KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s Op-Eds: The Ongoing Debate Over Medicare Cuts; Fear of Government Meddling

Reforming Medicare's Payment System The New York Times
Despite some of its downsides, [a proposal to change how Medicare pays for new treatments] is a good idea - and precisely the type of shift in our reimbursement system than needs to happen if we are to reduce cost growth over time (Peter Orszag, 10/21).

Measure Won't Foist Care Upon Us The Arizona Republic
Yes on 106 protects your freedom. Prop. 106 will add a basic right to the state Constitution, ensuring that all Arizonans have the right not to participate in any health-care system or plan, without penalty, fine or tax. In other words, no government-forced health insurance (Eric Novack, 10/22).

Why Kelly Ayotte Is Wrong About Health Care (Manchester, N.H.) Union Leader
Baby boomers aren't getting younger. Medicare, the federal program that provides health care to individuals over 65, is going to grow dramatically. The only way to handle this under the [Republican Senate candidate Kelly] Ayotte plan (no cuts and no taxes) will be to make cuts in anything else the federal government does that isn't Medicare (Jay Buckey, 10/22).

Managed-Care Report Rekindles Bad Memories Billings (Mont.) Gazette
One of the lessons from Montana's mental health managed-care failure was that taking care of poor people wasn't the profit center out-of-state businesses expected nor the cost controller state officials hoped. (10/22).

Health Care Accounting Is Challenging, Not Impossible The New York Times
If decision-makers in government, finance and business are willing to base important decisions on the highly uncertain and biased estimates produced by business accountants, decision-makers in health care should get used to the idea of working constructively with the metrics developed and applied by health care accountants, ideally with the assistance and concurrence of health care providers (Uwe E. Reinhardt, 10/22).

Competitive Bidding Trips Up Medicare Indianapolis Star
The bidding processes do little to create a free market and may do more harm. A poorly designed process that probably should be fixed will soon affect Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana and the rest of the country (Kerry Anne McGeary, 10/21).

Enemies of 'Big-Government Health Care' Rush To Defend Government-Funded Medicare The Huffington Post
This current debate is, in many ways, an extension of what was happening in summer 2009, when the infamous health care town hall (and the ensuing protests) were going on around the country. Many senior citizens were nervous about more federal involvement in health care precisely because they enjoyed their government-funded Medicare so much and didn't want it cut back (Amanda Terkel, 10/21). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.