KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some Health Law Funding Becomes ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Casualty

The agreement approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama would kill new funding for health insurance co-operatives. The fiscal deal also officially repealed the health law's CLASS Act, but establishes a new bipartisan commission to develop a plan for long-term care services for elderly and disabled people.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Fiscal Deal Kills New Funding For Health Law's Co-Ops
The fiscal cliff deal, approved by Congress on New Year's Day, eliminates most of the more than $1.4 billion in remaining funding from the federal health law for new nonprofit, customer-owned health plans designed to compete against the major for-profit insurers (Galewitz, 1/2).

The Washington Post's Wonkblog: The Fiscal Cliff Cuts $1.9 Billion From Obamacare. Here's How.
The fiscal cliff deal is, obviously, mostly about preventing the fiscal cliff and stopping a wave of huge spending cuts. At the same time, legislators did find ways to make some relatively important health policy changes too. They include everything from raising Medicare doctor's pay, repealing a part of the Obamacare and cutting over a billion from the law's funding (Kliff, 1/2).

CQ HealthBeat: New Bipartisan Commission To Kick Off Search For Answers On Long-Term Care
A new high-level commission created to develop a national plan for long-term services for the elderly and disabled will have six months to come up with recommendations on one of the most complex and difficult issues in health care. The fiscal cliff bill, approved by the Senate and House and sent to President Barack Obama late Tuesday, has nine pages devoted to establishment of the Commission on Long-Term Care, a 15-member temporary body modeled on other independent health care panels, such as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (Norman, 1/2).

The Boston Globe: Agreement Makes Social Programs More Vulnerable
The lack of spending cuts in legislation that averted the fiscal cliff will place enormous pressure on entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and even the president's new heath insurance plan when negotiations begin in coming weeks to reduce the deficit, analysts said Wednesday. The legislation passed this week delayed by two months the implementation of automatic across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending. Now President Obama and Republicans are hoping to use that breathing room to come up with specific cuts, which could affect an array of social programs that are vital to many lower and middle-income Americans (Bender, 1/3).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Counting Health Care Changes In The 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal
Kaiser Health News' Mary Agnes Carey and Politico Pro's Jennifer Haberkorn detail the deal struck between President Obama and Congress to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" and what the compromise means for hospitals and doctors who serve Medicare patients (1/2).

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