KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Sanders’ Plan: Medicare On Steroids

The benefits included in Sen. Bernie Sanders' health care plan are actually considerably more generous than what is offered through Medicare. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton is in New Hampshire calling the proposal a liberal fairy tale that would lead to "gridlock."

The Associated Press: Sanders Plan Would Be More Generous Than Medicare
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says his plan for a government-run health care system from cradle to grave is like Medicare for all. But with full coverage for long-term care, most dental care included, no deductibles and zero copays, the Sanders plan is considerably more generous. Think of it as Medicare on growth hormones. Setting aside ideological issues, the scope of Sanders' plan and its lack of detail have raised questions about its seriousness. Some health care experts see it mainly as a political document to distinguish Sanders' revolutionary ideas from Hillary Clinton's incremental approach. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/21)

The Washington Post: Bill Clinton Sharpens Contrast Between Sanders And ‘Change Maker’ Hillary
Bernie Sanders may be leading a “political revolution,” but according to former president Bill Clinton, the real “change maker” is his wife, Hillary. Sounding like the spouse of a candidate running behind, Clinton pleaded with New Hampshire Democrats to deliver his family yet another win. ... While Clinton said his wife would preserve President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and improve it, he portrayed the Medicare-for-all, single-payer plan that Sanders has proposed as a liberal fairy tale. (Rucker, 1/20)

The New York Times: Bill Clinton Warns Of ‘Gridlock’ Under Bernie Sanders’s Health Care Plan
Bill Clinton acknowledged he was in Senator Bernie Sanders’s backyard as he took the stage Wednesday in New Hampshire. “I know we’re running against one of your neighbors,” Mr. Clinton told the crowd at a campaign rally in Concord. So, as he laid out the differences between Mr. Sanders and Hillary Clinton, he did so with compliments before dwelling on the contrasts. ... But on health care, he took a more direct criticism of Mr. Sanders’s plan: “I don’t want to talk about the merits, I want to talk about the practical reality here.” ... "It’s a recipe for gridlock.” (Corasaniti, 1/20)

In other 2016 election news, Ohio Gov. John Kasich praises New Hampshire for its Medicaid expansion and other GOP candidates have personal stories of addiction but offer few solutions —

The Associated Press: GOP Candidate Kasich Addresses NH House Ahead of Primary
Ohio Gov. John Kasich praised the New Hampshire Legislature on Wednesday for expanding Medicaid under the president's health care overhaul law — a rare move for GOP presidential contender — saying that the decision saved lives. "I took $14 billion dollars over the next two years back to Ohio from Washington to meet our challenges, and you did it here. I want to compliment you for it," Kasich told the 400-member body. "Lives have been saved; people have some hope." (1/20)

The Boston Globe: Presidential Candidates Relate Tales Of Addiction, But Are Short On Answers
On the stump, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina regularly recount struggles within their own families over drug addiction. A viral video of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaking about the overdose death of a close friend gave his campaign a boost in the Granite State. But even as they strike powerful emotional chords about the toll of drug abuse, a review of candidates’ statements and policy outlines shows that few offer concrete proposals to combat the national scourge of opiate addiction. (Jan, 1/20)

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