KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Viewpoints: Obama, Romney Pitch Health Care Plans In NEJM

New England Journal Of Medicine: Securing the Future of American Health Care
Because of you, America is blessed with the world's most talented health care professionals, who do a heroic job serving and saving our citizens. But for years you have faced a health care system that was increasingly fractured. ... But after a century of trying, a broad coalition of doctors, nurses, hospitals, businesses, AARP, and patients helped me sign into law the Affordable Care Act. Supporters and detractors alike refer to the law as Obamacare. I don't mind, because I do care. And because of Obamacare we're moving forward toward a health care system that broadly provides health security (Barack Obama, 9/26).

New England Journal Of Medicine: Replacing Obamacare with Real Health Care Reform
President Obama's 2700-page federal takeover does not solve our problems. His $1 trillion in tax increases hits the middle class hard and drives medical innovation overseas. His $700 billion in Medicare cuts "will not be viable," according to the program's trustees, jeopardizing access to care for senior citizens and throwing millions of beneficiaries off the coverage they rely on. ... If elected President, I will repeal Obamacare and replace it -- not with another massive federal bill that purports to solve all our problems from Washington, but with common-sense, patient-centered reforms suited to the challenges we face (Mitt Romney, 9/26).

JAMA: Expanding Health Care Coverage As A Step Toward Cost Control
President Obama’s federal health reform through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to significantly expand health insurance coverage. When it was initially passed in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that 32 million uninsured Americans individuals would gain coverage as a result, half through private insurance and half through expansion of Medicaid. The Supreme Court decision on June 28, 2012, largely upheld the ACA but rendered the expansion of Medicaid less certain by removing financial penalties on states that choose not to participate (Dr. Andrew Bindman, 9/26).

Kaiser Health News: Analysis: Access To Health Care Beginning To Look Like Airline Travel
The old axis of access in U.S. health care -- insured or uninsured -- is being replaced by the kind of gradations and complexity in determining who-gets-what-when-for-what-price for which the airline industry has become famous (Michael Millenson, 9/26).

The New York Times: Opinionator: For Veterans, A Surge Of new Treatments For Trauma
Anyone who undergoes trauma can experience post-traumatic stress disorder -- victims of rape and other crimes, family violence, a car accident. It is epidemic, however, among soldiers, especially those who see combat. People with PTSD re-experience their trauma over and over, with nightmares or flashbacks. They are hyperaroused: the slam of a car door at home can suddenly send their minds back to Iraq. And they limit their lives by avoiding things that can bring on the anxiety -- driving, for instance, or being in a crowd (Tina Rosenberg, 9/26).

Modern Healthcare: HHS Aims To Assess Effort To End Health Disparities
HHS' Office of Minority Health is seeking to evaluate the success of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities, which was launched in April 2011 to create a community-driven and sustained approach to combating health disparities, according to a filing in the Federal Register. The evaluation would consist of four parts, according to a request for permission from the Office of Management and Budget to collect the necessary data for the evaluation (Andis Robeznieks, 9/26).

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