KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Perspectives: ‘Obamacare Sabatuers’ Are Driving Costs Up; States, ‘Bad Ideas’ And Insurance Markets

Opinion writers offer thoughts on the current state of play regarding the Affordable Care Act, the repeal-and-replace effort and other ideas regarding health system reform.

Detroit Free Press: How Obamacare's Saboteurs Are Raising Your Health Care Cost
Donald Trump has been predicting Obamacare's collapse since he began his presidential campaign more than two years ago — and certainly, no one has done more than he has to make that prophecy come true. But Michigan's biggest health care providers and insurers still believe the health care framework the state put in place to comply with the stringent requirements established by the Affordable Care Act can be made to work for their patients and policyholders — if Congress takes steps to shore up the support beams President Trump seems determined to sabotage. (Brian Dickerson, 8/6)

Bloomberg: States Have Some Bad Ideas For Keeping Insurers
Insurers have been pulling out of Obamacare, and that’s a problem. How big a problem depends on where you live. In some counties, no insurers may be willing to offer coverage. In others, such as the metro New York City area, competition remains robust. But when you look at the maps of coverage, the pattern is clear: Every year, the areas with deep markets shrink, and those with monopolies, near-monopolies, or no coverage at all grow. And even in relatively healthy exchanges with a fair number of choices, exits mean disruption for customers who may lose access to their current doctors. (Megan McArdle, 8/4)

Chicago Tribune: Shamed For Having A Pre-Existing Condition: How Our Leaders Add Insult To The Health Care Debate
We've e heard an awful lot about pre-existing conditions lately. In an ideal world, this would suggest a greater awareness of illnesses and the infinite issues they raise. In our world, it has meant that millions of Americans have been terrified by the potential loss of literally crucial health care. But there's been another level to this conversation too — one that's less immediate in its practical dangers, but particularly insidious in its callousness. Right now, many of our leaders are behaving like the strangers every "sick person" encounters: the ones who boldly stare, or feel obliged to share their unkind thoughts, or otherwise make people with illnesses feel somehow shamed. (Elizabeth Weitzman, 8/4)

The Washington Post: The Next Tug Of War Between The Parties On Health Care
The fight over repealing the Affordable Care Act is over — for now — and the Democratic and Republican parties are moving into a new phase of our long argument over health care. It will play out in many different places and through many different proposals and initiatives, but what it comes down to is this: Democrats are going to try to expand the number of people who get health coverage through the government, while Republicans are going to try to minimize the number of people who get that coverage, even if it means kicking off those who are already covered. (Paul Waldman, 8/4)

The New York Times: What’s Next For Progressives?
For now, at least, the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act appears dead. Sabotage by a spiteful Trump administration is still a risk, but there is — gasp! — a bipartisan push to limit the damage, with Democrats who want to preserve recent gains allying with Republicans who fear that the public will blame them for declining coverage and rising premiums. (Paul Krugman, 8/7)

Lexington Herald Leader: Get Out And Protest For What Matters, And Bring The Young
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I traveled to Lexington to be at the planned protest for Vice President Mike Pence’s visit. Pence had come to speak to a select invited group of businessmen to hear of their misfortunes with the Affordable Care Act. We wanted to remind the veep and his guests that quite a few people are expected to have trouble doing business without it — likely far more than those who have been inconvenienced. (Robert F. Moore, 8/4)

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