Proposal Would Require Insurers To Report Health Law Taxes


English: , member of the United States Senate....

English: , member of the United States Senate. Español: John Cornyn, un senador del Senado de los Estados Unidos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, bills it as a
way to educate consumers about how the health law’s benefits are funded.

The Hill: Insurers Would Report ObamaCare Taxes Under GOP Bill

A new bill from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) would require health insurers
to disclose taxes they pay under ObamaCare to policyholders. In a
statement Monday, Cornyn touted the measure as a way to educate
consumers about how the Affordable Care Act’s benefits are funded
(4/22).

Also in the news, health law opponents are pressing for repeal of the
health law’s medical device tax, among other provisions, in
comprehensive tax reform legislation –

Roll Call: Health Law Tax Foes Find Hope In Overhaul Effort

Proponents of doing away with provisions such as the medical-device tax
and the annual fee on health insurance companies say they already have
bipartisan support for their repeal legislation. But the efforts still
will face health care politics and the need for significant offsets,
making their inclusion far from certain as lawmakers work toward
comprehensive tax legislation that can pass in both chambers (Attias,
4/22).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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Next Stage Of Health Law Triggers Concern, Confusion


Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court

Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court (Photo credit: southerntabitha)

News outlets report on the confusion that continues to surround
the health law, especially as key provisions are about to take effect.
Meanwhile, officials and activists strategize about how to educate
consumers about their options.

Georgia Health News: Concern, Confusion Over The Next Stage Of Reform

In six months, Jimmy Rowalt will no longer have health insurance. For
the past two and a half years, the 25-year-old Athens resident has
worked at Highwire Lounge without worrying about the job’s lack of
health benefits. Now he’s a manager there, working 45 to 55 hours a
week. A rule allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ health
insurance policies until age 26 was one of the first provisions of the
Affordable Care Act to go into effect, in September 2010. … Rowalt’s
options will be meager after his October birthday, when he will be
dropped by his parents’ insurance company (Murphy, 4/22).

CT Mirror: Strategizing On Helping The Uninsured With Health Care Reform

As the country gears up to launch the Affordable Health Act, one of the
most difficult tasks will be to sell it to uninsured people who may have
never heard of the word “co-pay” or know what a primary care physician
is. That was the message of Alta Lash, a Connecticut community organizer
who was one of several speakers from across the nation at a daylong
roundtable discussion Monday on how to promote health equity through
“Obamacare.” The event attracted about 200 policymakers, social workers,
physicians and researchers to the Mark Twain House in Hartford for a
discussion of how to eliminate health disparities through the expanded
coverage that will take effect in January (Merritt, 4/22).

CNN Money: Millions Eligible For Obamacare Subsidies, But Most Don’t Know It

Nearly 26 million Americans could be eligible for health insurance
subsidies next year, but most don’t know it. That’s because relatively
few people are familiar with provisions in the Affordable Care Act, aka
“Obamacare,” that will provide tax credits to low- and middle-income
consumers to help them purchase health coverage through state-run
insurance exchanges (Luhby, 4/23).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Roundup: D.C. Sued Over Medicaid Reimbursement; Vt. To Post Health Care Rates


English: Depiction of the House vote on H.R. 3...

English: Depiction of the House vote on H.R. 3590 (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) on March 21, 2010, by congressional district. Democratic yea Democratic nay Republican nay No representative seated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: States, Medicaid, Politics, Health Reform, Insurance, Marketplace, Hospitals, Health Costs, Delivery of Care, Public Health

Apr 01, 2013

The Washington Post: Specialty Hospital Centers Sue D.C. For Reimbursement Of Medicaid Costs
Two facilities that treat severely ill poor patients could be forced to curtail services if the District does not fully reimburse them for Medicaid costs, according to a lawsuit filed this week. In the suit, Specialty Hospital of Washington Capitol Hill and Specialty Hospital of Washington Hadley claim the city has failed to reimburse them $24.7 million over the past four years (Craig, 3/29).

