KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Clinton Reminds Voters She Wanted Universal Health Care First

Hillary Clinton says she just has a different way of working toward providing coverage to everyone than her opponent Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News examines her claims that "HillaryCare" was the precursor to the Affordable Care Act. And, Sanders' "Medicare-for-all" proposal would hit working seniors with tax increases.

The New York Times: ‘Hillarycare’ Failed, But Hillary Clinton Reminds Voters She Tried
After weeks of criticizing Bernie Sanders’s plan for a single-payer “Medicare for all” health care system as budget busting and unrealistic, Hillary Clinton over the past few days has a new message for voters: Universal health care was her idea first. “Now, before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare, as some of you might remember,” Mrs. Clinton said at a town-hall-style event in Clinton, Iowa, on Saturday. “We share the same goal, universal health care for every single American,” Mrs. Clinton said of her rival Mr. Sanders. “But we have a real difference about how to get there.” (Chozik,1/23)

Bloomberg: How ‘Hillarycare’ Did, And Didn't, Lead To Obamacare
Hillary Clinton is taking increasing credit for Obamacare, arguing that the 1993 health care overhaul effort she spearheaded was the foundation for President Barack Obama's plan. “It was called Hillarycare before it was called Obamacare,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in Vinton, Iowa, on Thursday, referring to her plan's derisive nickname. “I don't want to start over again, I don't want to rip up this accomplishment and begin this contentious debate all over again.” (Kapur, 1/22)

USA Today: Sanders' 'Medicare For All' Plan May Not Help Working Seniors
Bernie Sanders’ plan to deliver “Medicare for all” may be a good deal for many Americans, but it might be bad for working seniors already enrolled in the government health plan. Under his plan, the nation’s 8.5 million seniors over the age of 65 and already eligible for Medicare would get hit with tax increases. With more of the nation’s baby boom generation working into traditional retirement years, the concern is that the costs to seniors are higher than Sanders' plan suggests. (Przybyla, 1/24)

Bloomberg: Why Bernie Sanders Wants To Know Your Health Insurance Deductible
A week after Hillary Clinton accused Bernie Sanders of jeopardizing the Democrats’ hard-fought Obamacare victory by reopening the debate over health insurance, her chief competitor for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination is rolling out a new strategy for selling his "Medicare for All" plan. Asking audience members at his rallies to shout out their own deductibles—the amount they have to pay out-of-pocket each year before their medical insurance kicks in. (John, 1/23)

Meanwhile, Sanders defends his commitment to Planned Parenthood —

The Wall Street Journal: Amid ‘Establishment’ Tussle With Clinton, Sanders Affirms Commitment To Abortion Rights
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Friday proclaimed his commitment to abortion rights and to increasing funding for women’s health care, days after a tussle with rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign over whether a prominent women’s health care provider was part of the Democratic “establishment” he is challenging. “I am a very strong supporter of Planned Parenthood,” the Vermont senator said at a rally at a high school on Friday, the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a legal right to abortion. “I have a lifetime voting record of 100%.” (Haddon, 1/22)

The New York Times: Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders Battle For Party’s Future
The race between Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders is not just about the White House anymore. It has intensified into an epochal battle over their vastly different visions for the Democratic Party. Mr. Sanders, a New Deal-style liberal from Vermont, last week became the party’s first top-tier candidate since the 1980s to propose broad-based tax increases. He argues that only muscular government action — Wall Street regulations, public works jobs, Medicare for all — will topple America’s “rigged” economy. Mrs. Clinton, a mainstream Democrat, has started contrasting herself with Mr. Sanders by championing a “sensible, achievable agenda” and promising to build on President Obama’s legacy in health care, the economy and national security. (Healy, 1/24)

And Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's campaign corrects his claims about losing his health care insurance —

The Wall Street Journal: In Reversal, Campaign Says Ted Cruz Does Have Health Insurance
Ted Cruz has health insurance, and he had it all along, his campaign said Friday night, reversing what the presidential candidate said a day earlier. Mr. Cruz told a Manchester, N.H., audience on Thursday that he was currently uninsured — which he said infuriated his wife –after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas canceled many individual policies, including his. As a result, Mr. Cruz said he was now looking to buy a new plan at sharply higher premiums, a turn of events he attributed to the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. Mr. Cruz has been a harsh critic of the health law. (Radnofsky, 1/22)

Bloomberg: Ted Cruz Finds Out He Has Health Insurance After All
One day after Ted Cruz told college students in New Hampshire that he had no health insurance because President Barack Obama's health care law caused the cancellation of his coverage, the Republican presidential candidate's campaign walked back that assertion late Friday. Contrary to what Cruz, a top contender for the GOP nomination, said on Thursday—"I don't have health care right now"—it turns out the U.S. senator from Texas and his family appear to be insured after all. (Kapur, 1/23)

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