KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: April 30, 2010

Today's headlines focus on state decisions regarding new health insurance pools; insurers' plans regarding the early adoption of some reform law provisions; and, of course, the politics that continue to surround health reform.

States Decide On Running New Pools For Insurance
The fight over the new health care law shifted Thursday to the states, as some governors claimed federal money to run a new insurance pool for people with serious medical problems, while officials in other states said they would not operate the program (The New York Times).

Health Insurers Adopts Some Rules Early
After being criticized as obstructionists during the long health-care debate, insurance companies now are implementing some popular provisions even sooner than the law demands (The Washington Post).

Boehner: GOP Will Repeal Health Care Law
House Republican Leader John Boehner has said that his party will repeal the new health care law if the GOP gains a congressional majority in November (NPR). 

Schwarzenegger Embraces Federal Healthcare Legislation
As other GOP governors look to the courts to roll back the federal healthcare overhaul, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday embraced the legislation and announced that he is directing his administration to begin implementing the new system in California (Los Angeles Times).

Schwarzenegger Gives Full Support To Health Reform
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged California's full support Thursday for national health care reform, throwing the weight of one of the nation's most prominent Republicans behind an overhaul that caused a deep political divide and prompted at least 18 states to file legal challenges (The Associated Press).

Schwarzenegger Endorses Healthcare Law, Says California Will Move Ahead
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed the health reform law on Thursday and vowed that his state would not fight it (The Hill).

Reid Makes Healthcare A Campaign Issue
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has moved the healthcare battle to the forefront of his reelection efforts (The Hill).

Anthem Blue Cross Withdraws Request For Rate Hikes
California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross canceled rate hikes of as much as 39% for thousands of California policyholders Thursday after state regulators said the plan was "seriously flawed" (Los Angeles Times).

Rate Proposal By WellPoint Is Withdrawn
WellPoint Inc. said it would revise its request for steep rate hikes in California's individual market, after a state regulator said it found flaws in the company's application (The Wall Street Journal).

Doctor And Patient: Fueling The Anger Of Doctors
At a recent social gathering, a doctor friend who has been in private practice for almost 15 years revealed something that caused one physician to nearly choke on her drink, another to gasp in disbelief and the rest of us to stop what we were doing and gawk as if he had committed some grave social faux pas (The New York Times).

Boston Hospital Replicates Haiti's Worst-Case Scenario
Some U.S. doctors who've volunteered in post-earthquake Haiti have said they felt unprepared for the types of injuries and primitive medical settings they encountered there. Children's Hospital in Boston is running a startlingly realistic simulation program to help prepare American health care workers for the scene they'll find. Sacha Pfeiffer reports for member station WBUR (NPR).

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