KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s OpEds – A View From Abroad, Doctors and Medicare

It Hasn't Been Pretty  The Economist
When a bill emerges, and the president signs it into law, Democrats will hail the most significant social legislation America has enacted for decades. But the victory has a dark side. The titanic struggle has shown American democracy in a dim light (1/14).

Deja Vu Slate
The White House is always taking a "more active role" in health reform negotiations. This time it may be true (Timothy Noah and Graham Vyse, 1/14).

The Blue Pill Or The Red Pill? Forbes
With [comparative effectiveness research] set to take center stage in our cost-control efforts, policymakers must proceed cautiously and improve the science before shifting to new reimbursement policies. Choosing the blue pill now may give us a bigger headache tomorrow (Tomas J. Philpson, 1/14).

The Health Lady Has Yet To Sing The Wall Street Journal
Think back to November, when Nancy Pelosi was attempting her own clean-and-jerk of health care. It took three weeks of bribes, cajoling and threats for speaker to eke out a three-vote margin. The action is now back in the House and here's what Ways and Means don Charlie Rangel had to say about it this week: We've got "a serious problem" (Kimberly A. Strassel, 1/14).

Health-Care Reform Should Put An End To Pay-For-Delay By Drug Companies The Washington Post
A loophole in existing law allows manufacturers of brand-name drugs to pay competitors to keep cheaper, generic versions off the market. If there's to be health-care reform this year, it ought to close that loophole (1/15).

Why Doctors Are Abandoning Medicare 
Fox News
Washington, slow down and listen; reconsider what you are about to do. Physicians cannot be bullied into bankruptcy. Our system needs reform, but this is not it. If you continue on your present course, sadly, it will be our seniors that pay the price (C.L. Gray, 1/14).

Reconciling Health Bills Presents A Tough Dilemma Contra Costa Times
The most promising choice now is to enact the best possible combination of the two bills, especially keeping the public option part of the House version and eliminating most of the taxes on insurance polices in the Senate version. The likely alternative is no reform at all for many years. That would be an unfortunate loss of an opportunity to fix at least some of the nation's health care problems (1/15).

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