KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s Op-Eds: Preventing Hospital Errors; Myths About The Reform Law; Medicare And The Independent Payment Advisory Board

Keep Focus On Health Care Quality, Cost Greenbay Press Gazette
No matter what happens with health care reform, the principles we've been discussing the past few months still hold true. Health care systems should continue to focus on quality and cost. When health care dollars are used with best practices that result in better outcomes, there are fewer complications and lower mortality. Individuals, health care providers and community members must continue to focus on personal wellness and making healthy decisions (12/2).

Moment Of Decision The Washington Post
The [presidential deficit reduction commission's] plan is not perfect, but ... [i]t would tackle wasteful defense spending and agriculture subsidies and seek to control health-care costs by bolstering the powers of the Medicare advisory board created by the new health-care law. It would shield programs for the disadvantaged from cuts (12/2).

The Un-Sensible Common Ground The New York Times
A good plan would acknowledge that the recent health reform law represents the best shot at curbing the inexorable rise in health costs and deficits, and that repealing or obstructing the law, as Republicans aim to do, is antithetical to deficit reduction (12/1).

Seniors' Health Care Under Fire The Denver Post
[E]ven the most savvy observers are unaware that the law's biggest effect will come from a relatively small and little-known provision creating the Independent Payment Advisory Board. ... Given what's at stake with IPAB's decisions, Colorado voters should work with elected officials to make them accountable for decisions that affect their health care. The panel's recommendations carry the force of law, even when they conflict with laws passed by Congress (Eileen Doherty, 12/2).

Medicaid: Cuts Go Back To The Future? The (Miss.) Clarion Ledger
This will be another long budget battle - but at the end of the day, it's clear that cutting the Medicaid budget in the poorest state in the union during the worst recession since the Great Depression will have dire health consequences for Mississippi's poor at a time of high unemployment and increased Medicaid demand (12/2).

The Senate's Object Lesson For GOP Health Law Repeal Hopes Kaiser Health News
Critics of health care reform this week thought they would get their first win in the campaign to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Instead they got a lesson in just how politically challenging a wholesale repeal might be (Jonathan Cohn, 12/1).

Medicaid Agency Cleaning Up Act The Lexington Herald-Leader
Every dollar Passport receives comes from state or federal taxes and is meant to be spent administering Medicaid services. In effect, then, Passport was diverting Medicaid dollars from the intended purpose and spending them on lobbying designed to keep its Medicaid dollars pipeline open to the max. Eliminating the use of contract lobbyists was one of the demands the Beshear administration made in the wake of the the audit report (12/2).

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