KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law Overview: At The State Level, Divided Gov’t Still Appears To Function

Some states have had more success striking compromises that expand health insurance coverage.

The New York Times: As Washington Keeps Sinking, Governors Rise
Washington these days is the symbol of governmental failure, rocked by a shutdown, legislative paralysis and the disastrous debut of President Obama's health care program. ... One striking difference between the federal and state level is how governors have dealt with the new health care law. Even as lawmakers in Washington have been embroiled in battles to repeal it, governors in Arkansas and Iowa, to name two, have successfully worked with both parties in search of a compromise to expand insurance coverage for their constituents (Nagourney and Martin, 11/9).

The Associated Press: In Iowa, Divided Government Means Compromise
While the recent federal government shutdown was the perfect example of split-party gridlock in Washington, in other parts of the country opposing parties are actually working together. Welcome to Iowa: a state with a Republican-controlled state House, a Democratic-majority state Senate and a Republican governor. The leaders in this triangle disagree on issues ranging from abortion to taxation, but this year came to bipartisan agreements on a massive property tax cut, increased education spending and an expansion of Medicaid under the newly enacted federal health care overhaul (Lucey, 11/10).

USA Today: Adjoining States Face Differences With Health Care Law
When Joe Atkins hunkered down to draft legislation outlining how Minnesota would implement the Affordable Care Act, he had no idea the results would be so dramatic. The Gopher State is now enrolling individuals through its health-insurance exchange by the thousands and at premium rates that are among the lowest in the country. Next door in Wisconsin, the numbers of Obamacare enrollees have barely hit the hundreds and rates are between 25 and 35 percent higher than in Minnesota (Slack, 11/10).

Los Angeles Times: Californians Have Their Doubts About Healthcare Law
Californians are more supportive of President Obama's healthcare law than the country at large, but they still worry it will raise healthcare costs and hurt the economy, a new poll of registered voters shows. Statewide, 50% said they backed the Affordable Care Act and 42% opposed it, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. That runs counter to national polls that show more people disapprove of Obamacare than support it (Terhune, 11/9).

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