KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hill GOP Blasts Coverage Costs, Seeks Numbers Of Obamacare Enrolees

The GOP on Capitol Hill is continuing targeted attacks on the health law.

The Hill: Critics Blame Cost Hikes On ObamaCare
Senate Finance Committee Republicans released a compilation of posts to the Facebook account in which users argued that the law was markedly increasing the cost of their individual coverage. ... The Affordable Care Act requires healthcare plans to offer a basic level of coverage, a change the administration acknowledges will raise premiums for some patients. But experts say it will take until 2014 and beyond before analysts can fully assess the law's impact on total out-of-pocket insurance costs (Viebeck, 10/8).

The Hill: GOP Demands ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers
House Republicans are asking for the number of people who enrolled in ObamaCare's federal exchanges in their first week amid a rash of technical challenges. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked for a full accounting of initial enrollment figures in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tuesday (Viebeck, 10/8).

In state political news related to the health law -

Politico: Chris Christie Makes Point On Obamacare
Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he doesn't like Obamacare but that he found a way to deal with it in New Jersey, another signal that he sees the government shutdown as an opportunity to contrast himself with feuding parties in Washington. "I don’t agree with the law, but we’ve complied with it, and that’s the job you have as governor," Christie said at a gubernatorial debate at William Paterson University in Wayne. "You don’t always agree with every law you have to enforce, but I’ve enforced this one, and I’m proud of our record on health care" (Titus, 10/8).

Dallas Morning News: Documents: Think Tank Supplied Blueprints For Texas To Fight Obamacare
A major conservative think tank supplied the blueprints for Texas bills aimed at fighting Obamacare, according to documents ordered released by the attorney general. The Center for Media and Democracy, a Wisconsin-based government watchdog group, requested the documents from Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth. They were sent to her by the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, in July. As the federal government remains shuttered over an Obamacare impasse, the released documents highlight a push by a broad coalition of conservatives to dismantle the health care law at both the federal and state levels. ALEC has acknowledged its work against the law. But Brendan Fischer, general counsel with the Center for Media and Democracy, said it was the first time his group had seen the model bills created by ALEC’s health and human services task force (Barer, 10/8).

McClatchy: Americans Want Compromise – But Not On Obamacare
People want compromise--but not on health care. A new Pew Research Center poll found that while most people are frustrated about the first government shutdown since 1996, they are not willing to give ground on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.Disagreement over the act's future has divided Democrats, who support the law, and Republicans, who want it changed or repealed. "On the core issue dividing Republicans and Democrats in Washington – whether cuts or delays to the 2010 health care law should be part of any budget deal – there is little support for compromise among members of either party," Pew found (Lightman, 10/8).

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