First Edition: August 24, 2009
Today's headlines make clear that there's still no vacation from the health care reform debate.
Ad Audit: Allies Of Obama Try To Ease Jitters About Health Care Changes
The drug industry, physicians' lobby and some backers of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul argue that the changes Congress is considering will make the health care system more stable and affordable. But the ad promises more certainty about the future than Congress is likely to be able to ensure (Kaiser Health News).
Checking In With Victor Fuchs
Victor R. Fuchs is a Stanford University Health Policy core faculty member and the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr., professor of economics and of health research and policy, emeritus. Despite being a supporter of President Barack Obama, Dr. Fuchs suggests that the president and Congress are more interested in getting a reform proposal that can pass than getting a plan that will curb health costs over the long run. Dr. Fuchs spoke recently about health care reform with Laurie McGinley, KHN Executive Editor for News (Kaiser Health News).
Senate Democrats Consider Tactic To Push Through Government Health Plan
Senate Democrats said Sunday that they were fleshing out plans to pass health legislation, particularly the option of a new government-run insurance program, with a simple majority, instead of the 60 votes that would ordinarily be needed to overcome a filibuster (The New York Times).
Health Bill's Pace Prompts Calls For Delay
President Barack Obama should re-evaluate his push to overhaul the nation's health-care system and move more slowly, key senators in the debate said Sunday (The Wall Street Journal).
Lieberman Suggests Health Care Reform May Have To Wait
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut on Sunday urged the Obama administration to consider postponing overhauling the health care system and instead work on smaller chunks of the issue until the economy improves (The New York Times).
Group Seeks Dem Pledge On Health Bill
A simple pledge to read the healthcare bill and make it available to the public three days before holding a vote is putting Democrats in a difficult bind (The Hill).
Healthcare Insurers Get Upper Hand
Lashed by liberals and threatened with more government regulation, the insurance industry nevertheless rallied its lobbying and grass-roots resources so successfully in the early stages of the healthcare overhaul deliberations that it is poised to reap a financial windfall (Los Angeles Times).
Insurers' Employees Counter Criticism
The health-insurance industry is sending thousands of its employees to town-hall meetings and other forums during Congress's August recess to try to counter a tide of criticism directed at the insurers and remain a player -- and not an outsider -- in the debate over the future of the health-care system (The Wall Street Journal).
Obama's On Vacation, But Healthcare Debate Isn't
As President Obama and his family arrived at posh Martha's Vineyard on Sunday for a weeklong vacation, a collection of lawmakers took to the airwaves to critique his healthcare overhaul and offer advice (Los Angeles Times).
Obama's Partisan Reasons For 'Bipartisan' Healthcare
It is becoming increasingly apparent that President Obama's drive for a bipartisan healthcare bill is, in fact, as much about his own party as it is Republicans (The Christian Science Monitor).
Analysis: Health Overhaul Tactics Need Overhaul
President Barack Obama still may push through an overhaul of the American health care system, but political indicators point to a needed overhaul of his own tactics for selling reform (The Associated Press).
Media Notes: Journalists Left Out Of The Debate
For once, mainstream journalists did not retreat to the studied neutrality of quoting dueling antagonists. They tried to perform last rites on the ludicrous claim about President Obama's death panels, telling Sarah Palin, in effect, you've got to quit making things up. But it didn't matter. The story refused to die (The Washington Post).
Kennedy Illness Symbol In Debate
With his own health flickering and the cause of his life within reach, Sen. Ted Kennedy is a rallying force for advocates of national health care reform (Politico).
Sign up to receive this list of First Edition headlines via email. Check out all of Kaiser Health News' email options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.