KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Lawsuits, Congressional Charges And Questions About Health Law Initiatives

News outlets explore a range of issues related to the health law's implementation.

Los Angeles Times: Affordable Care Act's Challenge: Getting Young Adults Enrolled
The success of the healthcare law "depends on reaching everyone who is uninsured, but particularly young people who may feel like they don't need insurance," said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Convincing them to spend money on insurance, he said, will be a "marketing challenge" (Gorman, 6/2).

Kaiser Health News: Will Consumers Sign On For Health Law's Co-Ops?
People in the market for health insurance in Oregon want to know what their out-of-pocket expenses will be -- down to the dollar. They want doctors who reply to email. They want the option to see alternative practitioners. ... That’s what focus groups have told Oregon’s first consumer-owned and operated health plan. And that’s what the fledgling co-op is promising to deliver later this year when it begins enrolling its first members. ... But will customers buy insurance from upstart nonprofits? And will the co-op plans be competitive with those offered by industry giants like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna which have the clout to exact big discounts from hospitals and doctor groups (Rabin, 6/2)?

The Hill: House Republicans Renew Effort To Gut Obama's Healthcare 'Slush Fund'
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told his GOP colleagues in a Friday memo that leaders will try again in June to pass a bill that would gut what they call a multi-billion dollar "slush fund" in ObamaCare. Republican leaders tried in April to kill the Prevention and Public Health fund, as part of a bill that also sought to boost funding for a Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP). But rank-and-file Republicans rebelled against boosting the PCIP, which was also part of ObamaCare. ... According to Cantor, the Helping Sick Americans Now Act, H.R. 1549, has been retooled so that it will still repeal the slush fund, but will not boost funding for the PCIP. Instead, the bill will fund state-based high-risk pools (Kasperowicz, 5/31).

The Hill: Court Challenges Could Tear Down Major Pieces Of ObamaCare
Despite surviving a stiff challenge at the Supreme Court last year, some of the law’s biggest provisions remain at risk from legal challenges. One set of lawsuits accuses the Internal Revenue Service of illegally implementing new subsidies to help people buy insurance. Separately, more than 60 lawsuits have been filed challenging the law’s mandate for health plans to cover birth control. A loss for the administration on the contraception mandate would undermine a key selling point for the law that Democrats used to court women in the 2012 elections. The challenge to the law's insurance subsidies, while more obscure, poses a far bigger and more dangerous threat to the Affordable Care Act (Baker, 6/2).

Politico: Innovation Director Of CMS Is Moving On
The innovation center charged by the health reform law with finding solutions to the toughest questions in health care — how to reduce costs and change the way health care is delivered — is losing its first leader (Haberkorn, 6/3).

Politico: How Well Do You Know Kathleen Sebelius?
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has spent much of her career in politics, and has been in the headlines as the next stages of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act are implemented. But how well do you know her? Take POLITICO'’s quiz to find out (Cirilli and Gold, 6/3).

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