KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: April 1, 2010

According to today's headlines, President Obama will head to Maine to continue efforts to sell the new health reform law. Meanwhile, his administration is ramping up education plans and efforts to smooth the shift.  

States Hope New Funding From Health Law Will Bolster Unique Programs
Kaiser Health News staff writer Christopher Weaver writes about new funding available to cash-strapped states: "Starting today, states can choose to take the first steps toward the massive expansion of insurance coverage that is the health overhaul's chief goal. And for some states, that move could have the benefit of reviving funding for state-run programs that insure low-income adults" (Kaiser Health News).

True Or False: Seven Concerns About The New Health Law
Kaiser Health News staff fact check some of the concerns swirling about in regard to the recently enacted health reform law. The write: "The sweeping health care overhaul signed into law his month by President Barack Obama is more than 2,000 pages long and has been dissected by analysts, politicians and pundits. It's no wonder that some consumers are confused – and perhaps frightened – about how the law might affect them. Some concerns were raised during the congressional debate or have been swirling around the Internet" (Kaiser Health News).

'Here & Now' Audio: States Must Now Make Health Care Reform A Reality
Kaiser Health News editor John Fairhall and Oregon Health Authority's Barney Speight discuss how states will implement health care reform, on WBUR's "Here & Now" radio show.

Health Care's Next Chapter: A Play For Hearts And Minds
A week after Congress passed President Obama's 10-year, $938 billion health care plan, lawmakers from both parties are spending their spring break trying to turn the historic legislation to their political advantage. At stake are the large majorities Democrats have built up over the past two elections, including a 76-vote margin in the House and an 18-vote cushion in the Senate (USA Today).

Obama To Promote Health Bill's Business Benefits
President Barack Obama is promoting his health care law's benefits for small businesses as he tries to rally public support for the massive overhaul (The Associated Press).

Outreach Aims For Trouble-Free Health Care Shift
Four years ago, a law intended to extend prescription drug coverage to millions of seniors temporarily had a reverse impact: hundreds of thousands with government coverage couldn't get medicines or were overcharged because of computer glitches and confusion. With the ink barely dry on this year's comprehensive health care law, the Obama administration and consumer and industry groups are readying education campaigns designed to stop history from repeating itself (USA Today).

Seniors Wary Of Health Overhaul Impact On Medicare
Seniors aren't celebrating President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. While Democrats hail the sweeping legislation as the greatest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, they also fear that seniors won't see it that way for this fall's elections. Indeed, Republicans have portrayed the overhaul as a raid on Medicare - a bedrock of retirement security - to provide money to pay for covering younger, uninsured workers and their families (The Associated Press).

Boeing, Lockheed Expect Health-Care Charges
The cost to companies of the landmark U.S. health-care overhaul continued to mount Wednesday as Boeing Co. said it will take a $150 million charge against first-quarter earnings because of tax changes in the legislation (The Wall Street Journal).

Democrats Squeezed By Health Care Lawsuit
They played almost no role in crafting or passing the new federal health care legislation, but Democratic attorneys general have suddenly emerged as prominent actors in the post-passage drama over the constitutionality of the landmark law (Politico).

Democrats Lie Low After Healthcare Victory
The week after passing landmark healthcare reform and handing President Barack Obama an important victory, members of the U.S. Congress returned to their home districts for a recess to face constituents and justify their votes after the bruising legislative battle (Reuters/The Washington Post).

Pfizer Gives Details On Payments To Doctors
Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, said Wednesday that it paid about $20 million to 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals for consulting and speaking on its behalf in the last six months of 2009, its first public accounting of payments to the people who decide which drugs to recommend (The New York Times).

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