KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s Editorials And Opinions

Republican Death Trip The New York Times
Right now, the charge that's gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create "death panels" (in Sarah Palin's words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It's a complete fabrication, of course (Paul Krugman, 8/13).

Score One for Sarah Palin on the Healthcare Reform Death Panels  U.S. News & World Reports
In what can fairly be described as an admission that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin knew what she was talking about, the Senate Finance Committee Thursday dropped language from its bipartisan healthcare reform package that Palin and others had suggested would eventually lead to mandated end-of-life counseling sessions for seniors (Peter Roff, 8/13).

PoliticalCartoons.com weighed in on the Palin remark.

At Town Halls, Trivializing Evil The Washington Post
Anyone with a black felt pen and the ability to draw a Hitler moustache on a poster can make this witty, trenchant political statement. … Actually, it is a lazy shortcut to secure an emotional response (Michael Gerson, 8/14).

Reject White House Effort To Squelch Health Debate The Houston Chronicle
The White House is encouraging an electronic snitching program for the entire country, asking people to report friends and neighbors. … if they suspect someone is spreading "fishy" information concerning health care reform (Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond, 8/13).

Medicare Advantage Works The St. Petersburg Times
In many ways, Medicare Advantage is a model for the kind of system the president and many of the most passionate advocates of reform say we need. Yet ironically, in Congress' desire to cut medical costs, some people are trying to eliminate it (John E. Kern, 8/14).

What Neither Side Will Admit About Health Care 'Rationing' The Baltimore Sun
Democrats are against health care rationing if it's done by insurance companies. Republicans are against it if it's done by government. What neither side will admit is that medical rationing is part of the future (Jay Hancock, 8/14).

Obama's Senior Moment The Wall Street Journal
[O]nce health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted. Far from being a scare tactic, this is a logical conclusion based on experience and common-sense (8/14).

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