KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Medicaid Is Key To Health Law Success; OPM Weighs Changes To FEHB

Los Angeles Times: A Medicaid Opportunity
The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that 30 million Americans still will be left without health insurance in 2022, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld President Obama's healthcare plan. The part of the plan that was not upheld by the high court, however, contains the key to lowering that number (Tom Campbell, 8/7).

The Washington Post: OPM Seeks More Competition For Employee Health Plans
This could come from the "why mess with a good thing" department. The Obama administration is considering fundamental changes to the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHB), which is generally regarded as something Uncle Sam does right. ... Specifically, the OPM paper ... expresses concern about the growing dominance and market concentration of Blue Cross Blue Shield and the departure or diminished role of other health plans (Joe Davidson, 8/6).

Lexington Herald-Leader/McClatchy Newspapers: Medicare For Everyone
Under proposed single-payer systems, private doctors and hospitals would provide health care services, but the government would pay the cost from tax revenue. It is the system used in Canada and most European countries, which the World Heath Organization says offers better care for less cost than the United States does. ... Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky complains that Obama's health care law is "Europeanizing" America, but he fails to mention that those European systems provide high-quality, universal care with much less administrative cost and hassle (Tom Eblen, 8/7).

Los Angeles Times: Will Humans Lose The Battle With Microbes?
Consider an all-too-common scenario: You're burning up from a high fever after a routine surgical procedure, and an infection specialist is called to help treat your problem. You assume that a short course of antibiotics will quickly turn things around. But the specialist candidly admits: "I'm sorry, I can't treat your infection. You've got a resistant bacteria, a super bug" (Daniel J. Stone, 8/6).

Houston Chronicle: A Small Price To Pay For Students' Health
The Texas Legislature must maintain its focus on protecting our students from meningitis. Let's restore funding for our low-income students needing the vaccine. Let's make sure our colleges and universities have the public and private support they need to efficiently and cheaply immunize their students (Patsy Schanbaum and Greg Williams, 8/6).

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