KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Reviews Of The GOP Health Plan Are In — And Mixed

Opinion and editorial writers offer their takes on the Republican's American Health Care Act.

The New York Times: The Fake Freedom Of American Health Care
Last week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the new Republican health plan would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million people within a decade, mostly because changes in regulations, subsidies and Medicaid coverage would make insurance too expensive for them. Republican leaders seem unfazed by this, perhaps because, in their minds, deciding not to have health care because it’s too expensive is an exercise of individual free will. (Anu Partanen, 3/18)

Boston Globe: Ditch Obamacare, And Don’t Stop At That
The Ryan plan is indeed deeply flawed — not because it obliterates Obamacare, but because it doesn’t.Rather, it’s only the latest turn in a long saga of health care “reforms” that have constricted choice, disempowered consumers, banished price awareness, eliminated competition, and discouraged innovation. The results are all around us: skyrocketing medical costs, mounting economic pressures on employers, employees, doctors, and patients — and a political obsession with providing insurance, rather than with producing good health. (Jeff Jacoby, 3/19)

RealClear Policy: GOP Health Plan Reduces The Deficit, But Leaves Millions Without Care
For more than seven years, Republicans obstructed and rallied their base with the idea that Obamacare was “America slouching toward socialism.” What’s more, Republicans promised they would repeal and replace President Obama’s signature legislation with a better way. Repeal and replace was a great message, but GOP leadership failed to craft serious replacement legislation. And now we’ve learned that their rallying cry was only that — a good campaign mantra. (Harold Ford Jr., 3/20)

Modern Healthcare: The American Health Care Act's Hidden Costs Will Hurt Everyone
It's time to start calling the American Health Care Act by its true name—the Force Older and Poorer Americans to Postpone Health Care Act. That is what the legislation promoted by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan would accomplish. And that, in turn, would wind up costing the federal government and the nation's employers a ton of money, none of which was included in the Congressional Budget Office's score of the bill. (Merrill Goozner, 3/18)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: GOP Health Care Bill Misses The Mark
The key problem with the draft House health care bill is that it fails to correct the features of Obamacare that drove up health insurance costs. Instead, it mainly tweaks Obamacare’s financing and subsidy structure. Basically, the bill focuses on protecting those who gained subsidized coverage through the law’s exchange subsidies and Medicaid expansion, while failing to correct Obamacare’s misguided insurance regulations that drove up premiums for Americans buying coverage without government subsidies. (Edmund Haislmaier, 3/18)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Verdict On GOP Health Care Bill: Pretty Terrible
The Republican Party is reaping the homogenized “rewards” of its recent push toward ideological purity. The tea party wave has led to a party of extremes and inexperience — it has driven out the nuanced thinkers, the people with institutional knowledge of how to run a government and the actual policy wonks. (Emily Mills, 3/18)

Cincinnati Enquirer: Repealing Affordable Care Act Will Be More Costly Long Term
This preventive care, which is the cornerstone of family medicine, reduces long-term complications, such as heart attacks and stroke, which are far more difficult to treat and costly to the U.S. taxpayers. The potential short-term cost savings of repealing the Affordable Care Act will be significantly overturned by the costs of the uninsured receiving their care in ERs and prolonged hospitalizations. Kentucky and Ohio, in particular, need this accessible health care more than ever, as reflected by this region's epidemiology. (Samina Sohail, 3/17)

Lexington Herald Leader: Trump Selling Bad Health Plan
President Donald Trump is coming to Louisville Monday to tout a plan that doesn’t just roll back access to health care for all the people who gained it in recent years, including 500,000-plus Kentuckians. Trump also is defaulting on a commitment made a half-century ago to care for our most vulnerable: poor people who are elderly, disabled, pregnant or very young. This attack on traditional Medicaid goes far beyond Republican promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act; it is cruel and contrary to what candidate Trump promised when he tweeted “no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.” (3/17)

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