KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Viewpoints: Boehner, McConnell, Thune, Major News Organizations Opine On Health Law

News organizations published multiple opinions marking the anniversary of the health law, here is a selection:

Cincinnati Enquirer: Health Care Law Breaks Promises
We now know that lawmakers who promised that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan" were wrong. ... The president likes to say Americans aren't interested in revisiting the debates of the past. No one would accept an answer like that from an electronics store manager who refused to offer a refund on a defective television. Why would they accept it when it comes to their health care? (Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner, 3/22).

The Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare And Carey's Heart
Some years ago, a little girl was born with a serious heart defect: Her aorta and pulmonary artery were reversed. Without immediate intervention, she would not have survived. ... the girl is my daughter, Carey. And my wife and I are incredibly thankful that we had the freedom to seek out the most advanced surgical technique. The procedure that saved her, and has given her a chance at a full life, was available because America has a free-market system that has advanced medicine at a phenomenal pace (Sen. Ron Johnson, 3/23). 

USA Today: After One Year, Health Law Already Offers Lifelines
Many of the key features of the controversial new health law - such as the mandate requiring most Americans to buy insurance and subsidies to help some people afford it - don't go into effect until 2014. Many smaller provisions have kicked in, however, and they have begun doing what the law was designed to do - change a dysfunctional status quo in which too many Americans couldn't get insurance, and even those with coverage had to worry about losing it just when they needed it most (3/22). 

Politico: 'Obamacare' Is A Failed Experiment
After a year of learning what is in the law - and seeing its effect on families, small businesses and our economy - it is now clear that Obamacare is a failed experiment. Sadly, this failure was predictable and very expensive. ... Rather than fighting reality by trying to persuade the people to love a law that does not live up to its hype, Congress should scrap this failed program and replace it with common-sense reforms that can truly lower costs (Sen. John Thune, 3/23). 

Cincinnati Enquirer: Act Has Improved Health Care In U.S.  
When you add together all these improvements under the Affordable Care Act, projections based on data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show that a family of four, making $55,000, could save more than $6,000 a year on health insurance in 2014. For a family making $33,000, those savings will be nearly $10,000 annually. For many American families, this means that health insurance will be within reach for the first time in their lives (Dr. James Galloway, 3/22).

Politico: For Many, Affordable Care Act Repeal Is Dead Wrong
As an African-American man, I can expect my life to be six years shorter than that of the average American. … It took a century for the federal government to meaningfully address the need for a just and equitable health care system that shows respect for the lives of all Americans. We must protect the integrity and continuity of the law (Wade Henderson, 3/23).  

Fox News: Gambling With Our Very Lives -- A Senior's Take on ObamaCare One Year Later
To politicians and policy wonks, health care is an ideological issue. And the president's health care scheme is a grand experiment. But seniors understand the real world impact this experiment will have if the ObamaCare numbers don't work -and it is now painfully clear that they never will. Inevitably, care and treatment will be rationed because denying access to care and treatment is really the only way government can "reduce its costs." It's that simple (Jim Martin 3/22).

The Washington Post: Post Partisan: ObamaCare Is Not 'Job-Destroying'
The ACA may just be one part of a larger effort to reform entitlement spending. But, too often, the post-passage debate on health-care reform has been about "covering more people" versus "spending more money and punishing business," when one of the law's most important elements - cost containment - promises to help do the former while avoiding the latter (Stephen Stromberg, 3/22). 

The Wall Street Journal: A Very Bad Year
As of Jan. 1, 2014, unless it is repealed, health care will be run, controlled, and totally supervised by Washington. ... Health-care payments in America have changed over time. In the past 40 years people's out-of-pocket spending has fallen from 50% of medical expenditures to 10%, while the portion picked up by private insurance companies has increased from 25% to 40%. The portion paid by Medicare and Medicaid--that is, by taxpayers--has increased from 25% to 50%. ... The Europeanization of America is alive and well. Unless there is significant change, it will be with us forever (Pete DuPont, 3/23). 

McClatchy / The Kansas City Star: After One Year, Health Care Law Benefits America
Comprehensive health-care reform has endured a rocky first year. … Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act remains intact and already is changing health care in positive ways. … The Affordable Care Act remains, however, the building block of a fairer, more humane and more efficient system. May it survive and prosper (3/22).

Des Moines Register: Health Care Reform Act Is Constitutional Necessary
[E]xpedited review is a bad idea for two reasons. First is the court's reputation and legitimacy as an apolitical branch of government. Second, this is essentially a policy debate, not a judicial debate, and as such it is a question that we are doing our best to work out in various political arenas. To short-circuit this quintessentially American process would do a disservice not just to those without adequate health insurance, but also to democracy itself (Ian Bartrum, 3/22). 

The Miami Herald: One Year After Healthcare Reform
In Florida, the celebration, like our healthcare outlook, is not a cheerful one. There are more than four million uninsured residents in Florida. … Despite those numbers, our legislative leadership turned down even-bigger numbers: $1 million in federal funds that were to be used for planning to cover the uninsured and another $1 million for a health-insurance exchange to help small businesses access health coverage for their employees. ... Let's get behind this law and tell our officials to do the same (Steven Marcus, 3/23). 

USA Today: How To Reform Your Health Care 
[L]et's stipulate that the medical system in the USA is far from perfect. Let's also agree that what ails medicine in America won't be fixed quickly and can never be fixed entirely by the federal government, your state, your employer, your union, insurance companies, hospitals, or doctors. ... This is a column about what you can do to improve health care and help bring down its soaring costs, no matter what the fate of the reform law is. Way more than you might think, your behavior can make a difference (Steve Findlay, 3/22). 

The Houston Chronicle: Texas Needs To Establish Its Own Health Exchange
It has been one year since President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, and Texas is at a policy crossroads: We can choose to lead with responsible public policy or become supporting actors in a national political sideshow. The reality is that the success of health reform now depends on the states (State Rep. Garnet Coleman, 3/22). 

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.