KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Kentucky, Georgia Offer Insights To Health Law Realities

The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News examine how the overhaul is working on the ground in specific locations. 

The Washington Post: Life After Jan. 1: Kentucky Clinic Offers Early Glimpse At Realities Of Health-Care Law
This is the world that many critics of the new health-care law have worried about, one in which the sick and the poor expand the ranks of Medicaid while other Americans see premiums rise, policies canceled or favorite doctors booted out of networks. Supporters of the new law argue that another scenario will unfold in places such as eastern Kentucky, in which the sick and the poor get insurance, seek treatment for long-neglected illnesses and prevent other health problems down the line, ultimately saving the health-care system billions in emergency-room visits and other costs. A week at the Breathitt County Family Health Center provides an early glimpse into how those theories are beginning to play out in a place where people have long worried about having no insurance at all (McCrummen, 2/1).

Kaiser Health News: In Southwest Georgia, The Affordable Care Act Is Having Trouble Living Up To Its Name
All the dynamics that drive up health costs have coalesced here in Southwest Georgia, pushing up premiums. Expensive chronic conditions such as obesity and cancer are common among the quarter million people in this region. One hospital system dominates the area, leaving little competition. Only one insurer is offering policies in the online marketplace, and many physicians are not participating, limiting consumer choice (Rau, 2/3).

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