KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Mont., Conn. Govs Want Public Option; Texas Gov. Perry Opposes Health Insurance Exchange

Three states have very different views on what they should do about the health reform law.

The Missoulian: Schweitzer Vetoes, Amends 2 Bills On Health Care Reform
(Montana) Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Friday vetoed two Republican bills attacking the federal health reform law, but not without throwing in his own slam on the law - and taking a poke at GOP lawmakers accepting publicly funded health benefits from the state. Schweitzer issued amendatory vetoes for Senate Bill 106, which requires Attorney General Steve Bullock to join a multistate lawsuit challenging the federal law, and SB125, which forbids the state from enforcing the federal law's mandate that everyone buy health insurance by 2014 (Dennison, 4/1).

The Associated Press/Great Falls Tribune: Schweitzer Rejects GOP Health Care Bill
Schweitzer agrees with Republicans that the looming federal mandate for individuals to buy health insurance is "onerous" and should be banned in Montana - but with one big exception. He thinks people should instead have the option to buy some form of cheap government-run insurance. ... His proposed amendments also say the ban on the mandate would terminate if Congress were to ever approve a low-cost public health insurance option (Gouras, 4/2).

The Connecticut Mirror: The 'Public Option' In Forefront Of State's Health Reform Debate
Even as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed concerns about the proposed SustiNet state-run health plan this week, he emphasized that he embraces its goals. He supports universal health care coverage and allowing municipalities and nonprofits to buy into the state employee insurance pool. But the SustiNet plan also calls for offering state-run insurance to the public - the so-called public option. To many SustiNet supporters, the public option is a must-have. The insurance industry vehemently opposes it (Levin Becker, 4/1).

Politico Pro: Texas-Sized Problems With The Health Law
Governor Rick Perry is unlikely to take the steps necessary to implement the insurance exchange required under the federal health reform law, which means the task will probably be left to the Obama administration. As chair of the Republican Governors' Association, Perry has one of the most visible leadership positions within the party. His state also has the highest rate of uninsured in the nation. ... [I]f Perry does not set up a health exchange, Health and Human Services becomes responsible for running the marketplace and adding 6 million Texans into the system, via both private and public programs (Kliff, 4/4).

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