KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Wash. Gov. Signs Health Exchange Bill; Texas House Debates Federal Overhaul

As state legislatures wind down their sessions, many are dealing with bills related to the federal health overhaul.

Associated Press/Seattle Times: Washington State Preps For Federal Health Care Law
Gov. Chris Gregoire approved several proposals Wednesday to prepare the state for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, even as Washington's attorney general challenges the law in court. The new bills include a plan to create a state health insurance exchange, making Washington the fourth in the nation to prepare such a system. Obama's health care law requires states to have exchanges operating by 2014. The federal government will create one for states who do not do so (Baker, 5/11).

The Texas Tribune: House Debates Anti-"Obamacare" Bills
In their latest effort to remind Washington how much they hate federal health reform, House lawmakers gave early approval tonight to one measure to hold "Obamacare" at bay and deflected, at least temporarily, another that is directed at the individual mandate for health insurance (Ramshaw, 5/11).

The Associated Press/Minnesota Public Radio: Minn. Rally Shows GOP Rift On Health Exchange Bill
Several Republican lawmakers are appearing to oppose a GOP bill that would establish a state health insurance exchange. The federal law requires states to start the exchanges for consumers to buy insurance when the overhaul takes full effect in 2014 (5/11).

Kansas Health Institute News: Clock Ticking On Roadblocked Health Bills
The divide between House and Senate negotiators over a catch-all health bill deepened today, which means an uncertain future for several initiatives ... The bills in play [include] SB 133 -- Would harmonize state and federal medical privacy laws, easing concerns among doctors about the potential liability issues involved with the digital exchange of electronic health records. ... SB 167 -- Would prohibit anyone from being forced to buy health insurance (Shields, 5/11).

California Healthline: Sequels To ObamaCare: ScottCare, ShumlinCare And More Take Stage
National momentum to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may be at its lowest ebb since the law was passed last year. ... it also affirms that the action on the law is in the states, where officials are getting a chance to shape health reform in ways that President Obama could or would not. Here are three states where new governors are making major decisions that either advance or break with the new federal law: Vermont ... Oklahoma ... Florida (Diamond, 5/11).

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