KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: January 24, 2011

Today's health policy news includes reports foreshadowing possible Senate action on repealing the health overhaul.

Kaiser Health News: Attacking The Health Law Tree, Branch By Branch
KHN staff writers Lexie Verdon, Bara Vaida and Jordan Rau give an overview on health law elements that may be subject to GOP pruning: "The Republican effort to repeal the health care law is sure to founder in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but that doesn't mean that the GOP is ending its assault on the law. House Republicans are already beginning work in committees to lop off and possibly replace some of the law's individual provisions" (Verdon, Vaida and Rau, 1/23).

Kaiser Health News Column: Just Call Me Liar Of The Year
In his latest KHN column, Michael Cannon writes: "Tomorrow night, President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a chamber that just voted overwhelmingly to repeal his health care law. Before you believe anything I might have to say about that, however, there's something you should know: I am a liar" (1/24).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Clash Senate Bound
Top senators in both parties said Sunday that Republicans could push their way to a Senate vote on repealing the health overhaul, setting up another clash over the Democrats' landmark legislative achievement (Adamy and Mitchell, 1/24).

The New York Times: Verbal Sparring Over Potential Senate Vote On Health Care
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate waged a war of words on Sunday over efforts to force what would most likely be a symbolic vote on repealing the Obama administration's health care law (Wyatt, 1/23).

The Wall Street Journal: Feud Over Best Setting For The Disabled
The Justice Department in a lawsuit against Arkansas is reigniting an emotional fight over the role of residential institutions for people with disabilities. The suit focuses on one of Arkansas's facilities for people with severe disabilities, the Conway Human Development Center. The state-run institution houses around 510 people off all ages, including children, who typically have intellectual disabilities as well as conditions such as cerebral palsy and physical handicaps (Mathews, 1/24).

Politico: GOP Looks To Health Costs
Republicans are gearing up to replace President Barack Obama's health care plan, which is designed to cover 30 million people who don't have insurance. Just don't expect a package that goes nearly as far to cover the uninsured (Nather and Budoff Brown, 1/24).

USA Today: $2.5 Billion Recovered In Health Care Fraud Cases
Federal agents recovered $2.5 billion from health care fraud judgments in the budget year that ended in September, a record-breaking amount they credit to whistle-blowers and a renewed effort from the Obama administration (Kennedy, 1/24).

The Washington Post: Health-Care Law: Arizona Tries New Approach To Get By Federal Medicaid Rules
Republican efforts to repeal or limit the reach of the new health-care law took a new direction last week when Arizona lawmakers approved a novel and controversial attempt to cut Medicaid for 280,000 of the state's poor (Aizenman, 1/23).

Los Angeles Times: Aurora Las Encinas Hospital Again Under Scrutiny
An Aurora Las Encinas Hospital employee has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the owners of the Pasadena mental hospital, alleging that top company officials have defrauded the federal government by providing "minimal, substandard care" to patients (Lin, 1/24).

Kaiser Health News also tracked health policy headlines over the weekend, including reports about the President's upcoming state of the union address and continued GOP calls for repeal of the health overhaul.

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