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Health Care Edge

Issa Takes Aim At Risk Corridors - Health Care Edge: Brought to you by Coalition for Medicare Choices

February 5, 2014

Issa Takes Aim At Risk Corridors

By Sam Baker, Sophie Novack and Clara Ritger

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on Obamacare's risk corridors, a safety-net program that some Republicans have criticized as a "bailout for insurance companies." Sen. Marco Rubio, who has led the GOP's charge to repeal the risk corridors, is slated to testify. Not on the witness list: Anyone from the insurance industry. Separately, the Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to discuss the tax agency's progress implementing the Affordable Care Act.

 

Top Health Care News

HOUSE GOP MAY LINK DEBT LIMIT TO REPEAL OF ACA "RISK CORRIDORS" PROVISION. Members are uniting around a plan to link raising the debt limit to eliminating what they call an "insurance company bailout." (Robert Costa and Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post)

  • It's worth noting the CBO estimates the "risk corridors" provision will save the government about $8 billion. (Sam Baker, National Journal)

CBO: ACA MAY RESULT IN FEWER FULL TIME WORKERS. The Congressional Budget Office projects that more people will choose not to work or to work fewer hours because they will no longer need to in order to have health insurance. (Annie Lowry and Jonathan Weisman, New York Times)

  • CBO also projected Medicare growth will remain at a slower pace. (Jennifer Corbett Dooren, Wall Street Journal)

  • The agency also changed its projection of the number enrolled in private insurance through the ACA from 7 million to 6 million, and in Medicaid from 9 million to 8 million. (Sam Baker, National Journal)

More on Jobs

WILL OBAMACARE REALLY KILL 2.5 MILLION JOBS? No not exactly, but that didn't stop Republicans from using the CBO report to fuel a new round of attacks on the health law. (Catherine Hollander, National Journal)

PROJECTED DECLINE IN EMPLOYMENT DUE TO INDIVIDUALS OPTING TO WORK LESS. Not from employers cutting payrolls. (David Graham, The Atlantic)

INCREASED WORKER FLEXIBILITY COULD ACTUALLY BE A GOOD THING. But the White House is still terrible at explaining Obamacare in a way that makes sense to the public. (James Oliphant, National Journal)

Implementation

POLL: 51 PERCENT DISAPPROVE OF OBAMACARE. The new Gallup poll said only 41 percent approve, but the numbers are an improvement in public opinion from previous months. (Lucy McCalmont, Politico)

CMS: LETTER TO AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ISSUERS. It proposes stronger network adequacy requirements, requiring health plans to cover more essential health providers in the local area. (Read the Letter)

OBAMACARE ENROLLEES HIT SNAGS AT DOCTOR'S OFFICES. Many consumers faced barriers signing up for health care, and now they're having troubles finding in-network doctors. (Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times)

Surgeon General

SURGEON GENERAL NOMINEE WOULD FOCUS ON OBESITY. Vivek Murthy told the Senate HELP committee that if confirmed, his priorities would be combating obesity and helping communities to advance healthier lifestyles. (Associated Press)

FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE SURGEON GENERAL. Politics isn't one of them. (Sophie Novack, National Journal)

Women and Children

ARE WE PAYING $8 BILLION TOO MUCH FOR MAMMOGRAMS? The cost is double the annual budget of the National Cancer Institute. (Nancy Shute, National Public Radio)

LOUISIANA OFFICIALS DROP 'EMERGENCY' ABORTION REGULATIONS THAT WOULD HAVE SHUTTERED CLINICS ACROSS THE STATE. A previous version of the regulations would have had women wait 30 days before getting an abortion. (Katie McDonough, Salon)

LOOK AT THE FDA'S FIRST-EVER CAMPAIGN AGAINST YOUTH TOBACCO USE. Every day more than 3,200 Americans under age 18 try their first cigarette and more than 700 become regular smokers. (Clara Ritger, National Journal)

Congress

BANNING E-CIGS ON CAPITOL GROUNDS. Senate Rules and Administration Chair Charles Schumer will move to restrict the use of e-cigarettes on Capitol grounds, treating them more like traditional cigarettes. (Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call)

PATIENT COORDINATION WOULD GET BOOST IF MEDICARE CHANGES HOW IT PAYS DOCTORS. The Medicare fixes working their way through Congressional committees would promote value over volume in health care. (Tara Kulash, Kaiser Health News)

Happening Today

ISSA GATHERS HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FOR INSURANCE COMPANY BAILOUT DEBATE. The California Democrat will convene his committee at 9:30 a.m. in 2154 Rayburn to examine Obamacare's increased premiums, the plan details of health insurance on the exchanges and potential insurer bailouts.

HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS OVERSIGHT SUBCOMMITTEE MEETS WITH IRS COMMISSIONER JOHN KOSKINEN. The hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Longworth 1100 to discuss the IRS's responsibilities in implementing the Affordable Care Act, including income verification and tax credit reconciliation.

HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH LOOKS AT FOOD SAFETY. The committee will gather at 10 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn to examine the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the effect of the Food and Drug Administration's regulations on preventing foodborne illness.

HOUSE OVERSIGHT SUBCOMMITTEES EXAMINE OBAMACARE HEALTH INSURANCE CO-OPS. Republicans Jim Jordan and James Lankford will gather their subcommittees at 2:00 p.m. to review the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan, the financial viability of these insurance companies and how the government awards the loans.

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