In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Ending pain and suffering has helped several states pass “right-to-die” laws, but dying patients are more concerned about controlling how they die and dying with dignity. (Liz Szabo, 10/26)
Proposition 106, on Colorado's ballot next month, would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to people who have less than six months to live. A recent poll shows strong support for the measure. (John Daley, Colorado Public Radio, 10/26)
Rhode Island installed coaches in all of the state’s hospital emergency rooms and others are following its lead. (Shefali Luthra, 10/26)
UCLA health policy expert Gerald Kominski says a “public option” health plan would look a lot like private insurance, and politics will determine whether it would happen on a state or national level. (Pauline Bartolone, 10/26)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Snout Job'" by J.C. Duffy.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
HOSPITAL SINKS A BREEDING GROUND FOR BACTERIA
Hygiene first - clean hands!
Too bad the sinks are nasty.
What do we do now?
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
Donald Trump moved to capitalize on the news that the premiums for Affordable Care Act plans are increasing by double digits, but misstepped when saying his employees, who receive coverage through their employer, are having problems with the health law.
The New York Times: Seizing On Rising Costs, Trump Says Health Law Is ‘Over’
Donald J. Trump, desperate for a winning political issue in the final two weeks of the presidential race, fiercely attacked Hillary Clinton on Tuesday over sharp premium increases that will hit some Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act. “The rates are going through the sky,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Sanford, Fla., referring to double-digit increases in battleground states like North Carolina and Iowa. (Healy and Goodnough, 10/25)
The Associated Press: Trump, GOP Look To 'Obamacare' Report As Comeback Lifeline
Suddenly armed with fresh political ammunition, Donald Trump and anxious Republicans across the nation seized on spiking health care costs Tuesday in a final-days effort to spark election momentum. The Republican presidential nominee, trekking across must-win Florida, insisted "Obamacare is just blowing up" after the government projected sharp cost increases for President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Democrat Hillary Clinton, fighting to block Trump in the same battleground state, has vowed to preserve insurance for the millions of Americans covered under the law, but her team described the cost surge as a "big concern." (10/25)
The Washington Post: Trump, Clinton Spar Over Obamacare; Campaign Ends Big-Ticket Fundraisers
At three events across Florida, Trump claimed that the Affordable Care Act was “blowing up” and vowed he would introduce legislation on his first day in office to replace it. “Repealing Obamacare and stopping Hillary’s health-care takeover is one of the single most important reasons that we must win on Nov. 8,” Trump declared at a rally here. He decried the “politicians who rammed this monster down our throats and said: “Hillary Clinton wants to keep it. She wants to spend a fortune on it. ... She wants to double-down on Obamacare and make it even more expensive and worse.” (Sullivan, Gold and Wagner, 10/25)
NPR: Trump Blasts Obamacare At His Miami Golf Course But Misstates Employees' Coverage
"All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare," Trump told reporters during an appearance at the National Doral Golf Club in Miami. "What they're going through with their health care is horrible because of Obamacare." (Horsley, 10/25)
Morning Consult: Responding To Premium Increases, Trump Offers Flurry Of Thoughts On Obamacare
Donald Trump on Tuesday sought to take advantage of the Obama administration’s confirmation of Obamacare premium rates growing 25 percent on average next year, tying the increases to his experience as a businessman. “My employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare,” Trump told reporters at an event with at the Trump National Doral Miami, a hotel he owns in Florida. “What they’re going through with health care is horrible because of Obamacare,” he added, per Bloomberg News. Questions immediately arose about Trump’s comments, as The Trump Organization provides benefits to its full-time employees, like most large U.S. employers. Trump later told Fox News his employees don’t want Obamacare and are happy with the coverage they are provided through The Trump Organization. (McIntire, 10/25)
The Wall Street Journal: Health-Coverage Confusion As Trump Attacks ‘Horrible’ Obamacare
David Feder, Trump Doral’s general manager, said after Mr. Trump’s event that the resort provides health insurance coverage to nearly all of the resort’s 1,200 employees. “There really isn’t a need for the vast majority of our employees to purchase Obamacare,” Mr. Feder said. Mr. Feder said he was not certain what Mr. Trump meant when he said the Affordable Care Act was causing problems for Trump employees. “I wouldn’t say he’s incorrect,” Mr. Feder said. “I would tell you that the only employees I know who may purchase Obamacare are typically part-timers. Again, they’re not full-time employees, so they wouldn’t be eligible for the benefits, and typically in corporate America that’s the way it is.” (Epstein, 10/25)
