KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s OpEds: Medicare’s Long-Term Liabilities; Reforming And Funding Native Health Care; Frustrations Surrounding Stem Cell Research

How ObamaCare Guts Medicare The Wall Street Journal
Under ObamaCare it will get much worse. Hospitals also will shut down or stop serving Medicare patients. … Everyone should know by now that Medicare suffers dramatic long-term deficits and unfunded liabilities, and is in need of fundamental, structural reforms. But effectively refusing to pay the doctors and hospitals that provide the medical care the program promises to seniors is no way to solve that problem (Peter Ferrara and Larry Hunter, 9/9).

More Hands For Rural Anesthesia The Denver Post
Gov. Bill Ritter is mulling whether Colorado should become the 16th state in the union to opt out of a federal Medicare rule that requires nurse anesthetists to work under the supervision of a doctor. We think he should do it. … Allowing nurse anesthetists to work without the supervision of a doctor is an acknowledgement of the difficulties that rural hospitals face in providing access to care (9/9).

Make Good On Federal Promise For Native Health Care The Seattle Times
This year's health reform includes permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), which provides the basic structure for the IHS. Before reform, Congress had let the IHCIA languish for years. By reauthorizing the IHCIA, the federal government reconfirmed its moral and legal obligation to provide health services to Indian people. But Congress didn't include funding in the legislation. This has to happen through the appropriations process. … Otherwise, the promises made in health reform will soon look like old history (Ralph Forquera, 9/8).

State Health Exchange Will Slash, Not Boost, Choice San Francisco Examiner
Anticipating repeal, states are using a variety of tactics to oppose Obamacare, but in California the Legislature is trying to rush it into existence. That should concern every Californian, especially Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (John R. Graham, 9/9).

Finally There's Health Insurance For Addictions
For afflicted families, the good news is that the bill signed into law by President Obama on March 23 includes addiction and mental health services in its basic benefits package, and is being broadly praised by treatment, prevention and recovery leaders (William C. Van Ost, 9/9).

Keep Funding Stem Cell Research CNN
Biomedical research is complicated. For patients, the pace of progress can be frustratingly slow. Two announcements last month -- one about biomarkers, the other about stem cell research -- left many of us feeling that for every promising discovery, there are even greater setbacks. … As a person with Parkinson's, it's hugely frustrating to think that one decision can actively hold back research that holds promise to transform lives (Michael J. Fox, 9/8).

Tomorrow's Medicare – The Efficient Hybrid? Kaiser Health News
Given the seeming political equilibrium that has given rise to Medicare's hybrid structure, most or all of tomorrow's beneficiaries will likely be able to choose between public and private options. A shift to competitive bidding can help deliver those benefits more efficiently (Austin Frakt, 9/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.