KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

A Selection Of Today’s Opinions And Editorials

The Health Care Summit? Just Do It The Minneapolis Star Tribune 
All of us who have been at this task before understand three important realities: One, no president who has launched such an effort unsuccessfully has ever been able to relaunch; two, the Senate legislation, at least, has been the product of much bipartisan effort over the last several years, even though no Republican senators voted for it, and three, the status quo costs and quality of this country's health care system are totally unacceptable -- to the health care industry and to those who depend on it (Dave Durenberger, 2/18).

The Cost Conundrum Persists The New Yorker
It remains clear that there are substantial variations in the cost of care for people of similar health depending on which institutions they go to-and also that clinicians with the best results often have lower, not higher, costs than average. Even if health reform disappears, these fundamental problems will not (Atul Gawande, 2/18).

California Death Spiral The New York Times
California's woes show that conservative prescriptions for health reform just won't work. ... California's death spiral is a reminder that our health care system is unraveling, and that inaction isn't an option. Congress and the president need to make reform happen - now (Paul Krugman, 2/18).

Reviving The Health Care Debate The Wall Street Journal
The greatest barrier to a new approach is continued misdiagnosis of the underlying problem. We need to reach a consensus that Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance are the main offenders, and must be reformed. Asserting that we can maintain the status quo for the majority of Americans while extending insurance to everyone is irresponsible. Our broken health-care system is not a problem just for the uninsured; it is a crisis for us all (Jeffrey S. Flier and Dovid Goldhill, 2/18).

A Modest And Effective Health Reform Investor's Business Daily
Decentralization - a reduction in the role of government - is the only path that can lead toward reduced cost pressures and increased choices for patients with vastly heterogeneous needs and preferences (Benjamin Zycher, 2/18).

The Lesson Of Anthem Blue Cross The New York Times
It's hard to know which conclusion would be worse: that Anthem is trying to fleece its individual customers or that Anthem's rates are actuarially justified by its increasingly unhealthy enrollment pool (2/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.