KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law Implementation News: Most Red States Slow Walk Health Exchanges

Politico reports that most GOP-controlled states are holding off on building insurance exchanges until the Supreme Court issues its decision. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service's ability to enforce the health law is the topic of a Capitol Hill hearing, and a former White House adviser offers his views during a Madison speech.

Politico: Right Winning War On State Health-Insurance Exchanges
Two years into the law's implementation, conservative emissaries have contributed to impressive stats. Almost all red states are holding off on exchange legislation at least until the Supreme Court decides on the Affordable Care Act, and in most of those states, exchange-building legislation has crawled to a stop (Feder and Millman, 4/18).

The Hill: GOP Witness: IRS Understaffed For Health Law Tax Enforcement
The federal government's Internal Revenue Service has too few employees to be able to implement the healthcare reform law's tax penalties on employers who don't offer insurance, a Republican witness testified Wednesday. "There are consequences to having that tax passed, and No. 1 would be whether the IRS has the resources to be able to enforce it," tax accountant Leonard Steinberg testified on behalf of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. "Right now the IRS is operating razor thin, as it is, with their budget (Pecquet, 4/18).

Wisconsin Public Radio: Former White House Health Policy Advisor Speaks In Madison
Some question whether patient expectations will thwart the effort to control rising health bills. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is a medical ethicist and oncologist who advised President Obama on health reform. ... Emanuel says studies in shared decision making between doctor and patient show videos or brochures on the pros and cons of a procedure can sometimes prompt patients to change their mind, "It's not going to affect the vast majority of people but 10 to 20 percent not wanting a knee replacement or prostate surgery is a large number" (Mills, 4/18). 

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