Viewpoints: Executive Actions Don’t Make A Better Health Care Plan; Court With Barrett Can Destroy Obamacare

Editorial pages focus on these health care issues and others.

Los Angeles Times:
At Biden Debate, Trump Still Has No Healthcare Plan

Analyzing the policy positions taken by President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden at Tuesday’s anarchic debate is like critiquing the footwear of the fighters in a steel cage match. The evening wasn’t about policy, it was about force — and more precisely, it was about Trump trying to batter Biden into incoherence with his relentless interruptions, attacks and wild claims. Nevertheless, the two candidates made some points about healthcare early in the evening that are worth resurrecting from the wreckage because they illustrate how much of Trump’s presidency has been about symbolic moves instead of substantive ones. (Jon Healey, 9/30)

Fox News:
ObamaCare And The Supreme Court — Can The Government Force Us To Eat Broccoli?

With President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday, the Affordable Care Act — ObamaCare — is back in the news. Barrett expressed constitutional misgivings about ObamaCare 10 years ago when she was a professor at Notre Dame Law School, and some folks who oppose her nomination have argued that should she be confirmed in the next month, she should not hear the Nov. 10 arguments on ObamaCare. Wait a minute. Didn’t the Supreme Court already uphold ObamaCare in 2012? Yes, it did. So why is the constitutionality of this legislation back before the Supreme Court? (Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, 10/1)

The Wall Street Journal:
Pre-Existing Condition Fiction

Joe Biden claimed at Tuesday’s debate that “100 million people who have pre-existing conditions” will lose insurance if the Trump Administration wins an Affordable Care Act case at the Supreme Court. Democrats have terrified voters with this fiction for years, and Republican confusion has helped keep the fear alive. So let’s explain the reality one more time. Stipulate first that the GOP attorneys general asking the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act are committing political malpractice. As we wrote Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts’s Court is not about to strike down the entire law, and Democrats know it. But the Trump Administration’s support of the lawsuit has handed Democrats a potent line of attack. (9/30)

Huffington Post:
The Big Health Care Lie You Could Barely Hear In The First Presidential Debate

Polls have shown, consistently and conclusively, that the public does not want the Affordable Care Act thrown out. Whatever their thoughts about “Obamacare,” voters want its expansions of insurance and protections for preexisting conditions to stay in place. Trump knows that, too. It’s why he keeps insisting he wouldn’t take that coverage and those protections away ― and, presumably, why he kept interrupting Biden. But the record is clear. (Jonathan Cohn, 9/29)

A Vote To Confirm Amy Coney Barrett Is A Vote To Kill The Affordable Care Act

For reasons I’ve written about, I pledge allegiance to the “anti” side on abortion. But if I were a senator, I’d vote against putting my fellow Catholic, Amy Coney Barrett, on the Supreme Court, absent new revelations during her confirmation hearing. I don’t doubt predictions, based on Barrett’s words, that she’d likely vote to further restrict or overturn Roe v. Wade. But hysterics on the left and obsessive-compulsives on the right both grossly hyperbolize the salience of the issue. On a more important and imminent matter — the fate of Obamacare — Barrett’s querulous utterances against that law suggest that she might condemn thousands to a premature burial. (Rich Barlow, 10/1)

The Washington Post:
The Horrific Debate Shows Exactly Why Trump Shouldn’t Get A Second Term

Tuesday’s presidential debate was a horrific event, with only one conclusion: President Trump has no business inhabiting the White House now, and most certainly should not receive a second term. The president’s behavior onstage was rude, bullying and rampantly inappropriate. To say it was like a 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum is to insult the toddler. No one should want this man in control of a television remote, never mind the nuclear button. The president lied — a lot. He asserted widespread voter fraud, falsely saying ballots were getting dumped in rivers. He promised drug prices “will be coming down 80 or 90 percent,” when they went up 3 percent last year. He claimed to have an Obamacare replacement, then couldn’t coherently explain anything resembling one. (Helaine Olen, 9/31)

The Hill:
Medicare Drug Discount Cards Will Be Future Disaster For Republicans 

Donald Trump is eager to show he can lower prescription drug costs, and he’s running out of time. Drug companies refused a demand to send $100 cash cards to seniors in time for the election. Last week, the President announced that Medicare would send out cards, raising the value to $200. That’s a trick that is likely to backfire on Republicans. (Joseph Antos, 9/30)

Los Angeles Times:
Why Abuse Of Immigrants In ICE Detention Is Getting Worse 

In immigrant rights circles, it is common to hear the phrase “abolish ICE,” a sentiment that has grown stronger with every new abuse. A whistleblower recently filed a complaint about a gynecologist in Georgia performing hysterectomies on migrant women in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement without fully informed consent. Women from the same immigration detention center in Georgia have also reported being subjected to unnecessary gynecological procedures. (Jennifer R. Najera, 10/1)

The Hill:
Preventing Next Pandemic Requires New Bill’s Global Solutions 

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than one million lives, shattered the global economy and left many people overwhelmed by the harsh realities of a changing world. Congress has struggled desperately to address the disease’s impacts. Yet lawmakers and all Americans have to grapple with a disturbing and irrefutable fact: Even as the novel coronavirus continues to inflict immense suffering, the next pandemic disease could already be brewing somewhere in the world, preparing to leap to people from bats or other host animals. (Stephanie Kurose, 9/30)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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