KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Study Finds Health Law May Reduce Income Inequality

New research suggests the health law will boost the economic fortunes of people on the bottom one-fifth of the income ladder while slightly reducing average incomes for those above. Other stories look at a health plan cost calculator designed for the chronically ill, the debate over insurance risk corridors and union displeasure with the law.

The Associated Press: Big Impact On Income Gap Is Health Law’s New Angle
Maybe the health care law was about wealth transfer, after all. New research shows that the Affordable Care Act will significantly boost the economic fortunes of those in the bottom one-fifth of the income ladder while slightly reducing average incomes on the rungs above (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/29).

Health News Colorado: Health Cost Calculator Aims To Help Chronically Ill, Disabled
Chronically ill and disabled patients who need a lot of medications and care from doctors should be careful about which health plans they pick. Insurance that appears more affordable on the surface may in fact force patients who need a great deal of care to pay costly out-of-pocket expenses. That’s the warning from the national patient advocacy group, the National Health Council, which has created a new cost calculator on its website, Putting Patients First (McCrimmon, 1/29).

Kaiser Health News: The Health Law's '3 Rs' For Insurers: A Bailout Or Necessary Safeguards?
Three provisions in the health law that proponents say are designed to help insurers manage the financial risk of taking all comers while keeping premiums affordable are under fire on Capitol Hill, with Republicans labeling them as giveaways to the health insurance industry (Carey, 1/30).

Fox News: Labor Unions 'Bitterly Disappointed' With Proposed Obamacare Regulations
Leaders of major labor unions are pushing back against proposed regulatory changes that could affect some union-sponsored health plans under ObamaCare, arguing the proposals do nothing to help workers suffering under the law. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the presidents of two high-profile labor unions said they are "bitterly disappointed" with the administration's proposed rules, The Hill reported. Terry O'Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, and D. Taylor, president of Unite Here said the administration has failed to address their concerns about union plans and that ObamaCare threatens to lower the standard of living for the working class (1/30).

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