KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s OpEds: Transforming Cal. Safety Net; Medical Loss Ratio; Employee Health Benefits; Nurses’ Role In Future

State's Health Care Challenge: Transforming The Safety Net The Sacramento Bee  
It's time to prepare for the newly insured – and those left behind under reform. Estimates suggest that more than 8 million Californians may be uninsured today, and health care reform, once fully implemented in 2014, may provide coverage for the majority of those currently uninsured. But some Californians will still fall through the cracks, whether through homelessness, mental illness, undocumented-immigrant status or choice (Peter Long and Ian Morrison, 11/30).

Health Care Reform: How Companies Need To Worry Forbes 
On the flip side, the reform initiatives also underscore the necessity to re-examine social contracts between employer and employee. At this watershed moment, employers must determine how tomorrow's health benefits will help them attract and retain talent (David Bellaire and Josh Weisbrod, 11/29).

New Rules Require Insurers To Spend More On Health Care St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
Republican candidates who campaigned against health care reform have been uncharacteristically quiet on the new medical loss ratio rules. That may be because the new standard provides an immediate benefit for millions of people with private health insurance. This makes the case for repeal more difficult (11/29).

Should States Opt Out of Medicaid? Forbes 
States considering a Medicaid opt-out should keep up the pressure on Washington. The best result is that Congress addresses Medicaid's problems, block granting it and giving the states more flexibility. "Going rogue" on Medicaid should be the very last resort, but keeping the threat alive may be the best way to get what they really need (Merrill Matthews, 11/29).

Nurse-Practitioner Law Worth Legislature's Debate The Dallas Morning News 
There are 12,000 advanced practice registered nurses, whose training certifies them to see patients, make basic diagnoses and write prescriptions. In most states, these nurse practitioners are permitted to exercise the full extent of their training and expertise. But not in Texas (11/29).

For Better Health Care, Look To Nurses The Record (New Jersey) 
As the IOM notes, it is time for nurses to become full partners with all health care professionals and to have a seat at every table where decisions are being made about health care policy and practice (Susan W. Salmond and William L. Holzemer, 11/30). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.