KHN Morning Briefing

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‘Silver Bullets, They Don’t Exist’: Burwell Warns GOP’s Health Law Promises Too Good To Be True

In what is expected to be her last speech before leaving office, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell made a final plea for the health law.

The Wall Street Journal: Departing HHS Chief Makes Plea For Preserving Affordable Care Act
Ms. Burwell, in a speech at the National Press Club, sought to shore up public support for the existing health law by poking holes in Republicans’ suggestion that they can simultaneously lower costs, save money and expand health coverage. “As for silver bullets, they don’t exist,” she said. “If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” The public comments are expected to be Ms. Burwell’s last before she leaves office Jan. 20. (Hackman, 1/9)

Morning Consult: In Farewell Remarks, Burwell Warns Of Dangers Ahead
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell warned in a speech Monday that an Obamacare replacement could be “a step backwards.” If a replacement plan does not cover as many people, maintain the quality of coverage and “keep bending the health care cost curve in the right direction,” it would leave the health care system worse off than it was before the Affordable Care Act, Burwell said in what was billed as her farewell address at the National Press Club. (McIntire, 1/9)

Kaiser Health News: HHS Secretary: Give Medicare Authority To Negotiate Drug Prices
Giving Medicare authority to negotiate drug prices is the best way to keep those spiraling costs under control for the program’s recipients, departing Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Monday. “Those drug costs are continuing to grow,” Burwell said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The question, she said, is not whether Congress should give her department the necessary power, but rather “what is the alternative?” (Bluth, 1/9)

The Washington Post: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Who Shepherded Obamacare, Talks About Its Uncertain Future
As secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the past two and a half years, Sylvia Mathews Burwell has overseen the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, the Food and Drug Administration and a wide range of social services from Head Start to family assistance programs. In a conversation with Tom Fox, Burwell discussed her concerns about impending changes to the Affordable Care Act, the presidential transition, her approach to leadership and playing basketball for President Obama’s national security adviser. (Fox, 1/9)

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