Obama presses scrutiny of 2015 health insurance rates

The president made his appeal to state insurance commissioners at a meeting Thursday. Elsewhere, consumer spending related to the health law jumps, the GOP again demands to know the White House's involvement in the healthcare.gov rollout, and hospitals try their hand as insurers.

The Seattle Times: Kreidler: 'Robust Discussion' With Obama On Health Coverage
President Obama, in a meeting with state insurance commissioners Thursday, made it clear that he expects careful scrutiny of rates for 2015 health-insurance plans, according to Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. Kreidler was among more than 40 commissioners who met for an hour in the State Dining Room with the president, Vice President Joe Biden, outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner and other top health officials (Ostrom, 4/17).

NPR: Following Enrollment Deadline, Health Care Focus Turns To States
President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law (Horsley, 4/17).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Spurs Jump In Consumers' Health Spending Economy
Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law. The law is prompting Beigel and others to spend more at the doctor's office and pharmacy, and the impact is reflected in the latest data on consumer spending (Smialek, 4/17).

Fox News: GOP Steps Up Demand For Documents On White House Role In Botched Health Care Rollout
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is ratcheting up pressure on President Obama's top aides to turn over more documents revealing the extent of the White House's direct involvement in the botched rollout of the health insurance exchanges, according to a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler obtained exclusively by Fox News. In the letter transmitted to Ruemmler at the White House Thursday morning, Issa asserts "senior White House officials -- as well as the President -- appear to have been far more personally involved in decision-making related to healthcare.gov than the White House previously represented. Documents obtained by the Committee show the significant involvement of senior White House officials in the rollout of healthcare.gov" (Henry, 4/17).

Fox News: Hospitals Trying Their Hand At Insurance Provider Business
As doctors, businesses and individuals around the country are adapting to the sweeping changes enacted under the Affordable Care Act, some hospitals are getting in on the provider game. Self-insurance plans are cropping up at hospitals that put the financial risks on employers for providing benefits to their workers.. Hospital officials say they can offer competitive pricing as providers to small business owners as many predict higher premium costs in the coming years. Self-insured products are often offered with employers pooling together, creating large insurance pools and spreading that risk (and thus, mitigating costs) across companies (Rogers, 4/17).

And, a Christian broadcaster wins an injunction against the health law's conception coverage mandate --

The Associated Press: Christian Broadcaster Wins Health Care Injunction
Christian radio broadcaster James Dobson has won a temporary injunction preventing the federal government from requiring his ministry to include the morning-after pill and other emergency contraception in its health insurance. A federal judge in Denver issued the injunction Thursday (4/17).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis 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.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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