Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Medicaid Expansion Becoming More Politically Palatable As Link To Obama Administration Fades In People’s Minds

KHN Morning Briefing

Red states are noticing the benefits their neighbors reaped by expanding the program, and are slowly warming up to it themselves. “There’s been a ton of evidence showing large gains in health care coverage, while helping states economically and keeping rural hospitals open,” said Connie Farrow, spokeswoman for Healthcare for Missouri. “And it hasn’t hurt state budgets. It remains a really good deal for states to cover hundreds of thousands of people.” Medicaid news comes from Wyoming, Idaho and Florida, as well.

A Look Back At The Legacy Left Behind Following Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson’s Death

KHN Morning Briefing

Kaiser Permanente Chief Executive Bernard Tyson, one of a few top black executives of major U.S. for-profit or nonprofit corporations, is remembered as an influential voice on issues of race relations and health policy. But his tenure at Kaiser Permanente wasn’t without strife. In other health industry news: a canceled merger, a promotion at UnitedHealth Group, and a possible acquisition.

Bernie Sanders Secures Coveted Endorsement From Powerful Nurses Union

KHN Morning Briefing

The National Nurses United enthusiastically threw its weight behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 presidential campaign due to his “Medicare for All” plan, so it was unlikely the union would go for anyone else in the current primary contest. Union members, though, say that while they support Sanders, they won’t be going negative in attacks against his rivals. Meanwhile, KHN fact checks Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) claims about out-of-pocket spending.

‘To Err Is Human’ Initiative Set A Goal Of Curbing Preventable Medical Errors 20 Years Ago. But Hospitals Are Still Struggling.

KHN Morning Briefing

“Everyone sat up and said: ‘Wow, we’re not very good. Not only are we very expensive, we kill a lot of people,’ ” recalled Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at University of California at San Francisco, who who has written about patient safety issues for years. Many of the report’s ambitious goals, such as creating a reliable system of measuring errors, have yet to be realized. In other news on hospitals: debilitating lawsuits, financial struggles at rural facilities, infant deaths from contaminated equipment, and more.

Red States Go Back To The Drawing Board As Roadblocks Derail Medicaid Work Requirements

KHN Morning Briefing

Legal rulings have made red states more hesitant to try to implement work requirements, but Republicans aren’t throwing in the towel yet. Work requirements “are not dead, but they’re certainly on life support,” said Joan Alker, of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. “The reasons for states not to go down this path are piling up.” Medicaid news comes out of Missouri, Wyoming and Maine, as well.

A Bumpy Road Marks The Start Of VA’s Attempts To Implement Privatization Measures That Trump Touts

KHN Morning Briefing

Those implementing the plan say they are unable to guarantee a health care network large enough to accommodate all the veterans who might seek care under the expanded privatization system. They say they might need as much as $75 million more in funding to make it work. Meanwhile in other veterans health news: Apple announces that vets will be able to access their health records through an app, doctors celebrate the success of a penis transplant, horses help overcome trauma, and more.

Elections Suggest Midterms Weren’t An Anomaly For Dems On Health Care, But It Isn’t Always Enough In Deep South

KHN Morning Briefing

In Kentucky and Virginia, Democrats won big on health care issues like Medicaid expansion. But in Mississippi, Democrat Jim Hood’s support of a plan that would cover about 300,000 poor residents wasn’t enough for him to win the gubernatorial race. In other elections news: a look at the Virginia Legislature’s priorities now that Democrats are in control.

Buttigieg Is Rare Candidate To Target Hospitals In Cost-Cutting Plan, As Sanders, Warren Shy Away From Powerful Lobby

KHN Morning Briefing

While plans from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) target the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies — both subjects of public ire — South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg takes on politically powerful hospitals with his health care overhaul proposals. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden bristled over Warren’s dismissal of his criticism of her health plan.

Claiming Victory, Beshear Vows To Rescind Kentucky Governor’s Medicaid Work Requirements Waiver

KHN Morning Briefing

With a tight lead in the Kentucky gubernatorial race, Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) claimed victory in an election where the debate over Medicaid expansion and work rules featured prominently. In other 2019 election results, Democrats gained control of both houses in Virginia. Lawmakers in the state have promised to tackle gun control reform if they gained control of the Legislature. And in Mississippi, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) secured the gubernatorial win, all but ending discussion of expanding Medicaid there.