KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Conservative Groups Urge States, Insurers To Seek Health Law Waivers

Two groups on the right are urging states and insurers to seek waivers from the Democrats' health care law including exemptions from so-called "mini-med" plans and medical-loss ratio requirements. HHS is also refusing to release the names of rejected waiver applicants.

Politico: Right Urges States To Seek Health Waiver
High-profile conservative groups, including Let Freedom Ring and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, are calling on state governors and insurance commissioners to seek waivers from the Obama administration for two major health reform provisions. In a letter Thursday morning, the groups urged state officials to seek exemptions, the so-called mini-med waivers, from the law's annual benefit limit, and to opt out of the medical loss ratio requirements, which regulate how much insurers must spend on providing care (Millman, 5/19).

The Hill: Conservative Groups Push States To Seek Waivers
Conservative activists are urging every state to apply for adjustments and waivers available under health care reform, a push that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described as "unfortunate." A coalition of conservative activists, led by Let Freedom Ring, wrote to governors and insurance commissioners Thursday, encouraging them to apply for adjustments to rules in the health care law that govern insurers' spending (Baker, 5/19).

The Hill: HHS Refusing To Release Names Of Rejected Health Care Waiver Applicants
The Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it is standing by its policy of not releasing the names of rejected health care reform waiver applicants despite growing criticism on the right. "It is a long-standing policy that Federal agencies do not release organizations that apply for grants, waivers or other government programs," HHS spokeswoman Jessica Santillo told The Hill via e-mail (Pecquet, 5/19).

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