KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Some Older Americans Get Relief From Health Law

The Associated Press reports that people in their 50s and 60s who lost jobs during the recession are signing up for new coverage in large numbers.    

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Older Americans Are Early Winners Under Health Law
For many older Americans who lost jobs during the recession, the quest for health care has been one obstacle after another. They’re unwanted by employers, rejected by insurers, struggling to cover rising medical costs and praying to reach Medicare age before a health crisis. These luckless people, most in their 50s and 60s, have emerged this month as early winners under the nation’s new health insurance system. Along with their peers who are self-employed or whose jobs do not offer insurance, they have been signing up for coverage in large numbers, submitting new-patient forms at doctor’s offices and filling prescriptions at pharmacies (2/17).

In addition, the back-and-forth debate over Medicare Advantage cuts and the health law returns to the airwaves, and Politifact weighs in on their truthfulness -   

CBS News: GOP Rep.: Obama Lied To Seniors About Keeping Their Doctors
Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., scalded the Obama administration for a “breach of faith” with America’s senior citizens on Saturday, saying the stories of seniors losing access to their longtime doctors belie the president’s pledge that people could keep their doctors under his health care reform law. “To help pay for his health care law, the president made deep cuts to the successful Medicare Advantage program, which serves nearly 30 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries,” Rooney said in the weekly Republican address on Saturday (Miller, 2/15).

CNN: Florida Congressman Calls Obamacare 'A Breach Of Faith' For Seniors
Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Florida, slammed President Obama for not doing his part to help lower health care costs for older Americans, calling his health care promises a "breach of faith" for seniors. "Across the country, millions of seniors are now paying more money for fewer choices, less access and far less peace of mind," Rooney said. "This goes well beyond a glitch or a pocketbook issue. This is a breach of faith” (Fischer, 2/15).

Politifact: NRCC Says Obamacare Cuts Money From Medicare And Seniors
Since the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans and their allies have claimed the Affordable Care Act slashes funding for Medicare, the federal healthcare program for seniors. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made almost identical claims in the 2012 presidential election as well. It appears the GOP playbook for the 2014 midterms will be similar. ... The ad says the law includes a "$700 billion cut from Medicare for seniors." We’ve tackled this claim repeatedly throughout the years. There’s some truth to it, but quite a bit of context is missing (Contorno and Moorhead, 2/14).

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