KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Does Supply-Side Economics Work In Tight State Budgets?

As states wrestle with increasing health costs, there is concern about who is bearing the brunt of cuts. Meanwhile, setting up the health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, is proving to be complicated.

Los Angeles Times: Governors Cut Taxes – And Medical Aid to The Poor
In their drive to cut medical assistance to the poor while pushing tax breaks benefiting the affluent, congressional Republicans are following the lead of a group of governors who have championed this approach to balance state budgets. The strategy - reprising the supply-side economics of the Ronald Reagan era - has caught on with conservatives who say that lowering taxes for corporations and wealthy taxpayers will boost state economies. But the moves are sparking a debate in capitols from Arizona to Wisconsin to Maine over who is being asked to sacrifice and whether the strategy will produce more jobs (Levey, 4/12).

Politico: Exchanges Giving States Migraines
The online exchanges that are being created by the health reform law are often described as a new "Travelocity for health insurance." Consumers will go to a website, input information about their income and needs and pick the coverage that fits best. But the people who are charged with setting up the exchanges say it's not going to be as easy as buying a plane ticket. Bruce Caswell, president and general manager for health services for Maximus, an information technology company that handles Medicaid managed-care enrollment in 13 states [says] "It's probably going to be more like applying for a mortgage" (Feder, 4/12).

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