KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Employers Seek To Avoid Health Insurance Mandate

The Wall Street Journal reports that some employers are pushing back against the requirement that companies must provide insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more. Also in the news, the Associated Press reports on states' concerns about cost-shifting in plans for people with medical problems, and The Hill details activists' fears that the health law could become a tool for deporting workers who are in the country illegally.

The Wall Street Journal: Employers Push Back On Health Law's Insurance Trigger
Employers are putting increasing pressure on lawmakers to peel back a piece of the federal health-care law that requires firms provide insurance to employees working 30 hours a week or more. But such a change faces long odds on happening with only months before the requirement begins. Meanwhile, employers including cities, state agencies and charities have joined restaurants and retailers in paring workers' hours to avoid having to provide these workers insurance or pay a fee starting next year (Radnofsky, 5/3).

The Associated Press: States Fear Costs Could Shift As Feds Move To Cap Spending On Health Overhaul Program
Thousands of people with serious medical problems are in danger of losing coverage under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul because of cost overruns, state officials say. At risk is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, a transition program that's become a lifeline for the so-called uninsurables — people with serious medical conditions who can't get coverage elsewhere. The program helps bridge the gap for those patients until next year, when under the new law insurance companies will be required to accept people regardless of their medical problems (Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/4).

The Hill: Farm Workers: Don't Use ObamaCare To Deport People
A group representing farm workers is urging the Obama administration not to use the new healthcare law as a tool to deport people. The organization, Farmworker Justice, wrote on Thursday to the IRS -- the agency tasked with carrying out the applications for exemption to the health law's individual mandate -- for assurances the ObamaCare application will not be used for alternative purposes (Wilson, 5/5).

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