KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

White House Says Risk Corridors Will Be Budget Neutral

In news on the implementation of the health overhaul, administration officials seek to rebut Republican charges that the risk corridors will be a "bailout" for the insurance industry. Meanwhile, Gary Cohen, who helped oversee many of the rules for rolling out the law, is leaving the government.

The Hill: White House: Federal Government Won't Be Bailing Out Insurers 
The risk corridors created under ObamaCare that Republicans have decried as a "bailout" won't cost the federal government anything because they'll be implemented in a "budget neutral fashion," the Obama administration said Wednesday. The Affordable Care Act creates a temporary pool of money, known as risk corridors, to pay insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients through 2016 (Easley, 3/5).

CNN: Official Key To Implementation Of Obamacare Resigns
With this year's goal for enrollment in Obamacare seemingly out of grasp and the President under renewed partisan attack over the program, an official key to implementing it has resigned. Gary Cohen leads the agency that made many of the rules for the Affordable Care Act and established the Marketplaces, where Americans can buy health insurance through Obamacare, including, according to a statement Wednesday announcing his departure. The Marketplaces came under fire, when they crashed massively upon rollout. Cohen will vacate the post of Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight after March 31 (Brumfield and Seher, 3/6).

And in other news -

California Healthline: Obamacare Payment Pilots Are Struggling To Prove They Work. Here's Why It's OK.
When Barack Obama was merely a senator running for the White House, he told one physician association, "I support the concept of a patient-centered medical home" and would encourage the model if he ever became president. Six years later: Mission accomplished. Nearly 7,000 primary care practices have officially been accredited as PCMHs, and thousands of other providers have adopted some features of medical homes, which use a team-based approach to coordinated care. And while the movement toward medical homes might have evolved without Obama, his health reforms clearly laid the groundwork for rapid adoption. The only problem? There's still no clear evidence that the model even works (Diamond, 3/5).

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