The Washington Post: Parsing Donald Trump’s Confused, Confusing Explanation Of Why He Doesn’t ‘Use’ Obamacare
In February, Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity that his employees “don't have to worry about Obamacare.” Why? “I treat them really good with health care,” he said. “It's a very important thing.” This makes more sense than saying that all of his employees are having “tremendous problems.” Obamacare is not an insurance program; it is a federal policy that encourages universal health-care coverage by providing a system (the federal or state exchanges) for individuals to get insurance if they are unemployed or their employers don't provide coverage — and by taxing individuals who forgo coverage. To ensure affordability, the government subsidizes those who enroll under one of the exchanges, assuming they're at a certain income level. If Trump's employees were having these tremendous problems with Obamacare, it would mean that they were not receiving coverage through Trump, which he'd said they do. (Bump, 10/25)
The Hill: Trump Calls ObamaCare Stats 'A Lie'
Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed that the Obama administration is lying about the size of ObamaCare premium hikes, saying it put out a "phony" number. The administration on Monday announced that the average premium increase for a benchmark ObamaCare plan will be 25 percent for 2017, a number Republicans quickly seized on to criticize the healthcare program. But Trump took the line of attack a step further. “And the number of 25 percent is nothing,” the GOP presidential nominee told Fox News. “That’s a phony number, too, that’s a lie, just like everything else.” The 25 percent figure is from a 40-page report released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday. (Sullivan, 10/25)
Bloomberg: Trump Seizes On Obamacare Cost Increases To Try To Boost Campaign
Donald Trump took dead aim at Obamacare Tuesday, hoping to use news about skyrocketing premiums as a sword to cut into Hillary Clinton’s sizable lead in the presidential race and put his Democratic rival on the defensive. “This election is going to be about Obamacare. It’s going to be about jobs,” Trump said at a Tuesday morning event in Miami. “Obamacare is just blowing up.” By evening, the embattled Republican nominee had sharpened his attacks on the healthcare program. “It’s killing our businesses. It’s killing our small businesses. And it’s killing individuals,” he said in Tallahassee, his fifth event of the day in the crucial swing state. (Jacobs, 10/25)
Meanwhile, other Republicans pounced —
The Wall Street Journal: GOP Candidates Seize On Premium Increases In Affordable Care Act
Sharp premium increases for coverage under the Affordable Care Act are giving Republican candidates from the top of the ticket down a shared cudgel in the home stretch of the campaign. In recent weeks, many state regulators have been publishing steep increases from market leaders for insurance sold through HealthCare.gov, which offers plans for people in three dozen states who don’t have coverage through an employer or government program such as Medicare. (Radnofsky and Epstein, 10/25)
The Washington Post: Obamacare Premium Hikes Could Be Good News For Republicans. But Just How Good?
It was ostensibly the news that Senate and House Republicans had been waiting for: Two weeks before Election Day, we get word that the average premium for Obamacare health plans sold through HealthCare.gov — the one Republicans have been railing against for six years now — is going to spike by roughly 25 percent, as much as triple 2016 rates. And congressional Republicans were ready. The day the premiums for the Affordable Care Act were announced, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was out with an ad lambasting his opponent for supporting the law. (Phillips, 10/25)
Morning Consult: Ayotte Ad Hits Opponent For Support Of ‘Health Care Law’
One of the most endangered Senate Republicans released a new ad Tuesday hitting her opponent for supporting the “health care law” hurting families in New Hampshire. The ad, from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, was released Tuesday after the Obama administration confirmed double-digit insurance premium hikes in some states for next year. Republicans are jumping on the news as fodder for their argument that Obamacare isn’t working, but the Ayotte ad doesn’t reference Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. (McIntire, 10/25)
Morning Consult: Republicans Happy To Talk Obamacare Instead Of Trump
Republicans trying to defend their House and Senate majorities – and not talk about Donald Trump’s controversies – pounced on Monday’s news of a big rate hike for Americans who purchase health care plans on government-run exchanges. As they see it, a blow to Obamacare should be a blow to all Democrats – a message that Republican campaigns pushed on Tuesday in newly released campaign ads and statements. The issue could impact with the electorate, Republican strategists say. But the impact is less than it could be because the party’s nominee is not helping to drive the message. (Yokley, 10/25)