Consumer-directed health plans surge, get boost from health law

Published on April 21, 2012 at 5:36 AM · No Comments

The concept is also central to Republican-backed market-based reforms. Also in the news, media outlets analyze what's a stake as the Supreme Court considers challenges to the health law, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterates the administration's confidence that the law will be upheld. 

Reuters: Consumer-Directed U.S. Health Insurance Surges
There may not be a consensus in the nation's capital on how to control the cost of health care, but businesses and their employees are not sitting around waiting for clarity. They are voting with their wallets for one approach that's already available: Account-based health insurance plans, which offer lower premiums in exchange for high deductibles. Consumer-directed health insurance is a cornerstone of Republican-backed market-oriented health reform solutions. It will also be offered as an option to shoppers in the public health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if the law isn't struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June (Miller, 4/19).

Palm Beach Post: Health Mandate's Affordable Care Act: What's At Stake
The intense debate over whether the U.S. should oblige all citizens to have health insurance has been accompanied in recent days by another spirited squabble: Just whose idea was it in the first place? When it comes to the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court is expected to rule on in June, no one claims original ownership (Lantigua, 4/19). 

Modern Healthcare: Sebelius: Focus Is On Reform Implementation
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated the administration's position that it does not have a contingency plan ready should the U.S. Supreme Court rule this summer that the 2010 healthcare-reform law is unconstitutional. "We're confident that the law is constitutional and we are moving forward with implementation," Sebelius said after her keynote address at the Atlantic's Health Care Forum in Washington (Zigmond, 4/19).

But the buzz surrounding the high court examination of the law has focused attention on the makeup of the court -- both in terms of the presidential campaign and the public's questions about what kinds of health coverage the justices enjoy -

Reuters/Chicago Tribune: Analysis: A Romney Pick For Top U.S. Court? Frontrunners Emerge
As a candidate, Romney has pledged to nominate judges in the mold of the Supreme Court's four most conservative justices, and he has said the court should overrule Roe v. Wade, the 1973 opinion that said women have a right to an abortion. … Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush and is now a lawyer in private practice, is the favorite of many conservatives. Clement argued last month for the Supreme Court to strike down Obama's 2010 healthcare law (Ingram, 4/19).

NewsHour: Just Ask: What Health Benefits Do The Supreme Court Justices Receive?
Rob Rabie has some health care advice for the Supreme Court, straight from St. Johns, Ariz. "Perhaps the justices would better appreciate the problem if they were to forego their health insurance plans for a year or so and just pay the medical bills out of pocket like many Americans," he said. "I am sure they could all afford it, but I suspect sticker shock would be rampant." The idea that nine justices with access to "generous" health care insurance will be deciding the fate of the entire health reform law makes Rabie nervous (Kane, 4/19)?

Meanwhile, news outlets also report on how states are handling the uncertainties involved in implementing the health law as they wait for the Supreme Court's decision, as well as a health law program that is popular at the state level and how the federal government is poised to lend a hand -

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