KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s OpEds: Reform Battles, State Challenges To Law Loom Over Elections

Health Reform Looms As Major Factor In Midterm Battles Health Affairs
In its rush to blunt public opposition to the newly enacted health reform law, the Obama administration is on a collision course with Republicans as the November midterm elections loom. On behalf of his reform agenda, President Barack Obama in recent weeks bypassed the Senate to make a "recess" appointment of a new Medicare and Medicaid administrator, Donald Berwick, while Congress was adjourned for the Independence Day holiday. … The Berwick appointment and the administration's full-throated defense of the law has added fuel to Republicans' fire - and enhanced their determination to persuade voters that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced by something better (John Iglehart, 8/6).

War On Reform May Backfire Politico
Tuesday, Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed a measure giving their state the power to ignore the federal law requiring people to have health coverage. These voters are clearly worried about government control of health care. But they're playing a dangerous game that could spark a real government takeover. The United States already has large, government-financed health care systems. Consider Medicare. But the new federal health care reform effort actually did everything possible to secure a continuing role for private insurers (Micah Weinberg, 8/6).

State Challenges To Healthcare Reform Law Los Angeles Times
Opponents of the new healthcare reform law notched two victories this week, one at the ballot box and one in court. … Both of these developments may be just temporary setbacks for the Obama administration, however. We believe the two states' challenges to the law ultimately will fail, because the mandate is a legitimate use of Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce (8/6).

The People Can Fix The Budget Politico
Too many in Congress, as well as the president, have been issuing checks that they can't cash, but they want you to - to the tune of $37,000 for each and every American citizen alive at the end of this sentence. … The bottom line is, whether it's via a Constitutional Convention or an act of Congress, we need the protection of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget (Norm Coleman, 8/6).

'Affordable' Care Is Anything But The Detroit News
Remember the heady days of 2009 and early 2010, when politicians were selling a better idea than the Foreman Grill, Sham Wow, and Slap Chop combined? It was called "The Affordable Care Act," and it promised all manner of wonderful things. … But as the bill evolved from theory to reality, it became abundantly clear that none of those claims would hold water. Most damningly - and most importantly for our nation's mounting debt - the projected costs weren't even close to accurate (Rick Berman, 8/5).

States Fighting Obamacare The Orange County Register
The states are restless. Increasingly, states across America are resisting encroachments on their liberties by the federal government. The most recent examples concern objections by two states to the forced adoption of President Barack Obama's health care law (8/5).

Democrats: Voters Are Dumb The Washington Times
Missouri's overwhelming rejection of Obamacare made it clear Americans will resist the federal government's power grab, but Democrats aren't getting the message. Despite being a middle-of-the-road swing state, an overwhelming 71 percent of Missourians voted against federal mandates over their personal health care choices. Ignoring the clarity of this protest, top Democrats maintain that the problem lies with American voters, who aren't smart enough to know what's good for them (8/5).

Challenges To ObamaCare The Post and Courier
A federal judge and Missouri voters struck blows this week against Obamacare. That means the constitutional and political tests facing this law will be addressed in the near term. Count those as positive developments in the otherwise forced march to expanded federal health care - and increased federal deficits (8/6).

ObamaCare Repeal Gains Momentum Scripps Howard News Service
Proposition C reflects growing momentum to repeal ObamaCare, an increasingly unpopular federal sinkhole that the American people do not want and numerous state and federal officials are working sedulously to reverse. … ObamaCare's ultimate demise likely will require a Republican chief executive to sign its death certificate. Until that joyous occasion, Americans should dream of the day when Barack Obama returns to Chicago to break ground on his presidential library (Deroy Murdock, 8/5).

Missouri Sets Tone The Hill
Missourians aren't going to stand for the federal government forcing them to purchase health insurance or penalize them if they don't. In fact, as a result of ObamaCare, Americans seem poised to vote lawmakers out of office who voted for the bill. … When Republicans began openly contemplating repeal of ObamaCare, the Democratic leadership thought such talk was rather silly. Recent polling indicating overwhelming support for repeal has silenced Democrats' chuckling. The Missouri ballot measure invigorates pro-repeal voters and will undoubtedly spur turnout Nov. 2 (Cheri Jacobus 8/5).

McCollum V. ObamaCare The Wall Street Journal
In the age of Obama, Republican governors and candidates are redefining their role to become defenders in chief against an overweening federal government that is siphoning away states' power and crushing them with new costs. That's why 20 states are suing for the constitutional overthrow of ObamaCare (Kimberley Strassel, 8/6).

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