KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Health Law Will Leave Some Poor Families ‘In Lurch’; Mich. Gov.’s Effort To Get Health Exchange

A selection of editorials and opinions on health care from around the country.

The New York Times: A Glitch In Health Care Reform
Confusing language in the health care reform law has raised the possibility that millions of Americans living on modest incomes may be unable to afford their employers’ family policies and yet fail to qualify for government subsidies to buy their own insurance. This is a bizarre development that undercuts the basic goal of health care reform — to expand the number of insured people and make their coverage affordable. The people left in the lurch would be those who had lower incomes but were not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (8/25).

Detroit Free Press: Gov. Snyder Chooses Next-Best Option On Health Insurance Exchanges
Given the intransigence of House Republicans, Gov. Rick Snyder is making the best of a bad situation by opting to work with the federal government to bring a health insurance exchange to Michigan. The governor basically threw in the towel on a state exchange last week. The state Senate has passed a bill setting up the exchange, but House Republicans kept demurring. First, they awaited the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, hoping the court would nullify the law. When it didn't, they moved the goal line to the presidential election (8/27).

The New York Times: Fertility Services For Veterans
One of the unexpected and little-noted consequences of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been an increase in the number of service members whose battlefield wounds leave them unable to have children. One apparent reason is the type of combat: when troops on foot patrols are struck by improvised bombs, they are particularly vulnerable to pelvic injuries that damage their reproductive systems. Military records show that since 2003, more than 1,800 service members in those wars — the majority of them Army troops — have suffered such wounds (8/26).

Houston Chronicle: On Privatizing Mental Health Care
Without treatment, people with mental illnesses show up in our emergency rooms, our homeless shelters and our jails. For that, we all pay a price, and none more so than those who are in need of treatment. We recognize that states must look for innovative ways to address mental health services with the very limited resources available. ... Increasingly, states are looking at privatization of state hospital facilities as a viable option to reduce costs while improving outcomes. ... As Texans ponder the option of privatization, they must ensure that quality of care is not compromised and that contractors and their employees, regardless of the vendor selected, are held to clear standards for performance (Anita Godfrey, 8/24).

Los Angeles Times: A Wake-Up Call Following Knee Replacement
The columnist limps into the hospital on not-quite-59-year-old knees. He comes through surgery fine, but soon, complications occur (Steve Lopez, 8/25).

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