The Wall Street Journal: Key Groups Have Love-Hate Relationship With Health Law
Health-insurance companies spent more than $80 million trying to defeat President Barack Obama's health-care plan. Having failed, they have spent the years since trying to kill a string of provisions they don't like. And yet, it is those same insurance companies that are working harder than just about anyone to try to make the law succeed. It is one of the paradoxes of the sweeping health-care law: Fierce critics can also act as supporters who are key to whether the law will work. With Mr. Obama's struggles in selling the law, their efforts have become even more critical to its success (Meckler and Radnofsky, 9/28).
Politico: Can The Media Avoid Rush Judgment On Obamacare?
When Obamacare enrollment begins on Tuesday, reporters in the Twitter age will be tempted to declare the health law a success or a failure in the first few days -; a judgment that will certainly be stoked by advocates on both sides of the issue. And any rush judgments could have a big impact on public opinion of the law (Gold and Cheney, 9/28).
The New York Times: Survey Shows Confusion Over Health Care Law But Support For Medicaid Expansion
A day before the new health care exchanges open across the country, a new report shows that the more people understand it, the more they're inclined to participate. But while most people are aware of the law's requirement to buy insurance or face a penalty, a much smaller number have any understanding of the insurance exchanges opening on Tuesday or of the financial aid available to help people buy insurance (Bornemeier, 9/30).
Politico: Poll: Most Will Get Health Insurance
Asked whether they plan to get insurance when the requirement takes effect or pay the fine for not doing so, 65 percent of uninsured Americans said they would get health insurance, according to a Gallup poll out Monday. Twenty-five percent said they would pay the fine. Gallup also asked about the whether those individuals planned to use the exchange markets that launch Tuesday to buy their insurance. Almost half, 48 percent, said they planned to use the exchanges, 36 said they did not and 17 percent weren't sure (Kopan, 9/30).
The Associated Press: FACT CHECK: Slippery Salesmanship From Obama On Health Care, Dubious Counterclaims From GOP
President Barack Obama is the insurance industry's most powerful pitchman these days as he drums up interest in the health insurance markets opening for business Tuesday. Whatever the merits of his product, there are reasons for the buyer to beware of his rhetoric. The president is being a bit slippery on the costs of coverage, in particular. His opponents are taking their own liberties as they talk up the ills of what they deride as "Obamacare" and defend their approach to the budget impasse that threatens to close parts of the government come Tuesday. On these points, caveat emptor (Woodward, 9/29).
The New York Times: One State's Way To Bolster Health Coverage For Poor
Federal officials said Friday that they had approved a novel proposal from Arkansas to expand Medicaid by buying private coverage for poor people through the insurance marketplace being set up under the new federal health care law. The Arkansas program, expected to cover more than 200,000 people, sets a precedent of national significance. It offers a hybrid coverage plan calculated to appeal to Republicans, taking federal money for the expansion of Medicaid and using it to purchase commercial insurance (Pear, 9/27).
Los Angeles Times: California Insurance Exchange Chief Has Health Reform 'In His Bones'
Republicans in Congress are railing against the healthcare law as a government takeover of medicine. The massive program will harm patients and cost far too much, critics say. ... It mirrors the scene 50 years ago during the contentious debate over Medicare. Two brothers, Peter and Philip Lee, fought on the front lines back then, bucking the medical establishment to guarantee healthcare for seniors. Now another Peter Lee -; Peter's son and Philip's nephew -; is carrying on the family tradition. He's in charge of enrolling millions of Californians in Obamacare (Terhune, 9/28).
The Associated Press: States Resist, Build Nascent Insurance Markets
With new online health insurance exchanges set to launch Tuesday, consumers in many Southern and Plains states will have to look harder for information on how the marketplaces work than their counterparts elsewhere (Dalesio, 9/29).
The New York Times: Trends To Watch For In Employer Health Plans
A lot of attention has been given to the health insurance exchanges opening next month. But if you're like most Americans, you'll still get your insurance through an employer. And that means the annual open enrollment season, when you choose your benefits for the coming year, will soon be upon you. ... Here are some questions to consider this year (Carrns, 9/27).
The New York Times: Lacking Rules, Insurers Balk at Paying For Intensive Psychiatric Care
Patients often find themselves at odds with health insurers, but the battles are perhaps nowhere so heated as with the treatment of serious mental illness. It was not supposed to be this way. A federal law, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, was aimed at avoiding fights like this over coverage by making sure insurers would cover mental illnesses just as they cover treatment for diseases like cancer or multiple sclerosis. ... But five years after President George W. Bush signed the law, there is widespread agreement that it has fallen short of its goal of creating parity for mental health coverage. As enrollment in coverage under the Affordable Care Act becomes available on Tuesday, the rules underlying mental health coverage in general -; for both private insurers and the new health care exchanges -; are still unclear, mental-health patient advocates say, leaving patients and families to grind through the process as best they can (Abelson, 9/28).
Los Angeles Times: Gov. Brown Signs 2 Of 3 Bills Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Friday aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse but vetoed a third that could have helped the state's medical board identify reckless doctors whose patients died on pills they prescribed (Glover and Girion, 9/27).
The New York Times: Rights Groups And Clinics Sue Texas Over Provisions In Its New Abortion Law
National women's rights groups and Texas abortion clinics filed suit on Friday in federal court in Texas, seeking to block provisions of a new state law that they said would have "dramatic and draconian effects" on women's access to the procedure (Eckholm, 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.