First Edition: September 22, 2010

Today’s headlines focus on news surrounding tomorrow’s six-month anniversary of the new health law and some of the specific provisions that will kick in on that day.

New Health Law’s Protections For Adult Children Starts Tomorrow
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with USA Today, Lisa Zamosky writes: “Parents, mark your calendars. Starting tomorrow, adult children will no longer be left to fend for themselves in their search for health insurance. The new federal health law requires that insurers give parents the option of keeping their adult children covered until they’re 26 years old. It becomes effective for the health policy at the beginning of the plan year” (Kaiser Health News).

Health On The Hill – September 21, 2010
Kaiser Health News’ Laurie McGinley and Mary Agnes Carey talk with Noam Levey about the week’s events, including a series of events planned for this week to commemorate the health law’s six-month anniversary and call attention to a package of consumer protections that go into effect Thursday as Republicans plan to unveil their plans Thursday to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Read the transcript.

AP Poll: Health Care Law Making Us Muddle-Minded
Six months after President Barack Obama signed the landmark health care law, the nation still doesn’t really know what’s in it (The Associated Press).

Health Overhaul Hasn’t Cured White House Ailments
This week marks six months since the health care overhaul law went into effect. On Wednesday, President Obama will tell Americans what benefits the law can have for them right now. But it appears the political benefits of the measure have yet to materialize for the White House (NPR). 

Obama Returns To Stump For Health Care, This Time To Praise New Law
After six rocky months, President Obama’s health-care reform law is celebrating its half-birthday this week – complete with a backyard party in the Virginia suburbs (The Washington Post).

Kathleen Sebelius: Health Care Fight Continues
The fiery debate over health care reform, complete with false rhetoric of death panels and rationing, continues to reverberate six months after President Barack Obama signed the law (Politico).

White House Looks To Boost Health Law At 6 Months
President Barack Obama once told Democratic lawmakers they’d be proud to campaign on historic health care legislation. Six months later, the only Democrats running ads about it are the ones who voted “no” (The Associated Press/Washington Post).

Health Consumers To Start Feeling Effects
Several key consumer protections under the nation’s new health law begin taking effect Thursday — six months after its enactment (USA Today).

Reform Advocates Seek Public Support
Time may heal all wounds, but it isn’t making health care reform any more popular. Six months after President Barack Obama signed the Democrats’ bill into law, more Americans still oppose it than support it — and a relatively smooth implementation process has done virtually nothing to change the negative feelings that arose during the long legislative debate (Politico).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi On Health, Taxes, Midterms
NPR’s Robert Siegel talks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about several issues, including health care, taxes and the midterm elections (NPR).

State Workers Feeling Major Task Of Implementing Health-Care Law
Even as President Obama prepares to acknowledge the six-month mark since he signed his health-care overhaul into law, the legislation remains something of a mystery for patients and politicians alike. Its impact is instead being felt largely by state workers nationwide whose job is to implement the law – and thus begin the mammoth task of transforming the care Americans receive (The Washington Post).

Returning To Parents’ Insurance Raises Other Issues
An excerpt from Public Radio Exchange’s YouthCast: “Before health care reform was signed into law, President Obama made a speech where he was pretty much talking to me when he said: ‘If you’re a young adult, which many of you are, you’ll be able to stay on your parents’ insurance policy until you’re 26 years old'” (NPR).

Big Health Insurers To Stop Selling New Child-Only Policies
Major health insurance companies in California and other states have decided to stop selling policies for children rather than comply with a new federal healthcare law that bars them from rejecting youngsters with preexisting medical conditions (Los Angeles Times).

Medicare Advantage Premiums To Fall In 2011
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that average premiums paid by individuals for private Medicare Advantage plans, which insure about one-fourth of all beneficiaries, would decline slightly next year, even as insurers provide additional benefits required by the new health care law (The New York Times).

Premiums For Medicare Private Plans Dip 1 Percent
Seniors enrolled in popular private health insurance plans through Medicare will pay a little less on average next year, the Obama administration said Tuesday (The Associated Press).

Rate Increases Denied To Some Private Medicare Plans
The Obama administration said Tuesday it denied rate increases and benefit cuts sought by some privately run Medicare plans. The move is a sign of the toughening regulatory climate for health insurers that could prompt some of them to leave the Medicare market in coming years (The Wall Street Journal).

U.S. Joins Pfizer Suit Over Drug’s Marketing
The Justice Department on Tuesday joined a whistle-blower lawsuit against Pfizer and its subsidiary Wyeth Pharmaceuticals that accuses Wyeth of illegal off-label marketing of Rapamune, a drug used to prevent rejection of kidney transplants (The New York Times).

City Of Hope’s Reorganization Plan Creates Rift With Doctors Group
A bruising turf battle that pits City of Hope National Medical Center against the organization that provides most of its doctors has created a rift at the prestigious cancer treatment and research complex northeast of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times).

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