KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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The Worst That Could Happen: Industry Braces For Repeal’s Possibly ‘Devastating’ Consequences

It's "going to be like that slow-moving tsunami that we know is coming, and we can watch it and try to prepare for it — but in the aftermath of the tsunami, there’s devastating loss that we never could have planned for,” said Heidi Gartland, vice president for community affairs and government relations at Cleveland-based University Hospitals Health System.

Politico: Obamacare Repeal's Doomsday Scenario
Hospital and health plan leaders talk in almost apocalyptic terms about what might lie ahead if Republicans abolish Obamacare without a blueprint for its replacement. Their doomsday scenario: Millions of people could lose their health care coverage, hospitals could hemorrhage cash and shocks to the $3 trillion-a-year health system could send ripples through the entire economy. (Demko and Cancryn, 1/9)

Media outlets look at the ways repeal will affect various aspects of the health care system —

USA Today: Obamacare Repeal Jeopardizes Mental Health, Addiction Coverage
Sherri Reynolds' son Qual has been drug free for 16 months, thanks in large part to treatment he got through Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Reynolds knows firsthand what can happen when people can't get coverage: Her 20-year-old stepson, Jarvis, suffered from mental illness and killed himself in 2010 after he couldn't get medical treatment. He bounced in and out of foster care and the juvenile justice system. (O'Donnell and DeMio, 1/8)

The CT Mirror: Insurers: Repeal Of ACA Should Go Slowly And Keep Subsidies Awhile 
As Republicans in Congress begin work on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s health insurers are telling lawmakers to keep paying subsidies to the companies and to low-income Americans so they can afford coverage. Insurers also want Congress to create a long transition period before the ACA is eliminated and a GOP plan replaces the health law. (Radelat, 1/9)

The CT Mirror: Malloy To Congress: Obamacare Repeal Would Be ‘Disastrous’ 
Responding to a request for input from top congressional Republicans, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warned that repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement would create “disastrous uncertainty for families and businesses,” threaten the stability of Connecticut’s insurance market and companies, and leave the state with no insurers willing to write policies for the next year. But the governor, a Democrat, also wrote in a letter that he would work with Congress to make improvements to the existing health care system. (Levin Becker, 1/6)

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Missourians Brace For Loss Of Health Insurance As Congress Moves To Dismantle Obamacare
In Missouri, nearly 250,000 consumers have picked a health plan on for 2017 coverage. A majority of them receive financial help to afford the coverage. In 2010, before the ACA, 13.2 percent of Missourians were uninsured. In 2015, the uninsured rate fell to 9.8 percent. Millions of Americans gained access to coverage because the Affordable Care Act provided financial help and required insurance companies to provide a certain threshold of benefits to consumers. (Liss, 1/8)

Denver Post: Colorado Prepares For Obamacare Repeal Under Trump Administration
Analysts expect that a repeal would have an outsized impact on Colorado, as the state embraced the full spectrum of President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, better known as Obamacare. Under the 2010 law, policymakers expanded the number of Coloradans who receive health insurance through Medicaid, created a program for residents to buy coverage through a state exchange and reduced the cost of emergency-room visits by patients without insurance. (Matthews, 1/8)

The CT Mirror: Access Health Says 104,495 Signed Up For Insurance That Began Jan. 1 
Connecticut’s health insurance exchange reported Friday that 104,495 people have signed up for private insurance coverage that began Jan. 1. That figure represents customers who met the first coverage deadline for Obamacare plans, Dec. 15. The open enrollment period for individual-market health plans runs through Jan. 31. People who sign up by Jan. 15 will receive coverage starting Feb. 1, while those who sign up after that will start their coverage March 1. (Levin Becker, 1/6)

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