KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

State Officials Seek Ways To Undermine Obamacare

Lawmakers in some states continue to look for ways to stop implementation of the health law, making proposals to ban state employees from carrying out the law, forbidding state officials from taking federal money to implement it, and suspending the state licenses of insurers who take federal subsidies meant to defray the premiums of poor and middle-class consumers.

Reuters: South Carolina Lawmakers Take Aim At Health Care Law
South Carolina lawmakers say they have found a way to stop implementation of the U.S. Affordable Care Act in their state, an effort that could provide a template for other Republican-led legislatures looking to derail the federal program. The proposed measure would ban state agencies from helping carry out President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law and prevent federal money flowing through state coffers from being spent on it, said Republican state Senator Tom Davis (McLeod, 1/14).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Kaiser Health News: Capsules: New Attack On Obamacare Filed In Mo. Legislature 
Missouri would strike another blow against the federal Affordable Care Act under a bill filed by state Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue. The bill would suspend insurance companies’ state licenses if they accepted subsidies offered by the federal government to help pay health insurance premiums for low- and middle-income Missourians. Lamping contends the subsidies are illegal and eventually will be thrown out by a federal court. By rejecting them, he said, Missouri could remove the trigger in the federal law that, beginning in 2015, will assess penalties against large employers that don’t provide health insurance (Young, 1/15).

And county officials in Virginia want Congress to redefine a so-called Cadillac plan and how it is taxed -

The Washington Post: Fairfax County Decides To Push Congress To Make Changes To Health-Care Law
Fairfax County officials are moving to persuade Congress to change how so-called “Cadillac” health plans are defined under the Affordable Care Act, part of a spreading concern about projected tax penalties under the law that would not take effect until 2018. On Tuesday, the Fairfax County board of supervisors voted to explore ways to push for changes in a section of the law that they argued unfairly punishes employers in more expensive areas of the country where health insurance premiums are higher (Olivo, 1/14).

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