Today’s Headlines – April 11, 2012

Good morning! We have a few headlines on how the public feels about the health law this morning. Read on!

The Washington Post: Poll: More Americans Expect Supreme Court’s Health-Care Decision To Be Political
More Americans think Supreme Court justices will be acting mainly on their partisan political views than on a neutral reading of the law when they decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health-care law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Half of the public expects the justices to rule mainly based on their “partisan political views,” while fewer, 40 percent, expect their decisions to be rooted primarily “on the basis of the law” (Barnes and Clement, 4/11).

The Associated Press/Chicago Tribune: Misconceptions Seen In Health Care Reform Arguments
During the recent oral arguments some of the justices and the lawyers appearing before them seemed to be under the impression that the law does not allow most consumers to buy low-cost, stripped-down insurance to satisfy its controversial coverage requirement. In fact, the law provides for a cheaper “bronze” plan that is broadly similar to today’s so-called catastrophic coverage policies for individuals, several insurance experts said (4/10).

For more headlines …

The Wall Street Journal: Report Urges New Tax On Medical Care
An influential federal advisory body called for levying a new tax on medical care to finance improvements to public-health services in the U.S. A report Tuesday from the Institute of Medicine says the U.S. health system has a “fixation” on clinical care, or treating people when they get sick, rather than preventing them from getting ill in the first place. More money from reliable sources is needed to fix the problem, said the report, which calls for the U.S. to close a gap in life expectancy with other high-income nations within 20 years (Radnofsky, 4/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Tenet Healthcare To Pay $42.75 Million To Settle Allegations
Tenet Healthcare Corp. THC -1.76%will pay $42.75 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the federal Medicare program, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The deal resolves civil allegations under the False Claims Act that Tenet overbilled for services provided at various inpatient rehabilitation facilities (Kendall, 4/10).

The New York Times: Even Without New Contracts, Many Public Employees Get Raises
In Westchester County, where all eight labor contracts have expired, the executive, Robert P. Astorino, a Republican, has sought to have union members pay a share of their health care costs. But in December, the county’s largest union, the Civil Service Employees Association, balked and declared negotiations at an impasse (Hakim, 4/10).