KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

After The Ruling: States Grapple With Implementation Decisions

Experts continue to analyze the potential meanings and impacts of a federal judge's ruling earlier this week that the health law is unconstitutional and states find themselves in the hotseat as they make plans to move forward or stall their implementation progress.

KQED's The Forum: Is the Health Care Law Constitutional?
After a Florida judge knocked down the Obama health care law, many legal experts say a trip to the Supreme Court is inevitable. We discuss the constitutional issues that have divided courts in Virginia, Michigan and Florida (Krasny, Miller and Jost, 2/2).

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Health Law Wars
The important thing is to meet the goal of the mandate, which is to have more people enrolled in health plans so that the cost of medical care is shared as widely as possible. But there can be decent alternatives to the mandate itself. Look at how financial incentives got Medicare recipients to sign up for drug coverage. A menu of possible alternatives should be readied. Some might even be put into place now. Meanwhile, the federal government and the states - even the 26 mostly GOP-controlled statehouses suing to halt the law - should get on with implementing this lifesaving health reform (2/3).

PBS NewsHour: As Health Reform Challenges Proceed, States Face Big Decisions
After four conflicting court rulings on the health care reform law, Ray Suarez looks at what's next for states and patients with Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress and Thomas Miller of the American Enterprise Institute (Suarez, 2/2).

Bloomberg: Republican Governors Seize Court Ruling To Undo Health Law
Republican governors from Florida to Arizona say a recent court decision is grounds to stop implementing President Barack Obama's health-care law. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a former hospital industry executive, said he'll wait for further rulings before preparing to carry out the law aimed at creating near-universal health care. The state won't accept a $1 million grant intended to help it get ready, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in a letter to federal officials yesterday. Republican governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Nathan Deal of Georgia and Butch Otter of Idaho issued statements applauding the decision (Palmeri and Selway, 2/2).

Politico: Florida To Barack Obama: Keep Your Health Care Reform Cash
No thanks. That's what the state of Florida is saying to the Obama administration, declining a $1 million grant to implement the health law. The move follows this week's federal court decision declaring the law unconstitutional (Kliff and Haberkorn, 2/2).

Modern Healthcare: Sebelius Rips Fla. Judge's Ruling On Reform Law
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in a speech before state and local government executives, blasted the Monday ruling against the controversial health care reform law by a federal judge in Florida as "judicial overreach." She also questioned the legal standing of a high-profile Medicaid waiver request from Arizona (Daly, 2/2).

The Sacramento Bee/Santa Rosa Press Democrat: GOP May Force Single-Payer Insurance
Four federal judges have ruled on health care reform, splitting 2-2 over the law's constitutionality. Is anyone surprised? It's been clear for months that the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be decided in court. In all likelihood, the final decision will rest with one man, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on a U.S. Supreme Court that's every bit as polarized as Congress and, for that matter, the electorate. Many conservatives are counting on Kennedy to side with Roger Vinson, the U.S. District Court judge in Pensacola, Fla., who ruled Monday that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring people to buy health insurance. Moreover, Vinson determined that the individual mandate is so central to the workings of health care reform that the law can't stand without it (2/3).

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