KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Florida Stands Out By Refusing To Accept Health Law Funds

The New York Times reports on strict stand by Florida governor to avoid HHS money. Meanwhile, other news outlets look at funding for insurance co-ops, efforts to set up health exchanges, and reviews of insurance premium increases.

The New York Times: Opposing The Health Law, Florida Refuses Millions
When it comes to pursuing federal largess, most of the states that oppose the 2010 health care law have refused to let either principle or politics block their paths to the trough. If Washington is doling out dollars, Republican governors and legislators typically figure they might as well get their share. Then there is Florida (Sack, 7/31).

Minnesota Public Radio: $3.8B In Federal Loans Available For Insurance Start-Ups
The federal health care law is encouraging private groups to form insurance co-operatives by making available $3.8 billion in start-up loans. Co-ops could have a tough time breaking into the Minnesota market. The federal government's vision for health insurance co-operatives would look like this: consumers and small businesses would band together to offer health insurance as non-profits (Stawicki, 8/1).

California Healthline: New Online 'Refor(u)m' for State Health Issues
State efforts to enact national health care reform have proceeded at different paces -- a situation made clear in a new online forum designed to help states implement the Affordable Care Act. ... In the recent forum featuring North Carolina, New York and Virginia, officials from each state painted vastly different pictures. The three states are at various stages of reform. Of the three, only Virginia has enacted legislation stating an intent to create an exchange, and it has not yet defined the makeup of the exchange board, among other details (Gorn, 7/29). 

Arizona Republic: Arizona Health Insurers Under Scrutiny
The federal government says that Arizona is among 10 states that lack authority under state law to adequately review health-insurance rate increases under new federal standards. So beginning Sept. 1, the federal agency that oversees Medicare will scrutinize Arizona health insurers that seek to raise rates by 10 percent or more for individuals or small groups. The change stems from the nation's new health-care law, which requires that the federal government and states review "unreasonable increases" sought by health insurers (Alltucker, 7/31).

Denver Post/AP: 2nd Meeting Of New Colo. Health Exchange Board Set
A second meeting of a new Colorado board charged with setting up a health care exchange could be interesting as consumer advocates call for more transparency from members. The conflict-of-interest policy is expected to come up for debate at the board' second meeting Monday. Some say the board could be too friendly to the health insurance industry (8/1).

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