KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s Selection Of Opinions And Editorials

House Vote: Reviews Are In Kaiser Health News
Health policy experts give different views on Saturday's House overhaul vote. KHN has a round-up of opinions from Jonathan Cohn, Doug Holtz-Eakin, Robert Laszewski and Karen Pollitz (11/9).

House-Passed Health Plan Mixes Good Ideas, Deep Flaws USA Today
Health care reform is always a balancing act. The current effort tries to do two hard-to-reconcile things at the same time: improve coverage and control costs. The complex measure passed by the House late Saturday does the first a lot better than the second (11/9).

The Lords Of Entitlement The Wall Street Journal
Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied policy logic and public opinion late Saturday night, ramming through the House a nearly 2,000-page health-care leviathan that counts as the biggest expansion of the federal government since the New Deal. As President Obama likes to say, this was a "teachable moment" about our current government (11/9).

Shocking News On Health Care: People Get What They Voted For Politics Daily
I don't know what or who people thought they were voting for a year ago, but no one can claim there wasn't truth-in-advertising. Granted, most normal folk probably didn't go online in spring 2007 to read candidate Barack Obama's 15-page health reform plan. Still, for anyone who cared, the whole thing was laid out right here - and it tracks pretty closely with the landmark overhaul passed by the House (Jill Lawrence, 11/9).

The Cost Of Not Enacting Health Care Reform The Boston Globe
Without health care reform, the economic cost imposed by premature deaths and avoidable illnesses will continue to grow, to the detriment of the economy. As it enters the final debate on health care reform, Congress needs to weigh carefully the substantial cost of doing nothing (Linda J. Blimes and Rosemarie Day, 11/7).

The Senate Should Focus On Controlling Medical Costs The Dallas Morning News
As expected, the House took the first swing Saturday at passing a plan to overhaul the nation's health care system. The bill includes some long-needed reforms, such as preventing insurers from turning down patients with preexisting conditions. But it misses the mark in numerous other ways, including the risk the proposal poses to the deficit over the next two decades (William McKenzie, 11/9).

Scrubbing In: Importance Of Spelling Out Last Wishes The Philadelphia Inquirer
Medical decisions are nuanced, and it's impossible to predict every permutation when formulating an advance directive. But at least we can try by thinking hard about our last wishes beforehand. And if spelling out our wishes can limit waste and maintain comfort, we all benefit (Rachel K. Sobel, 11/9).

A High Price For Health Reform The Washington Post
The House passage of health-care reform Saturday night should be a moment of celebration. In a country as wealthy as America, no one should have to go without medical care. As in other developed nations, everyone should have access to doctors, to medicine, to preventive services. The House bill would take America a giant step closer to that goal. Here is the dilemma: The bill also could take America a step closer to bankruptcy (Fred Hiatt, 11/9). 

Healthcare's Hurdles Los Angeles Times
Democrats in the House get their way, but what we need is real debate. If only the Republicans would oblige (11/9).

Doctors Passionate About Fixing Health Care Houston Chronicle
As Congress considers new coverage commitments to the American people, it must ensure that those already made are fulfilled. Seniors and the disabled who rely on Medicare expect that they will be able to easily get an appointment with a physician, but that may not be the case if Congress does not take action in the next 60 days to replace a broken payment formula that projects steep cuts. (J. James Rohack, 11/7). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.