Editorial pages focus on the debate about the future of health care.
The Wall Street Journal: Biden Goes Half Way To BernieCare
Joe Biden’s new health-care plan is supposed to show his moderation, not that this is a virtue to progressives. Hence the back and forth this week between Mr. Biden and Bernie Sanders about single payer. But cut through the spin, and the only debate Democrats are having is whether to eliminate private health insurance in one blow or on the installment plan. “I understand the appeal of Medicare for All,” Mr. Biden said in a campaign video Monday. “But folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare, and I’m not for that.” So what’s the daylight between Mr. Biden and Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker, all of whom have co-sponsored the Sanders Medicare for All bill? (7/17)
The Hill: Medicare Is A Path To Potential Major Savings
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has designated Medicare as a high-risk program, in part because of its outsize impact on the federal budget. As the largest single purchaser of health care in the U.S., Medicare often pays lower prices than other purchasers. However, laboratory tests historically received higher payment rates from Medicare than they did from private payers. Since the federal government was paying so much, Congress directed GAO to review the implementation of new Medicare payment rates for laboratory tests. These new rates are intended to bring them in line with the rates private payers receive.In an opinion piece, the author misrepresented the findings of a recent GAO report on the implementation of these new payment rates for clinical laboratory tests. (A. Nicole Clowers, 7/17)
Axios: What Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare For All” Bill Means For Medicaid
The fact that “Medicare for All” would eliminate Medicaid hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as its elimination of private insurance. But it’s a move that would largely eliminate states’ role in the health care system. Why it matters: State Medicaid programs are leaders in experimenting with delivery and payment reforms, efforts to control drug costs, and addressing social causes of ill health, such as poverty and poor housing. All of those projects would still be important in a single-payer world. (Drew Altman, 7/17)
The Hill: Medicare For All: A Voter’s Cheat Sheet
The discussion of “Medicare for all” in June’s two Democratic primary debates was both gratifying and confusing. While it was heartening to see agreement on the principle of universal health care as a human right, the debate format eliminated any opportunity for nuance.That’s why we’re clarifying seven critical issues raised in the debates, and which will likely return during the campaign. Full disclosure: We support Medicare for all and we think that with a clear understanding of the facts, most people will too. (7/17)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.