KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

How Much Will The Health Law Cost? Depends On Whom You Ask

Some restaurant chains now say the health law may not cost them so much after all -- mostly because many employees either won't qualify for coverage or may decline it. Meanwhile, analysis continues of a Society of Actuaries projection of big increases in medical claims costs for insurers in the individual market. And the Associated Press examines President Barack Obama's promises regarding health care.

The Wall Street Journal: Restaurant Chains Cut Estimates For Health-Law Costs
Restaurant owners have been fierce critics of the health-care overhaul law, fearing that its mandate for employers to offer insurance more broadly will drive up costs and deter hiring. Now, some operators say the law may not be that costly after all. They say many employees won't qualify for coverage, and many of those who do qualify will decline company-offered insurance (Thurm, 3/27).

Kaiser Health News: FAQ On The Latest Study: Obamacare's Impact On Insurance Claim Costs
It's too early to know how much individual health insurance policies will cost once the online marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act launch Jan. 1. But that hasn’t stopped experts and interest groups from making predictions. The latest analysis comes from the Society of Actuaries. It's attracting attention because of the group's expertise and nonpartisanship. What actuaries do for a living — predicting future expense based on multiple squishy factors — is at the core of figuring out what will happen under Obamacare (Hancock, 3/28).

The Associated Press: Promises, Promises: Obama On Health Care
The issue: Health care was the defining political battle of President Barack Obama's first term, and — after the economy— it remains his most complicated policy challenge at home, central to his place in history. Fixing the system is a tall order as "Obamacare's" major coverage expansion takes effect this year and next (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/28).

National Journal: The Secret Republican Plan To Repeal 'Obamacare'
A few minutes after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision upholding President Obama’s health care law last summer, a senior adviser to Mitch McConnell walked into the Senate Republican leader’s office to gauge his reaction. McConnell was clearly disappointed, and for good reason. For many conservatives, the decision was the death knell in a three-year fight to defeat reforms that epitomized everything they thought was wrong with Obama’s governing philosophy (Frates, 3/27).

In California -

Los Angeles Times: Low-Income California Seniors To Move Into New Managed Care Plan
In a major shift triggered by the national healthcare law, nearly half a million low-income California seniors and disabled patients will begin moving into a new managed care program this fall. The patients, who receive both Medi-Cal and Medicare, are among the most costly in the state. Officials believe that the program, Cal MediConnect, will reduce spending and improve care by shifting the patients out of a fragmented system and into one that is more coordinated (Gorman, 3/27).

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