KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law Implementation Likely To Proceed – Despite Sequester’s Cuts To Other Health Programs

Meanwhile, news outlets report on how the health law is "reshaping" the health care marketplace and how the measure's medical device tax continues to be a point of contention.

Politico: Friends And Foes Expect Obamacare Rollout Amid Sequestration
The Obama administration has issued ample warnings how the sequester can have dire effects on health programs. Official talk about fewer vaccines, cuts in medical research grants, less money to treat HIV, fund cancer screenings or respond to outbreaks. But they haven't been issuing a lot of warnings about how it's slowing down the rollout of Obamacare. Because sequester or no sequester, the administration is trying to keep work on the core elements full steam ahead (Norman, 3/1).

The Wall Street Journal: Another Big Step In Reshaping Health Care
Hospitals and health insurers are locking horns over how much health-care providers will get paid under new insurance plans that will be sold as the federal health law is rolled out. The results will play a major role in determining how much insurers will ultimately charge consumers for these policies, which will be offered to individuals through so-called exchanges in each state. The upshot: Many plans sold on the exchanges will include smaller choices of health-care providers in an effort to bring down premiums (Mathews and Kamp, 2/28).

KHN's related coverage: Tenet Shows Hospitals Will Cut Prices For Exchange Patients — But Only So Much (Hancock, 2/28).

Reuters: Trade Group Identifies Medical Device Makers Passing On Federal Tax
Some medical device manufacturers are trying to pass on the cost of the new federal tax on medical devices to hospitals, and a trade group on Thursday said it has launched a website to identify those companies publicly. Congress imposed the 2.3 percent tax on the manufacturers as part of the Affordable Care Act. It is expected to collect more than $30 billion over the next decade to help extend healthcare coverage to millions of Americans who would otherwise be uninsured (Sherman, 2/28).

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