KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Lawmakers’ Aides Fret Over Requirement To Buy Obamacare Coverage

The New York Times explores how congressional staffs are anxious about a health law provision requiring them to buy coverage in online insurance markets because the federal government may no longer pay a share of their premiums. Meanwhile, The Hill reports on a request to audit Enroll America, a nonprofit that is encouraging people to enroll in new coverage. CQ Healthbeat looks at how the law's definition of a full-time employee is affecting some businesses.

The New York Times: Wrinkle In Health Law Vexes Lawmakers' Aides
As President Obama barnstorms the country promoting his health care law, one audience very close to home is growing increasingly anxious about the financial implications of the new coverage: members of Congress and their personal staffs (Pear, 7/29).

CQ HealthBeat: Definition Of Full-Time Worker Continues To Roil Health Care Law
White Castle might stop making full-time hires because of costs associated with requirements in the health care overhaul, an executive with the hamburger chain recently told a House panel. The testimony from Jamie Richardson was one of the latest examples of an employer citing the law’s definition of a full-time employee as a major problem, and highlighted an ongoing debate over whether a revision is needed (Attias, 7/29).

The Hill: Watchdog Requests IRS Review Of Group That Is Promoting ObamaCare
A watchdog group is asking the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of an organization crucial in helping to promote ObamaCare. Cause of Action has asked the IRS to investigate Enroll America, a nonprofit that is encouraging people to enroll in new coverage options under the healthcare law (Baker, 7/29).

Politico: Mythbusters: Obamacare Edition
There are a lot of wild stories about Obamacare that make the debate sound like a fact-free zone. No, the IRS isn’t going to be posting your medical tests all over the Internet. No, people’s premiums aren’t doubling in the crucial swing state of Ohio (Nather, 7/30).

Modern Healthcare: Reform Update: Aug. 1 Brings Deadline To Report Physician Payments
While much attention was given to the decision to delay the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's employer mandate by one year, another ACA deadline quietly arrives this week. As of Aug. 1, group purchasing organizations and drug and medical-device manufacturers will have to report any "transfers of value" of $10 or more they make to doctors and teaching hospitals (Robeznieks, 7/29).

Contra Costa Times: Concord: Half Of Affordable Care Act Call Center Jobs Will Be Part-Time
Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president's Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup. Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits -- a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time (Gafni, 7/25).

Fox News: Workers At ObamaCare Call Center Angry After Being Offered Jobs Without Health Benefits
A soon-to-be-opened call center meant to help teach the public about ObamaCare is under fire for offering many of its new employees part-time positions — in turn denying them benefits under the very law they are helping to implement. The Contra Costa Times reports the call center, which is set to be opened Oct. 1, attracted about 7,000 applicants for 200 jobs after the county won the right to operate it earlier this year. Many workers and local politicians say they believed that the majority of the positions at the center would be full-time with benefits (7/29).

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