KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Tavenner Challenges GOP Health Law Claims During Capitol Hill Hearing

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services chief Marilyn Tavenner disputed statements by Republican lawmakers that the country's health care reform law is causing workers to lose hours or benefits. The acting head of the Internal Revenue Service also testified.

Reuters: U.S. Official Challenges Claim That Obamacare Hurts Workers
At a stormy House of Representatives committee hearing, Marilyn Tavenner, who heads the Medicare and Medicaid programs, said she has found only anecdotal evidence of employers reducing work hours or benefits because of worries about President Barack Obama's landmark reforms, which take effect on January 1 (Morgan, 8/1).

The Hill: Official Disputes That Work Hours Are Being Cut Due To ObamaCare
"There are stories with both [good and bad] examples and that will continue to be the case," Tavenner told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Republicans fired back that the Obama administration is not paying attention to news reports about the choices facing business owners under ObamaCare (Viebeck, 8/1).

The Hill: Top Implementer: ObamaCare Will Be Ready
Tavenner delivered confident predictions about ObamaCare's roll-out to members of Congress and promised that the exchanges will open for enrollment on Oct. 1 as scheduled (Viebeck, 8/1).

Medpage Today: GOP 'Sabotaging' ACA Rollout, Dems Charge
"We are so ready; I just cannot wait for those 60 days," Tavenner told MedPage Today after a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the ACA's implementation. At that hearing, Democrats charged Republicans in a report of lying and generally being disingenuous at the eleventh hour of ACA implementation -- hindering "millions of their poorest constituents from receiving health insurance coverage" (Pittman, 8/1).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Officials Face Obamacare 'Data Hub' Questions On Capitol Hill
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey speaks with Politico Pro's Jennifer Haberkorn about two House committee meetings on Capitol Hill Thursday where IRS and CMS officials faced questions about implementing a system to verify consumer income under the health law. ... [HABERKORN:] When you sign up to try to get a subsidy, your information will go through this data hub and be checked with the IRS. It will go to the Social Security Administration. All this information is going to go through there (8/1).

CBS News: GOP Questions IRS About Fraud, Taxes In Obamacare
As the IRS attempts to administer the new aspects of Obamacare, it could hit taxpayers with unexpected tax bills or end up doling out subsidies to frauds, Republicans warned in a House committee hearing Thursday. Officials from the IRS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that the Obamacare rollout is proceeding as planned, insisting that the GOP's concerns about fraud and unforeseen taxes are misguided. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., countered that he wasn't misguided -- the IRS is (Condon, 8/1).

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