KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Drug Cost Disparities, Small Business Worries Continue To Surround Health Law’s Implementation

The Associated Press reports on the emergence of concerns regarding the health law and drug cost disparities. Meanwhile, other news outlets report on how employers continue to have angst about the measure's price tag.

The Associated Press: Huge Drug Cost Disparities Seen In Health Overhaul
Cancer patients could face high costs for medications under President Barack Obama's health care law, industry analysts and advocates warn. Where you live could make a huge difference in what you'll pay. To try to keep premiums low, some states are allowing insurers to charge patients a hefty share of the cost for expensive medications used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other life-altering chronic diseases (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/13).

The Washington Post: Health Insurance Tax 'Scares The Daylights' Out Of Some Small-Business Owners
Many small-business owners worry that a new tax on insurance providers in the health-care law will mean higher premiums for them, undermining the law’s capacity to lower their health-care costs. Starting next year, the federal government will charge a new fee on health insurance firms based on the plans they sell to individuals and companies, known as the fully insured market (Harrison, 5/12).

CT Mirror: Employers Told To Get Ready For The New Health Care Act Now
Speaking at a special seminar Friday, a panel of experts urged employers to start preparing now for implementation of the Affordable Care Act next year. Addressing some 400 business leaders at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, the panelists explained who gets covered under Obamacare, what the penalties are and how to prepare employees for the change. The session was sponsored by The Connecticut Business & Industry Association. The panel explained that the 2,700-page law is complicated and daunting. Some aspects of the law have already taken effect, such as fees to help pay for implementation. But the bulk of the new regulations that affect Connecticut will kick in in 2014 (Merritt, 5/10).

Politico examines health care and immigration reform -

Politico: A Volatile Mix: Health Care And Immigration Reform
Politically, it's a no-brainer: People in the country illegally shouldn't get government health care benefits. It's such a nonstarter politically, in fact, that politicians don't even question whether it's smart policy to have millions of people remain uninsured for another decade or more, even if Congress does approve a pathway to their legalization (Cunningham, 5/12).

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