A selection of opinions on the health care debate from around the country.

The Wall Street Journal:
How Many Jobs Does ObamaCare Kill?

Democrats loudly complain that people will lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. They never mention those who lose jobs because the ACA remains. The ACA includes a penalty on employers that fail to provide “adequate” insurance for full-time workers. Thanks to the ACA, hiring the 50th full-time employee effectively costs another $70,000 a year on top of the normal salary and benefits. (Casey B. Mulligan, 7/5)

GOP’s Health Plan Should Be More Ambitious, Not Less

Keeping in mind what a lousy form of coverage Medicaid is, I think it would make more sense to direct any additional federal resources to help people with low incomes get private insurance. The bill could provide those who need it with larger tax credits, or with money toward their deductibles. Amending the bill this way would have the additional advantage of broadening the pool of people in the individual insurance market. It wouldn’t make the legislation popular, or make it a repeal and replacement of Obamacare. But a bill with this modification would make the best of the Republicans’ bad situation. (Ramesh Ponnuru, 7/5)

The Wall Street Journal:
The GOP’s Fatal Infatuation

Watching the Republican party self-immolate over the ObamaCare law, I’d like to shake the hand of whoever had the idea to plant the expansion of federal Medicaid payments inside ObamaCare. Before this, Washington on average has been paying about 57% of Medicaid’s costs. ObamaCare expanded the federal payment’s share to 100% of newly eligible adults for any state that signed on, with the match “falling” permanently to 90% in 2020. That was political genius. … What an irony it is that one of the Republican arguments made now for preserving ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is the opioid crisis. Even after the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Medicaid’s expansion was optional, some Republican governors got hooked on the promise of federal cash flow to the horizon. (Daniel Henninger, 7/5)

Memo To Mitch McConnell: Let’s Get Real About Health Care Costs

Slouching towards Kentucky and this week’s July 4th recess after failing to pass his health bill, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell learned a hard-knocks lesson. … If you want to rein in what the government pays for health, focus on America’s highest-in-the-world medical prices instead of denying folks coverage. (Rich Barlow, 7/6)

The Washington Post:
‘Repeal Now, Replace Later’ Will Kill The GOP’S Health-Care Reform

When King Solomon proposed splitting the baby, he knew that actually splitting the baby would have killed it. It was a ruse to save the child. Yet some Republican senators don’t seem to understand that splitting the GOP health-care bill — the “repeal then replace” approach — will similarly kill both the prospects of health-care reform and quite possibly the GOP’s control of Congress. (Marc A. Thiessen, 7/5)

The New York Times:
Ted Cruz Has An Idea For How To Cover High-Risk Patients

His proposal, which he’s circulating to his colleagues on typed handouts, wouldn’t explicitly create and fund the special insurance markets, as the House bill did. Instead, insurance experts said, it would create a sort of de facto high risk pool, by encouraging customers with health problems to buy insurance in one market and those without illnesses to buy it in another. … But there is one big drawback to the Cruz plan, compared with a traditional high-risk pool. Because of how the proposal is structured, only Americans with relatively low incomes would be able to access the tax credits. That means that, even for Americans solidly in the middle class, comprehensive insurance might remain out of their financial reach. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 7/5)

Huffington Post:
Now The GOP Is Defending Obamacare Repeal By Attacking Hillary Clinton

Unable to win public support for [their health care bill], as the proposal’s dismal poll numbers indicate, Republicans are now resorting to a more familiar political tactic. They are attacking Hillary Clinton. Like so many things Republicans have said about health care, or about Hillary Clinton for that matter, these new statements aren’t consistent with the facts. But they do reveal a lot about how the two parties understand health care ― and the policy tradeoffs each is willing to make. (Jonathan Cohn, 7/5)

Cincinnati Enquirer:
Leave Medicaid Expansion Alone

The benefits of Medicaid expansion in Ohio are beyond question, from dramatically reducing the number of uninsured to providing millions of dollars to combat the state’s opioid epidemic. … That’s why the editorial board strongly supports Gov. John Kasich’s action in vetoing the freeze on Medicaid expansion proposed by Republican lawmakers in the state budget bill. (7/5)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Our Medicaid Matters

Medicaid benefits are absolutely essential for people with disabilities, and a reduction in federal reimbursements — one proposal would slash Medicaid by $860 billion over 10 years — would not only significantly cut state revenue, but would be disastrous for all individuals involved and especially people with disabilities. (Colleen Kelly Starkloff, 7/6)

Sacramento Bee:
Scared Democrats Are The Hurdle To Single Payer

The party that once stood for progressive ideals of inclusion and social justice has repeatedly cried uncle on single payer, blaming logistics, funding or the “political climate”…. Obama, Pelosi and Brown all supported single payer earlier in their careers, but now lack the vision and conviction because widespread public support for single payer isn’t already there, gift-wrapped for their political convenience. (Harry Snyder and Courtney Hutchison, 7/5)

Arizona Republic:
Planned Parenthood Shouldn’t Abandon Abortion

Yes, defunding Planned Parenthood means clipping the group’s ability to provide all sorts of other family-planning programs. Critics of Planned Parenthood have every right to oppose abortion, but they don’t have the right to make medical decisions for everyone else. (Elvia Diaz, 7/5)

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