KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Selection Of Opinions And Editorials

Baucus And The Threshold The New York Times
There's enough wrong with the Baucus proposal as it stands to make it unworkable and unacceptable. But that said, Senator Baucus's mark is better than many of us expected. If it serves as a basis for negotiation, and the result of those negotiations is a plan that's stronger, not weaker, reformers are going to have to make some hard choices about the degree of disappointment they're willing to live with (Paul Krugman, 9/17).

Rationing? Not My Kid! Newsweek
For reasons I will leave to the sociologists to parse, Americans believe that there is no such thing as too much treatment. That, of course, ignores the fact that few treatments are without risk and that every time the medical system gets its hands on you there is another possibility of medical error (which kills as many as 98,000 Americans each year) (Sharon Begley, 9/16).

Public Health Reform Option Would Hurt State Budgets The Detroit News
A new public insurance program run by the feds will poach customers from private insurers, driving many out of business in the process. And if there are fewer private insurance companies -- and fewer privately insured consumers -- state insurance tax revenues will dwindle (Janet Trautwein, 9/18).

Mandatory Insurance Is Unconstitutional Wall Street Journal
Federal legislation requiring that every American have health insurance is part of all the major health-care reform plans now being considered in Washington. Such a mandate, however, would expand the federal government's authority over individual Americans to an unprecedented degree. It is also profoundly unconstitutional (David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey, 9/18).

A Cancer Survivor's Take On Health Care Reform The NewsHour
Finding health insurance with a pre-existing condition like non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma isn't something I'm looking forward to. But I won't be covered by my family's plan forever -- which makes what Washington decides to do with healthcare an issue of more than keen interest (Colette Jaycox, 9/17). 

How The U.S. Health Care Debate Benefits Britain The Telegraph
The result of President Obama's attempt at reform may be an international reality check about ballooning costs (Peter Pallot, 9/17).

Is Abortion Health Care, Or Is It Not? The Washington Times
Lost in the debate over whether or not abortion "is in there" -- whether or not you can flip to a certain page and point to a particular clause related to abortion funding -- is an understanding among political elites that this is a watershed battle over definition. It's existential, if you will, and comes down to a very straightforward question: Is abortion health care, or is it not? (Charmaine Yoest, 9/18).

Does He Lie? The Washington Post
Herewith three examples within a single speech -- the now-famous Obama-Wilson "you lie" address to Congress on health care -- of Obama's relationship with truth (Charles Krauthammer, 9/18).

Get Tough On Profits Over Patients The Philadelphia Inquirer
When it comes to health care, no one should come between doctor and patient -- not the government, and certainly not insurance companies. But what if it's pharmaceutical companies that are blocking you from the most effective medical care -- by misleading doctors so that they prescribe drugs for the wrong purposes? Worse yet, what if the doctors are getting kickbacks, in the form of golf or resort outings, to write those prescriptions (9/18)? This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.