First Edition: October 6, 2010

Today's headlines include reports about the early legal tests facing the new health law and more on the politics swirling around the measure's sweeping reforms.

Health Reform Facing Early Legal Tests
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with USA Today, Rick Schmitt writes: "Matt Sissel of Iowa City, Iowa, proudly served in Iraq as a combat medic. But he says he objects to being 'conscripted' into an overhauled federal health care system. … The uninsured artist is riled about a provision in the new health law that would require him to purchase insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014. Last July, he filed a lawsuit to have the landmark act declared unconstitutional. … In attacking the law in the courts, Sissel has plenty of company. A number of interest groups, state officials and ordinary citizens are seeking to have the health care law struck down in federal court, and action is heating up" (Kaiser Health News).

Feds Reassure Hospitals, Doctors On Cooperation Though ACOs
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz told a meeting of 300 health industry representatives Tuesday his agency would explore an 'expedited review process' for hospitals and doctors looking to determine if new partnerships they form to provide care would violate antitrust laws" (Kaiser Health News).

Economic Scene: Health Care's Uneven Road To A New Era
Consider what it would be like to have a health insurance plan that capped annual benefits at $2,000. For any medical care costing more than that, you would have to pay out of pocket (The New York Times).

Health Care Past Clings To Mitt Romney
Six months ago, as the Republican base lined up against the Democratic health care overhaul, Mitt Romney stood by his signature achievement as Massachusetts governor, a comprehensive health care law that served as a model for the national program (Politico).

Health Vote Haunts Anti-Abortion Democrats
On a chilly January morning in Erie, Pa., members of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List stood outside Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper's office to thank her for opposing a health care bill that didn't include stringent abortion restrictions (Politico).

Labor Chief: Democrats 'Too Timid' On Health Care, Economic Efforts
Charging that Democrats under President Obama have been too timid with their legislative agenda, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka argued Tuesday that the party's embattled lawmakers would be facing easier reelection campaigns had they been more ambitious on issues such as health care (The Washington Post).

Tom Daschle: Health Care Law Still Vulnerable
Foes of the health care law "can still do real damage to the cause of reform," Tom Daschle warns in a book due out next week (Politico).

Amid Backlash And Budget Deficits, Government Workers' Pensions Are Targets
Public employees are facing a backlash that has intensified with the nation's economic woes, union leaders say, because of their good job security, generous health-care and pension benefits, and right to retire long before most private-sector workers (The Washington Post).

Health Care Reform: Prove It Works And CMS Will Pay
Savvy consumers know the drill. Toyota takes a high-end Camry, slaps a Lexus nameplate adds bells, whistles and leather seats, and charges customers $10,000 more (The Fiscal Times).

3.5 Million Californians Would Be Eligible For Healthcare Tax Credits, Study Finds
An estimated 3.5 million Californians would be eligible for federal tax credits to slash the cost of their health coverage when they begin buying policies through a new statewide insurance marketplace in 2014, a study released Tuesday found (Los Angeles Times).

Ex-NY Gov's Group Targets NH Dems On Health Care
An advocacy group led by former New York Gov. George Pataki has begun running television ads in New Hampshire and New York attacking Democratic supporters of the new health care reform law (The Associated Press).

Sign up to receive this list of First Edition headlines via e-mail. Check out all of Kaiser Health News' e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.