KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Analyzing The Impact Of The Court’s Consideration Of The Health Law

USA Today reports that the Supreme Court's review could cause the the health law debate to stretch through the presidential campaign. Other media outlets take a look at what would happen without the individual mandate, and at stakeholders' positions related to the law's Medicaid expansion.

USA Today: Court Action Could Prolong Health Care Fight
Next month's challenge to the Obama-sponsored health care law could affect the care available to most Americans, alter the balance of power between Washington and the states and remain a flash point through this presidential campaign (Biskupic, 2/21).

Politico Pro: Attorney: No 'Death Spiral' If Mandate Goes
A court-appointed attorney on Friday told the Supreme Court that there is no reason to eliminate health care reform's guaranteed issue and community rating provisions if it declares the individual mandate unconstitutional. "Although the guaranteed issue and community rating provisions were meant to work together with the minimum coverage provision, and likely will operate less ideally without the minimum coverage provision, it does not follow that Congress, confronted with that prospect, would prefer to return to the prior health insurance system, where large numbers of people, in need of insurance but with pre-existing illnesses or conditions, were excluded from the market," the attorney, Bartow Farr, wrote in a brief (Haberkorn, 2/17).

Modern Healthcare: Hospital Groups Dispute States' Arguments Against Medicaid Expansion
A friend-of-the-court brief filed by interest groups representing virtually every hospital in America urges the Supreme Court to reject arguments by 26 states that the expanded Medicaid eligibility called for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care is unconstitutionally "coercive."... The hospitals' 30-page brief counters that allowing states to torpedo the reform law's Medicaid changes would amount to a kind of "heckler's veto" in which all states would have to approve changes to the program before Congress could pass them (Carlson, 2/17).

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