KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Different Takes On Trump’s Executive Order On Health Insurance: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Opinion writers across the nation express outrage and concern about Thursday's White House directive loosening some of the rules regarding health coverage, but some also defend it and even see it as progress. The opinions also touch on other health policy topics including Medicaid.

The New York Times: Congress Can’t Let Mr. Trump Kill Obamacare On His Own
Fed up with failed attempts in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump on Thursday took matters into his own hands, signing an executive order that could significantly damage the health insurance market and harm millions of people. Mr. Trump directed his administration to effectively create an alternative health insurance system that does not include the safeguards of the A.C.A. and could sabotage that 2010 law, one of his predecessor’s biggest accomplishments. (10/12)

Bloomberg: Trump's Health-Care Wrecking Ball
His latest executive order, signed Thursday, will cause premiums to fall drastically for “millions of Americans,” Trump said. What he didn’t mention is that these potential savings would accrue only to people healthy enough to gamble on skimpy insurance coverage. Sicker people, left stranded in a deteriorating risk pool, would see their premiums rise. In other words: The changes would shift costs, not save money, for the health-care system. (11/12)

The Washington Post: Trump Ramps Up The Obamacare Sabotage Campaign
President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order directing his administration to ramp up its sabotage campaign against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, also known as the health-care law without which millions of needy people would lack coverage. The only good news is that the order merely instructs executive agencies to draw up some new, looser regulations, rather than immediately eroding Obamacare’s protections. The bad news is that those looser regulations may nevertheless come soon, and they could devastate the ACA’s carefully regulated marketplaces. Much depends on how reckless the leaders of agencies such as the Labor Department decide to be. (10/12)

The Wall Street Journal: Salvaging Private Health Insurance
Republicans are still trying to defuse the ticking Obama Care bomb without blowing themselves up, and on Thursday the GOP cut the first wire: President Trump signed an executive order that could begin to revive private insurance markets. More to the point, Americans may start to have more choices at a lower cost. (10/12)

The Washington Post: Trump’s Obamacare Order Could Destroy The Health-Care System
President Trump has made a lot of promises on health care. Somehow, though, I don’t remember him promising stadiums of cheering fans that he’d take away protections for preexisting conditions, increase deductibles, spike premiums, eliminate basic coverage requirements and, more generally, destabilize the individual health-insurance market. But that is what he said he’d do Thursday, when he signed an executive order on health care. (Catherine Rampell, 10/12)

Boston Globe: Donald Trump’s Health Care Order Creates Two Americas
An executive order signed by Trump on Thursday authorizes changes to Affordable Care Act regulations that are designed to create less expensive, less comprehensive health insurance plans. Health care experts predict that changing the ACA formula in that way drives younger people — who are typically healthier — to the cheaper products. (10/13)

The Charlotte Observer: Trump Has A New Plan To Kill Obamacare, And It Could Work
Donald Trump has a new way to get rid of Obamacare. This one comes without the humiliating defeats previous repeal efforts have suffered in Congress. It also might dodge the political outcry that preceded those defeats. It’s a bad idea, however, and not only because Trump’s new idea would do the same thing as Republicans’ old ideas – destabilize insurance markets and cost millions of Americans benefits and coverage. It’s a bad idea because one man shouldn’t solely decide significant domestic policy. (10/11)

Chicago Tribune: While Congress Naps, Trump Acts On Obamacare
President Donald Trump issued a sweeping executive order on Thursday that may help lower costs and create more options for many Americans who struggle to find health insurance. At the same time, the order could be another nail in Obamacare’s coffin. Nobody will know for weeks if not months how the order will pan out: Trump’s edict depends on federal agencies’ regulations to enact it. We hope the rules prompt insurers to offer new policies that attract consumers. (11/12)

The Des Moines Register: Republicans Own Obamacare, And They Should Fix It
Iowans are in big trouble if politicians adopt the philosophy of Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. He issued a statement this month in response to reports about Iowa’s “stopgap” plan — a proposal from the state insurance commissioner to stabilize the private health insurance market for Iowans who buy coverage on their own. The plan needs federal approval to move forward, but President Donald Trump told a top human-services administrator in August to reject it, according to the Washington Post. Iowa officials say they haven't heard that their proposal is dead, and Gov. Kim Reynolds has asked to speak with Trump about it. (10/12)

US News: Medicaid Expansion Comes Home To Roost
In the burst of enthusiasm that followed passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Massachusetts expanded its Medicaid program to cover tens of thousands of able-bodied adults with no children. Cooler heads warned that the bonus federal funding promised by the law would not last forever. Many also warned that supporters were wildly underestimating the increase in state costs .... Along with the Bay State, 30 others and the District of Columbia ignored these warnings. Now the birthplace of Romneycare is trying to move people off Medicaid to stave off fiscal disaster. So, yes, we told you so. (Akash Chougule, 10/11)

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