KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Employers Complain About Health Law’s Costly ‘Sleeper Fee’

The Associated Press reports on a new, $63-per-person charge, which will be levied for three years beginning in 2014 to "cushion" the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions and to stabilize the insurance market. Large employers say it works out to tens of millions in added costs which are likely to be passed onto workers.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Employers Grumble About 'Sleeper' Fee To Stabilize Insurance Market In Obama's Health Overhaul
Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It's a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers (12/10).

Also in the news, 17 Senate Democrats are pushing to delay the implementation of the health law's medical-device tax -

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Senate Democrats Seek Delay In Medical-Device Tax
A group of 17 Democratic U.S. senators and senators-elect have signed a letter urging for a delay in implementing a tax on the medical-device industry that is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, said two people familiar with the matter (Walker, 12/10).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Klobuchar And Franken Fight Planned Tax On Medical Devices
Minnesota's two senators sought Monday to delay a tax on medical devices that was expected to add $28 billion over the next decade to help pay for health care reform. Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken pointed to thousands of high-paying jobs that device companies support in Minnesota, headquarters to such giant devicemakers as Medtronic and St. Jude Medical. The industry has painted the tax as a job killer that would hurt innovation (Spencer, 12/10).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.