KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Bill Would Expand Health Law Subsidies For Those In High-Cost Areas

The bill would tie subsidy levels to cost of living around the nation instead of to the national federal poverty level. In the meantime, a lawmaker from Colorado introduces a bill to speed construction of VA hospitals.

The Sacramento Bee: Obamacare: Two Bay Area Legislators Want To Expand Law's Subsidies In High-Cost Areas 
Hoping to increase the number of Americans eligible for tax subsidies under the new federal health care law, two Bay Area lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would expand the subsidized income level for those living in high-cost areas of the country. U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Mike Thompson, D-Napa, say the Fair Access to Health Act ties health insurance subsidies to the cost of living in a geographic area instead of to the national federal poverty level (Seipel, 2/4).

The Denver Post: Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman Targets Delays Of VA Hospital Projects
Rep. Mike Coffman introduced legislation Wednesday to speed construction and rein in costs of three Veterans Affairs hospital construction projects, including the one in Aurora. Coffman's legislation, co-sponsored by a Democrat and fellow member of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations, would require that an emergency manager from the Army Corps of Engineers be appointed to provide oversight for all existing VA major medical facility projects under construction (Sherry, 2/6).

And in Arkansas --

USA Today: Mark Pryor Criticizes Tom Cotton On Medicare In New Campaign Ads
Sen. Mark Pryor is going on the air in Arkansas with new ads hitting GOP Rep. Tom Cotton over Medicare. Pryor, one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year, criticizes Cotton in both ads for supporting a Republican plan to “change Medicare into a voucher system.” That’s a reference to House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s bill in the last Congress to dramatically overhaul the federal health care program for seniors by allowing them to buy their own insurance plans from private companies (Camia, 2/5). 

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