First Edition: July 6, 2012
Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including President Barack Obama's defense of the health law on the campaign trail and an examination of how Mitt Romney viewed the Massachusetts requirement for health insurance:
Kaiser Health News: Kentucky Public Health Expert Says Diabetes Epidemic 'Really Requires Community Action And Support'
Writing for Kaiser Health News, Frank Browning interviews Dr. Gilbert Friedell who says: "We know what we have to do to prevent Type II diabetes and how to maintain a reasonable level of personal performance. We know these things. But, if we’re so smart, how come we haven’t fixed the diabetes problem? The answer is we’re still relying on individual approaches where it really requires community action and support” (Browning, 7/7). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: High CEO Pay Doesn’t Boost Hospital Quality; How Many Will Remain Uninsured If States Don’t Expand Medicaid?; Medicaid Expansion Already An Issue In Some Gubernatorial Races
Now on KHN's health blog, Jay Hancock examines a New Hampshire study that finds "'virtually no correlation between hospital [CEO] pay and either quality or cost' at nonprofit health systems.
Also Marilyn Werber Serafini writes, "Since the Supreme Court ruled that states won’t be required under the health law to expand Medicaid, Washington has been buzzing with estimates about the numbers of poor people who could be left uninsured. ... Today, the Urban Institute released a more detailed estimate with state breakdowns that looks only at those likely to be left uninsured if a state chooses not to expand Medicaid." Phil Galewitz reports that "experts say the health law – and specifically, whether states should opt into an expansion of Medicaid to cover more low-income people – is expected to come up" in gubernatorial races this year.
Los Angeles Times: Obama Takes The Offensive On His Healthcare Law
A week after the Supreme Court upheld most of President Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, the politics of healthcare held center stage in the presidential campaign, shoving aside the economic debate that has dominated most of the last several months. In a notable shift of tactics after months of talking only minimally about healthcare in public, Obama went on the offensive Thursday and emphasized the law during a campaign bus trip through the crucial swing state of Ohio. As he did so, his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was on the defensive, under attack from leading conservatives for purported failures in handling the issue (Parsons and Landsberg, 7/5).
The Washington Post: Obama On Health Care: 'The Law I Passed Is Here To Stay'
President Obama declared victory Thursday in the two-year fight over his health care reform bill, declaring at a campaign rally that "the law I passed is here to stay." Obama told a crowd of about 500 supporters in this town just south of Toledo that he was willing to work with critics to improve the legislation that requires all Americans to purchase health care. But he vowed that there was no turning back on the law (Nakamura, 7/5).
Politico: Obama: Health Care Law 'Is Here To Stay'
President Obama said that repealing his signature health care law is not an option. ... In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision last week upholding the law, Republicans have vowed to renew their efforts to get rid of the law. But Obama defend the provisions in his law as benefiting Americans — and keeping insurance companies from abusing their power (Epstein, 7/5).
The Washington Post: Obama Meets Natoma Canfield, Ohio Woman Whose Letter Inspired Him On Health Care
After the Supreme Court upheld his health care law last week, President Obama thanked Natoma Canfield in a televised address to the nation. On Thursday, he thanked her in person. Canfield, a cancer survivor, wrote a plaintive letter to Obama in December 2009 after losing her health insurance, a note the president hung on the wall of the Oval Office. "I carried Natoma's story with me every day of the fight to pass this law," Obama said last week (Nakamura, 7/5).
Politico: Sobbing Woman Thanks Obama For Health Care Law
An emotional Ohio voter personally thanked President Obama for passing a health care overhaul, relating the story of her late sister's battle with cancer. After Obama's speech in Sandusky, he encountered a sobbing Stephanie Miller, who later told reporters about her encounter with Obama. "I thanked him for the getting the Affordable Health Act passed," Miller said (Tau and Epstein, 7/5).
The New York Times: Romney Sees 'Political Consideration' In Chief Justice's Health Care Vote
Mitt Romney seemed to challenge the motivation behind the decisive vote by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to uphold the Affordable Care Act, saying reports that the justice switched his vote suggested that the ruling was based on a "political consideration" rather than a legal judgment. "It gives the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional foundation, but instead political consideration about the relationship between the branches of government," Mr. Romney said in an interview with CBS that was broadcast on Thursday morning (Barbaro, 7/5).
The New York Times: In Defending His Health Care Plan, Romney Often Called Its Mandate A Tax
As the Massachusetts governor and then as a presidential candidate, Mr. Romney spent the next six years describing in a variety of different ways the possible punishments for ignoring the Massachusetts mandate: as "free-rider surcharges," "tax penalties," "tax incentives" and sometimes just as "penalties." But regardless of the terms he used, his intentions were clear: Massachusetts residents who chose not to buy health insurance would see their state income taxes go up. ... Both his plan and Mr. Obama's use the threat of higher taxes to motivate people to buy insurance. But Mr. Romney is seeking to draw a sharp distinction between the two, criticizing the president's approach with the same language that he once happily applied to his own achievement (Shear and Parker, 7/5).
NPR: Medicaid Expansion: Who's In? Who's Out?
In the week since the Supreme Court upheld almost all of President Obama's health care law, some of the biggest action has been on the Medicaid front, where the administration definitely lost. ... The Affordable Care Act, as written, would have required states to provide Medicaid coverage to adults, whether they have children or not, with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Now that expansion is optional, and it's unclear how many uninsured people will ultimately gain coverage under the law (Hensley, 7/5).
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