The Texas Tribune/New York Times: Texas Senate Bill Would Revise the State’s End-of-Life Procedure
Texas lawmakers have grappled year after year over whether families or medical professionals should decide when to end a terminally ill patient’s life-sustaining care. This year, they seem closer to a compromise (Aaronson, 3/30).

The Associated Press: Vt. To Be First State To Post Health Care Rates
Vermont is poised to become the first state in the country to let people without health insurance see how much they will have to pay to get coverage through the federal Affordable Care Act next year. On Monday, the state is going to post the proposed rates to be offered through the state’s health insurance marketplace for various levels of coverage (Ring, 4/1).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Your Health: Virginia Graded “B” On Health Price Transparency
A recent report gave Virginia a grade of B on health care price transparency. What does that mean? The report graded states on whether consumers had access to public information that would allow them to compare prices of health care services. States’ grades were based on whether there were state laws or policies requiring price information to be made available to consumers upon request or disseminated in a report or posted to a public website (4/1).

MPR News: ‘Urgency Center’ Clinic To Open In Blaine
A new facility opening soon in Blaine (Minnesota) will serve people with medical conditions that are not serious enough for an emergency room but still require care unavailable in most medical clinics. The new facility, called an urgency center, will open in partnership with a clinic in Blaine, said Dr. Amy Kolar, the director of the emergency room at North Memorial Hospital, which is opening the center. The urgency center will be ideal for people who break a bone or dislocate a shoulder but do not need to be admitted to a hospital, Kolar said (Williams, 3/31).

MPR News: $50K Grant Targets Overused Medical Tests
The Minnesota Medical Association, the state’s largest doctor group, has received a $50,000 grant to educate physicians and patients about overused medical tests and procedures. The grant, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is one of nearly two dozen awarded to health organizations around the United States. The medical association’s CEO, Dr. Robert Meiches, said that the initiative, called Choosing Wisely, encourages doctors and patients to select care that is supported by evidence; does not duplicate previous tests; and is free from harm (Stawicki, 3/30).

The Associated Press: Gov. Fallin Releases Health Care Documents, Withholds Others
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s office refused Friday to release dozens of documents surrounding decisions she made connected to the federal health care law, citing exemptions to the state’s Open Records Act that media experts say do not exist. In response to a request from several media outlets, including The Associated Press, the governor’s office released in digital form more than 50,000 pages of documents relating to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (3/30).

EdSource: Schools Struggle To Provide Dental Health Safety Net
As California educators grapple with boosting student achievement across economic lines, the teeth of poor children are holding them back. Hundreds of thousands of low-income children suffering from dental disease, some with teeth rotted to the gum line, are presenting California school districts with a widespread public health problem. Increasingly, dental health advocates are looking to school districts to help solve the crisis (Adams, 3/31).

HealthyCal: School Clinics Put Emphasis On Wellness
Just in time for the advent of national health care reform next year, Los Angeles-area schools are opening their first campus-based wellness centers, offering services not just to students and their families, but to entire neighborhoods. On a recent day in Compton, the Dominguez High School Marching Band played and drill team dancers whirled and pranced to celebrate the opening of their new center (Richard, 4/1).

California Healthline: New Survey Offers First Data On Managed Care Shift
A survey released yesterday revealed strengths and weaknesses in the state’s 2011 transition of about 172,000 seniors and persons with disabilities into Medi-Cal managed care plans. Two-thirds of the responding beneficiaries said their care was the same or better than it had been before the transition but the survey raised concerns on several fronts, most notably a lower level of notification and communication, according to Carrie Graham, assistant director of research at Health Research for Action at UC-Berkeley School of Public Health. Health Research for Action conducted the survey in partnership with the California HealthCare Foundation, which publishes California Healthline (Gorn, 3/29).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Studies Gauge Health Law’s Impact On Consumer Savings, Rx Drug Coverage


Topics: Supreme Court, Insurance, Marketplace, Health Reform, States

Dec 05, 2012

The Commonwealth Fund concluded that consumers saved $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of a provision that limits how much insurers can spend on expenses not related to medical care. Meanwhile, Avalere Health found that drug coverage plans offered on health exchanges will vary by state.

