KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Marking The Health Law’s Second Anniversary

News outlets report on what the future holds as the health law turns 2. Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services steps up its messaging related to the measure's benefits.

Politico: Health Care Reform: What To Watch For
The law turns two years old on Friday, and its third year will see other milestones that will determine how it works -- if it survives. States have to do their part to implement it, and some will do little or nothing. Health care providers have to decide whether to participate in experiments on controlling costs and testing new ways of delivering care (Nather, 3/19).

Fox News: Health Care Anniversary: Not Such A Big 'Bleeping' Deal?
Friday marks the second anniversary of Obama signing his health care reform bill into law, which Vice President Joe Biden was famously caught calling a "big (bleeping) deal" at the ceremonial event that day. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday it's unclear what will be on the president's schedule this Friday, but he's looking beyond past battles. "He is focused on a forward agenda right now, and working with Congress and doing the things he can through executive action to grow the economy and create jobs," Carney said (Henry, 3/19).

The Hill: Dems Hail Health Law's Benefits For Seniors
Democrats and their allies on Monday began a week-long celebration of the health care reform law's second anniversary with a coordinated push to defend its benefits for seniors -- one day before House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveils his newest Medicare overhaul proposal. The White House and House Democrats touted the latest figures on how many Medicare beneficiaries have already benefited from the law, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched robocalls in 41 Republican districts attacking Medicare cuts that could result from Ryan's budget proposal (Pecquet, 3/19).

National Journal: HHS Health Message Of The Day: Doughnut-Hole Savings
The White House kicked off a week of events marking the second anniversary of the health reform law by reminding seniors, that always-important voting block, just how much health care reform has helped them. Monday's message: coverage of the "doughnut hole" in prescription drug plans saved 5 million seniors and disabled people $3.2 billion. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data showing that through the first two months of 2012, about 103,000 seniors and people with disabilities saved $93 million in the donut hole (McCarthy, 3/19).

Politico Pro: Birth Control Policy Ties Into ACA Anniversary
For backers of the health care reform law, contraception may help connect the dots. Supporters of the law are using its second anniversary this week to try to remind the public of the law’s benefits. The public remains divided about the law, but polls show some of its components are quite popular. And whether women realize it or not, the requirement that most health plans in August start to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives with no co-pay is part of the health care law’s women’s preventive health benefits (Feder, 3/19).

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