KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Analysis Of The Health Law’s Effects Continues

Reports look at the diverse effects of the health law - from Medicare and Medicaid to the accountable care organizations.

Politico Pro: Berwick Wants To Change The Medicare Game
Don Berwick wants to change the game for Medicare and Medicaid. The CMS administrator says that a key piece of health care reform will involve changing what the system rewards - shifting from more care to better care. "The industry hits the pitch we throw, and if we set up a payment system and an environment in which doing more is a base hit, that's what they'll do," Berwick said during a wide-ranging interview at Politico's offices on Friday (Coughlin, 4/25).

The Washington Post: Lobbying Efforts Persist Long After Health Care, Financial Regulation Bills Passed
Two historic pieces of legislation, overhauling the nation's health care system and rewriting regulations governing financial institutions, passed Congress last year after heated debate and intense lobbying. But even if the bills have departed Capitol Hill, the lobbying on them has not. Companies and their backers are spending millions on lobbying hoping to roll back key provisions of the two laws, according to disclosure reports filed last week with the House and Senate (Farnam, 7/23).

The Hill: On Earth Day, Obama Administration Touts Health Care Law's Green Benefits
The new health care law is helping clean up the U.S. environment and improve public health, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement Friday. "The health of the American people is directly linked to a healthy environment," Sebelius said in a statement released to mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. "At HHS we are committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect the health of all Americans, and we recognize that ensuring a clean and healthy environment is a fundamental part of that effort" (Pecquet, 4/22).

Politico Pro: Gingrich Compares ACA To A Stagecoach
Newt Gingrich says his plan for health care reform would be a "fundamental reset" from the current model, while the reforms made by the Affordable Care Act are like "having a discussion about how to improve the stagecoach" as a means of transportation. In a speech Friday at the Brookings Institution, the former House speaker and likely Republican presidential candidate said Paul Ryan's budget plan is closer to the scale of the health care changes that are needed (Nocera, 4/22).

Kaiser Health News: Under Health Law, Colonoscopies Are Free - But It Doesn't Always Work That Way
For years, doctors have urged patients over the age of 50 to get colonoscopies to check for colorectal cancer, which kills 50,000 Americans a year. Their efforts were boosted last year by the federal health care law, which requires that key preventive services, including colonoscopies, be provided to patients at no out-of-pocket cost. But there's a wrinkle in the highly touted benefit. If doctors find and remove a polyp, which can be cancerous, some private insurers and Medicare hit the patient with a surprise: charges that could run several hundred dollars (Meyer, 4/25).

The Fiscal Times: 5 Questions For George Halvorson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente
"You tout the benefits of prepayment in ACOs (accountable care organizations). Why?" ... "People once thought that whatever care prices they were given were the right ones. A cash flow will give you more leeway to provide better care without incentivizing reentry."

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