KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Poll: Insured Americans Blame Health Law For Rising Expenses

The AP-GfK survey finds many people think that their increasing health insurance premiums and deductibles are tied to the health law. Meanwhile, Republican officials say they will continue to seek to defund or overturn the law.

The Associated Press: AP-GfK Poll: Health Law Seen As Eroding Coverage
Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama's health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that health care remains politically charged going into next year's congressional elections. ... In the survey, nearly half of those with job-based or other private coverage say their policies will be changing next year — mostly for the worse. Nearly 4 in 5 (77 percent) blame the changes on the Affordable Care Act, even though the trend toward leaner coverage predates the law's passage. Sixty-nine percent say their premiums will be going up, while 59 percent say annual deductibles or copayments are increasing (Alonso-Zaldivar and Agiesta, 12/15).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/PolitiFact: Under Obamacare, Health Insurance Premiums Haven't Gone Down, They've Gone Up, Ron Johnson Says
[Sen. Ron] Johnson is saying that premiums are $2,500 more in 2013 than when Obamacare became law in 2010, and linking the law to the increase. Let's give the senator's claim a fine-tooth examination. ... Johnson is correct that by 2013, three years after the Affordable Care Act became law, the total average premium for employer-provided family insurance had risen by $2,500 per year. But experts say there is little or no evidence that Obamacare is responsible. We rate Johnson's statement Half True (Kertscher, 12/15). 

Politico: Gingrich: Budget Deal Keeps Focus On ACA
The bipartisan budget agreement is "brilliant politics" that will allow Republicans to keep the heat on Obamacare and avoid the terrible optics of more government shutdowns, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday. Gingrich said Republicans can now unwrap the "gigantic Christmas gift" of Obamacare's bungled implementation -- something the party failed to do in October when a focus on defunding Obamacare led to the first government shutdown in 17 years and a corresponding GOP nosedive in the polls (Everett, 12/15).

The Hill: ObamaCare Funding Is Problem In Next Spending Bill: Rogers
Congress has not escaped the ObamaCare defunding debate. Though the House passed a budget deal on Thursday that would place $1.012 trillion spending limit in place for 2014, appropriators must flesh out the details. House spending panel chief Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ala.) said Friday that appropriators are now negotiating defunding provisions as they try to cobble together a giant omnibus spending bill to keep the government open after Jan. 15 (Wasson, 12/13). 

Politico: Republicans Offer Holiday Hope, But Only Without Obamacare
With the holidays nearing, Republicans offered glad tidings Saturday that the nation's health care problems can be addressed. Their remedy? Something other than Obamacare. "We should offer some hope and good cheer. The truth is there are good reasons for hope, if we can just change direction," Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said in the weekly Republican address (Villacorta, 12/14).

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