KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s Opinions And Editorials

Health Care Needs A Clear Message Politico
For a president whose communication skills are so justifiably well-regarded, the biggest obstacle comes as a surprise: the need for a clear and simple message of how his team's version of health care reform will benefit ordinary Americans (Mark Penn, 9/1).

Reform Would Gut Home Health Care The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Congress may not have adopted a health reform bill yet, but the administration and Congress are already taking steps to ration cost-effective and life-saving programs such as home health care (Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond, 8/31).

Nothing To Get Scared About The Washington Post
Opponents of health-care reform have tried to scare people into believing that the government, by encouraging doctors to talk to their patients about living wills and end-of-life care, will decide who lives and who dies (Ingrid Komar, 9/1).

Democrats' Bedfellows On Health Care Reform Forbes
The blame lies not with Republicans' lack of support but with Democrats avoiding the opportunity to use their political momentum won last fall, and instead settling in with good, old-fashioned, "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" politics (Bill Thomas, 9/1).

'Death Panel' Claims, Distortions Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul) 
Regardless of the timetable, what began as an effort to reimburse medical providers for having humane and appropriate conversations with patients about their medical care has been hijacked by opportunistic opponents and given too much volume in the partisan media echo chamber (9/1).

Does Obama Take Health Costs Seriously? The National Review
Everyone agrees that some exclusivity is in order, but patented biologics can be expensive - Remicade, which treats rheumatoid arthritis, costs $20,000 for a year's course of treatment, and some cancer-fighting biologics cost more than twice that - and enduring monopolies put a enormous burden on consumers and government programs (James K. Glassman, 9/1).

Did Obama Underestimate His Critics CNN
One of the great puzzles this summer has been why President Obama seemed to have underestimated the intensity of the counter-mobilization he would face in proposing health care reform (Julian E. Zelizer, 9/1).

End-of-Life Care Is Not The End Of Treatment The Tennessean (Nashville)
We have had government-sponsored end-of-life care in the United States since the enactment of the Medicare Hospice Benefit in 1983, which gives us a 26-year experience with end-of-life care and, more recently, good research into that experience (David Tribble, 9/1). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.