KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Romney’s Myopic View Of Entitlements; Medicaid Reform In N.Y.; ‘Dumping’ Children In Fla. Nursing Homes

The New York Times: Thurston Howell Romney
You could say that the entitlement state is growing at an unsustainable rate and will bankrupt the country. ... But these are not the sensible arguments that Mitt Romney made at a fund-raiser earlier this year. Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. ... The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees (David Brooks, 9/17). 

The New York Times: New York's Medicaid Reforms
New York State has substantially changed its Medicaid program in the past year and a half in ways likely to improve the health of its poorest residents and rein in the program's enormous costs. ... New York could serve as a model to other states if it can show which reforms work, which don’t, and what their combined effects are on statewide spending (9/17). 

Los Angeles Times: One Battle In The War Against Health-Insurer Insensitivity
Kevin Roberts, 36, has been battling insurance-industry insensitivity since last year on behalf of his 6-year-old daughter, Aubrey, who has autism. What should have been a relatively simple matter has ballooned into complaints to the California Department of Managed Health Care, failed attempts at arbitration and a seeming reluctance on the part of Roberts' insurer, Aetna, to simply sit down and hash things out (David Lazarus, 9/18).

The Wall Street Journal: A Major Glitch For Digitized Health-Care Records 
We fully share the hope that health IT will achieve the promised cost and quality benefits. As applied researchers and evaluators, we actively work to realize both goals. But this will require an accurate appraisal of the technology's successes and failures, not a mixture of cheerleading and financial pressure by government agencies based on unsubstantiated promises (Stephen Soumerai and Ross Koppel, 9/17). 

Miami Herald: Don't Rear Children In Nursing Homes
The state can be a savior for children whose families face challenges in raising them. But it can be a lousy parent, too. The U.S. Department of Justice has slammed the state of Florida for dumping sick and disabled children in nursing homes designed for the elderly. This is a gross violation of the children's civil rights under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. What the Justice Department found is shocking: Hundreds of children, some from the time of infancy, are growing up in nursing homes, isolated from others and receiving little education or socialization (9/17).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Active Lifestyle Key To Good Health, Weight Control
Every day we get inundated with information about what to eat, but unfortunately, that information is often confusing and conflicting. Eat a diet high in carbohydrate and low in fat. No wait.  Eat a diet low in carbohydrate and high in fat. I don't blame the public for being confused. What is the best diet? You may be surprised to know that the best diet for you depends on whether you are an athlete or a couch potato (James O. Hill, 9/17).

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