KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: June 10, 2011

Today's health policy headlines include reports about health law funding and policy particulars, as well as Dems' push to protect Medicaid.

Kaiser Health News: Consumers Maybe Be Unaware Of Their Right To a Review Of Health Plan Decisions
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, Susan Jaffe writes: "Millions of Americans gained the right this year to appeal decisions made by health plans to an outside, independent decision-maker. But many of these consumers might not know they have the new option -- and when they find out, it might be too late" (Jaffe, 6/10).

Kaiser Health News: Some Programs OK'd By Health Law Lack Funding
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "While the health care law has survived Republican efforts to repeal it, some of its individual initiatives are in limbo or limping along because of funding problems" (Galewitz, 6/9).

The Hill: Reeling From Ryan Budget, GOP Wary Of Debt Deal Vote
The source, who requested anonymity, added that Republican "rank-and-file members are very, very concerned that this was the canary in the coalmine on Medicare and it's going to affect all of the other difficult votes that leadership is going to ask them to make" (Hooper, 6/10).

Politico: Senate Democrats Tell Barack Obama To Reject Big Medicaid Cuts
Forty-one Senate Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to reject GOP proposals to dramatically change Medicaid, marking the party's strongest defense yet of the federal-state health care program. The clear message: Medicaid block grants or other caps on federal Medicaid spending cannot get through the Senate (Millman and Haberkorn, 6/9).

The Washington Post: A Pox On Both Their 'Mediscare' Houses
We have, however, assigned many Pinocchios to Democrats such as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) for comments that mischaracterized GOP plans for Medicare (Kessler, 6/9).

The Texas Tribune/New York Times: Behind The Scenes, Plans For Insurance Exchange
Gov. Rick Perry has made no secret of his disdain for federal health reform or for one of its key tenets, a Travelocity-like state insurance marketplace in which consumers could choose from public and private health plans. … But among Mr. Perry's gubernatorial peers, his stance on the health insurance exchange appears to be losing popularity: Politico reported last week that the Republican governors Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin are taking steps to comply with that piece of the law - even as they continue to oppose the federal health care program over all (Ramshaw, 6/9).

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog: Physician Recruiter Report: Bonuses Based On Quality Are Few And Far Between
Talk to anyone for very long about how to improve health care in the U.S. and you eventually hear something along the lines of: "We have to start paying physicians for getting and keeping people healthy instead of for doing as many procedures and tests as possible" (Hobson, 6/9).

NPR: Americans To Health Plans: Pay For The Pill
After asking Americans for their views on abortion recently, we decided to follow up with questions about birth control pills and family planning. Specifically, should health insurance - both private policies and those bought with government assistance - cover the cost of oral contraceptives? (Hensley, 6/9).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Anti-Abortion Advocates Urge State Board Of Health To Model Va. Abortion Regulations After SC's
Virginia should model its abortion clinic regulations after stiff rules in South Carolina that already have withstood judicial scrutiny, anti-abortion advocates told the State Board of Health Thursday (6/9).

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