KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Is The Health Overhaul’s Individual Mandate The Law’s ‘Linchpin’?

NPR explores this question, which is increasingly central to discussions about the sweeping measure's future. Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reports on the number of waivers given out by Massachusetts to state residents who sought an exemption from that state's requirement to have health insurance.

NPR: Alternatives To Mandating Insurance? Maybe
Both supporters and opponents of the health overhaul law routinely refer to the requirement that most people get health insurance or pay a penalty as the measure's "linchpin." But is it? Not everyone thinks so (Rovner, 2/7).

The Boston Globe: More Get Waivers Of Health Insurance
Massachusetts regulators granted more exemptions last year to residents who said they could not afford the health insurance required by the state, waiving the tax penalty for more than half of those who appealed, according to state data. Of the 2,637 people who applied, 63 percent received an exemption with 107 cases pending, up from 44 percent the previous year. State officials said they excused the majority of waiver applicants in large part because of the protracted sour economy, which made insurance unaffordable for more people (Lazar, 2/7).

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