KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Seeks To Assure Seniors: Nobody Is Trying To Change What Works

President Obama told seniors they wouldn't lose out in health reform at a "tele-town hall" organized by the AARP, a group that represents retired people, USA Today reports. "This is not like Canada," he said, pledging that "Nobody is trying to change what works in the system. We are trying to change what doesn't work in the system."

"Doing nothing will lead to ever-rising insurance premiums and medical bills, Obama stressed, as he has at previous health care events," USA Today reports. "He did say the government 'would have to spend money up front,' but increased efficiency and a better health care system overall will ultimately save money over the long term" (Jackson, 7/28).

"There needs to more preventive care, and unnecessary subsidies need to be taken away from Medicare providers, the president said," the Boston Globe reports. "But, he pledged, 'We certainly won't cut corners to cut costs. That doesn't work'" (Rhee, 7/28).

"Senate Republicans beat President Obama to the punch," reports the US News & World Report blog, Washington Whispers. "Just hours before he planned to hold an online healthcare town hall with AARP members, the Republicans told Whispers that they have already talked to 1.3 million Americans in their own nightly healthcare town halls."

"The GOP leadership on July 6 set a goal of talking to 1 million Americans before the August recess began, and insiders suggest that the Republicans will end the campaign by talking to nearly 2 million." With less than a week remaining before Congress' summer break begins, both parties are plotting their strategies for the August battle over health reform (Bedard, 7/28).

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