KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Obamacare A ‘Big Plus’?; What Happened To GOP Anger Over Health Law?

The New York Times: Not The Election They Were Expecting
How did that happen? Partly it's because this has become such an ideological election — much more so than 2008. … And let me add a speculation: I suspect that in the end Obamacare is turning out to be a big plus, even though it has always had ambivalent polling. The fact is that Obama can point to a big achievement that will survive if he is reelected, perish if he isn’t; health insurance for 50 million or so Americans (30 million from the ACA, another 20 who would lose coverage if Romney/Ryan Medicaid cuts happen) is enough to cure people of the notion that it doesn’t matter who wins (Paul Krugman, 9/27).

The Washington Post: Where Is Republican Anger Over Obama's Health-Care Law?
What ever happened to the political power of Republican anger over President Obama's health-care reform? GOP candidates used anxiety over changes to the nation’s health-care system — which they derisively called "Obamacare" — to win big in the 2010 midterm elections. Earlier this year, it was conventional wisdom that Obama could not withstand the political rage against health-care reform in a general election (Juan Williams, 9/27).

USA Today: Contraception Is An Economic Issue
Republican state legislatures passed a record-setting number of abortions restrictions in 2011 and 2012, and Congress spent inordinate amounts of time passing go-nowhere abortion bans and contraception restrictions, and trying to gut Planned Parenthood's budget, even threatening twice to shut down the government rather than continue providing contraception subsidies. But should anyone try to make political hay out of these attacks on women, they are immediately accused of trying to distract the voters from the real issues. For women, having their full rights isn't a distraction, it is a real issue (Amanda Marcotte, 9/27).

The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare's Tax Raid On Medical Devices
The Supreme Court decision in June upholding the Affordable Care Act leaves in place a tax on medical devices that threatens thousands of American jobs and our global competitiveness. It will also stifle critical medical innovation in the industry that gave us defibrillators, pacemakers, artificial joints, stents, chemotherapy delivery systems and almost every device we depend on to save lives (Evan Bayh, 9/27).

The New York Times: A Duty Of Health Care Workers
Health care workers should know better than anyone that it is important to get vaccinated against the flu virus to protect their own health and prevent the possibility of infecting patients. There were some encouraging signs in an analysis issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that doctors and nurses are beginning to get the message. But other health care workers — a broad group that includes clinical personnel like nurse practitioners and physician assistants and various nonprofessional aides and assistants — show remarkable indifference to performing what ought to be considered their civic duty (9/27). 

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