KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Thoughts On A Washington Agenda: CHIP Funding, Medicare’s Safety Net, Medicaid And The ACA

Writers around the country offer some insights into Washington's efforts on health policy.

The Houston Chronicle: Renew CHIP Even Though Kids Don't Make Campaign Donations
Maybe Congress thinks that kids won't need to see the doctor. Asthma cases will clear up, tumors will spontaneously go into remission and sick days from school will become a thing of the past. That must be what's going on up in Washington, because we can't think of any other reason why Congress would have let the Children's Health Insurance Program expire at the end of last month. The federal-state insurance program helps guarantee that kids in low- and middle-income families don't go without important health care. (10/4)

The Baltimore Sun: Congress Can't Even Handle Health Care For Kids
The fate of the Affordable Care Act may be deeply divisive, but there’s one aspect of the health care system that retains broad support across the political spectrum — the Children’s Health Insurance Program. ... But Congress is so screwed up that, as of last weekend, it allowed the program to expire. A bipartisan deal was in the works in the Senate, but Republicans in both chambers got distracted by yet another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the deadline to re-authorize funding for CHIP passed on Saturday. (10/3)

Arizona Republic: CHIP Funding Vote In Congress Puts 22,000 Arizona Kids At Risk
Our leaders allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program – in Arizona, we call it KidsCare – to expire on Saturday, the end of the federal budget year. While many states have enough in reserve to cover until next summer, Arizona is among 10 states set to run out of money by the end of the year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Laurie Roberts, 10/4)

The Hill: Unjust GOP Budget And Tax Plan Cuts The Safety Net For Seniors
Tomorrow the House will vote on its 2018 budget resolution. Leadership says it has the votes to pass. That’s unfortunate, as it signifies that a majority of House Republicans favor a Robin Hood-in-reverse budget that cuts programs for the poor and elderly to give tax cuts to the rich. ... One has to wonder why, at a time of the worst wealth and income inequality since the 1920s, the party in power wants to shower the top 1 percent and profitable corporations with tax breaks — paid for by slashing safety net programs. (Max Richtman, 10/4)

Forbes: Better Medicare For Those With Chronic Disease
The Senate has quietly and unanimously passed a bill that would improve some Medicare benefits for people with chronic disease. The measure would do many good things but the most important is this: It would take important steps toward breaking down the wall between medical treatment and non-medical supports and services in Medicare, beginning a process that would make it much easier for frail seniors to receive the right care when they need it. (Howard Gleckman, 10/4)

Chicago Tribune: Medicaid Still A Target Of Health Care Reform
Despite its importance to so many people, Medicaid has always been the health system's stepchild. Many doctors and dentists have avoided taking Medicaid patients saying the program didn't pay enough. Until recently, editors haven't been keen to feature stories about Medicaid believing that their audience was not interested in reading about people most likely to be on the program — the poor, the disabled, kids, and seniors who needed it to pay for their nursing home care. ... So what is this program that affects so many and will undoubtedly surface again either later this year or next as a political football? (Trudy Lieberman, 10/4)

Forbes: Iowa, Where The ACA Is Failing Massively, Tries A Creative But Unlawful Fix
The inherent architectural problems of the Affordable Care Act, coupled with the failure of the Trump administration to prop it up vigorously, has left the individual health insurance market in shambles in many states. One of the states suffering greatly is Iowa. The plan Iowa has developed to salvage its insurance market -- the Iowa Stopgap Measure -- suffers three major flaws, however. (Seth Chandler, 10/4)

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