KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Health Law’s Second Anniversary: Where Do Things Stand?

As the sweeping overhaul turns two and the Supreme Court prepares to review its constitutionality, news outlets report on what provisions have taken effect, what changes are still in the pipeline and how people have been affected so far.

Kaiser Health News: Two Years In, A Consumer Guide To Health Reform Law
Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the 2010 health care overhaul law, and despite an upcoming challenge in the Supreme Court, it has already begun to be implemented. While some of the key features don't kick in until 2014, the still-controversial law has already altered the health care industry and established a number of consumer benefits (Carey, 3/21).

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Law's Many Unknown Side Effects
Two years after Congress passed President Barack Obama's health-care legislation, despite all the assertions about what it will or won't do, no one really knows how it's going to work. The U.S. has rarely attempted anything of this scale before. If the law survives the Supreme Court and Republican repeal efforts, its impact turns on what Paul Keckley, head of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a unit of the accounting firm, calls "four big bets" (Wessel, 3/21).

USA Today: Obama's Health Care Law From 4 Real People's Perspectives
One is a young, healthy paramedic who can't afford health care coverage for himself. Another is a breast cancer survivor with leukemia bouncing from private insurance to Medicaid to Medicare. A third is an ailing ex-smoker who believes citizens, not the government, should buy insurance or pay the consequences. And then there is the feed store owner who cannot offer insurance to her employees (Wolf, 3/21).

Bloomberg: Health Law Transforming U.S. As Court Threat Looms
More than one of every four Americans last year received a free mammogram, colonoscopy or flu shot, thanks to a federal law that many of them despise. Roughly 3.6 million Medicare (USBOMDCA) recipients saved an average of $604 as the same law began closing a gap in their prescription- drug coverage. And 2.5 million young adults were allowed to remain on their parents' health-insurance plans until their 26th birthday. For two years, even as a debate has raged over what Republicans deride as "Obamacare," the new health-care law has begun benefiting consumers and refashioning a $2.6 trillion industry (Lynch, 3/22).

NPR: Why Obama Hasn't Won The Battle Over Messaging About Health Care Law
The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law. In fact, public opinion about the law remains divided along partisan lines to almost exactly the same extent it was when the law was signed on March 23, 2010. …  Opponents of the law say the main reason for that is the so-called individual mandate (Rovner, 3/21).

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