KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s Selection Of Opinions And Editorials

Actually, Failure Is An Option Congress Daily
Here's a perhaps unpleasant fact about the healthcare debate: Failure is an option, and might even be likely (Dick, 7/31).

Parties May Find Compromise Better Than Nothing At All The Wall Street Journal
The great health-care debate of 2009 ultimately will come down to this question: Who is prepared to accept half a loaf? Answer: Nobody wants to. But both sides -- especially the Democrats -- have some pretty powerful reasons to settle for one (Seib, 7/31).

Health Reform's Taboo Topic The Washington Post
As the nation debates health-care overhaul, not addressing defensive medicine would be a scandal, a willful refusal by Congress to deal with one of the causes of skyrocketing health-care costs (Howard, 7/31).

Repealing Erisa -- II The Wall Street Journal
The worst thing that can be said about the House health bill is what's in it. Presumably that explains why Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office zapped as "false and misleading" one of our recent editorials-on the 1974 federal law known as Erisa that lets large businesses offer insurance with minimal government interference. Among the rebuttals is the "fact" that Democrats will give "all American families more choices of quality, affordable health care" (7/31).

Health Care Realities The New York Times
It's not just that many Americans don't understand what President Obama is proposing; many people don't understand the way American health care works right now. They don't understand, in particular, that getting the government involved in health care wouldn't be a radical step: the government is already deeply involved, even in private insurance (Krugman, 7/30).

Dishonest Debate Mars Bid To Overhaul Health Care USA Today
The details are negotiable, but to let this moment pass without action would be worse than a shame. It would condemn increasing millions to a high-risk, high-cost system that is unworthy of the USA (7/31).

Searching For the Cure in Health Care The Desert Sun
During the last few weeks, the majority party in Washington has tried to cram through a massive government takeover of our nation's health care system. This prescription is bad medicine and will do nothing to solve an extremely complex issue that costs the American people billions of dollars each year (Mack, 7/31). 

13 in Congress Control Health Care Debate San Francisco Chronicle
Here we have a major congressional push to fix a health care system that leaves one-sixth of the country without coverage. Here we have 535 House and Senate delegates elected to give all 300 million of us a voice in the solution. And here we have just 13 of those delegates holding the initiative hostage (Sirota, 7/31).

Geography Won't Help Control Health Costs The Detroit News
Applying geographic-specific data to make cuts to particular regions, however, could lead to significant harm to the underserved, critically ill in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities and to the safety-net hospitals that serve them (Stobo and Rosenthal, 7/31).

Health Reform and Cancer The Wall Street Journal
The danger is that ObamaCare will stifle medical innovations that could save patients like me (Ulfik, 7/30).

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