KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Anticipating The Health Law’s Day In Court

Coverage of next week's Supreme Court arguments on the health law includes a variety of takes on the key issues.   

The Associated Press: Court Weighs US Power Over States In Health Case
Congress will help pay for your roads, but your state can't lower its drinking age below 21. There's federal money for colleges, but they can't discriminate against women in the classroom or on the athletic field. Federal cash comes with strings. Now 26 states are telling the Supreme Court that President Barack Obama's health care law has stretched an old rule too far. The new law's requirements for expanding Medicaid amount, in their view, to coercion that violates the U.S. Constitution's division of power between the national government and the states (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Courtly Battle In Health-Care Case
The fight over President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul has featured nearly three years of name-calling and shouting matches. But don't expect to hear supporters accused of creating "death panels," or opponents of preferring the uninsured to "die quickly," when the issue lands at the Supreme Court next week (Bravin, 3/21).

Politico: Health Law Could Hinge On Wheat, Pot And Broccoli
The survival of President Barack Obama's signature health care law may come down to wheat, pot, guns — and a nagging question about broccoli. Strange as it may seem, those diverse topics are apt to surface repeatedly during next week's arguments at the Supreme Court over the health law's constitutionality (Gerstein, 3/22).

NPR: Obama's Health Care Law In Court: An Overview
The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear its biggest case in decades — or at least its longest. Next week, three days and six hours of hearings may determine whether President Obama's landmark health care law lives or dies (Inskeep and Shapiro, 3/22). 

CQ HealthBeat: Nixing Medicaid Expansion Would Leave Millions Uninsured Below The Poverty Line
If the U.S. Supreme Court affirms the health care law but strikes down its Medicaid expansion, millions of uninsured Americans with incomes below the poverty line won’t get government help to line up health coverage, unlike their somewhat better off compatriots. Hospitals would find themselves with rising uncompensated care costs at the same time their Medicare payments are being cut (Reichard, 3/21).

California Healthline: Clues To How The Supreme Court Might Rule On Health Reform
California Healthline consulted with several health policy and legal experts to uncover clues about what might influence justices' thinking as they consider the case. Here's eight Supreme Court decisions to keep in mind as oral arguments begin (Wilson and Rao, 3/21).

MedPage Today: ACA On Trial: 'The Mandate'
President Obama's landmark healthcare reform law contains a provision that many consider its linchpin: a requirement that nearly every U.S. citizen have health insurance or else pay a penalty. ... Without the mandate, many people would not buy insurance (as happens now) or would wait to buy insurance until they are sick, mandate supporters argue. ... Opponents of the law -- including the 26 states who are suing the Obama administration over the ACA -- say it is a violation of the Constitution for the government to require everyone to purchase health insurance (Walker, 3/21).

Modern Healthcare: Fitch Doesn't See Reform Ruling Affecting Ratings
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not expected to affect the ratings or outlooks of healthcare companies, analysts at Fitch Ratings said. ... "We believe the [individual] mandate is necessary in order for the ACA to at least partially share risk and avoid adverse selection," the analysts wrote in a news release (Kutscher, 3/21).

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