk government solutions to a problem that government cannot solve. It's also ironic because our government is even more bloated than our citizenry (Marybeth Hicks, 7/27).

Coburn's Reference To CBO Health Care Study Challenged Tulsa World
[In] Tom Coburn's latest prognosis against national health reform, ... he writes, with regard to the non-group market, that "premiums for millions of Americans in 2016 will be 10-13 percent higher than they otherwise would be" in the absence of reform. … Where does Coburn get the 10-13 percent increase in premiums? He is referring to those Americans who decide to buy a more robust health plan, a health plan with more benefits and coverages, than they have today. But that's like saying that because I decide to buy a Cadillac rather than a Hyundai, I am worse off (Tom Adelson, 7/28).

A Legacy Of Nullification St. Louis Today
Our Constitution calls for the federal government to tackle national issues like health care, but politicians are trying to get around this mandate by using a doctrine known as nullification, which is as old as the Republic, but poses real dangers to our form of government. Nullification was a theory advanced by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that says states can choose within their borders to reject actions of the federal government if the actions are deemed unconstitutional. … Since then, nullification has been a failed theory throughout our history. But it is being resurrected increasingly today, and when Missourians vote Tuesday on Proposition C, the measure to opt out of national health care reform, the vote will be the latest example of the politics of misplaced nullification (Daniel Ponder, 7/28).

Health Care Reform, After Obamacare The Orange County Register
Effectively addressing health care deficiencies in our country should start with repealing Obamacare, then stopping discrimination against people who can't buy insurance through their employer and, finally, by allowing competition in insurance across state lines (7/27).

From Sick Care To Health Care The Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette
Today, our health-care system is more like a sick-care system. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are responsible for seven of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75 percent of the nation's health spending. But too many Americans fail to get the screenings and visits they need to help them prevent these conditions and stay healthy in the first place. That's why the Obama administration has made it a top priority to ensure that more Americans get access to life-saving preventive care (HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, 7/27).

Keeping After The Medicare Fraudsters The Tampa Bay Times
Fraud on such a massive scale has driven up the cost of health care in the United States and affected the solvency of Medicare. The Obama administration needs to keep turning up the pressure and make examples of those who perpetrate these frauds that affect all taxpayers (7/27).

New Laws Mean Fewer Jobs Richmond Times-Dispatch
Although I was pleased to hear President Obama speak in his State of the Union speech about his agenda for creating more jobs, I was stunned when he promptly promoted and signed into law a health care bill that is sure to retard job growth. While the law's [cost] in dollar terms -- nearly $1 trillion over 10 years -- has been well documented and debated, the hidden, unquantifiable costs associated with job losses and jobs never created are less understood (Jim Wordsworth, 7/28).

Access To Health Care Is What Really Matters Juneau [Alaska] Empire
While stories of the governor's veto of Senate Bill 13 and the funding for the expansion of the state's Denali Kid Care program fade from the media's news cycle, just less than 1,300 children and more than 200 pregnant women will be faced with the daily reality of not having basic insurance coverage. … Some may argue that they still have the ability to seek treatment at an emergency room. While that is true, let's look at some scenarios that Denali Kid Care would cover with a less costly visit to a doctor's office (Bettye Davis, 7/27).

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