A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Social Impact"

In Second Year, Voters Less Interested In Exchange Insurance

Marissa Evans, Morning Consult
Tue, 2014-09-30
"When it comes to health insurance exchanges, there’s nothing like the first time to grab voters’ attention and enthusiasm. Morning Consult polling found 47 percent of voters say they are not at all likely to purchase health insurance through an online exchange this year. In the weeks before the start of open enrollment in 2013, that figure was 19 percentage points lower, with only 28 percent saying they were not at all likely to purchase insurance on the exchange. Voters’ stated likelihood of buying insurance decreased across all categories from 2013 to 2014."

Jindal under fire in La. on health care

Melinda Deslatte
Associated Press
Tue, 2014-09-30
"Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he’s tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas. But his administration’s handling of health care matters at home could undermine his bonafides in the subject area and threaten his efforts to sell himself as a health care expert."

Will Health Make It More Likely That You'll Get Scammed?

Alison Bruzek
NPR
Tue, 2014-09-30
"You wake up feeling gross – stuffy and full of aches. A quick Google search of your symptoms confirms that yes, you probably have a cold and not the plague. But what if you were directed to a site that had a legitimate sounding name but wasn't really accurate at all? It sounds like a problem from the ancient days of the Internet. Since then people have learned that .gov leads to bona fide government sites, but .com could be anyone selling you anything. How do you feel about .health? A new slew of web domains is coming down the pike, like ".health," ".doctor," and ".clinic." They're not required to have any medical credentials. That's deeply worrying to some public health advocates."

Poll: Confused by issues of the day? Join the club

Connie Cass
The Associated Press
Tue, 2014-09-30
"Confused by President Barack Obama's health care law? How about the debate over government surveillance? The way the Federal Reserve affects interest rates? You're far from alone. Most people in the United States say the issues facing the country are getting harder to fathom. It's not just those tuning out politics who feel perplexed. People who vote regularly, follow news about November's election or simply feel a civic duty to stay informed are most likely to say that issues have become "much more complicated" over the past decade, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows."

Automatically re-enrolling in ObamaCare could pose dangers, analysts warn

Jim Angle
Fox News
Tue, 2014-09-30
"After the rocky rollout last fall of the ObamaCare website, the administration wants to re-enroll those already in the system in hopes of avoiding another technological embarrassment. But analysts warn that just blindly re-enrolling could mean trouble for consumers. “This notion of just sit back and re-enroll is really misleading and I think could cause a lot of harm to people," said Bob Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates. “The automatic renewal, it's easy, it will keep people getting ObamaCare," added Rosemary Gibson of the Hastings Center. "But you have to trust but verify. You have to go look. You just can't be on automatic pilot for health insurance.""

Scrambling To Prove He’s Eligible For Obamacare

Daniela Hernandez
Kaiser Health News
Tue, 2014-09-30
"When Fabrizio Mancinelli applied for health insurance through California’s online marketplace nine months ago, he ran into a frustrating snag. An Italian composer and self-described computer geek, Mancinelli said he was surprised to find there wasn’t a clear way to upload a copy of his O-1 visa. The document, which grants temporary residency status to people with extraordinary talents in the sciences and arts, was part of his proof to the government to that he was eligible for coverage. So, the 35 year-old Sherman Oaks resident wrote in his application that he’d be happy to send along any further documentation. Months went by without word from the state. Then last week he came home from vacation to find a notice telling him he was at risk of losing the Anthem Blue Cross plan he’d purchased."

Voters Still Vote ‘No’ on Obamacare

Rasmussen Results
Tue, 2014-09-30
"Views of Obamacare hold steady again this week, with over half of voters continuing to express an unfavorable opinion of the national health care law and overwhelming majorities still calling for choices in health insurance that the law doesn’t allow. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters share a favorable view of the health care law, while 52% view it unfavorably. This includes 19% with a Very Favorable opinion and twice as many (37%) with a Very Unfavorable one."

Blues Plans In Three States To Cancel Non-ACA Individual Plans This Year

Rachana Dixit Pradhan, Inside Health Policy
Tue, 2014-09-30
"Three Blue Cross Blue Shield plans operated by Health Care Service Corporation have decided to discontinue their “transitional” non-ACA compliant plans at the end of this year and cancellation notices will be sent to affected policyholders “shortly,” a company spokesperson tells Inside Health Policy. HCSC says the decision was made to help keep premiums for ACA plans affordable, because moving those enrollees into compliant plans will result in a more balanced mix of individuals. Transitional plans that were on the market this year from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will be discontinued effective Jan. 1. One source tracking state developments said the Blues appear to be discontinuing the plans on its own volition. The Blues participated aggressively in the exchanges in the first year while many other carriers remained cautious about entering the new markets, though that is beginning to change for 2015.

Open Payments Goes Live

Inside Health Policy
Tue, 2014-09-30
"CMS on Tuesday goes live with a website that discloses what drug and device companies pay physicians, and the doctor lobby already is warning reporters not to misuse the data. Also this week, America's Health Insurance Plans holds three conferences covering key health care issues, and drug-pricing policies are a hot topic with events on protected drug classes; insurance designs that encourage patients to use specialty medicines; and a briefing on the cost and value of new drugs. The American Medical Association sent reporters a guide for appropriately handling data from the Open Payments website, which Congress created under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

Obamacare website plagued by ‘critical' flaw, inspector general finds

The Associated Press
Sat, 2014-09-27
"The government's own watchdogs tried to hack into HealthCare.gov earlier this year and found what they termed a critical vulnerability - but also came away with respect for some of the health insurance site's security features. Those are among the conclusions of a report being released Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, who focuses on health care fraud."

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