First Edition: January 18, 2011
Today's headlines feature reports about the upcoming repeal vote in the House as well as news about a government report that attempts to quantify the number of Americans who have preexisting conditions.
Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Making End-Of-Life Decisions Is Hard On Family Members
In her latest KHN consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: "Most people would agree that when the time comes, they want a 'good death.' But what that means is all too often left up in the air until a crisis strikes or the stricken person is no longer able to communicate his wishes or his advance planning documents are not clear. When that happens, spouses, adult children, siblings and others find themselves in the unenviable role of surrogate decision-makers, trying to divine, sometimes with very few facts and under very emotional circumstances, what people they love would have decided to do if they were able to choose" (Andrews, 1/18).
Kaiser Health News: Text: Health Law Repeal Bill And House 'Resolution' On Replacing The New Law
This document contains the text of the bill to repeal the health law and a Republican resolution "instructing certain committees to report legislation replacing" the law (1/17).
Kaiser Health News Column: A Defense Of High-Risk Insurance Pools From One Critic To The Others
In his latest KHN column, Harold Pollack writes: "From the beginning, I've been a persistent, occasionally grouchy critic of the high-risk insurance pools set up in the new federal health law. The title of my recent commentary in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 'Too Little And Thus Too Late,' summarized my general view. I'm not retracting any of these tough assessments. Yet I'm not alone in noticing the ironic partisan tinge to the criticisms now being leveled at this program" (1/17).
Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend news coverage, including reports about the GOP repeal strategy and about the latest polling and political posturing surrounding this week's repeal vote.
Los Angeles Times: GOP Set To Assail Healthcare Law And Seek Alternatives
Preparing to reengage with President Obama, House Republicans have set themselves a more ambitious goal than simply wiping out the sweeping healthcare overhaul signed into law last March. When they take up the much-anticipated repeal resolution Tuesday and Wednesday, GOP lawmakers also will begin crafting an alternative with the goal of reducing insurance premiums, expanding coverage, preserving Medicare and holding down taxes (Levey and Oliphant, 1/18).
The Wall Street Journal: House Launches Health law Challenges
Republicans in the House will press efforts to overturn the health-care overhaul this week in a vote that is largely symbolic but could kick-start substantive changes to provisions at the law's core (Adamy, 1/18).
NPR: Democrats Seek Right Message To Boost Health Law
For Republicans, the message about the new health care law has been simple: It's bad. Democrats, on the other hand, have had a much more difficult job selling the merits of the law. They have had to explain not only why the bill is good, but also what's actually in it. That has led lawmakers and President Obama on occasion to resort to reciting lengthy laundry lists of provisions. Those have often done more to confuse than to enthuse the public (Rovner, 1/17).
Politico: Democrats Seek Redo Of Health Care Pitch
Supporters of health care reform are hoping to use the GOP repeal effort this week to defend and explain the law, using a unified voice and a personal touch (Haberkorn, 1/18).
Politico: Repeal Vote Just The First Step For Republicans On Health Care
The highly anticipated vote Wednesday to repeal the health care reform bill will make headlines and count as a promise kept by House Republicans. But in the end, it's really just for show. The real work begins immediately afterward, with Republicans using every legislative and political tool at their disposal to wage a two-year campaign against the overhaul. And there won't be anything subtle about this slow-drip strategy as Republicans aim to erode public confidence in the law and, they hope, make it so politically unpalatable that even some Democrats turn against it (Budoff Brown, 1/17).
The Washington Post: Government Finds Up to Half Of Americans Under 65 Have Preexisting Conditions
As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems that are red flags for health insurers, according to an analysis that marks the government's first attempt to quantify the number of people at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or paying more for coverage (Goldstein, 1/18).
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