Daschle Says GOP Might Defund Health Plan, And Other Overhaul News
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, tells Kaiser Health News that a Republican strategy to defund the health law may be an effective way for the plan's opponents to unravel it. He said: "I'm not too worried about repeal efforts, because I don't think those will go anywhere. I do think defunding is a very serious threat and we have to be concerned about that. And I'm concerned about implementation. We're electing 37 governors in this cycle. Those governors are going to have a lot to say with regard to the enthusiasm and the success of implementation" (Judd, 10/21).
Bloomberg: Meanwhile, individual provider groups, such as chiropractors, are launching advocacy campaigns to influence the law. The new health law requires that insurers "begin covering a package of 'essential benefits' in 2014. The law doesn't say what care should be included, leaving that up to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That, in turn, has spurred a lobbying push by advocacy groups for chiropractic care, autism treatments and dozens of therapies" (Wayne, 10/22).
On a side note: While the overhaul is serious business, to at least one health executive, it's also a laughing matter. NPR tracked down a comic web-animated cartoon, now posted on YouTube, created by Gary Campbell, chief executive of Centura Health, Colorado's largest hospital system. "In the video, a bespectacled health care executive is seeking advice from a woman who is obviously some kind of expert consultant. He sheepishly admits, however, that he's been too busy to read the new bill. 'But I did read in Modern Healthcare [a popular industry weekly] that it is a good idea for me to start an Accountable Care Organization,' he tells her in a robotic voice." The cartoon version of the executive can't spell out what that means, exactly, and suggests simply appointing a board and scheduling monthly meetings (Rovner, 10/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.