KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: June 2, 2010

In today's news, insurance regulators fail to meet an early deadline for setting standards on premium spending rules within the new health law.  

What The New Health Law Means For You
In this updated story, Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports the latest details on how the new health law might impact consumers: "The new health law signed by President Obama this spring contains the most sweeping changes to the American health system in a generation. The law will extend health insurance to 32 million currently uninsured Americans by 2019, and will also have an impact on how nearly every American buys insurance and what insurance must cover" (Kaiser Health News).

Health On The Hill: June 1, 2010
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with NPR's Julie Rovner and KFF's Jackie Judd about the latest health policy developments. "Bowing to pressure from Democratic fiscal conservatives, House Democratic leaders scaled back health-related provisions in tax extenders legislation the House passed before beginning its Memorial Day recess. … The Senate could act on the package as early as June 7 when it returns from the Memorial Day break" (Kaiser Health News). Read the transcript.

Insurance Regulators Miss Early Deadline On Premium Spending Rules
Implementing a controversial provision of the new health-care law is proving harder than planned. A national assembly of state insurance regulators, which is helping the federal government translate the law into more specific rules, said it was unable to meet a Tuesday deadline for standards meant to ensure that consumers get value for their premium dollars (The Washington Post).

Tobacco Loophole In Child Health Law costs $250 M
A tobacco tax loophole in President Barack Obama's children's health insurance program cost the government more than $250 million in its first year, public health officials say (The Associated Press).

The Revolving Door At The Hospital
To save costs, hospitals for years have been discharging patients after shorter stays. But at the same time more people are having to return to hospital for additional care within a month of their initial treatment, according to a major new study of Medicare heart-failure patients (The Wall Street Journal).

Dieting For Dollars? More US Employees Trying It
Many employers are betting they can find your price. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways (The Associated Press/Washington Post).

Should Doctors Be Exempt From The FTC's 'Red Flags' Rule?
The Federal Trade Commission's "red flags rule" requires businesses offering credit to come up with a written policy for finding, preventing and dealing with identity theft. But the law is controversial, and has been delayed several times – most recently, last week, when the FTC pushed off until Dec. 31 the implementation originally scheduled for today (The Wall Street Journal Health Blog).

Obama Faces Intra-Party Resistance
President Barack Obama is facing increased resistance from Democrats as well as Republicans as healthcare reform fades and the midterm elections approach (The Hill).

Olive View-UCLA Staffers Allegedly Accepted Gifts From Nursing Home Employees
Los Angeles County officials are investigating allegations that Olive View- UCLA Medical Center staff accepted gifts from nursing home employees in exchange for placing Medi-Cal and Medicare patients at their facilities, a possible violation of the county's code of ethics, as well as state and federal anti-kickback laws (Los Angeles Times).

Mayor Proposes Cutting School Nurse Positions
To save $3.1 million, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has proposed eliminating nursing positions, which are provided by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, at schools with an enrollment of 300 students or fewer. School and city officials differ on how many schools such a move would affect (The New York Times).

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