First Edition: April 2, 2012
Today's headlines offer more analysis of what could become of the Supreme Courts consideration of the health law.
Kaiser Health News: Employers Tie Financial Rewards, Penalties To Health Tests, Lifestyle Choices
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby, working in collaboration with USA Today, reports: "Gone are the days of just signing up for health insurance and hoping you don’t have to use it. Now, more employees are being asked to roll up their sleeves for medical tests — and to exercise, participate in disease management programs and quit smoking to qualify for hundreds, even thousands of dollars' worth of premium or deductible discounts" (Appleby, 4/2). In addition to the story, there is a video offering consumer tips on workplace wellness plans.
Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including how the political debate regarding the health law is heating up after last week’s Supreme Court action (4/1), Democrats’ predictions of how the health law will fare (4/1) and how state efforts to change the health system are taking on greater significance (4/1).
Politico: The Health Reform Ruling: Four Likely Scenarios
A victory in the Supreme Court — less than five months before the presidential election — doesn’t guarantee that either party can win over public opinion. And it certainly doesn’t signal the end of the debate over health care reform (Haberkorn, 4/1).
The Los Angeles Times: Signs Of Supreme Court Activism Worry Reagan Administration Lawyers
After the healthcare arguments, (President Reagan's solicitor general Charles) Fried was among those who worried aloud about the prospect of the Roberts court embarking on a new era of judicial activism. ... His comments highlight a growing divide between an earlier generation of judicial conservatives who stressed a small role for the courts in deciding national controversies and many of today's conservative justices who are more inclined to rein in the government. At the heart of last week's argument over the healthcare law was a dispute over power. Does Congress or the Supreme Court define the limits of economic regulation? (Savage, 3/31).
Politico: Supreme Court Health Care Debate: If The Law Fails, What's Next?
If the justices knock out key parts of the law or bring down the whole thing, the reverberations could be felt across the legal landscape for generations to come, radically reining in the scope of federal power, according to supporters of the law and others who closely track the high court. And if the justices decide the individual mandate is a constitutional overreach, these observers say, federal labor and environmental laws could be the next on the firing line (Gerstein, 4/1).
Los Angeles Times: If Justices Kill Health Law, California May Just Revive It
Even if the whole law is scrapped nationally, many of its consumer protections, such as guaranteed coverage for children, are expected to survive in the state (Terhune, 4/2).
NPR: The Individual Mandate's Growth In Unpopularity
The idea of an individual mandate to control health care costs, however, is not new. It goes back to 1989 and a man named Mark Pauly. An expert on health care policy, Pauly was part of a group of academics brought to the White House by President George H.W. Bush. The group's task was to fix health care; its solution was to let the marketplace solve it and create an individual mandate. Pauly tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that, at the time, many Republicans, including the president, loved the idea (3/31).
The Associated Press: Obama's Insurance Requirement Not The Only Mandate
The individual insurance requirement that the Supreme Court is reviewing isn't the first federal mandate involving health care. There's a Medicare payroll tax on workers and employers, for example, and a requirement that hospitals provide free emergency services to indigents. Health care is full of government dictates, some arguably more intrusive than President Barack Obama's overhaul law. It's a wrinkle that has caught the attention of the justices (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/1).
The Washington Post: Biden Says Supreme Court Will Uphold Health-Care Law
Days after the Supreme Court wrapped up oral arguments on the constitutionality of the national health-care overhaul, Vice President Biden predicted Sunday that the high court will not throw out the Obama administration’s signature agenda item (Sonmez, 4/1).
The Wall Street Journal: Medicaid Gets Harder To Tap
Families hoping to use Medicaid to help pay for long-term care are facing tougher restrictions—though some states are getting stricter than others. ... Here's how to preserve some assets and possibly still qualify for help (Greene, 3/30).
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