KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Republican Governors Push HHS For Health Law Implementation Details

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, demanded information from the Obama administration. Also HHS announced $224 million in health-exchange grants to five states. 

Politico Pro: RGA To HHS: Seriously, We Need Some Answers
The chairman of the Republican Governors Association sent yet another letter to the Obama administration on Thursday, demanding answers to detailed questions the states have about implementing of the federal health care law. And while he was at it, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell took the opportunity to hammer the law on its shortcomings. "While [we] believe the best option is to fully repeal and replace the PPACA, states continue to confront numerous deadlines and face major policy decisions in the wake of the Supreme Court decision," McDonnell wrote (Norman, 9/27).

Modern Healthcare: $224 Million In Exchange Grants Awarded
As a Nov. 16 deadline approaches for states to submit their health insurance exchange plans, HHS announced that the total number receiving implementation funds has reached 34. The latest round of about $224 million in so-called establishment grants went to Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Minnesota, according to the HHS tracking site (Daly, 9/27).

CQ HealthBeat: HHS Awards A Quarter-Billion Dollars More For Exchange Grants
Each of the entities except one — Arkansas — has notified HHS that they intend to operate their own exchange to offer coverage options to uninsured Americans and small businesses under the health care law. The awards bring to $2.2 billion the amount of money HHS has granted to states under the health care law for exchanges (Reichard, 9/27).

An example of local coverage of the grant awards -  

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Gets $42.5M To Help Develop Health Insurance Exchanges 
With the new grant, the state has received a total of $71 million so far for its health exchange, which is intended to be a new marketplace for individuals and small business to buy coverage starting late next year. ... The process in Minnesota has proved contentious, with business groups criticizing the administration of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton this summer for not releasing more details about the cost and governance of the marketplace (Snowbeck, 9/27).

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