KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: March 31, 2010

According to today's headlines, just as President Obama signed the last piece of the health overhaul into law, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched efforts to shape its regulatory language. Meanwhile, analysis of particular policies included in the sweeping measure continue.

President Obama Takes Final Steps On Health Reform
President Barack Obama went across the Potomac River on Tuesday to put the final touches on health care reform and enact a massive overhaul of the nation's student loan system (Politico).

The Last Piece Is In Place
President Obama signed the budget reconciliation bill containing a package of revisions to the big health care legislation after giving a speech at Northern Virginia Community College, a setting aimed at drawing attention to the education component of the bill (The New York Times).

Opinion Polls: Obama's Health Care Reform Law Not A Winner So Far
Congress has spoken, and now the people have spoken: In polls released this week, Americans say they are not pleased with the healthcare reforms enacted by President Obama and congressional lawmakers (The Christian Science Monitor).

Health Overhaul's Drug Benefit Sickens Corporate Profits
President Obama has signed final changes to the landmark bill overhauling the U.S. health care system. Most of the bill doesn't take effect for some time but its impact already is being felt by some companies. They warn that they stand to lose millions of dollars because of a portion of the bill tied to prescription drug benefits (NPR).

Business Bids To Shape Health Changes
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is planning a broad effort to blunt the health overhaul by trying to shape its regulatory language and spending heavily to unseat vulnerable Democrats who voted for it (The Wall Street Journal).

Small Businesses Fret Over Details Of Health Law
Small-business owner Joe Ascioti says Massachusetts' 2006 health care law has left him facing $15,000 in fines since it took effect. Now, he's worried the nation's new health care overhaul could bring similar woes to employers nationwide (The Associated Press/Washington Post).

Insurers To Comply With Rules On Children
Under pressure from the White House, health insurance companies said Tuesday that they would comply with rules to be issued soon by the Obama administration requiring them to cover children with pre-existing medical problems (The New York Times).

GOP Leaders Temper Call For Repealing Health Law, Saying Jobs, Economy Are Key To Fall Races
Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that's roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama's new health care law (The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times).

New Partisan Clash -- Most Victimized
Health care may be done, but the battle over who was victimized most for their position on it is fully joined (Politico).

U.S. System May Be Next For Health Innovator
Governments around the world have long sought Donald Berwick's expertise to help solve stubborn health care problems - from hospital-acquired infections to medication errors (The Boston Globe).

Georgia Attorney General Spurns Suit On Health Care
In 14 states across the country, attorneys general have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the recent federal health care overhaul. But here in Georgia, the Democratic attorney general has rejected such lawsuits as "frivolous" and "a waste of taxpayer money." Now that position has led to calls from Republican lawmakers for his impeachment (The New York Times).

Tanning Industry Says Numbers Are Cooked In Healthcare's $2.7 Billion Tax
Representatives for the indoor tanning industry predict the country will never see the $2.7 billion tax on tanning services the healthcare law is supposed to collect (The Hill).

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