States’ Experiences With High-Risk Pools Vary
One of the early provisions of the health law set up temporary insurance pools for people with medical conditions who couldn't buy insurance. Politico looks at what the varied state experiences in that program suggest about other aspects of the health overhaul.
Politico: High-Risk Insurance Pools Short On Enrollees
When the health care law passed nearly two years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the temporary insurance pools meant to carry the high-risk uninsured until the coverage expansion kicked in would tear through their $5 billion budget in no time. That didn’t happen. The next conventional wisdom was that the pools were ridiculously undersubscribed. ... Now the conventional wisdom is — there is no conventional wisdom. Some states are tearing through their money, having attracted a small but very, very sick pool of people. And others are not. And the varying experiences of the states have taught officials some lessons about care-seeking patterns of the chronically uninsured that may help smooth things out when state exchanges open in 2014 (Millman, 2/13).
Also, changes in the health system will need a larger primary care workforce. HHS announced funding to help with that.
Los Angeles Times: Obama Health Chief Visits L.A. Clinic, Announces Plan To Help Students
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited a health clinic in downtown Los Angeles on Monday and announced more than $9 million in funding to help medical students repay school loans if they agree to work in underserved areas. Sebelius said the program will encourage more students to pursue careers in family medicine and will help relieve a shortage of primary care doctors (Gorman, 2/14).