Obama Rallies Health Law Backers; HHS Report Claims Premiums Will Go Down Because Of The Overhaul
In a Friday morning speech, President Barack Obama offered a message to "fire up" health law supporters. Also today, the Department of Health and Humans Services issued a report finding that health insurance premiums will likely be lower in 2014 as a result of the overhaul.
NPR: In a speech before the pro-health law consumer group Families USA, the President reiterated his State of the Union message that he is willing to make improvements in the health overhaul. On the same day, the administration issued a report that "attempts to quantify exactly how much individuals and businesses might save once the law is phased in starting in 2014. According to the report, premiums are expected to be lower than they otherwise would be without the law" (Rovner, 1/28).
Kaiser Health News: "The Obama administration went on the offensive today trying to show how the new health law would cut health insurance costs. But in a speech to a conference in Washington sponsored by the liberal-leaning consumer group Families USA, President Barack Obama did not cite a study on health insurance costs issued hours earlier by the Department of Health and Human Services. Rather, he referred to a Business Roundtable study done in September 2009 -- six months before he signed the Affordable Care Act into law" (Galewitz, 1/28).
Fox News: "The Obama administration stepped up its defense of the controversial health care law Friday, with the president giving a pep talk to one of the policy's biggest cheerleaders and his health department releasing a new study contradicting a top official's claim that the law would not hold down costs" (1/28).
The Hill: "The Obama administration released a 13-page report Friday that argues the healthcare reform law will save families and businesses thousands of dollars, prompting immediate criticism from the GOP." Republican leaders and the health insurance industry criticized the report. "'More promises of lower premiums for some people at some point in the future is little comfort to those who are already seeing higher premiums or won't be able to keep the coverage they have as the president promised,' Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday. The health insurance industry, meanwhile, repeated its refrain that focusing on premiums without tackling underlying healthcare costs won't make coverage more affordable" (Pecquet, 1/28).
Meanwhile, in today's earlier coverage, Republicans cited a report of their own that shows the law's negative repercussions for child-only health plans.
Politico: Child-Only Health Plans Endangered
Health insurers in 34 states have stopped selling child-only insurance policies as a result of the health reform law, and the market continues to destablize. According to a survey of state insurance departments by Republican Senate committee staff and obtained by Politico, states that have seen carriers exit the market include those that have been ardent supporters of the health reform law, like California and Oregon. Twenty states now have no insurers offering child-only policies (Kliff and Feder, 1/27).