KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Ryan’s Budget Called ‘Cruel’ Or ‘Sophisticated’

The New York Times: A Cruel Budget
In February, after embarrassing himself by saying he was "not concerned about the very poor," Mitt Romney explained that the government's safety net would take care of them, and he promised to repair any holes in the net. That promise didn't last very long. On Thursday, House Republicans approved, on a party-line vote, a disastrous new budget that would leave millions of struggling families desperate for food, shelter and health care — and Mr. Romney has embraced it (3/29). 

The Washington Post: Paul Ryan Unplugs The Political Third Rail
Now he has dared again. And the absence of an apocalypse is a victory of sorts. Americans are not suddenly enthusiastic about Medicare reform. But Ryan has made a sophisticated case for its necessity. His proposals have been generally embraced by congressional Republicans and the GOP's likely presidential candidate. If Mitt Romney manages to win, the presentation of Ryan's budget in 2013 would kick off a momentous national debate on the size and role of government (Michael Gerson, 3/29).

The Wall Street Journal: Calling The Budget Roll
The repudiation of Mr. Obama's budget was one of several votes this week that revealed the state of fiscal politics in this election year. Most notably, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's budget passed 228-191 on Thursday, amid Democratic chortling for the second straight year that this will cost Republicans their majority because it dares to reform Medicare. Most Republicans apparently disagree (3/29).

Politico: Ryan Budget Is Not A Balanced Approach
If we're going to address the root of our country’s mounting financial problems and ensure our long-term economic growth, we need a budget plan that negotiates revenue and spending in a strategic, comprehensive and, most important, bipartisan way. Previous bipartisan commissions that have looked at our deficit challenge, including Bowles-Simpson and Rivlin-Domenici, concluded that we cannot place America on a fiscally sustainable path without a balanced package that includes new revenue (Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. Adam Smith and Rep. Norm Dicks, 3/29).

The Wall Street Journal: Why I'm Optimistic About Cutting The Deficit
With Washington mired in partisan gridlock, presidential candidates promising tax cuts with no specific revenue offsets, and no agreement on reforms and reductions in entitlement spending, Americans are understandably worried about the nation's rising debt. Yet I'm still hopeful we'll address the nation's long-term fiscal problems. I base my optimism on three promising developments (Erskine Bowles, 3/29).

The Miami Herald: Poor Children Deserve Equal Care
When Florida and many other states began to close institutions for people with mental and developmental disorders 50 years ago, they held out great hope for families. … This promise for families has hardly been fulfilled. For many states, cheaper trumps better. … The latest example came this week in a ruling from U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard. In a decision sizzling with outrage, she ordered that Florida provide the same opportunities for help to autistic children covered by Medicaid as its own Legislature has required for children covered by private insurance (3/29). 

Medscape: Chilling New Ways Patients Are Suing Doctors
Just when you think doctors have enough to worry about with malpractice lawsuits, plaintiff attorneys are becoming more aggressive with new traps. ... Several novel approaches for bringing suit diverge from standard medical malpractice cases. Plaintiff attorneys have attempted to expand tort law to successfully sue physicians, such as "loss of chance," failure to medically monitor, and civil rights violations (Dr. Anthony Francis, 3/29).

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