KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Viewpoints: Paying For Expensive Drugs; Supreme Court Deliberations

The New York Times: Refusals To Pay High Drug Prices
Pharmacy benefit managers are ramping up efforts to rein in the rising prices that drug makers are charging for some prescription medicines. The trend holds both promise and peril for patients who depend on the drugs to control their illnesses (6/24). 

Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court's Ultimate Test: When Rights Collide
Consider the hotly anticipated decision in McCullen vs. Coakley, about a Massachusetts law that effectively banishes protesters from coming within 35 feet of an abortion clinic. Where many see a case about women's rights to shape their own destinies, others see a case about the right to try to dissuade pregnant women from doing something horrible. In truth, two sets of rights are at issue, and the court must decide how best to respect them both. That issue is much harder than the standard liberal/conservative story acknowledges (Lawrence H. Tribe, 6/24). 

The Washington Post's The Volokh Conspiracy: What The Supreme Court Said About The IRS Tax Credit Rule
The Supreme Court has not ruled on the Internal Revenue Service's regulation purporting to authorize tax credits and cost sharing subsidies in federally run health insurance exchanges, but two recent decisions – Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community and UARG v. EPA — address related questions of statutory interpretation. Both decisions take a dim view of arguments that relevant statutory language does not mean what it says (Jonathan H. Adler, 6/23). 

The Wall Street Journal's Political Diary: Pat Quinn's 'Reforms'
Some pollsters must have told Democrat Pat Quinn that taxpayers like to hear the word "reform" because the Illinois governor has used it to describe practically any non-trivial piece of legislation that's passed his desk. Just consider the Medicaid "reform" he signed last week, which guts the Medicaid "reform" he flogged two years ago. The "landmark new law" restores dental care, podiatry services and sundry other Medicaid benefits that state lawmakers cut to balance the budget in 2012. That "package of reforms," the governor declared in 2012, "will rescue the state's Medicaid system from the brink of collapse and make the program sustainable for the future." Lo, Mr. Quinn now says that rescinding that package is "a critical step forward as we continue to reform our Medicaid system" (Allysia Finley, 6/24). 

The Wall Street Journal: With Businesses Fleeing America, Congress Must Act
American businesses are heading for the exits to escape the U.S. tax code. Medical device company Medtronic announced recently that it planned to acquire the Ireland-based firm Covidien and relocate headquarters in Dublin, making it the biggest company yet to leave our shores for a more favorable tax climate. It's just the latest example, and the flight will continue until the U.S. reforms its outdated, uncompetitive tax code (Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, 6/24). 

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