KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: March 24, 2011

In today's headlines, more reports about how supporters and opponents of the health law are staking out positions and taking action to advance their causes. Meanwhile, a South Dakota abortion law becomes a flashpoint.

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Rule Sparks Concerns About Patients' Access To Home Health Care
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "Home health agencies, hospitals and consumer groups are complaining that a new rule intended to curb unnecessary Medicare spending will make it harder for senior citizens to get home care services" (Galewitz, 3/24).

Kaiser Health News Column: No More Senior Moments On The Health Law
In this Kaiser Health News column, Judith Lichtman writes: "This week, my mother turns 97 and the Affordable Care Act turns one. I am 70. If the polls are to be believed, Mom and I are exceptions in our age group because we support the new health reform law. That's a triumph of fear over fact -- and it's terribly sad" (3/23).

Los Angeles Times: A Year Later, Healthcare Reform Still In Contention
Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the healthcare law that advocates said would change so much. In one sense, they were right: The battle over President Obama's signal domestic policy goal played a major role in transforming the political landscape (Oliphant, 3/24).

The New York Times' Prescriptions Blog: Polls Highlight Split On Health Care Law
One year after President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, the public remains confused about the legislation, divided on its passage and unconvinced that it will improve health care. And a significant partisan rift persists as Democrats continue to have positive reactions to the law and Republicans remain negative about it (Connelly, 3/23).

Politico: Michelle Obama Touts Health Law
Michelle Obama on Wednesday weighed in on the one-year anniversary of the health care law her husband signed into law, arguing that the changes will help parents raise a generation of "happy and healthy kids" (Parnes, 3/23).

The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire: On The Health Law's Birthday: A Lawsuit
Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the health bill into law. But the fight over the law continues, with Democrats saying the law has brought benefits to consumers, and Republicans attacking the law for its coverage mandate, which they call an assault on individual rights, and for what they say are high costs. Crossroads GPS, the conservative campaign group for which Karl Rove is an advisor, has taken its own tack: a federal lawsuit. Crossroads' law firm filed suit today against the Department of Health and Human Services for access to information regarding waivers granted or denied under the new health care law (Yadron, 3/23).

The New York Times' The Caucus: Boehner, McConnell Push Assault On Health Care Law
A year after President Obama signed his health care law into effect, the two leading Republicans in Congress are making it clear that they do not intend to let up in their assault on the historic measure. In a joint opinion article to be published in the Cincinnati Enquirer Wednesday morning, House Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, promise to continue pursuing "full repeal" of the law (Shear, 3/23). 

Politico: Anthony Weiner: Waiver Might Work For New York
Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday he was looking into how a health law waiver might work for New York City. Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city's special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense (Nocera, 3/23).

USA Today: Miscommunication Hinders Vets' Care, Study Finds
A program to help coordinate life-long care for the most severely wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may not be getting to all the people who need it because of poor communication between the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, says a government study released Wednesday (Zoroya, 3/23).

Los Angeles Times: Clinical Cancer Trials May Become More Enticing To Patients
Enrolling patients in clinical trials is one of the biggest barriers in cancer research. … Some studies never enroll enough participants to complete the project. Patients cite the complex requirements of some studies, lack of insurance coverage or just lack of awareness for not enrolling in trials. That may be changing, thanks to advances in molecular medicine, according to the author of a commentary published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine (Roan, 3/23). 

Politico: South Dakota Abortion Law Wakes Up Activists
The ramifications of sweeping new abortion restrictions in South Dakota may well be more political than practical. The new law has mobilized abortion rights activists - and been cheered by abortion rights opponents - but it's unclear what practical effect it will have in a state that already has only one abortion provider and the country's overall lowest abortion rate (Kliff, 3/23).

NPR Shots Blog: Rare Agreement On Abortion: South Dakota Law Makes Poor Test Case
When Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota signed into law Tuesday one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the nation, abortion-rights groups were quick to fill reporters' inboxes with statements condemning the measure and promises to file suit (Rovner, 3/23).

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