KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Viewpoints: Obamacare Marketplaces’ ‘First-Day Jitters’; The Need For Healthy Young Adults To Enroll

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Suffers First-Day Jitters As The GOP Pushes For Delay
The insurance-buying exchanges created by the 2010 health care law stumbled out of the gate Tuesday, or at least their websites did. In California, online sign-up pages loaded haltingly or not at all throughout the day. The problems weren't severe enough to stop determined applicants, as long as they didn't mind having their patience tested. But they were a sign that the system wasn't ready to handle the volume of inquiries it received on Day One (Jon Healey, 10/1).

Bloomberg: Will The 'Young Invincibles' Join Obamacare
It’s no exaggeration to say that if young people don't show up to the insurance exchanges in the next few months, the Affordable Care Act probably won't survive. Young, healthy people paying more than they have previously -- either because they are buying more expensive insurance or because they are buying insurance for the first time -- are the financing mechanism that makes Obamacare's insurance markets work. The administration estimates that a little over a third of the people on the exchanges need to be in the 18-to-35 range to hold premiums down to reasonable levels (Megan McArdle, 10/1).

Bloomberg: NRA Has Some Good Ideas For Stopping Massacres
Gun-control advocates think the only way to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them is to make it harder for everybody to get them. They should listen to some of the things National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, their biggest nemesis, has been saying. ... Here’s what he said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" a week after a contractor -- who had a security clearance despite clear signs of mental distress -- shot and killed a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16: "We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics" (Craig R. Whitney, 10/1).

Los Angeles Times: Abortion And GOP Political Spouses
Anita Perry, wife of the super-duper pro-lifer Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who just signed into law very stringent abortion regulations, let it slip over the weekend that she regards abortion as "a woman’s right." ... Did Anita Perry truly let this comment slip? Or was it a calculated move to steal some Panhandle thunder from Wendy Davis, the Texas Democrat who filibustered to stop that abortion law, and walked her pink sneakers right into a national spotlight — and a possible run for governor? The list of Republican first spouses who have — sometimes softly and then more vocally, and rarely when their husbands are actually in power — opposed their husbands' anti-abortion policies is a substantial one (Patt Morrison, 10/1).

MinnPost: GOP 'Conscience Clause' Ignores Breadth Of Women’s Health Needs
At one point during the past few days, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives included a so-called "conscience clause" in its funding resolution to keep the federal government running. The clause would have given employers and insurers permission to opt out of providing any health-care services — most notably, prescription contraception coverage to women — that they personally object to for moral or religious reasons (Susan Perry, 10/1).

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