KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Experts, Public Consider Health Reform Merits, Hardships And Unintended Consequences

NPR: Confusion persists about health reform and insurance for members of Congress. "The law stipulates that lawmakers and some members of their staffs enroll in new health insurance exchanges. But an apparent drafting error in the law makes it unclear when that transition is supposed to occur."

According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress may have "left itself with no coverage options, at least for a while ... because there's no date, theoretically, at least according to the CRS, it could be interpreted as lawmakers having to drop their coverage right away and move into other plans that would be created by the new law, except that there aren't any other plans created by the new law just yet. And there won't be likely for at least the next couple of years. ... Congress will almost certainly fix it in some kind of a technical change" (Rovner, 4/13).

The Salt Lake Tribune: Because some Utahns get subsidies to buy insurance through some employer-based plans that cover abortion, an executive order that President Obama signed (as part of the health reform deal) will end those subsidies for those plans.

"Utah health officials saw it coming, and regret the trouble it will cause the 266 working poor adults and 536 children who get help paying their insurance premiums through (a program called Utah's Premium Partnership for Health Insurance). UPP is funded with Medicaid dollars, which under long-standing state and federal rules, can't be used to pay for elective abortions. These rules were never understood to extend to private health insurance plans purchased with help from the government, said Utah Medicaid director Michael Hales." The families got letters last week that gave them until April 15 to verify if their plans cover elective abortions and, if so, they will no longer get the subsidy (Stewart, 4/14).

The Fiscal Times profiles people to illustrate how they will be touched by the new health law. Those profiled include so-called a "young invincible," a "doughnut-hole senior," a "young and under the wire," a"big earner," "struggling small business owners" and the "middle-class family" (Briody and Stodola, 4/13).

PBS Newshour: Floridans and how they will be affected by - as well as their attitudes toward - health reform in a roundtable video. Newshour looked at Tampa in its Spotlight City coverage (Bowser and Ifill, 4/13).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.