KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Obama Says He’s Exploring Ideas Raised By GOP During Health Summit

ABC News Political Punch: In a letter to Congressional leaders President Obama signaled Tuesday afternoon he is "open to several provisions raised by GOP lawmakers during last week's bipartisan health care reform summit, including medical malpractice reform, combating fraud," and the removal of a provisions that would have allowed the federal government to pay for Nebraska's Medicaid expansion and another that would have protected Florida seniors from cuts to the Medicare Advantage program (3/2).

The White House released the letter in the afternoon. 

USA Today's The Oval: The GOP ideas "include expanding the use of fraud investigators disguised as patients to uncover waste and abuse in federal programs such as Medicaid, a proposal made by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Obama also says he's open to bigger pilot programs on possible changes to the rules governing medical malpractice lawsuits, a longtime GOP issue. Obama also wrote that he is willing to explore higher Medicaid reimbursements for doctors, as proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa." The president also promised to look at expanded use of health savings accounts (Jackson, 3/2).

The Associated Press: "Obama's announcement is not likely to win him any votes from Republicans, who want Obama to tear up the existing bills and start over, but it could give wavering Democrats political cover by showing the party has been willing to compromise in the wake of last week's televised bipartisan health care summit" (Werner, 3/2).

New York Times' Prescriptions: The president "is likely to make a statement at the White House on Wednesday about moving forward with health care legislation, rather than give a speech elsewhere in Washington, D.C., as had been announced on Monday, his spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said." His statement is "expected to offer some perspective on his health care summit meeting with Republicans and to discuss why, in his view, Congress should not simply 'start over,' as Republicans have insisted" (Herszenhorn, 3/2).

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek: Meanwhile, in a speech to the Federation of American Hospitals in Washington Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius indicated President Obama would reject Republicans appeals for what she called "a piecemeal approach" to a health care overhaul when he announces his plans for the moving the legislation forward this week (Gaouette, 3/2).

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