KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Lobbying Efforts To Alter Obamacare Take On Urgency

Reuters reports how businesses, unions and advocacy groups continue to seek changes in the law, but lobbyists face uphill battles. Kaiser Health News reports on how bare-bones health plans are expected to survive the law, albeit in modified form, and also looks at the government's efforts to inform seniors they shouldn't seek coverage from new online insurance marketplaces.

Reuters: Demands To Alter Obamacare Persist Even As Launch Nears
As the clock ticks down to the launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, hundreds of businesses, unions and advocacy groups are still pushing to win concessions on the far-reaching law. Restaurants want to increase the number of hours that define a full-time worker. Unionized electrical workers are seeking to change the treatment of health plans offered by multiple employers (Krauskopf, 8/23).

Kaiser Health News: Bare Bones Health Plans Expected To Survive Health Law
Consumer Reports calls it "junk health insurance." A California regulator described them as "skeleton policies." To an expert from the American Cancer Society, they "are a perfect example of why health care reform is so crucial." They are bare-bones health plans, and critics say they could leave consumers who become seriously ill on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to do away with them (Hancock and Appleby, 8/25). Read the related sidebar.

Kaiser Health News: No Shopping Zone: Medicare Is Not Part Of New Insurance Marketplaces
While the Obama administration is stepping up efforts encouraging uninsured Americans to enroll in health coverage from the new online insurance marketplaces, officials are planning a campaign to convince millions of seniors to please stay away – don't call and don't sign up (Jaffe, 8/25).

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