KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Republican Govs Like Insurance Exchanges But Skewer ‘Obamacare’

Many governors find themselves in an awkward spot since opposing the health care law is GOP orthodoxy. In the meantime, Iowa lawmakers approved a bill requiring licensure of advisers who help people navigate health insurance options.

The Wall Street Journal: Health Exchanges Vex GOP
The controversy over President Barack Obama's sweeping health-insurance law is putting the nation's 29 Republican governors in an awkward position. On one hand, opposition to "Obamacare," as opponents derisively dub it, is now doctrine among Republicans and a winner among many voters. On the other, a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, as it is formally known, is the creation of exchanges, online state marketplaces where individuals and small business can shop for coverage from competing private insurers. A lot of Republican governors like the concept (Wessel, 5/9).

Des Moines Register: Did The Iowa Legislature Just Approve An Illegal Act?
The required licensure of new public advisers to help Iowans and employers compare health insurance options is a backdoor way to give an unfair advantage to insurance agents or brokers and is likely illegal, health advocates said today. The House Tuesday and the Senate today approved a budget bill that includes language setting out the qualifications for the so-called "navigators" that will work as public advisors in implementing the federal health care reform act that opponents often called "Obamacare" (Clayworth, 5/9).

In California, advocates consider what to do if the health law mandate is overturned, while one group says the implementation of the law is going well there -

California Healthline: If Individual Mandate Is Overturned, States Still Have Lots of Options
If the Supreme Court decides that Congress does not have the authority to require an individual mandate, then the health care reform effort could be hampered by an inability to get a pool of participants large enough to make the system work.  But there are a number of ways around that problem, and state health officials are busy examining those options and working out a Plan B to implement health care reform (Gorn, 5/9). 

KQED's State of Health blog: Advocacy Group Says State (Mostly) Doing A Good Job 
State health agencies' call centers are doing a pretty good job, according to survey. ... Health Access conducted a survey with an eye toward 2014 when the federal health care overhaul rolls out. Potentially millions of people will access health insurance for the first time and state health agencies are likely to be swamped with calls (Aliferis, 5/9). 

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