First Edition: June 1, 2011
Today's headlines include reports about a move yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce prices on health plans for people with pre-existing conditions.
Kaiser Health News: Feds Cutting Fees, Requirements For High-Risk Health Insurance Pools
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "Trying to spur enrollment in a key new benefit of the 2010 health law, the Obama administration announced today it is slashing premiums for new high-risk insurance plans and no longer requiring applicants to submit a rejection letter from private insurers" (Galewitz, 5/31).
Kaiser Health News: Some States Moving Ahead With Health Insurance Exchanges (Video)
In today's Health on the Hill segment, Christine Vestal of Stateline joins KHN's Mary Agnes Carey and Jackie Judd to assess the progress or lack thereof states are making setting up insurance exchanges. They're required by the health law and they must be set up by 2014, to provide a online marketplace for people to buy insurance (5/31).
Los Angeles Times: House Deals Symbolic Blow to Raising Debt Ceiling
The House overwhelmingly refused to raise the nation's borrowing ability Tuesday - a largely symbolic vote designed to bolster Republican arguments that a successful measure must include deep spending cuts and sweeping policy revisions. Congressional leaders and the White House are negotiating behind closed doors, seeking a package of spending cuts and budget policies that would entice Republicans to support a higher debt limit. GOP leaders have said they would not agree without trillions in cuts, and they want changes in programs such as Medicare (Mascaro, 6/1).
Los Angeles Times: Government To Lower Prices, Ease Rules On Health Plans For People With Preexisting Conditions
The Obama administration, expanding a program created by the new healthcare law, moved Tuesday to make health insurance more affordable and accessible for Americans who have been denied coverage because they are sick (Levey, 6/1).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: HHS Cuts Insurance Costs For Those With Pre-Existing Illnesses
The Department of Health and Human Services said it will lower premiums in 18 states where the federal government runs high-risk insurance pools created by the 2010 health overhaul law (Adamy, 5/31).
The Associated Press: Govt. Cuts Rates For Hard-To-Insure Patients
The government is cutting premiums by up to 40 percent in 17 states and implementing other changes to make it easier for people with pre-existing medical conditions to get health insurance (Kerr, 5/31).
USA Today: Pre-Existing Condition Plan Can Cut Premiums
The federal government, which is hoping to boost low participation in its insurance program that covers people with pre-existing conditions, released new rules and incentives Tuesday that make it easier for people to join, such as cutting premiums in some states by up to 40% (Kennedy, 6/1).
Politico: NY Slow to Set Up Health Exchange
New York has all the makings of an ahead-of-the-curve state when it comes to implementing health reform. There's just one small problem: New York hasn't even passed a health exchange bill yet (Nocera and Kliff, 6/1).
The Wall Street Journal: As GOP Eyes Turn To Texas, Perry Hits Snag
Gov. Rick Perry was expected to begin weighing a Republican presidential bid this week but instead found himself enmeshed again in the battle over the state budget. Political watchers here will scrutinize the governor's special-session agenda for clues to his national intentions. So far, besides the budget, it includes a long-term overhaul of Medicaid and redrawing congressional districts (Eaton, 6/1).
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