KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s OpEds: The Berwick Backlash; HIV Screening A Part Of Routine Care; And Why Congress Should Provide Medicaid Help To States

Americans Deserve To Hear Berwick's Plans For Massive Medicare Cuts The Hill
As is well-known, Congress has a constitutional duty to examine presidential nominees like Dr. Berwick. But apparently, the prospect of giving the American people an opportunity to hear this nominee defend his past praise for government-run systems that ration healthcare was worrisome enough for the administration that it sought to ignore congressional oversight altogether (Sen. Mitch McConnell, 7/12).

Dr. Berwick And That Fabulous Cuban Health Care The Wall Street Journal
Heaven forbid that anyone accuse Donald Berwick-lately of Harvard, newly of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with $800 billion under management-of being an admirer of Cuba's health-care system. In the matter of CastroCare, progressives of Dr. Berwick's stripe are rarely at a loss for superlatives. But suggest that ObamaCare is a step in the Cuban direction, and these same people will accuse you of rank scare-mongering (Bret Stephens, 7/13).

Was Recess Appointment Necessary For Berwick? National Journal
Four experts -- James Gelfand, Newt Gingrich, John Goodman and Gail Wilensky -- explore whether Obama's recess appointment of Berwick was necessary "for the agency to implement the health care overhaul law" (7/12).

End Run Denied Public A Debate On Health Care The Arizona Republic 
Considering how dubious the public remains about Obamacare, there is every reason to believe the Republicans really did want an exchange with the candid, erudite Berwick. The recess appointment strongly suggests the White House simply did not want to have another fight over the contentious health-care issue (7/13).

Clear Way For Easier AIDS Tests, Despite Objections By Activists The Boston Globe
Screening for HIV ought to be a routine part of medical care. Each year, about 600 Massachusetts residents become infected with the virus. … Existing state law puts up a speed bump, by demanding a special written consent form before doctors can check for the AIDS virus. A bill before the state Senate would bring the rules for HIV screening closer to those for other routine tests. The change is warranted, yet some AIDS activists are opposing it in overheated terms (7/13).

Extension Of Unemployment Pay Should Be Congress' Priority The Washington Post
[Congress] should also offer more help to states to pay for Medicaid, the joint federal-state health care program for the poor. There is no good reason to oppose this help and every reason to offer it (7/13).

Military: New Rules Give Veterans With Stress Disorder The Benefits They Deserve Los Angeles Times
The nature of the wars U.S. troops are fighting has changed, and so too have the wounds of war. The government finally caught up with this reality in one way on Monday when it announced new rules making it easier for veterans to claim federal benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD (7/13).

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