Insurers, Politicians Girding For Supreme Court Health Law Decision
The Wall Street Journal: Health Care Law Or Not, Insurance Is Set To Change
As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the federal health overhaul, health insurers are in the spotlight. The law has been reshaping the health insurers' business -- requiring, for instance, that they spend a set share of premium dollars on health care, or send refunds to customers if they fall short -- and this month could see the law vanish or change markedly. … [Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna's] chief executive, says the new, more collaborative approach makes sense no matter what the court decides (Mathews, 6/12).
MarketWatch: Health Law Without Mandate May Hike Costs
So how important is the mandate? "It’s very important to the goals of making the private health-insurance market more viable and expanding coverage," said Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. ... The difference is about 12 million people and twice as much government spending per newly insured person if the mandate is eliminated, said Christine Eibner, a health economist at the Rand Corp (Gerencher, 6/13).
The New York Times: Navigating The Health Care Maze
[Peter Kim] and his wife resorted to catastrophic coverage, paying out of pocket for routine medical care -- until they discovered the health insurance exchange that Massachusetts set up in 2006. A linchpin of the state law passed under Mitt Romney as governor, which requires most residents to have health coverage, the exchange is an online marketplace meant to simplify buying insurance and thus help people find a plan they can afford. If the Supreme Court upholds [the law] ... proponents say that exchanges will be a crucial tool for extending insurance to most Americans (Goodnough, 6/12).
Kaiser Health News: Kaiser Permanente's Ross: There's No Effective Substitute For The Mandate (Video)
Murray Ross, director of the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, says he believes that the health law's requirement that most Americans have coverage by 2014 or pay a fine is necessary. By design, says Ross (who is also a vice president in the part of the company that sells health plans), the "individual mandate" would attract both the healthier and sicker individuals to balance risk and the cost of coverage (Werber Serafini, 6/12).
Politico Pro: ACA In Trouble? Ben Nelson To The Rescue
President Barack Obama's health care law has found a savior -- a Senate Democrat who lashed out Tuesday against an "activist Supreme Court" that might strike it down.The name of the savior? Ben Nelson. Yes, that Ben Nelson. The one who held out for weeks in 2009 before he'd agree to vote for the law. ... [H]e put out a blistering press release Tuesday warning that the court could put sick kids at risk if it strikes down the law. And send millions of Americans' health insurance premiums soaring sky-high, too (Nather, 6/12).
Politico Pro: GOP Ready To Jump On Taxes, Health Care
Speaker John Boehner recently told Republicans in a private meeting to change their tone on health care and fast: stop using "job-killing" to describe the Obama health care law. Instead, emphasize that the law drives up costs and makes things worse for small businesses. Why? The job-killing message was polling poorly, sources said. The episode underscores both the GOP's recognition that it needs to be ready to respond to the Supreme Court's forthcoming decision on the health care law and the delicacy with which Republicans must fashion that response (Sherman and Allen, 6/12).
The Hill: Supreme Court Health Law Decision Could Be Trouble For Republicans
So far, the party has not come together around a set of policies to replace the health care law if it's struck down entirely. Republicans also haven't said how they would handle policies that are already in place, including discounts on prescription drugs for many seniors. ... Part of the law simply reauthorized existing programs, some of which had been in place for decades before the health care law was signed. When asked whether the GOP would move first to replace the law’s reauthorizations and other small-bore, generally agreed-upon items, [Rep. Tom] Price said such speculation was "premature" (Baker, 6/13).