KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Reid Adds To Capitol Hill Dems’ Health Law Implementation Concerns

Senate majority leader becomes the latest prominent Democrat to express concerns about the rollout of the law, placing blame on the Obama administration and on Republicans for resisting adequate funding. 

CBS News: Reid: Obamacare Could Be "Train Wreck" Without More Money
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warned Thursday that Obamacare -- the health care reform law that he played a key role in shepherding through Congress -- risks becoming a "train wreck" because Republicans have resisted adequately funding several key provisions. Reid's comments echoed Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who warned last month during a hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he sees a "huge train wreck coming down" as Congress works to set up the health insurance exchanges, a key pillar of the law's expansion of health care coverage (Miller, 5/2).

The Washington Post's Post Politics: Harry Reid Concerned About Obamacare Implementation
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressed fresh concerns Wednesday about the implementation of the federal health care reform law, while a second congressional Democrat also chimed in with some worry. Reid said he agrees with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of the law’s chief architects, who has expressed concerns about potential problems with implementing some of the law's key components. Baucus recently said he sees a "huge train wreck coming down" the road in the implementation process (Sullivan, 5/2).

The Hill: Rep. Bera 'Concerned' About Obamacare Implementation
Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) is the latest potentially vulnerable Democrat to say he's "concerned" about how the Obama administration is implementing its signature healthcare law. One senior Democrat told The Hill this week that a botched ObamaCare rollout would be a threat to the party in 2014. And Bera, already a top target for Republicans, is clearly worried about the effects of a messy implementation process (Baker, 5/2).

Meanwhile -

NPR: Congress, Staffers Caught Up In Health Act's Sticky Political Situation
Members of Congress have found themselves in another awkward situation when it comes to the federal health law. They wrote the law to require that members and staffs participate in the new health exchanges starting in 2014. But a glitch could stick them with huge out-of-pocket costs. And, as NPR's Julie Rovner tells David Greene, attempts to fix it could be seen as providing special treatment (Greene and Rovner, 5/3).

Also, the Republican National Committee and tea party activists are positioning themselves to use these developments -

The Hill: RNC Launches Petition Drive Against ObamaCare
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is doubling down against ObamaCare this week with a new petition drive against the law. The GOP is preparing to deliver signatures of people who want ObamaCare "exemptions" to federal Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The campaign also mentions allegations that congressional Democrats have tried to exempt Capitol Hill from the law (Viebeck, 5/2).

The Hill: Tea Party Looks To Obamacare For New Life In 2014 Election Cycle
Tea Party leaders have been watching closely as President Obama and other prominent Democrats predict glitches in the law's implementation. Conservative activists see these concessions as a major boon for Tea Party candidates in 2014 as Republicans seek to hold the House and take the Senate. … The law's implementation is "reinvigorating the movement," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots (Viebeck, 5/2).

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