KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

House Bill Would Extend Parents’ Coverage For Young Adults

In a new development in the House health bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has agreed to insert language allowing young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plan through the age of 26.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Standing with about 50 young adults and two top-ranking members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Erie [Pa.], was 'the person of the hour' yesterday, in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They assembled at a news conference in the U.S. Capitol to announce that a bill introduced by Ms. Dahlkemper to allow young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans from age 19 through 26 will be included in pending health care reform legislation. Pennsylvania, one of 30 states to have a similar provision, passed a law this year allowing young people to remain on their parents' health insurance until they turn 30" (Malloy, 10/14).

"The measure is expected to appeal to young voters and their parents while also saving money. The parents pay the premiums, and their children get preventive care and don't wind up in emergency rooms," The Hill reports. Pelosi "highlighted the provision on Tuesday at a Capitol event designed to highlight the benefits of the healthcare overhaul for young people. Pelosi noted that they are among the most likely to be uninsured, because they're often transitioning from school to lower-paying jobs without benefits." Critics of Democratic health reform plans, however, "say provisions in the bill limiting how much more insurance companies can charge older customers will mean younger ones actually pay more" (Soraghan, 10/13).

CongressDaily: "The Senate Finance Committee's version of healthcare reform would not pass muster in the House because it taxes high-value insurance plans, House Majority Whip (James) Clyburn said today. 'No, no, no,' Clyburn said when asked on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' whether the bill crafted by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus could get 218 House votes. 'I think that taxing benefits is a tough thing to do. On the House side ... we're coming up with a much better pay-for than taxing benefits'" (Hunt, 10/13).

NPR: "Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson became an overnight sensation two weeks ago when he said the Republican health care plan was 'die quickly.' And back in his home district Monday night, a town hall meeting on health care for his constituents drew partisans on both sides of the debate," including opponents who identified themselves as members of the Tea Party Patriots group. "This is Grayson's first term in what had been a Republican district. That has led Republicans to consider him vulnerable - someone they might be able to knock off in next year's midterm election. If that seemed possible before, it hasn't gotten any easier in the past two weeks… No prominent Republicans have stepped forward to challenge him" (Allen, 10/13).

The Boston Globe: Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., "made his case for health care reform on Monday night at Arlington Town Hall, warning a crowd of about 300 that the status quo continues to bankrupt families throughout the nation. Markey said hundreds of families in his district went bankrupt last year trying to pay their medical bills" (Anderson, 10/13).

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