KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Health Law Officially Turns Two — Now What?

Supporters are marking the health law's second birthday today even as questions swirl about whether it will get to celebrate a third. Meanwhile, media outlets examine where implementation stands and what is yet to come.    

The Hill: White House Marks Healthcare Anniversary With Caution, Defiance
The second birthday of President Obama's landmark legislative achievement, coming just three days before the Supreme Court begins oral arguments on its constitutionality, falls amid serious questions over whether it will have a third. A ruling against the law this summer—a final decision from the court is expected in June—could dismantle Obama's signature policy triumph. Either way the court comes down, it will have a major effect on the tenor of this fall's presidential campaign, in which Obama will seek a second term (Parnes and Swanson, 3/23).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Missing From Obama Health-Care Anniversary: Obama
President Barack Obama's health-care law turns two years old Friday. … The White House posted video testimony of people who have been helped. The secretary of Health and Human Services is traveling the country to tout the benefits. … There's just one thing missing: Mr. Obama. He isn't making any public appearances to talk about the law, showing up only in packaged videos like this documentary-style campaign video, which recounts the story of the law's passage (Meckler, 3/22).

Modern Healthcare: Democrats Mark Health Law's Anniversary Touting Its Benefits
Moments after House members voted to repeal another provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, House Democrats hosted a news conference to promote the law on the eve of its second anniversary. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) introduced a handful of Americans who have—or will—benefit from the Affordable Care Act's provisions, including the mother of a young child with a pre-existing condition, a senior citizen grateful for relief in his prescription drug costs, and a small business owner who will be able to maintain insurance coverage for employees (Zigmond, 3/22).

NPR: Answers To Your Questions About The Health Care Overhaul Law
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act … turns two on Friday. The law is headed to the Supreme Court on Monday. …  Ahead of the big day, we asked for questions from our audiences online and on air. Here's a sampling of questions, edited for clarity and length, and the answers (Rovner, 3/22).

Kaiser Health News: A Timeline Of The Health Reform Law's Major Milestones And Regulations
The health law was controversial even before it was signed by President Barack Obama two years ago. But the political ruckus has not deterred the administration from issuing hundreds of pages of regulations which already are affecting consumers, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and state governments. Here's a look at what was done when (Villegas, 3/22).

Politico: 5 Things Dems Got Wrong On Health Care
President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies thought their political assumptions were airtight during the yearlong battle to overhaul the health care system. Voters would reward them, they thought, even if Democrats muscled a bill through without Republican support. It was just a matter of getting out of Washington and selling the law. Obama would lead the charge, and rank-and-file Democrats would proudly campaign on the achievement. None of it worked out that way (Budoff Brown, 3/23).

Medscape: Not Done Yet: 5 Healthcare Reforms Still To Come
[I]mpending changes are upcoming in 5 areas that have a direct bearing on physicians: new tax credits and penalties for employers, including private practices; Medicaid rate increases for primary care physicians; Medicare fee cuts that may be demanded by the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB); the value-based modifiers that indicate physician cost-effectiveness that will be applied to Medicare payments; and the publication of performance scores on Medicare's Physician Compare Website. (Terry, 3/22). 

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