KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Preliminary Report Examines Immigrants’ Issues Getting Coverage

A study to be released in the next several weeks by an Illinois advocacy group examines issues that prevented the enrollment of many legal immigrants, The Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, The Washington Post examines a coal mining community's hostility to the health overhaul despite its residents' needs.

Associated Press:  Poorly Designed Federal System Impacted Immigrant Health Signups
A poorly designed federal system prevented perhaps thousands of immigrants from enrolling in coverage under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, according to a preliminary report from an Illinois advocacy group. The Associated Press was given the report by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights on Wednesday, a day before its planned release was abruptly postponed. The report says federal phone operators were misinformed about immigrant eligibility, a credit agency verifying identities couldn't handle languages other than English and Spanish and some immigrants were incorrectly referred to Medicaid, causing their applications to be frozen (Johnson, 6/19).

The Washington Post: In Southwest Va., Health Needs And Poverty Collide With Antipathy To Affordable Care Act
Carolyn Underwood remembers her dad coming home covered in black coal dust from the mines. ... In old age, he suffered from black-lung disease and wore an oxygen supply constantly. But unlike his daughter, he never worried about how he would pay his medical bills. The union took care of it. That doesn' make Carolyn Underwood, 63, a supporter of expanded government health coverage, even though she would benefit from it. In a region where the decline of the coal industry has sent poverty and health-care needs soaring, another force has grown at least by equal measures: antipathy to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act (Portnoy, 6/19). 

Also, former White House press secretary Jay Carney calls the troubled exchange rollout one of his greatest challenges -

The Wall Street Journal: Carney: Obamacare Rollout Was Toughest Period As Spokesman
As White House press secretary Jay Carney prepares to head for the exits, he's reflecting on the highs and the lows of the job …. Mr. Carney' time at the White House has included plenty of political victories and setbacks for the president, but he said the most difficult period was dealing with the "pretty awful rollout" of the website. The technical problems that thwarted enrollment efforts for several weeks last fall created a sustained bad news story, he said, noting that this was a problem of the administration’s own making (McCain Nelson, 6/19). 

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