Politico: Manchin OK With Obamacare Individual Mandate Delay
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he would vote for a government funding bill that delays Obamacare's individual mandate for a year if it came up in the Senate, later backtracking and clarifying he doesn't believe Obamacare should be part of the government funding showdown (Kopan, 9/26).
Politico: House GOP Banking On Plan C
At this point, it's difficult to conclusively determine where all the House GOP's maneuvering and false starts will end. In one sense, the developments might help Congress avoid a government shutdown. Most House Republicans now seem to recognize that they will likely have to swallow a funding resolution that leaves Obamacare intact. Yet, the ups-and-downs also dramatically increase the stakes in the debt-ceiling fight. The borrowing cap must be raised by Oct. 17, or the nation will default on its debts (Sherman and Bresnahan, 9/26).
The New York Times: Enrollment To Be Delayed For Small-Business Marketplaces
The Obama administration on Thursday announced another minor delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, saying that the insurance marketplaces for small businesses would be fully open for enrollment a month later than it had planned. White House officials played down the development, putting it at the end of a news release announcing that the Department of Health and Human Services was "launching the Small Business Health Option Program Marketplace" (Shear, 9/26).
Los Angeles Times: Glitch Delays Online Tools For U.S. Health Insurance Marketplaces
California is unaffected by the delay. But small businesses in some states that want to sign up their employees for health coverage on new federally run marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act will have to use paper forms until November, according to administration officials (Levey, 9/26).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Deadline Glitches: Health Overhaul Online Sign-Up Delayed For Small Firms And Spanish Speakers
Administration officials are quietly telling key interest groups to expect initial glitches signing up online for coverage under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Two sources tell The Associated Press that small businesses will not be able to enroll online starting Oct. 1 when new health insurance markets go live. Instead, one of the sources, a person who was briefed on the situation, said business owners will initially have to mail or fax their information so that they can enroll (9/26).
The Washington Post: Obamacare Suffers Another Delay, Pushing Back Exchange Enrollment For Small Firms
On the federal exchange, which is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, small business owners will not be able to purchase coverage online until Nov. 1. Instead, for the first month, they will have to mail or fax their information to government officials to enroll on the federal exchange, which will serve individuals and business owners in the 34 states that elected not to set up their own exchanges. Plans purchased through the small-business exchange will still take effect Jan. 1, as planned, HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Washington Post (Harrison, 9/26).
The Wall Street Journal: Online Health Exchanges For Small Businesses Hit Snag
The Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Thursday that a technological problem is forcing it to delay part of the rollout of the new health-care law, saying insurance exchanges won't be ready to accept online applications from small businesses when the program launches Tuesday. With less than five days left to debug the sprawling new computer system, there are other signs of trouble: People close to the situation are also skeptical the online marketplaces for individual customers will be fully ready. The administration said it was confident they would open on time (Radnofsky, Weaver and Needleman, 9/26).
Politico: Another Obamacare Delay
The one-month delay is not a major blow to the health care law -; the exchanges for individuals are still expected to open on time. But it's yet another PR headache for the White House as it ramps up a major Obamacare sales pitch just five days before open enrollment is scheduled to begin (Millman and Haberkorn, 9/26).
The New York Times: As Some Companies Turn To Health Exchanges, G.E. Seeks A New Path
Although the new federal health care law is designed to help people buying individual policies, even people with employer-provided policies are beginning to see changes in their coverage as companies rethink health care for their workers, discontinuing it in a few cases and redesigning it in many others (Abelson, 9/26).
The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Give Health Law Real-World Test
In an ACO, hospitals or groups of doctors contract with insurers to provide care for an assigned patient population. The aim: better care at lower cost. ACOs have incentives to keep patients healthy and incurring lower costs because they get to share the savings. Commercial insurers have created more than 200 ACOs with health-care systems in recent years. Now, the Affordable Care Act is giving the concept a government-funded test by authorizing Medicare to set up pilot ACOs. More than 250 health systems have signed on since 2011, creating ACOs covering more than four million Medicare beneficiaries (Beck, 9/26).
The Washington Post: Ken Cuccinelli Launches First Campaign Ad To Focus On Obama Health-Reform Law
With portions of the Affordable Care Act set to kick in next week, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II's campaign for Virginia governor is airing its first ad explicitly aimed at the health-reform measure. The ad, titled "Obamacare," focuses on Cuccinelli's (R) long-standing opposition to President Obama's signature legislation while blaming foe Terry McAuliffe (D) for the measure's perceived faults (Pershing, 9/26).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Michigan GOP Governor To Washington: Work It Out
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder may be a Republican, but he blames both sides for the bitter partisan fight underway in Washington over federal spending and borrowing, and the shape of the president's health-care overhaul. "I hold all sides equally accountable. I see no value in 'Who did what to whom?" he said in an interview after a speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (King, 9/26).
The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Officials Say Insurers To Repay Seniors $2.2 M
New York regulators say four insurers will pay $2.2 million in restitution to 3,475 seniors across the state because of overcharges on their policies. The Department of Financial Services says the refunds are for Medicare supplemental insurance and average $624 per policyholder. Distribution will begin on Sept. 30 (9/27).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.