KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Dems Worry About Health Law Rollout, GOP Plans Attacks

For Democrats, anxieties are running high regarding the political impact of a messy rollout of the overhaul and expected premium increases for some groups. Meanwhile, GOP leaders push a series of bills aimed at dismantling or altering the law in an effort to publicize what they say are its shortcomings.

The New York Times: Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout
Democrats in both houses of Congress said some members of their party were getting nervous that they could pay a political price if the rollout of the law was messy or if premiums went up significantly (Pear, 4/26).

CQ HealthBeat: Obama Administration Peppered With Questions On Health Law 'Rate Shock'
The Obama administration dealt on multiple fronts Thursday with the hot-button issue of rate hikes under the health law, a foreshadowing no doubt of other such days to come this summer and fall as full implementation of the overhaul approaches. Republicans wasted no time in calling attention to a proposed 25 percent rate hike by Maryland insurer CareFirst Blue Cross/Blue Shield in individual policies to be sold this fall on the state’s health insurance exchange (Reichard, 4/25).

Roll Call: GOP At Cross Purposes On 'Obamacare'
To repeal or dismantle? That is the internal debate roiling House Republicans as they plot their strategy on the landmark 2010 health care law, as its implementation accelerates. Recognizing that neither President Barack Obama nor the Democratic Senate will entertain legislation that fully repeals the Affordable Care Act, House GOP leaders are pushing their conference to embrace a series of messaging bills altering or dismantling pieces of the law to publicize for voters what Republicans argue are the statute’s many failed and damaging policies (Drucker, 4/25).

CBS News: GOP Slams Obamacare Rollout, Works To Repeal Law
The rollout of a new national health care program is sure to hit some bumps in the road. But after one of the Affordable Care Act's authors and proponents called the implementation a potential train wreck, Republicans in Congress seized the opportunity to point out the law's shortcomings and revive their arguments for repealing it. After Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who helped draft the health care law, used the phrase "train wreck" to characterize the potentially rocky implementation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday penned an op-ed for Reuters arguing that President Obama should explain to the public the hardships they'll face after the law is implemented (Condon, 4/26).

The Fiscal Times: Why A Part-Time Workforce Is The New Normal
Darrell McCall, 29, worked full time as a salesperson at Juicy Couture’s flagship store in New York City for two and a half years …That changed last year when Juicy started letting full-time workers go and replacing them with part-timers who accepted lower pay and no benefits, McCall says …The “part-time only” trend picked up steam during the recession. Analysts say one reason is the passage of the Affordable Care Act—commonly called Obamacare—and the mandate that businesses with 50 full-time employees or more must provide health insurance, which has become even more expensive. In January 2006, there were about 4.6 million involuntary part-time workers. In January of 2013, there were about 8.6 million—almost double, according to the BLS (Kade, 4/25).

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