The health law's implementation gains and pains

As Democrats begin campaigns to tout the health law's benefits and states work to implement some of the overhaul's central provisions, concerns about state budget pressures, program costs and civil liberties draw headlines. 

McClatchy: Democrats Hit The Road To Sell Public On Obamacare
Three years after it passed, President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats are still trying to sell the federal health care law to a skeptical nation. Lawmakers, armed with tool kits and fact sheets, are fanning out across the nation to tout the law's benefits. Those charged with implementing its changes, starting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, are pushing companies to donate money to a private group that's working to get the program up and running. Supporters are organizing armies of volunteers to go door to door to try to sign up millions of uninsured Americans (Kumar, 6/10).

Stateline: States Prepare To Launch New Health Law
With the Affordable Care Act set to debut in January, state legislators debated dozens of measures related to the historic health care law-;from overhauling insurance laws and designing health "exchanges," to shoring up anti-fraud protections and increasing the ranks of doctors and nurses. On top of that, the politically volatile question of Medicaid expansion grabbed headlines, especially in the five states that still haven't decided whether to expand the program (Vestal, 6/11).

Kansas Health Institute: Obamacare A Concern For School Districts, Particularly Rural Ones
School administrators here say they are alarmed and confounded by the looming, new costs they face with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. "We've been talking about it (in anticipation) the last two years. I wish there was somebody smarter than me to find a solution," said Chris Hipp, director of the North Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative Interlocal 636. "We are not built to pay full health benefits for non-certified folks who work a little over 1,000 hours a year" (Shields, 6/10).

Bloomberg: Health Co-Ops Stumble With Loans, Republicans Say
President Barack Obama's use of federal loans to bankroll untested businesses is sparking controversy again, this time over a $6 billion program to create nonprofit competitors to commercial health insurers. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who heads the House Oversight Committee, said five of 24 health co-ops that received $2 billion in loans under the Affordable Care Act may not survive because of financial or regulatory shortcomings (Wayne, 6/10).

The Associated Press: Health Care Law Concerns Ohio Churches Group
An Ohio organization of Protestant and Catholic churches has expressed concern about religious liberty protections under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The Ohio Council of Churches, representing 18 Christian denominations, says in a statement that more is needed to broaden the religious exemption in the new federal law's current mandate and to add safeguards for "religious liberty and the rights of conscience" (6/11).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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.


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