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obamabutton-smaller Support the fight for Health Care Justice! Support CBHC! The Community Catalyst compiles a daily collection of news clips relating to health reform. They allow us to pass these along to you, keeping you up to date on the latest developments in the fight for health care justice. On days when Community Catalyst news clips are unavailable, we use stories collected by Kaiser Health News instead. April 16th, 2014

Above the Fold

BURWELL’S TO DOS – Can Burwell Avoid the Sebelius Trap?, National Journal

“Kathleen Sebelius had the focus and even keel the White House needed in a Health and Human Services secretary, but not necessarily the behind-the-scenes management skills. And that’s what HHS needs most from her successor.”

CONFIRMATION WILL REHASH HEALTH CARE DEBATE – Obama’s new health secretary nominee draws early Republican fireReuters
“President Barack Obama’s new nominee for health secretary drew some early political fire from Republicans on Sunday in what could foreshadow a stormy election-year confirmation debate in the U.S. Senate over the future of the law known as Obamacare.”

The Day in Headlines

Top Health Care News - On Our Radar - Medicaid Expansion - Attacks - From the Ground

Top Health Care News:

CHICKEN LITTLE REALITY CHECK – Fewer Republicans think Obamacare will ruin their lives,MSNBC
“For conservatives, Obamacare was supposed to be the worst thing “since slavery.” Not only was it “a complete and total failure,” but congressional Republicans said it was pure “socialism” that would “literally” kill people. They launched 54 (unsuccessful) attempts in the last four years to blow up President Obama’s signature health care law, and even triggered a government shutdown over its implementation.”

THE PUBLIC STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND ACA – Obamacare, The Unknown Ideal, Continued,New York Times (Opinion)
“The current state of public opinion on health reform is really peculiar. If you’ve been following the issue at all closely, you know that the Affordable Care Act is one of the great comeback stories of public policy: after a terrible start, it has dramatically exceeded expectations. But hardly anyone seems to know that.”

On Our Radar:

BENDING THE COST CURVE – We Can Find Consensus on Health Care Cost ReformsThe Fiscal Times (Opinion)
“With the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period now closed, perhaps there is an opportunity for constructive, bipartisan policy discussion on health care reform. One thing that both Obamacare supporters and opponents can agree on is that our health care system remains inefficient. And, although health care inflation slowed in recent years, informed observers from across the political spectrum realize that population aging will produce a new bout of cost escalation – unless something else is done.”

COST A CONCERN – For the working poor, new health premiums can be a burden, LA Times
“At the margins of poverty, even committing to premiums, co-payments and other new medical expenses of hundreds or a few thousand dollars a year can be difficult to manage, according to researchers and groups working with the low-income patients now required by federal law to buy insurance.”

DEFINING FULL TIME – Odd-Hour Workers Face Loss of Employer Health PlansThe Wall Street Journal
“Ms. Caspersen, a waitress at Virtues Restaurant in the Summa Akron City Hospital, falls into part of the workforce that may feel the strongest effects of the Affordable Care Act: workers whose hours change on a weekly or seasonal basis. Thousands of these so-called variable-hour employees—many of whom work on college campuses that don’t operate during summer months—could lose their benefits as employers use new formulas to classify workers as full time or part time. The distinction determines which employees are entitled to company-sponsored health coverage.”

Medicaid Expansion:

NEAR MISS, DISAPPOINTMENT IN MAINE – Maine Medicaid expansion fails for third time,Associated Press
“The Maine Legislature failed on Friday in its third attempt to overturn Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to 70,000 low-income residents under the federal health care law — an issue that’s certain to play prominently in this year’s governor’s race.”

A COMMON SENSE POSITION – Blow: Medicaid expansion is just good business for TexasDallas Morning News (Opinion)
“You know the world is topsy-turvy when the Dallas Citizens Council comes out on the liberal side of a debate.”

THE COST IN LIVES AND DOLLARS – COLUMN: SC is paying a heavy price for rejection of Medicaid expansionSC Now (Opinion)
“Sadly, opponents of Medicaid expansion are touting South Carolina’s refusal to use federal funds to provide health coverage to more than 300,000 South Carolinians, including nearly 7,800 in Florence County. They say that they were successful ‘in beating back the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion… which would have cost our state untold millions once the federal government yanked its portion of the funding away.’”

TAKING BACK VIRGINIA’S TAX DOLLARS – Va. Republicans aren’t blinking in showdown over Medicaid expansionThe Washington Post
“‘I’m no fan of Obamacare. I thought it was a terrible bill,’ said W. Sheppard Miller III, chairman of the Hampton Roads defense contractor KITCO Fiber Optics, who backs Marketplace Virginia. ‘Nobody knew what they were voting on when they passed it. But it is what it is. They are taking money out of my pocket and my employees’ pockets. We’re sending it to Washington. . . . I’m not supporting Medicaid expansion. What I’m supporting is taking taxes back we paid and lowering the cost of health care.’”


NEW ATTACKS FROM 2016 HOPEFULS – Conservatives Likely To Target Obamacare At Big SummitAssociated Press
President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is coming under renewed attack as some of the nation’s leading conservatives gather for a New Hampshire summit thick with presidential implications.

MOSTLY FALSE – Ingraham: Obamacare ‘is costing 2 million jobs’PolitiFact
“The Sunday morning TV pundits revived some passionate talking points about the health care law following this week’s resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Look to the partisan bickering between Democratic strategist James Carville and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on ABC’s This Week to see what we mean.”

From the Ground:

Decision time for Cover Oregon: Move to federal exchange or finish state site?Statesman Journal
“Cover Oregon’s job for the next several months is a steep one: Launch a working health insurance marketplace by Nov. 15 or drop its ambitious vision and allow the federal government to take over its job.”

CA’s Health Care Exchange Chief Pleased with Latino EnrollmentNew America Media
“After a somewhat lackluster signup for health care insurance by Latinos in the early part of open enrollment, California’s Latino enrollment rose to 32 percent of those enrolling in healthcare coverage during the first three weeks of March.”