Today's headlines include reports about how public perceptions and political opposition continue to swirl around the health law's implementation.
Kaiser Health News: Amid Health Law Expansion, Some States Trim The Medicaid Rolls
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "While millions of adults nationwide will gain Medicaid coverage next year under the federal health law, more than 150,000 people could lose their coverage in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor as four states reduce eligibility" (Galewitz, 8/18). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Taking A New Tack To Persuade 'Young Invincibles' To Buy Health Insurance
Minnesota Public Radio's Elizabeth Stawicki, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: "Robert Bauer is young, lean and healthy - just the kind of person the government wants to buy into its new online health insurance marketplaces. Bauer doesn't see the need. The 24 year old, a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota, works in organic farm fields three days a week, and prides himself on eating well. He's uninsured - health coverage just hasn't been part of his lifestyle. … While Bauer generally doesn't fear a health crisis, the people building insurance exchanges worry about Bauer and the millions of other healthy Americans whom they fear may simply opt out" (Stawicki, 8/19). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Colorado Exchange Releases Health Insurance Rates
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Colorado Public Radio's Eric Whitney, working in partnership with KHN and NPR, reports: "Colorado released its Obamacare insurance rates on Friday, joining 13 states and the District of Columbia in making rates public. The state earlier made the call to be a clearinghouse exchange, rather than an active purchaser, and so, it has approved all 242 health plans submitted for sale on its marketplace" (Whitney, 8/19). Check out what else is on the blog.
Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including coverage of the President's weekend address and the GOP response (8/17).
Politico: Obamacare's Hurdles Higher Than Medicare's
President Barack Obama says he's not worried that all the Obamacare fights will kill the law -; because people fought the creation of Medicare and Social Security too, and now they're more popular than ever. ... But this time there's a difference. Political opposition to Obamacare is still as strong as ever, more than three years after it was signed into law. That means the administration's task in launching the health care law -; the biggest new social program since the creation of Medicare in 1965 -; is harder than anything its predecessors had to face (Nather, 8/18).
Los Angeles Times: As Healthcare Overhaul Nears, Many Consumers Still In The Dark
While government officials tout the broad benefits of the Affordable Care Act to drum up enrollment, many consumers are eager to know how the overhaul will affect them personally, from pocketbook concerns to worries about whether their local doctor and hospital will be included. And, so far, there have been considerably more questions than answers, as officials and insurers scramble to get ready and clarify many of the details that people care about the most (Terhune, 8/17).
NPR: You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act
The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system. We know it's confusing, so we're spending part of the summer and fall answering at least some of your questions about the law (Rovner, 8/19).
The Wall Street Journal: Get Ready For Enrollment In Health Exchanges
In about six weeks, Americans will have a new kind of open enrollment to consider. Starting Oct. 1, people without health insurance can sign up for standardized coverage through new health-insurance marketplaces run either by their state, the federal government or a combination of the two-;the centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Gerencher, 8/17).
The Tennessean/USA Today: Paying For Obamacare: Some Feel Singled Out
Medical device manufacturers are among the federal health law losers, those that will have to pay up to cover the cost of implementing it. Others include high-wage earners, tanning salons and, in some cases, working parents and folks with big medical bills. The law generates revenue through a hodgepodge of new taxes, financial penalties and IRS rule changes (Wilemon, 8/18).
Politico: Obama: GOP Trying To 'Gum Up' ACA
President Barack Obama criticized Republicans for trying to "gum up the works" in the health care reform law and for refusing to help constituents sign up for coverage. "A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they'll somehow be sticking it to me. But they'd just be sticking it to you," Obama said in his weekly address (8/17).
The New York Times: Doctors Who Profit From Radiation Prescribe It More Often, Study Finds
Doctors who have a financial interest in radiation treatment centers are much more likely to prescribe such treatments for patients with prostate cancer, Congressional investigators say in a new report (Pear, 8/18).
The Washington Post: Arlington's Surescripts Looks To Share Health Information Over 'The Last Mile'
Over the past few years, the health-care industry has been moving toward a digital age, starting with a transition from paper charts to electronic health records. That first step is well underway, but analysts say the next phase, actually sharing those digital files between doctors or between insurers and hospitals, is just getting started as technology firms step in to complete what some call "the last mile of connectivity" for health-care providers (Harrison, 8/16).