KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Viewpoints: Perry’s Texas ‘Miracle’ Or ‘Sad Fact’?; Reich On Medicare For All; Orszag On Health IT Boom

The Washington Post: The Sad Fact Behind Rick Perry's Texas Miracle 
Twenty-six percent of Texans have no health insurance - the highest percentage of medically uninsured residents of any state. It leads the nation in the percentage of children who lack medical insurance. Texas has an inordinate number of employers who provide no insurance to their workers, partly because insurance rates are high, thanks to an absence of regulations (Harold Meyerson, 8/16). 

Fox: Why Rick Perry Gives Me Hope On Health Care 
Texas is considered by many doctors, nurses and health care professionals in general, to be among the best states in the country to practice medicine. ... Several surveys have found that there are many benefits to practicing medicine in the state of Texas including a variety of top-quality medical centers, affordable housing for medical professionals and their families, no state income tax, and finally, a well-balanced liability reform which protects both patients and doctors, without the looming threat of frivolous law suits  (Dr. Manny Alvarez, 8/16).

Bloomberg: Health Care Prognosis Better With Digital Law
Even with the all-too-depressing illustrations of political paralysis we've seen recently, government can still act to improve our lives. A good case in point: The U.S. health sector is rapidly digitizing, and federal legislation from early 2009, passed well before the health-care reform act, is an important reason why (Peter Orszag, 8/16).

Kansas City Star/Tribune: Democrats Should Have Pushed 'Medicare For All,' But Obama Caved
The so-called "individual mandate" is a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's 2010 health care reform law, scheduled to go into effect in 2014. ... So what do Obama and the Democrats do if the individual mandate in the new health-care law gets struck down by the Supreme Court? Immediately propose what they should have proposed right from the start - universal health care based on Medicare for all, financed by payroll taxes. The public will be behind them, as will the courts (Robert Reich, 8/16). 

Washington Examiner: If They Like Their Health Care, Can Small Businesses Keep It?
As chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I am particularly concerned about Obamacare's effect on our small companies. Small businesses are our best job creators, and it is imperative that we provide an environment that allows them to thrive. Unfortunately, many of Obamacare's provisions do just the opposite (Rep. Sam Graves, 8/17).

The Wall Street Journal: Medicare Reform: Obama Vs. Ryan 
No approach to reforming Medicare will be perfect or painless for everyone under all circumstances. The question is how best to commit the government to limit spending while promoting quality, protecting the poorest and sickest among us, and preserving the program for future generations. Mr. Ryan's plan is the better path forward and may work even better if the spending limits are set in the way President Obama proposed (Daniel P. Kessler and John B. Taylor, 8/17).

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