KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Viewpoints: Perry And Medicaid; Flawed ‘Universal’ Coverage?; Nursing Home Regulation

Dallas Morning News: Perry's (Only) Chance To Make A Good First Impression
So far, he's mostly slammed Washington rather than detail how the states will manage if the federal government steps back. For example, he favors putting Medicaid in a block grant that would give states essential control over the program. If that happens, how would states absorb the costs? (9/6).

The New York Times: A Capitalist Idea
The health care bill sent the message that we will insure every American and cover every disease. We cannot afford that type of health care. Americans need to take responsibility for their health and realize that life choices (smoking, overeating, etc.) may produce health conditions that are not covered (William M. Walker, 9/6).

Forbes: Democrats' Plan B For Medicare: Medicare For All
Democrats know the individual mandate might go up in smoke. So they've started strategizing a constitutionally sound means of achieving the ever-elusive goal of "universal coverage." ...  It's a pure distillation of their government-heavy approach to health care reform (Sally Pipes, 9/6).

Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): Capturing Curricula
This snapshot of [lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender] LGBT-related education seems to indicate missed educational opportunities that are important to medical students. ... It is important to remain focused on students' enduring needs to know about people, their behavior, their bodies, their medical maladies, and the prevailing context in which physicians live and practice medicine (Dr. Raymond H. Curry, 9/7). 

The Fiscal Times: How the Postal Service Is Digging Its Own Grave
USPS is on the brink of defaulting on a $5.5 billion health-care payment for retirees, who have one of the richest "Cadillac insurance plans," better than most federal employees and private sector workers (Jacqueline Leo, 9/6).

Denver Post: Steep Tax Hikes Aren't The Answer
Between now and 2025, Colorado's spending on Medicaid is likely to more than triple. It's the most glaring reason (but not the only one) why University of Denver researchers predict massive budget shortfalls that they say require Coloradans to consider "significantly higher state taxes." Not only has Congress made promises regarding entitlement spending that this nation cannot keep without driving the economy off a cliff, but some of those same promises are pushing states toward their own fiscal abyss (Vincent Carroll, 9/7).

Des Moines Register: Nursing Home Accusations Are 'Ludicrous'
[The care and services provided in all Iowa licensed nursing facilities are closely regulated at both the state and federal levels. In fact, nursing facility care is among the most regulated professions in Iowa and the nation. Meeting the state and federal standards is a condition of receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding (Steve Ackerson, 9/6).

The Kansas City Star: Doctors' Licensing Boards Must End Secret Ways
Any good doctor will advise a patient to get at problems quickly. Delaying action usually makes matters worse. But the Kansas and Missouri boards charged with licensing and regulating medical professionals are much too slow to acknowledge problems and deal with them (9/6).

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