KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Thoughts On The Winners And Losers In The GOP Health Proposal

For some editorial and opinion writers, the list of losers appears longer.

Los Angeles Times: How The GOP Healthcare Plan Would Worsen The Opioid Crisis
A drug epidemic is ravaging the United States, and it’s getting worse, not better. More than 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015, more than died from automobile accidents or firearms. That’s far more than died from overdoses in any year during the crack epidemic of the 1980s. (Doyle McManus, 3/15)

Louisville Courier-Journal: AHCA Numbers Don't Add Up
House Republicans introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). At a press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan called this bill “an act of mercy.” For the most vulnerable, that characterization is ironic at best. Yes, there are winners in this bill. But those who benefit would be predominantly young, healthy and less likely to need insurance or older, well off and more likely to be able to afford insurance. (Megan Foster Friedman, 3/14)

Sacramento Bee: Trumpcare: What If Health Care Were Really Market-Based? 
Markets don’t work unless consumers can compare prices. A health care plan built around free-market principles would force hospitals and doctors to disclose – publicly and clearly – their going rates for that heart bypass, knee replacement, IV drip or Caesarian section. That’s how you know House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Paul Ryan and other pushers of Trumpcare have zero interest in promoting free markets. (3/15)

WBUR: For Cash-Strapped Millennials, Trump's Health Plan Won't Bring Relief 
Like many of the young Americans who came of age during the Great Recession, I constantly worry about money. It is the governing anxiety of my life. The fiscal obligations of being a “young professional” — paying for groceries and a place to live — are daunting enough. But the questions that really make my palms sweat are far grander in scope: Will I be able to support a family one day? (Miles Howard, 3/16)

Miami Herald: Republicans Punish The Poor For Having The Nerve To Get Sick
Suddenly, there was just blood everywhere. It erupted from my father’s mouth as we sat watching television. I was still struggling to process this horror when my mother, too shaken to drive, asked me — 17 years old and still on my learner’s permit — to get us to the emergency room. Somehow, we made it. But the ER was crowded with folks like us, poor and bearing loved ones in distress. The hospital couldn’t get to my dad right away. They didn’t even have a room to put him in. (Leonard Pitts Jr., 3/14)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Republicare Cuts Women's Health Care Benefits
Conservatives across the United States pinned a target on the back of Planned Parenthood long before a doctored videotape circulated in 2015 purporting to show the organization’s abortion providers talking about harvesting fetal tissue for research. They didn’t care that the truth is only a fraction of procedures Planned Parenthood performs are abortions and that the video-makers were indicted. None of the $500 million in federal money the organization receives annually can be used for abortions. Most of Planned Parenthood’s procedures — and federal funds — are routine health care for men and women, such as mammograms, Pap smears, birth control, cancer and diabetes screenings. (3/15)

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