KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Won’t Tout Massachusetts Health Coverage Plan During Trip Today

President Obama will not talk about the Massachusetts health care program to cover the uninsured or even talk about health reform for the country on a trip to that state today, focusing instead on clean energy and fundraising, The Washington Post reports.

"The president's critics say his reluctance to spotlight the Massachusetts model is real-world evidence that his vision would not work on a national scale. High costs have forced the state to trim benefits for legal immigrants and prompted one safety-net hospital to sue over a $38 million shortfall. Obama's allies -- and even one prominent adversary -- see a more nuanced picture that offers guideposts for federal lawmakers as they finalize decisions on a bill that could reshape one-sixth of the economy."

Massachusetts has sparked much debate in America over covering 97 percent of residents in a system where there are serious cost containment issues, though it enjoys popularity among doctors and residents (Connolly, 10/23).

The Associated Press, in the meantime, reports that Obama's cabinet members often stop in Nevada - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's home state - to help the senator in his campaign for re-election. "'The president will continue to send his Cabinet members to Nevada and across the country to find the best ways to repair our economy, reform our health insurance system and build upon Nevada's efforts to create green energy jobs,' said White House spokesman Adam Abrams" (Freking, 10/23).

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