Los Angeles Times: ‘Obamacare’ Saves Consumers Nearly $1.5 Billion
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama’s healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings — an estimated $1.1 billion — came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law (Levey, 12/5).

Modern Healthcare: Reform Law Aiding Insurance Consumers: Report
A new report estimated insurance consumers benefited from $1.5 billion in either rebates or reduced costs last year, due to requirements of the healthcare overhaul. But insurers warned that money could have funded anti-fraud and quality-improvement programs. Research supported by the Commonwealth Fund, which backed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, concluded that the law’s medical loss-ratio requirements implemented in 2011 provided big savings—mainly in the individual insurance market. Individual market policyholders had “substantially reduced premiums” due to the law’s requirement that insurers spend at least 80% of premium dollars on direct healthcare or quality-improvement activities, or else pay a rebate to their customers, according to the report (Daly, 12/5).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Study: Prescription Drug Coverage Under Obama Health Care Law Could Vary Markedly By State
A new study says basic prescription drug coverage could vary dramatically from state to state under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. That’s because states get to set benefits for private health plans that will be offered starting in 2014 through new insurance exchanges (12/4).

The Hill: Analysis Finds Big State-By-State Swings In Prescription Coverage
President Obama’s signature healthcare law requires insurance plans to cover a range of prescription drugs, but the number of drugs covered will vary widely from state to state, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health. The Affordable Care Act requires plans to cover a set of “essential health benefits,” including prescription drugs. To prevent benefit mandates from driving up premiums, the Health and Human Services Department has said it will let states fill in most of the details about their essential-benefits packages (Baker, 12/4).

In other coverage related to the health overhaul –

MPR: Federal Health Care Law
The federal health care overhaul is here to stay after surviving an epic legal battle at the United States Supreme Court and the contentious 2012 elections. But that does not mean the massive law will remain intact, as enacted. Congress may be tempted to raid some of the Affordable Care Act’s funding as part of a deal to avert the collection of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff.” The court battles are hardly over; legal challenges involving issues the Supreme Court did not address when it upheld the law in June, 2012, are already underway. But for the most part, key provisions, such as the individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance, will take effect January 1, 2014 (Stawicki, 12/4).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More Workers Covered By Bosses’ Self-Insured Plans


By Ankita Rao

November 28th, 2012, 5:25 PM


The number of U.S. workers covered by self-insured health plans—in which their employer assumes the financial risk for health costs rather than paying insurance companies to do that—has grown steadily in recent years. But such plans are still primarily used by large companies, not small employers, a new study finds.

As of 2011, more than half of U.S. employees were covered under these self-insured plans, compared to about 41 percent in 1998, according to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. These plans can lower costs for employers by reducing administration, exempting them from state-mandated services, and allowing them to provide uniform coverage across state lines.

Sometimes workers do not even know that their employer is self-insuring because the company will hire a traditional insurance plan to administer the program.

Businesses with less than 50 employees have not followed the same trend, with only 10.8 percent of private sector enrollees in self-insured plans in 2011. The number has remained generally around 12 percent since 1998, according to EBRI.

The analysis also found that the rates varied by state — Hawaii was on the lower end with 30.5 percent of workers enrolled in self-insured plans, and Indiana and Minnesota were on the higher end with more than 70 percent enrolled. Massachusetts, the only state to have enacted universal health care coverage, saw more medium and large firms choose self-insurance.

The report’s author, Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program, says the research was prompted by speculation that smaller firms increasingly may move to a self-insured model because of their concerns about rising insurance costs under the 2010 federal health law.

Employers generally, and small employers particularly, concerned about the rising cost of providing health coverage may view self-insurance as a better way to control expected cost increases,” notes Fronstin. “This new analysis provides a baseline against which to measure future trends.”

In a separate issue brief, researchers from The Urban Institute said the health law will make self-insurance plans more attractive to small employers because of less price discrimination against small groups.

But since the federal regulations don’t apply to self-insurance, authors said a small business migration to the plans could “undermine the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act’s small-group reforms and to destabilize the market.” But the brief describes ways that federal or state regulation can help mitigate that problem.

