Justice To File Brief Today At Supreme Court On Health Suit
The early round of briefs will focus on the core questions related to the individual mandate. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that many insurers have profited from the health law -- despite their opposition to it.
The Hill: Lawyers, Courts See Weaknesses In Defense Of Obama's Healthcare Law
The Obama administration is headed into a Supreme Court case over healthcare reform without a clear answer to significant questions about Congress's power. The Justice Department will file its first brief on the merits of the case Friday — the beginning of a long process that will almost surely culminate in a ruling this summer. The first briefs will focus on the core question of whether it is constitutional to make almost every American buy health insurance (Baker, 1/5).
Bloomberg: Insurers Profit From Health Law They Fought
Insurance companies spent millions of dollars trying to defeat the U.S. health-care overhaul, saying it would raise costs and disrupt coverage. Instead, profit margins at the companies widened to levels not seen since before the recession, a Bloomberg Government study shows. Insurers led by WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the biggest by membership, recorded their highest combined quarterly net income of the past decade after the law was signed in 2010, said Peter Gosselin, the study author and senior health-care analyst for Bloomberg Government (Frier, 1/5).
On the state level, news outlets report on various issues related to the law's implementation:
Kaiser Health News/Kansas Public Radio: Kansas, Oklahoma Insurers Won't Get A Break On Rebate Rule
Kansas and Oklahoma are the seventh and eighth states to get the thumbs down from the federal government on their requests to phase in new regulations that could result in health insurance rebates to consumers (Thompson, 1/5).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: 9 States Seek Help For High-Risk Pools
Nine states have asked the federal government for more money to make sure their new high-risk pools that provide health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions don't run out of money before 2014, the Obama administration said Thursday (Galewitz, 1/5).
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Waiting Game May Cost Georgia Control
Georgia legislators who oppose the federal health care law face a dilemma: Should they seize an opportunity to put their stamp on a state insurance marketplace prescribed by the law? Or, should they do nothing and hope the law is overturned by the courts? With a presidential election and a Supreme Court decision on the law looming, many influential Georgians are arguing against preparing for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — at least for now (Teegardin and Williams, 1/6).