Koch Brothers’ Health Law Opposition Set For Long Fight
The president of Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, says support for his group is growing. In other health law news, a look at efforts to improve coverage for people on Medicare and Medicaid, an appeals court temporarily stays its ruling about contraceptive coverage, California's marketplace pledges to improve service and Speaker John Boehner hires a health care expert.
How Long Will Opponents Fight Obamacare? How Long Have You Got?
If there’s one thing that exasperates Tim Phillips, the president of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, it’s when outsiders don’t understand he’s in it for the long run. The group, founded by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch, has been around for 10 years already, and its presence is growing. Each time the number of people signed up to volunteer for AFP reaches a certain threshold in a state, AFP opens a field office there. It now has offices in 33 states, and at its national Defending the American Dream Summit on Friday and Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, Phillips joked that he was ready to accompany the handful of volunteers from Hawaii back home to do the difficult task of opening an office there. (Flitter, 8/23)
Using Experience To Tackle The Challenges Of ‘Dual Eligibles’
CMS has learned the hard way that coordinating care for vulnerable Americans who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid is tough, with rocky starts for many of the dozen state projects targeting these “dual eligibles.” But it’s hoping a Rhode Island program will be lucky 13. ... The state could even serve as a guide for future initiatives elsewhere. Federal officials still hope to expand the projects if they can show cost savings as well as improved quality of care — the critical goal of this Affordable Care Act effort to help the millions of seniors and disabled individuals who are dual eligibles. Many have significant mental or physical challenges. All are low income. Tracking their services between Medicare and Medicaid has been rare in the past, resulting in less efficient and more costly care. (Mershon, 8/24)
U.S. Appeals Court Stays Ruling On Nuns Challenge To Contraception Mandate
A federal appeals court on Friday put on hold its ruling that an order of Roman Catholic nuns must comply with a contraception mandate to President Barack Obama's healthcare law, giving the group time to petition the U.S. Supreme Court. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver granted a request by the Little Sisters of the Poor for a stay of the court's earlier decision that the requirement did not substantially curb the nun's religious liberty. (Coffman, 8/21)
Los Angeles Times:
California's Obamacare Exchange Criticized For Not Fixing Enrollment, Tax Errors
In a response to blistering criticism from a consumer group, California's Obamacare exchange vowed to fix longstanding enrollment and tax-related errors that have blocked consumers from getting coverage for months and left some with unforeseen bills. Peter Lee, executive director of the Covered California exchange, addressed the complaints at a Thursday board meeting and said more staff and resources have been assigned to resolve these lingering glitches. (Terhune, 8/21)
Boehner Hires Health Care Adviser
Speaker John Boehner has hired one of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s top aides to advise him on health care policy. Paul Edattel, who has worked on Rep. Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) panel since 2011, will begin as assistant to the speaker for policy, in charge of the Ohio Republican’s health care policy. (Sherman, 8/21)
Meanwhile, Boehner is girding for some tough negotiations on other issues when Congress returns.
5 Perilous Issues For Boehner When Congress Returns
Many Republicans, for example, would like a must-pass spending bill to include provisions blocking Obama's immigration actions and environmental regulations. Others want any omnibus spending bill to include an amendment that strips federal funding from Planned Parenthood. The reproductive health care provider has come under scrutiny after the release of undercover videos in which Planned Parenthood officials discussed providing tissue from aborted fetuses for research. (Shesgreen, 8/24)