This sign, displayed at all credit unions, inf...

This sign, displayed at all credit unions, informs members that their savings are insured by the NCUA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Rules For ‘Obamacare’ Scrutinized By Insurers, Employers, States, Consumers


Topics: Health Reform, Insurance, Quality, States

Nov 21, 2012

Long-awaited draft regulations offer new guidance to insurers, states and employers.

USA Today: Administration Unveils Health Care Regulations
The Obama administration released new health care regulations Tuesday that preclude insurers from adjusting premiums based on pre-existing or chronic health conditions, tell states what benefits must be included in health exchange plans, and allow employers to reward employees who work to remain healthy (Kennedy, 11/20).

The Washington Post: Obama Administration Officials Propose Altered Rules For Health Insurers
The Obama administration proposed new rules Tuesday that would loosen some of the 2010 health-care law’s mandates on insurers while tightening others. Certain health plans, for instance, would be able to charge customers higher deductibles than originally allowed under the legislation. But all plans would be required to cover a larger selection of drugs than under an earlier approach outlined by the administration (Aizenman, 11/20).

The New York Times: Administration Defines Benefits That Must Be Offered Under The Health Law
The proposed rules, issued more than two and a half years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, had been delayed as the administration tried to avoid stirring criticism from lobbyists and interest groups in the final weeks of the presidential campaign (Pear, 11/20).

Los Angeles Times: Administration Affirms Key Mandates Of Healthcare Law
Consumer advocates, insurers and business groups were looking for signs the administration might try to modify some of the law’s requirements as the federal government races to implement the legislation by the end of next year. But the proposed rules issued Tuesday hew closely to the Affordable Care Act (Levey, 11/20).

Kaiser Health News: Administration Releases New Health Law Rules For Insurers, Employers
[A] quick review showed that no one group won everything it wanted. For example, insurers did not succeed in getting the government to phase-in a requirement that limits their ability to charge older applicants more than younger ones. And consumer groups, which wanted specific details on the benefits required in 10 broad categories, instead saw continued discretion given to state regulators to pick “benchmark” plans and benefits (Appleby, Hancock and Carey, 11/20).

The Wall Street Journal: States Get A Say In Health Law
The federal government also expanded requirements for prescription-drug coverage from previous proposals, but it left states with different options to choose from, as well as responsibility for enforcement. Some employer groups praised the rules for keeping new plan benefits in line with what is already offered by small businesses. But the insurance industry said the rules didn’t go far enough to keep insurance costs down, particular for younger consumers (Radnofsky, 11/20).

Modern Healthcare: HHS Releases Proposed ACA Insurance Regulations
Starting in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make it illegal for health insurance companies to discriminate against people who have pre-existing conditions, which HHS estimates affect some 129 million nonelderly Americans. In the proposed rule, health insurance issuers would generally be barred from denying coverage for such conditions, and individuals would have new special enrollment opportunities in the individual market when they have certain losses of other coverage (Zigmond, 11/20).

NPR: Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health Insurance
[T]he administration is laying out rules to govern the use of employer-provided “wellness programs.” These popular programs encourage employees to meet certain health goals, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or lowering cholesterol. The rules spell out that programs must not be “overly burdensome” and must provide a “reasonable alternative means of qualifying for the reward” for individuals whose medical conditions “make it unreasonably difficult, or for whom it is medically inadvisable, to meet the specified health-related standard” (Rovner, 11/20).

Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration Gives Smokers A Way Out Of Higher Insurance Premiums
[The rules] effectively nullified a provision of the federal health law that would have allowed insurers in the small group market to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than nonsmokers. Under the proposed regulation, employees who use tobacco can avoid paying those higher premiums if they participate in a program to quit (Galewitz, 11/20).

The Associated Press: HHS Details Overhaul Rules And Required Benefits
Having the federal government set minimum standards for what health insurance must cover is a departure from normal practice. Usually, insurance companies, their state regulators and employers play that role. But the Affordable Care Act requires that Washington establish a baseline for minimum coverage in areas that include inpatient and outpatient care, emergency services, maternity and childhood care, prescription drugs, preventive screenings and lab work  (Murphy, 11/20).

