KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: AARP’s Agenda On Health Law; Cuccinelli ‘Demeaning’ Va. AG’s Office; Government’s Health Care Role

Politico: AARP Sells Out Seniors For 'Obamacare'
President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak Friday via satellite to a convention sponsored by AARP. ... here are five facts you're unlikely to hear from the president, or AARP, about how each treats seniors: First, while AARP poses as a disinterested senior advocate, it functions as an insurance conglomerate, with a liberal lobbying arm on the side. AARP depends on profits, royalties and commissions to make up more than 50 percent of its annual revenues (Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., 9/21).

The Wall Street Journal: The Love Song Of AARP And Obama 
How can that lobby claim to speak for American seniors given its partisan role in passing ObamaCare? Thanks to just-released emails from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, we now know that AARP worked through 2009-10 as an extension of a Democratic White House, toiling daily to pass a health bill that slashes $716 billion from Medicare, strips seniors of choice, and sets the stage for rationing (Kimberley A. Strassel, 9/20).

Los Angeles Times: Anthem's Tip For Better Health: Try This Ice Cream 
Hoping to inspire better diets among its members, the insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross is sending out money-saving coupons. But it's pushing processed sandwich meat, mayonnaise and even ice cream. ... If you're going to promote wellness, why not go all-in? Provide incentives to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, or fresh meat and fish (David Lazarus, 9/20).

The Washington Post: Ken Cuccinelli Bullies A State Board Into Surrender
In three years as Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R) has demeaned his office by using it as a blatantly partisan bully pulpit to attack Obamacare, illegal immigrants, homosexuals and climate-change scientists. Now he has managed to bully Virginia's Board of Health into a stance — unprecedented in state history — that could force most of the commonwealth’s 20 or so abortion clinics to close (9/20).

Journal of the American Medical Association: The Role of Government: To Help The People Who Need Our Help The Most
The ACA is resulting in new regulations that some clinicians and institutions find concerning. But the law was passed in part because the private sector was unable to address the nation's escalating health care costs and comparatively poor outcomes. If the nation depends on a healthy citizenry for economic success, then strategies for reducing the number of uninsured people and improving access to safe, quality, equitable health care are imperative. The ACA lays the foundation for achieving both by expanding and reforming health insurance coverage. And it does more (Diana Mason, 9/20).

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