KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

White House Details Impact Of March 1 Sequester On Health Programs

As these scheduled budget cuts get closer, a poll by the Pew Research Center concluded that young voters are supportive of Medicare and Social Security and hope to see these programs overhauled so they live on into the future.  

Modern Healthcare: White House Warns Of Sequester's Healthcare Impact
The Obama administration is warning that budget cuts scheduled for March 1 would hit especially hard in mental healthcare, medical research and the drug approval process. On Friday, the administration released details of some of the nonmilitary cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011, which required $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts from most federal programs over 10 years. The White House paper said the cuts would mean the loss of 12,000 research positions funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the end of treatment for 373,000 people with mental illness due to reductions in the Mental Health Block Grant (Daly, 2/8).

The New York Times: A Growing Trend: Young, Liberal And Open To Big Government
Under-30 voters are "the only age group in which a majority said the government should do more to fix problems," the nonpartisan Pew Research Center reported in November. In a Pew survey a year earlier, more than 8 in 10 said they believed that Social Security and Medicare had been good for the country, and they were especially supportive of seeing the programs overhauled so they would be intact when they retire. (Young people were also more open than their elders to privatizing the programs.) (Stolberg, 2/10).

In the background, Medpage today reports on how the health care sector fits into the overall economy -

Medpage Today: Health Care Jobs Grow, Spending Growth Still Slow
The healthcare sector continues to add jobs, despite the continued slow growth in overall healthcare spending, according to a healthcare research and consulting firm report. Employment in ambulatory care settings grew by 28,000 jobs in January, higher than the average of the last 24 months, the Altarum Institute said in its February Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs released Thursday. … In the last year, private sector health employment grew by 2.3 percent compared with 1.4 percent for non-health jobs, the report said. Since the recession in December 2007, health sector employment has grown by 10.5 percent while non-health employment has fallen by 3.7 percent (Pittman, 2/10).

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