KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Today’s Op-Eds: Health Reform’s ‘Message Problem;’ Medicare Pay Fix; Compassion And Cost Savings In End-Of-Life Care

GOP Ideas Can Fix Health Care Reform Politico
Since the president was sworn in, Republicans have proposed a long list of ideas that would improve health care in America. It would have been nice if he had considered those ideas during the health care debate - but better late than never (Sen. John Barrasso, 11/17).

It's Not A Message Problem The Denver Post
So even before we touch on cost, the long-term affects, rationing, the way the bill was passed, or the constitutionality of reform, the very justifications for passage suffer from a serious "messaging" problem. Then again, when your messaging problem is really just an honesty problem, it's not going to get any easier (David Harsanyi, 11/17).

Time For Congress To Fix Formula For Medicare Pay The Houston Chronicle 
Democrats and Republicans currently disagree as to how to deal with the deficit implications of a permanent fix. So Congress therefore needs to separate these two issues. Tell doctors today that they don't have to worry about a fee cut that results from outdated and failed policies. Then decide later on what the bookkeeping rules ought to be so that this does or does not show up in the deficit column (Howard Brody, 11/16).

Americans Want Health Care Reform To Go Forward The Huffington Post
Polls consistently confirm that when the public hears truthful facts (as opposed to the other kind of "facts") about the health reform law, they want the benefits and support health reform. The specifics of health care reform already help people in ways that matter deeply to them (John Bouman, 11/16).

End-Of-Life Care With Compassion, Cost Savings The Spokesman-Review 
As long as patients make their desires known and health care providers abide by them, this aspect of health care spending can be reined in. That's why our system should encourage advanced-care directives by paying doctors who take the time to assist families with thoughtful discussions about end-of-life care. Currently, it only rewards testing and treatment (11/17).

Boost Insurance Industry Oversight The Virginian-Pilot
A decision to punt on insurance-industry enforcement would be short-sighted. Unless lawmakers are prepared to renege on powers they already possess for regulating insurance, they need to take responsibility for making sure changes in health care occur as smoothly as possible. In Virginia, lawmakers are already playing catch-up (11/17).

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