As Overhaul Unfolds, Interest In At Least One Change Spreads Across Aisle
At least one aspect of the GOP's health overhaul repeal push has become bipartisan: Objections to a provision requiring businesses that file 1099 tax forms to provide line-item detail of any purchases of $600 or more in a given year, The New York Times reports. Democrats, including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, are saying they, too, would like to change the provision. "The White House is nervous about a repeal, fearing that it could set a precedent for rolling back other unpopular features of the law. Moreover, the reporting requirement is expected to lead to a significant amount of revenue - $17 billion over 10 years - to help pay for the expansion of coverage and other health initiatives" (Pear, 9/11).
Also in health reform news:
The Associated Press: The math behind a White House claim that the overhaul will reduce health spending per insured person by more than $1,000 between now and 2019 is fuzzy. Medicare's chief actuary said that the "amounts quoted in the White House blog are not meaningful and cannot be used to calculate the change in health expenditures per insured person." One reason: Even though the White House argues spending per insured person will decrease, total spending will increase. Because more people will have insurance, the number per insured person will shrink, even as spending per capita rises, as a result of the health law (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/13).
The Hill: Fewer than expected people are joining high-risk pools, an early benefit offered by the health law. "States across the country are reporting lower than expected participation in the high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions, raising concerns that a lack of public engagement could affect the program's success - and that of health reform more generally" (Pecquet, 9/12).
MarketWatch: Another early program, subsidies to corporate early-retiree benefits may have the opposite problem: Too many beneficiaries could dry up the available funds ahead of schedule. "As part of the new health-care law, some 2,000 employers and unions that provide health insurance to their retirees younger than age 65 will receive $5 billion to dole out to their former workers to keep health-care costs - insurance premiums, deductibles, and the like - in check until the private health-insurance exchanges open for business in 2014. Unfortunately, the $5 billion fund will last no more than two years, said Paul Fronstin, director of the Employee Benefit Research Institute's Health Research & Education Program" (Powell, 9/11).
The Salt Lake Tribune: And, here's a change that young married couples can look forward to. "When University of Utah students Thomas and Keala Jarvis married eighteen months ago, what was 'his' and 'hers' became 'theirs' - everything, that is, except health insurance. Marriage meant the couple were no longer able to stay on their respective parents' health plans." But, beginning next month, "under the new federal health overhaul, dependent children can remain on their parents' health insurance plans until age 26 even if they're married" (Stewart, 9/12).
NPR: September 23 will mark the six-month anniversary of the health overhaul. Correspondent Julie Rovner highlights some changes: The "one that most people have heard about will let parents keep their adult children on their health plans until their 26th birthday. [S]ome of the other new provisions that are also coming into effect now will forbid insurance companies from cancelling a person's coverage after they get sick -- that's called rescission. They'll let women see an obstetrician/gynecologist without first having to get a referral from her primary care doctor. And it will ban lifetime dollar limits in insurance policies -- and most people don't even know they have them. But often if you spend more than $2 million, for instance, you won't have any benefits left" (Hansen and Rovner, 9/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.