KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: January 11, 2011

Today's headlines include reports about how a recent high court ruling may offer clues as to how the Supreme Court will view a key aspect of the health overhaul law.

Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration's Balancing Act: Health Insurance Benefits Vs. Costs
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports: "Even as House Republicans press to repeal the health care law, government advisers this week are preparing to wade into one of the most contentious questions raised by the legislation: What benefits must insurers cover?" (Appleby, 1/10).

Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Some States Have Options To Help Consumers Find Individual Health Coverage
In her latest Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews answers questions about options available to help people seeking health insurance on the individual market (Andrews, 1/11).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill – January 10, 2011
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with KFF's Jackie Judd about the status of the GOP push to repeal the health law. Watch the video.

Kaiser Health News: Effort To Reward Medicare Advantage Plans Draws Criticism
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports: "Lake Wobegon has come to Medicare – and a key advisory panel doesn't like it. The panel, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac), in a Jan. 6 letter does not mention the fictional Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average. But it hints that not every Medicare Advantage insurer deserves to be above average" (Appleby, 1/10).

Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court Ruling Hints Difficulty For Obama Insurance Law Foes
The Supreme Court may not be so anxious to rein in Congress' broad power to pass regulatory laws under the Constitution's commerce clause, the key point of dispute in the pending court battles over President Obama's health insurance law (Savage, 1/11).

The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog: Does Dissent In Body-Armor Case Bode Ill For Health-Care Law?
Those reading the tea leaves on how the Supreme Court will judge the health-care overhaul may want to examine a dissent filed by two conservative justices this morning in a case involving the Constitution's Commerce Clause (Bravin, 1/10).

The Washington Post: Cleveland Clinic, MedStar Join Forces To Move Medical Technologies To Market
The Cleveland Clinic, one of the country's most prominent medical research centers, and MedStar Health, the largest health-care provider in Maryland and the Washington region, will collaborate to bring medical inventions to market, according to a plan to be announced Tuesday (Sun, 1/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Abortion Rate Rises After A Long Decline
Rachel Jones, senior research associate at Guttmacher, said the stalled decline may be tied to several factors, such as the fact that teenage-pregnancy rates appear to have stopped falling and the absence of any gains in contraceptive use in recent years. The recession may also have played a role, prompting people to think twice about the costs of raising a child, Dr. Jones said, though Guttmacher estimates that the abortion fall-off ended before the downturn started in 2007 (Mathews, 1/11).

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