KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Detailing The Health Law’s Implementation Hurdles

Continued opposition to the overhaul is one of the administration's biggest challenges. In addition, many consumers eligible to buy insurance in new online marketplaces still don't understand their benefits and obligations under the law. Meanwhile, insurance companies are gearing up to sell policies.

Politico: Obamacare Tougher To Launch Than Medicare
President Barack Obama says he’s not worried that all the Obamacare fights will kill the law — because people fought the creation of Medicare and Social Security too, and now they’re more popular than ever. ... But this time there's a difference. Political opposition to Obamacare is still as strong as ever, more than three years after it was signed into law. That means the administration’s task in launching the health care law — the biggest new social program since the creation of Medicare in 1965 — is harder than anything its predecessors had to face (Nather, 8/18).

Los Angeles Times: As Healthcare Overhaul Nears, Many Consumers Still In The Dark
While government officials tout the broad benefits of the Affordable Care Act to drum up enrollment, many consumers are eager to know how the overhaul will affect them personally, from pocketbook concerns to worries about whether their local doctor and hospital will be included. And, so far, there have been considerably more questions than answers, as officials and insurers scramble to get ready and clarify many of the details that people care about the most (Terhune, 8/17).

NPR: You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act
The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system. We know it's confusing, so we're spending part of the summer and fall answering at least some of your questions about the law (Rovner, 8/19).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: How Obama's Health Plan Will Affect Ohioans: Four Real Cases
Health care reform will affect everyone in different ways. Some people will pay much less than they are currently paying for their insurance and get better coverage. Those with chronic conditions will no longer be denied coverage or face higher rates, plus they will benefit from caps on out-of-pocket costs. Still, all of this information can seem abstract and difficult to wade through. To help understand its real impact, The Plain Dealer examined four real-life case studies(Villacorta, 4/17).

Dallas Morning News: Economic Snapshot: The Affordable Care Act And You
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s biggest impact so far begins on Jan. 1, when millions of Americans will be added to the rolls of health insurers. People on Medicare, Medicaid and other government insurance programs are not affected. Those who get insurance at work will basically see no change. Here’s a look at how it will work (Landers and Hogue, 8/18).

Arizona Republic: Health-Care Taxes Are Complicated Calculation
The Affordable Care Act is a complex piece of legislation. How complicated? The Internal Revenue Service has just launched a separate website,, to help explain it. The site is worth perusing, especially if you make a lot of money or run a business. Otherwise, if you can remember three key numbers about the new law, also known as “Obamacare,” that should go a long way toward simplifying things. Those numbers are $125,000, $200,000 and $250,000 (Wiles, 8/17).

Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.Com: Insurers Gearing Up For Obamacare Business
With new federal rules and mandates, you'd think that health insurers would be beating the loudest drum in the repeal-the-Affordable Care Act band. But they're not, and there are a couple of reasons why (Calandra, 8/18).

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