The Hill: HHS Releases Health Law Rules Requiring Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage
The regulations still leave key questions unanswered, including the structure of a federally run insurance exchange in the roughly 30 states that won’t set up their own. HHS officials said more information on the federal exchange will be coming soon. … While the new rules don’t answer some questions for states, they do provide much-needed specifics for insurance companies that must prepare for new mandates set to take effect in 2014 (Baker, 11/20).

Medpage Today: HHS Proposes Rules On Key Parts Of ACA
The rules also mandate that insurers maintain separate statewide risk pools for the individual and small-employer markets, unless a state wants to combine the two. Premiums and rate changes would be based on the health risk of the entire pool (Pittman, 11/20).

McClatchy: Insurers’ Duties Under Health Care Law Taking Shape
The rule’s final provision insures that young adults and people who can’t afford insurance will have access to catastrophic health coverage in the individual insurance market. Many of today’s proposed rules will help “ensure that consumers are protected from some of the worst insurance-industry practices,” [Gary Cohen, the director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services] said (Pugh, 11/20).

Politico Pro: Essential Benefits Rule: No Surprises, Some Gaps
The health care industry waited 11 months for the Obama administration’s follow-up act to its essential health benefits bulletin. For many, Tuesday’s EHB proposed rule felt like a repeat performance. Credit the administration’s bulletin last year for spelling out what the proposed rule itself would look like. States will get to set benefits from a choice of certain plans, insurers will have some flexibility and HHS will be there watching over it all in some capacity (Millman, 11/20).

Politico Pro: HHS To States: Costs Of New Rules ‘Minor’
In a section of its proposed rule titled “Costs to States,” HHS estimates that although states “may need additional resources” to ensure that health plans in their exchange meet minimum coverage requirements, “these costs will be relatively minor.” In the rule, HHS also notes that federal law prohibits Washington from imposing an “unfunded mandate” on states in excess of $139 million in a given year (Cheney, 11/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Lots Of Regs, But What About The Federal Exchange?
Missing from Tuesday’s massive release of hundreds of pages of proposed rules filling in the details of the sweeping redesign of the insurance market, set in motion 32 months ago by passage of the health care law, were details on an entity looming ever larger in delivering the fruits of that legislation: the federally facilitated exchange. By the end of the day, however, it appeared that officials had made considerable progress on the regulatory front, with insurers and states now having to scramble to conform to the new mandates (Reichard, 11/2).

CQ HealthBeat: Obama Administration Rolls Out Proposed Rule On Insurance Market Changes
The long-anticipated next steps in a complicated regulatory dance involving the federal government, states and health insurers were laid out by the Obama administration on Tuesday, and federal officials acknowledged that there is much more work ahead (Norman, 11/20)

CQ HealthBeat: Essential Health Benefits Proposal Gives States Flexibility, Expands Prescription Drug Requirements
The proposed rule also included standards on how the actuarial value of plans would be determined. Separately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a guidance to states on the types of benefits that Medicaid programs must include if they expand coverage under the health care law. Under the essential benefits proposed rule, health plans in the individual and small-group markets — both in and outside of the new exchanges — would have to provide coverage in the 10 categories of services that the health care law requires (Adams, 11/20)

CQ HealthBeat: Proposed Rule Sets Standards For Wellness Programs
[T]he maximum permissible rewards would increase in 2014 from the current ceiling of 20 percent of the cost of health coverage to 30 percent. However, the proposed regulation says that when it comes to programs designed to prevent or decrease tobacco use, the maximum reward could be increased to as much as 50 percent (Reichard, 11/20).

