KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obamacare Questions: What Taxes? Will Job Insurance Last?

News outlets focused on varying aspects of the health law's costs to consumers.

Kaiser Health News: States To Help Pay Obamacare Tax On Insurers
When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it required health insurers, hospitals, device makers and pharmaceutical companies to share in the cost because they would get a windfall of new, paying customers. But with an $8 billion tax on insurers due Sept. 30 -- the first time the new tax is being collected -- the industry is getting help from an unlikely source: taxpayers (Galewitz, 9/2).

The Associated Press: Tax Forms Could Pose Challenge For
If you got health coverage through President Obama's law this year, you'll need a new form from your insurance exchange before you can file your tax return next spring. Some tax professionals are worried that federal and state insurance marketplaces won't be able to get those forms out in time, creating the risk of delayed tax refunds for millions of consumers (Alonso-Zaldivar, 8/30).

Kaiser Health News: Consumers Will Owe Uncle Sam If They Got Health Insurance Subsidies Mistakenly 
Consumers getting government subsidies for health insurance who are later found ineligible for those payments will owe the government, but not necessarily the full amount, according to the Treasury Department. The clarified rule could affect some of the 300,000 people facing a Sept. 5 deadline to submit additional documents to confirm their citizenship or immigration status, and also apply broadly to anyone ultimately deemed ineligible for subsidies (Appleby, 8/29).  

Fox News: Will Obamacare Mean The End Of Employer-Provided Insurance?
President Obama's famous promise that “you can keep your plan and your doctor, no matter what” was not the only misleading argument he made for his health care plan. There is yet another controversy, with even bigger consequences, brewing for Americans who already have health care. Analysts predict that as ObamaCare takes hold, it will mean the end of employer-provided insurance, with former Obama adviser Zeke Emanuel predicting that 80 percent of such plans will disappear within ten years. "It's going to actually be better for people," Emanuel argued (Angle, 8/29).

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Critics Take Aim At New Contraception Rule
The Obama administration’s latest attempt to end the contentious battle over contraception coverage is facing resistance, as expected, from some of the most vehement opponents of the federal health law requirement. New rules, announced last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, would allow religious nonprofits and some companies with religious owners to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while ensuring that those employees still have access to contraception (Shapiro, 8/29).

Meanwhile -- 

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Eyes Agenda For Senate
One area likely to foster some internal GOP divisions is how to approach the Affordable Care Act. Some Republicans think seeking narrow changes would be most effective. In addition to repealing the medical-device tax, some Republicans aim to change the definition of a full-time worker under the health law to ease the law's requirements on businesses. Others say that voting on a wholesale scrapping of the law is crucial to establishing a GOP agenda (Peterson, 9/1).  

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.