KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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For Clinton And Sanders, Health Care Policies Are Emerging As ‘Wedge’ Issue

For Democrats, health care policies -- including buzz words such as "universal coverage" or the "public option" -- are proving to be a divisive issue this election season. Meanwhile, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius endorses Hillary Clinton.

The Associated Press: Health Care Issue, Longtime Uniter Of Democrats, Now Divides
Health care for all. It's a goal that tugs at the heartstrings of Democrats, but pursuing it usually invites political peril. Now Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are clashing over this core question for liberals, making it a wedge issue in the party's presidential primary. It's a choice between his conviction that a government-run system would be fairer and more affordable, and her preference for step-by-step change at a time of widespread skepticism about federal power. (2/22)

NPR: Sanders Health Plan Renews Debate On Universal Coverage
When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stumps for health care for everyone, it always gets huge applause. "I believe that the U.S. should do what every other major country on earth is doing," he told a crowd at Eastern Michigan University on Feb. 15. "And that is, guarantee health care to all people as a right." The Democratic presidential hopeful basically wants to nationalize the U.S. health insurance industry, and have Uncle Sam foot the bill for medical bills, office visits and prescriptions. (Kodjak, 2/23)

Politico: Clinton Revives Support For Health Care 'Public Option'
Hillary Clinton wants to bring back the public option, offering a competing vision to Bernie Sanders’ support for a more progressive health care system. Clinton's campaign has updated its website to note her continued support for the government-run health plan that was dropped from Obamacare during the law's drafting. The idea was popular among progressives who prefer a single-payer plan -- like the one Bernie Sanders is touting. (Diamond and Pradhan, 2/22)

Politico: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius Endorses Clinton
Hillary Clinton picked up the support of former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday. "I just feel that she's the only person, frankly, in the field of candidates who has the experience and background that prepares her nationally and internationally to be the leader of the country," the former governor of Kansas told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "As a mother, a grandmother and a former public servant, who had the privilege of serving with Hillary in the president's Cabinet, I can think of nothing more important than ensuring our next president is someone who will protect and build upon the progress made by President Obama over the past eight years." (Gass, 2/22)

And regarding how congressional leaders see GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump —

The New York Times: Kevin McCarthy, G.O.P. House Leader, Says He Could Work With Donald Trump
Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California and the House majority leader, said on Monday that he would be able to work with Donald J. Trump as the party’s presidential nominee, the latest signal of acceptance from national figures of the billionaire real estate developer. “I think I’ll work with Donald Trump,” Mr. McCarthy said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, adding, “I think I can work with anyone that comes out to be the nominee.” That includes Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who helped egg on a government shutdown over efforts to defund President Obama’s signature health care law, according to Mr. McCarthy. (Haberman, 2/22)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.