KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

As Enrollment Deadline Nears, Obama Praises Health Law Successes In Radio Address

"It’s making a difference for millions of Americans every day [and] it is only going to get better,” the president says. Also in the news, a look at some health plans that exclude outpatient surgeries, Ohio's lagging enrollment effort, the latest Mississippi figures and the House's postponement of a vote on health care.

The Hill: President Pushes ObamaCare As Enrollment Deadline Nears
President Obama on Saturday touted the successes of his signature healthcare law, just days before the deadline for enrolling in 2016 ObamaCare coverage ends on Jan. 31. “This is healthcare in America today,” he said in his weekly address. “[It is] affordable, portable security for you and your loved ones. It’s making a difference for millions of Americans every day [and] it is only going to get better.” Obama boasted that ObamaCare is expanding healthcare options for everyday Americans. (Hensch, 1/23)

CBS News: President Touts Obamacare Ahead Of Enrollment Deadline
The president ticked off several metrics on America's current health insurance coverage rates, including the nearly 18 million individuals that have gained coverage since the ACA took effect. "For the first time ever, more than 90 percent of Americans are covered," the president said. "We've done all this while cutting our deficits and keeping health care inflation to its lowest levels in 50 years. And we've begun filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we change jobs, lose a job, go back to school or start that new business, we can still get coverage." (Flores, 1/23)

Kaiser Health News: Check The Fine Print: Some Work-Based Health Plans Exclude Outpatient Surgeries
Last year regulators blocked companies with millions of lower-wage workers from claiming that coverage with no inpatient hospital benefits met Obamacare’s strictest standard for large employers. Now that those so-called “skinny plans” aren’t allowed, insurance administrators and many cost-conscious employers are purporting to meet the rules with a new version that excludes another major category: outpatient surgery. The new plans may not survive regulatory scrutiny any more than the old ones did, some experts believe. (Hancock, 1/25)

The Columbus Dispatch: Deadline Looming For Obamacare Signups
With just days left to sign up for health coverage at, a question hangs over Ohio: Beyond its suburban counties, will the state warm up to the government-run marketplace? ... Ohio's overall interest in marketplace coverage has been tepid. A recent Urban Institute analysis of the marketplace's first two years found that the state's enrollment rate — 20 percent of the eligible population — was eighth lowest in the nation. One reason is that premiums for plans sold through the marketplace in Ohio have been higher than those in other states, said Trey Daly, Ohio director for Enroll America. Meanwhile, the tax credits that can help people with lower incomes pay for coverage have been smaller, on average, than in other states, he said.(Sutherly, 1/24)

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