Reuters: U.S. Releases New Health Insurance Reform Rules
The proposed measures were likely to come under fire from healthcare reform opponents including a growing number of Republican governors who have rejected the provisions calling on states to operate their own healthcare exchanges beginning January 1, 2014. States have until December 14, under a newly extended deadline, to tell the Department of Health and Human Services whether they intend to pursue their own healthcare exchanges (Morgan, 11/20).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Health Law Preparations Go Full Throttle


Topics: Health Reform, Delivery of Care, States, Insurance, Politics

Nov 08, 2012

The re-election of President Barack Obama all but ensured the survival of the law, news outlets report. Now, a slew of regulations must be issued and political and financial and organizational obstacles overcome.

Reuters: Obama Wins Clear Health Law Hurdle, Challenges Remain
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the biggest overhaul of the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system since the 1960s, aims to extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans beginning in January 2014 (Morgan and Yukhananov, 11/7).

NPR: Obamacare Is Here To Stay – But In What Form?
President Obama’s re-election and the retention of a Democratic majority in the Senate means the likelihood of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act has receded. So what now? “The law is here and we should at this point expect it to still be here Jan. 1, 2014,” says Alan Weil, executive director of the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy. Jan. 1, 2014, is the date the major parts of the law, like the new insurance policies available to individuals and small businesses, are supposed to become available (Rovner, 11/8).

Los Angeles Times: Obama’s Win Means His Healthcare Law Will Insure All Americans
Tuesday’s results also present Obama with a new set of challenges as he tries to fulfill the promise of his signature legislative achievement, the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965. Federal and state officials nationwide must create systems to handle millions of new insurance customers. … And Obama will face renewed pressure to scale back the law as Congress tries to rein in federal budget deficits (Levey, 11/8).

The Washington Post: Obama’s Health-Care Law Still Faces Challenges After President’s Reelection
Among the tasks Obama officials still face: protecting the law from budget cuts Republicans are sure to demand during upcoming negotiations, wrangling wary governors into going along with the law’s expansion of Medicaid, and ensuring that the private insurance markets, or “exchanges,” at the heart of the law can be rolled out by the law’s 2014 deadline (Aizenman, 11/7).

Politico: Obamacare Survives — Now What?
Now it has to work. If it does, more Americans might come to accept it — and even be glad it passed. If it doesn’t, Obama’s legacy will be tarnished. And Republicans will say “we told you so” for years to come. Either way, Americans will now see what the law — the Affordable Care Act — is supposed to look like. The big pieces, including coverage of pre-existing conditions and the hated individual mandate, won’t kick in until 2014. Until now, all Americans have seen are the warm-up acts — like letting young adults stay on their parents’ plans — that aren’t really central to the law (Nather, 11/7).

The Wall Street Journal: Election Removes Cloud From Health Law’s Future
Also expected are rules spelling out the terms on which insurers must accept all customers regardless of their medical history, rules governing how insurers can vary premiums based on age and more information about new requirements on employers and individuals to buy insurance. … Other industries in the health sector, including insurers, brokers, and medical-device-makers, were poised to lobby aggressively on regulations as they come out, and to redouble efforts to persuade Congress to amend particular aspects of the law in their favor (Radnofsky and Mathews, 11/7).

The Associated Press: Obama’s Health Care Overhaul Turns Into A Sprint
A steadying force within the administration is likely to be HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The former Kansas governor has said she wants to stay in her job until the law is fully enacted. “I can’t imagine walking out the door in the middle of that,” she told The Kansas City Star during the Democratic convention. Her office declined to comment Wednesday. Republicans will be leading more than half the states, so governors are going to be her main counterparts (Alonso-Zaldivar, 11/8).

National Journal: Major Regulations For Health Reform Coming Soon
While Congress wrangles over the fiscal cliff and scrambles to find money for the perennial “doc fix” payment formula problem, the professional staff at the Health and Human Services and Treasury departments are also expected to have a full plate, with legislative deadlines for implementing health reform looming and many of the political considerations that slowed regulatory release before the election now off the table. … “I think it’s realistic to see a big bunch of regulations to be rolled out in the weeks following the election,” said Christine Pollack, a vice president for government relations at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a trade group for big-box stores (Sanger-Katz, 11/7).

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House Español: Barack Obama firmando la Ley de Protección al Paciente y Cuidado de Salud Asequible en la Casa Blanca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.