KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Blocking, Replacing Health Law; A Doc’s HPV Advice; County Wellness Plan Working

The Wall Street Journal: Beyond ‘Repeal And Replace’
Too often, the Republican Party health-care agenda seems to consist of incanting "repeal and replace" and then to stop thinking—if the thinking ever begins at all. Certainly the current Presidential field is saying little beyond promising to repeal ObamaCare, but in the nick of time Paul Ryan has provided some intellectual guidance in an important speech yesterday at Stanford's Hoover Institution.  ... he said "we cannot simply revert to the status quo" (9/28).

Houston Chronicle: Hutchison: Let's Block Obama’s Health Care Law
Earlier this year, I introduced the Save Our States (SOS) Act to halt any further implementation of the Obama health care law until a final judicial resolution has been reached by the Supreme Court….It is critical for the administration to halt the proliferation of regulations based on this flawed law. Since it is doubtful that they will do so, I will push Congress to pass my legislation to stop them before the damage and cost is beyond repair (Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, 9/27).

Chicago Tribune: Not A CLASS Act
Remember how President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders reassured Americans who were leery of their massively expensive health care expansion that it would actually cut the federal deficit? One example: a long-term care entitlement named the CLASS Act, short for a mouthful of a federal program, Community Living Assistance Services and Supports. ... Last year, before the law passed, we pointed out that CLASS was one of several accounting gimmicks used by Democrats to mask the huge costs of the health care overhaul (9/28).

USA Today: Leave Vaccine Science To The Doctors
In a few years, my 10-year-old daughter will be facing not the sexual revolution but the human papilloma virus epidemic. ... My daughter will get this vaccine. Yours should too, though that decision is ultimately between you, your daughter and your doctor — not a politician playing one on TV (Dr. Marc Siegel, 9/27).

The Seattle Times: Well, Well: Sims’ Health-Care Plan Works Out
When Ron Sims first announced six years ago that King County workers would have to shape up or pay up, his idea was denounced by some as the "wellness police" run amok. ... As we know now, King County's ballooning health-care bill did deflate. The county's health-care costs are still rising, but much slower than predicted — about $60 million slower than projected for just this year and next.  ... Though Sims was called a nanny-state socialist, what he actually was trying to do was bring the free market back into health care (Danny Westneat, 9/27).

The Dallas Morning News: A Bold Ban On Hiring Smokers
Many health care providers preach prevention, but Baylor Health Care System is taking much bolder steps. Starting Jan. 1, it will no longer hire smokers at its North Texas facilities. ... As a society, we talk a good game about how important preventive health care is, but when push comes to shove, we are quick to put convenience or political correctness ahead of the hard choices that true health care prudence requires. It’s refreshing to see a health care provider leading the way (9/27).

The Dallas Morning News: Parkland Must Succeed In ‘Last Best’ Reprieve
Parkland is the largest U.S. hospital forced into a “systems improvement agreement” to retain federal funding. This rare, stopgap measure — more commonly used for nursing homes — keeps Parkland’s doors open for a year. In that time, it must satisfy CMS-approved safety monitors that it has corrected its problems to regain compliance and to keep its federal funding. The alternative would prove tragic (9/27).

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