KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Viewpoints: Treat Heroin Like The Public Health Crisis It Is; Examining Tax-Exempt Hospitals Commitment To Charity Care

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

Stat: Some Tax-Exempt Hospitals Are Lax At Providing Charity Care, Accountability
I’ve been evaluating and investigating tax-exempt hospitals for more than a decade. Most of them work hard to meet their obligations and care for low-income patients to the best of their abilities. But when the wheels fall off at certain hospitals, they fall off badly. Such hospitals seem to forget that tax exemption is a privilege, not a right. In addition to withholding financial assistance to low-income patients, they give top executives salaries on par with their for-profit counterparts. Early on in my oversight of tax-exempt hospitals, the congressional Government Accountability Office concluded that nonprofit hospitals and for-profit hospitals were virtually indistinguishable in their levels of uncompensated care. (Sen. Chuck Grassley, 9/18)

Stat: Is There A Future For A Zika Vaccine?
When Zika does start to spread again, which seems likely, the loss of this one vaccine is unfortunate, particularly because it is from a major manufacturer. But there are numerous other Zika vaccine candidates currently in the works. While it’s not entirely clear what lies behind Sanofi Pasteur’s decision, it is worrisome, suggesting that a deeper problem is at play and highlighting one of the biggest challenges in vaccine development. (Seth Berkley, 9/18)

The Columbus Dispatch: New Bill Is Bad Medicine
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger showed common sense by putting the brakes on a bill to bar Ohio employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated against the flu. The bill was opposed by every major health-care association in Ohio, along with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. (9/19)

Seattle Times: Gates Foundation’s $120 Million Fuels PATH’S Lifesaving Work
AS Seattle recovers from the one-two punch of Amazon’s wanderlust and Mayor Ed Murray’s ignominious resignation, residents should find inspiration in the city’s thriving global-health ventures.Bill and Melinda Gates continue to raise the bar for generosity with investments in health programs saving millions of lives. (9/18)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.