Sebelius Pushing Insurance Companies To Help Get More Americans Covered
Reuters: In an interview with Reuters, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "said she is pushing [insurance] companies to help people gain insurance in the gap between now and 2014. That is when the healthcare law President Barack Obama signed in March mandates extensive changes. Sebelius struck a cooperative tone after publicly chastising insurers for high rate hikes ... and after repeatedly calling them to the White House for highly publicized talks. A more congenial relationship with insurers could help keep the major overhaul of the healthcare system on track and loosen strained relations between Democrats and big business ahead of the November midterm elections" (Richwine, 7/8).
The Obama administration, meanwhile, has recently moved forward with a health overhaul website, healthcare.gov, that offers users tools and the administration's explanation of the law, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. "The website, started July 1 by the Department of Health and Human Services, offers an insurance plan finder, a rolling Twitter feed to distribute information on policy changes (1,260 followers and counting) and YouTube.com-hosted videos of senior citizens, young adults, pregnant women, and disabled people explaining the law's benefits from the Obama administration's point of view" (Armstrong, 7/8).
Kaiser Health News highlights seven provisions in the health law that glided below the radar of much news coverage. They include "eliminating patients' co-payments for certain preventive services such as mammograms, giving the government more power to review health insurers' premium increases and allowing states to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income adults without children. While these changes might not have gotten at lot of attention, they could help build support for the law in the run-up to the contentious mid-term elections" (Carey and Villegas, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.