KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Today’s OpEds: ‘Good Guys’ Win In Virginia Decision?; Readout On Missouri’s Proposition C; Sen. Nelson On Reform And The Deficit; Rep. Weiner On The Need For Anger

Proposition C Is A Hollow Statute, Its Effect Unclear Kansas City Star
The impact of [Missouri's] Proposition C was unclear before the vote, and remains so now that it's been passed. But a light turnout made clear what the vote wasn't: a sweeping referendum on health reform. An electorate seriously riled up about an issue sends more than roughly a fourth of registered voters to the polls (8/3).

Early Round Victory The Las Vegas Review-Journal
Virginia is correct to challenge the underlying assumptions of socialized medicine, which has become a vicious and bloodstained tyranny of rationing and false promises wherever it's been tried. Monday's preliminary ruling was only the first round. But it went to the good guys (8/4).

Obamacare: Read It And Weep The Orange County Register
Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, asked his staff to prepare a study of the law, including a flow chart that illustrates how the major provisions will work. The result, made public July 28, provides citizens with a preview of the impact the health care overhaul will have on their lives. It's a terrifying road map that shows Democrats have launched America on the most reckless policy experiment in its history, the economic equivalent of the Bay of Pigs invasion (Kevin Hassett, 8/3).

Why I Was Angry The New York Times
The specifics of the debate last week should be an example of an issue beyond partisan dispute. The bill in question was created to help the thousands of citizens who went to ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks. These are Americans who wanted to help, and who scientific studies now show are falling ill and dying in troubling numbers. … Though it should have been a legislative slam dunk, the bill was defeated on a simple up-or-down vote, with only 12 Republicans voting in favor. Just 21 additional Republican votes would have been sufficient for passage (Anthony Weiner, 8/3).

Balancing Act The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Senate will hold an important vote Wednesday aimed at helping Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and dozens of other states avoid deeper cuts in services and layoffs. Senators should approve a $26 billion package that includes about $600 million in extended Medicaid assistance to Pennsylvania. Even with that aid, officials in Harrisburg will need to further trim the state's $28.2 billion budget (8/4).

Some Facts About The New Health Care Law McCook Gazette
Do you realize that the new health care law is projected to actually reduce the budget deficit? It's true. It will reduce the deficit not by reducing benefits but by reducing the growth in Medicare spending by doing such things as cutting overpayments to Medicare Advantage (Ben Nelson, 8/3).

ObamaCare And The Constitution – An Update The Wall Street Journal
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson got serious. He denied Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state of Virginia challenging the new health law. His ruling stated that it is far from certain Congress has the authority to compel Americans to buy insurance and penalize those who don't (Betsy McCaughey, 8/4).

Coming Soon To U.S.: National Health Service The [Mitchell, S.D.] Daily Republic
Here's what America can look forward to if it follows the NHS model, according to an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph: "Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends." Never has "take two aspirin and call me in the morning" sounded more callous (Cal Thomas, 8/3). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.