In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals made a high-stakes trade of massive cuts in federal aid in exchange for millions of newly insured customers. Now that deal is in jeopardy. (Sarah Varney, 2/28)
Indiana's conservative take on Medicaid expansion is up for renewal in the home state of Vice President Mike Pence. But there are some discrepancies between the state's application for renewal and facts about the program. (Jake Harper, Side Effects Public Media, 2/28)
In direct primary care, a monthly fee covers routine care, limiting insurers' role. But does it really provide better value? (Michelle Andrews, 2/28)
Hospice groups are teaming up with specially trained paramedics to deal with common problems that worried patients or families incorrectly think need hospital care. (Charlotte Huff, 2/28)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Bird-Dog?'" by Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Here's today's health policy haiku:
What is the Trump plan?
Nation gets huge coverage.
Specifics? No way.
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:
President Donald Trump's address to Congress comes a day after he released a spending plan that skirts attempts to cut Medicare.
Bloomberg: Trump Promises ‘Something Special’ On Health Care Before Speech
President Donald Trump said his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday will offer “something special” on his health-care overhaul efforts, as his administration gets increasingly involved with Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. ... Trump and congressional Republicans are pushing ahead with their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law also known as Obamacare. Their stated goals have sometimes been at odds -- with Trump promising better, less-expensive care for all, all while not touching entitlement programs like Medicare, and Republicans in Congress admitting that their plan is likely to cover fewer of the 20 million people who gained coverage under the ACA. (Tracer, Edney and Jacobs, 2/27)
The Washington Post: Trump Touts Spending Plan, But Promise To Leave Entitlements Alone Puts GOP In A Quandary
President Trump is preparing a budget that would fulfill some of his top campaign promises by boosting military spending while cutting domestic programs. But his reluctance to embrace cuts to entitlement programs could lead to sharp tensions with Republicans in Congress who have long argued that Medicare and Social Security must be overhauled to ensure the government’s fiscal health. (Phillip and Snell, 2/27)
The Wall Street Journal: House Republicans Expect Trump Will Get On Board With Medicare, Social Security Cuts
House Republicans, confronted with President Donald Trump’s opposition to curbing spending on Medicare and Social Security, said Monday they were optimistic Mr. Trump would change his mind once he looks more closely at the longer-term numbers. White House officials said Monday that Mr. Trump will seek to increase military spending by 10% above budget caps set into law for next year, offset by cuts to nondefense spending, in his first budget proposal next month. (son, 2/27)
The Wall Street Journal: Former Governor Who Embraced Health Law To Rebut Trump’s Speech
Democrats chose a former red-state governor known for embracing the Affordable Care Act to offer rebuttal Tuesday night to President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who left office in December 2015, is barely known outside his home state and doesn’t represent the populist bent in today’s Democratic politics. But he does come with a résumé entry important to the party’s current identity: He made Obamacare popular. (Epstein, 2/27)
The Associated Press: Activist To Address Immigration, Health After Trump Speech
An activist who will deliver a Democratic response in Spanish to President Donald Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday plans to address his administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants and the need for affordable health care. (Cano, 2/27)
Cleveland Plain-Dealer: Ohio Congress Members Make Political Points With Guests To Donald Trump's Speech
Donald Trump won't be the only one trying to score political points when he delivers his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. Just as presidents usually invite guests in the audience to highlight their speech's policy initiatives, members of Congress from Ohio and across the nation will bring their own guests, each meant to convey a message. For Democrats Marcy Kaptur of Toledo and Joyce Beatty of the Columbus area, that message is: "Don't mess with the Affordable Care Act." (Eaton, 2/27)
The president said the intricacies of replacing the health law could slow progress on other priorities, such as the tax overhaul and infrastructure.
The New York Times: Trump Concedes Health Law Overhaul Is ‘Unbelievably Complex’
President Trump, meeting with the nation’s governors, conceded Monday that he had not been aware of the complexities of health care policy-making: “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” The president also suggested that the struggle to replace the Affordable Care Act was creating a legislative logjam that could delay other parts of his political agenda. (Pear and Kelly, 2/27)
The Associated Press: Trump Warns Health Care System Will 'Implode' Unless Fixed
Trump said at a White House meeting with dozens of governors that he hoped to overhaul the American tax system but that was a "tiny little ant" compared to what he would need to do to remake the so-called Obamacare law. The president's first major meeting with governors comes as Congress prepares to move forward on a repeal and replacement of the health care law, one of Trump's main campaign promises. Governors have raised concerns that the changes could undermine their efforts to expand Medicaid in their states and leave them stuck with a bigger share of the health care tab. (Thomas, 2/27)
The Wall Street Journal: Trump Calls Health Care ‘So Complicated,’ But Vows To Replace Law
Noting the ACA’s increasing popularity, Mr. Trump said, “People hate it, but now they see that the end is coming, they say, ‘Oh, maybe we love it.’ There’s nothing to love, it’s a disaster, folks, OK? So you have to remember that.” The comments came at a pivotal moment in Republicans’ efforts to undo the ACA after seven years of decrying it as a government takeover of health care. (Radnofsky, Mathews Wilde and Hackman, 2/27)
The Hill: Trump: 'Nobody Knew That Healthcare Could Be So Complicated'
Governors have been split on what should be done with ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, which brought health coverage to many even in deep-red states. Trump didn't publicly address that issue Monday morning, but said ObamaCare's repeal and replacement will give states more flexibility "to make the end result really, really good for them." "We have come up with a solution that's really, really good I think. Very good." (Hellmann, 2/27)
The Hill: After Meeting With Trump, Governors Say He's Crafting His Own ObamaCare Plan
President Trump told governors at a meeting at the White House Monday that his administration will put forward its own ObamaCare replacement plan within a few weeks, according to two governors who attended the meeting. The message came in one of several meetings between the administration, lawmakers and top state officials as Republicans try to find a path forward on ObamaCare, particularly the law’s expansion of Medicaid. Several Republican governors and lawmakers from states that accepted the expansion are looking to protect it, creating a thorny issue for the GOP. (Sullivan, 2/27)
President Donald Trump held a meeting with executives to get them on board with Republican plans to dismantle the health law.
Reuters: Trump Seeks Help Of Insurers To Smooth Obamacare Transition
President Donald Trump sought on Monday to bring the nation's largest insurance companies on board with his plans to overhaul Obamacare, saying their help was needed to deliver a smooth transition to the Republicans' new plan. "We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare – you people know that and everyone knows that - to create more competition and to bring down prices substantially," Trump told insurers at a meeting at the White House. (Humer and Abutaleb, 2/27)