KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: October 26, 2010

In today's headlines, more reports from the campaign trail -- highlighting how tempers and politics continue to flare around health overhaul issues.  

Some Hill Races Could Hinge On Seniors Anger Over Medicare
Reporting for Kaiser Health News in collaboration with USA Today, Marilyn Werber Serafini writes: "As emotions run high over the law, anger and fear about its impact on Medicare - whether founded or not - could be a deciding factor in some particularly close congressional races, especially in areas where there are large numbers of seniors, say political analysts such as Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. 'It could make a difference in any one of these races,' he said" (Kaiser Health News). Watch the related video
Insuring Your Health: High Risk Pools For People With Medical Issues Start Slowly
In her latest Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: "This summer, new health insurance programs aimed at people with preexisting medical conditions began accepting applications around the country. The plans target one of the key promises of the health-care overhaul: Everyone, even people with checkered medical histories that may make them uninsurable under the current system, can get coverage" (Kaiser Health News).

Divide On Federal Deficit Likely To Grow After Election
A midterm campaign that has turned heavily on the issue of the mounting federal debt is likely to yield a government even more split over what to do about it, people in both parties say, with diminished Democrats and reinforced Republicans confronting internal divisions even as they dig in against the other side (The New York Times).

Poll: GOP Voters Far More Fired Up Than Democrats
One week before Election Day, Democrats face a record-setting "enthusiasm gap" that positions energized Republicans to score sweeping victories in next week's congressional elections, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds (USA Today). 

Paul Lambastes Health Care, Financial Overhauls
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul slammed President Barack Obama's overhaul of health care and Wall Street regulation with opponent Jack Conway firing back on Monday that Paul was looking for a $2,000 Medicare deductible and a national sales tax (The Associated Press/Washington Post).

NY Governor Candidates Seek Medicaid Spending Trim
New York's major candidates for governor shared their ideas Monday for letting some air out of the Medicaid balloon in New York, which spends more on the federal health care program for low-income people than Texas, Florida and Michigan combined (The Associated Press/Washington Post). 

Labor Holds Nose, Back Former Foes
Big Labor's big threat to punish misbehaving Democrats has largely evaporated in the heat of the midterms, as unions now scramble to rescue incumbents they once pilloried for opposing health care reform (Politico). 

Challenge Against Abortion-Funded Ads To Go Forward In Ohio
A federal judge in Ohio on Monday declined to hear a challenge against that state's law against "false statements," setting up a hearing Thursday on an anti-abortion-rights group's ads against incumbent Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio (The Hill's Healthwatch Blog).

Conflict Over Health Benefits Brochure
A requirement that insurers summarize their health plans in a short brochure has led to a drawn-out clash between industry and consumer advocates over how to best define health insurance benefits (Politico).

Prevention Task Force Cancels November Meeting; Would Have Included Prostate Screening Vote
The United States Preventive Services Task Force has canceled a meeting set for early next month at which the thorny issue of prostate-cancer screening was due for a vote (The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog).

Push For Better Ways To Share E-Health Records
Think you entered the digital health age when your doctor switched from paper charts to computerized medical records? Think again: An e-chart stored in one doctor's computer too often can't be read by another's across town (The Associated Press). 

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