KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Insurers Have $1 Trillion Riding On The Health Law’s Future

According to a Bloomberg Government study, much of this new revenue would result from the health law's Medicaid expansion and subsidies to help people purchase health insurance, and it all is contingent on the Supreme Court upholding the law.  

Bloomberg: Insurers Face $1 Trillion Revenue At Stake In Health Law
Health insurers will gain $1 trillion in new revenue over the next eight years under the 2010 health care law, assuming it's upheld by the Supreme Court, according to a Bloomberg Government study. The amount is equal to about one-half percent of the nation's estimated gross domestic product from 2013 to 2020, and insurers led by UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) would keep about $174 billion -- $22 billion a year -- for profit and administrative costs. The money comes from U.S. subsidies to people purchasing insurance beginning in 2014 and an expansion of Medicaid, the government's health program for the poor (Wayne, 5/14).

In related news, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Monday he remains hopful that the high court will find that the health overhaul is constitutional --

The Hill: Sen. Leahy Hopeful That John Roberts Will Vote To Uphold Health Law
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday said he believes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts might vote to uphold President Obama's health care law. Before the court heard oral arguments in the health care case, Roberts was mentioned frequently as a possible swing vote. His aggressive questioning during the three days of oral arguments seemed to quash most of that speculation, but Leahy said he remains hopeful (Baker, 5/14).

CNN: Leahy Urges High Court To 'Do The Right Thing' Keep Health Care Law
A leading senator is urging the Supreme Court to "do the right thing" and uphold the constitutionality of the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. In a floor speech Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, directly addressed Chief Justice John Roberts, urging him in a sharply partisan tone to keep the law, passed in 2010, in place (Mears, 5/15).

Also in the news, children's health advocates express concerns about Medicaid eligibility --

CQ HealthBeat: Kids' Advocates Worry About How State Exchanges Will Determine Medicaid Eligibility
Advocates for children's health warn that low-income families might slip through the cracks in the new state health benefits exchange system, according to a letter advocacy groups submitted in response to provisions in an exchange rule issued earlier this year. In the rule, "many provisions would potentially undermine the ACA's [Affordable Care Act] clear intent to establish a simple, unified pathway to health coverage for consumers," wrote the groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. One major element of the rule would let state exchanges opt out of making final determinations on public program eligibility, they said (Norman, 5/14).

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