Health Care Industries Have Mixed Reaction To Health Reform
The Wall Street Journal: While many Republican campaigns this season focused on repeal of the federal health care overhaul, "even with the House changing hands, health insurers, drug companies and hospitals said they were planning as if the law will stick." However, health-care companies "say that the election results offer new opportunities to influence the way the law is implemented. Much of the action now is at the state level, where new governors and state insurance commissioners will be taking over." The structure of states' new health insurance exchanges is still an open question, one that presents an opportunity for insurance companies to wield some influence in promoting "market-based solutions."
While insurers largely supported the new healthcare law's mandate that Americans purchase health insurance, they "have worried that this so-called individual mandate is not strong enough to make people buy insurance." Meanwhile, drug companies may also profit from the overhaul, which "promised to deliver tens of millions of customers previously unable to afford prescription medicines because they lacked insurance." Some hospital operators "say they believe the law will survive but see less opportunity to improve upon it" (Johnson and Loftus, 11/4).
Phoenix Business Journal: Meanwhile, "Insurance carriers are working furiously to comply with the numerous changes brought by the Affordable Care Act." In September, when "insurers were required to offer coverage for family members up to age 26 and end denial of coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions," many carriers "dumped their individual child coverage health plans as a result of the requirement to eliminate exclusions for pre-existing conditions for children" (Gonzales, 11/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.