Health Exchanges: Feds Face 'Herculean Task' In Many States

The New York Times reports that Obama administration officials are getting ready to set up and operate health insurance marketplaces in about half the states. Meanwhile, Stateline details how safety net hospitals face new financial worries as a result of the Supreme Court's ruling on the health law's Medicaid expansion.

The New York Times: U.S. Officials Brace For Huge Task Of Operating Health Exchanges
Obama administration officials are getting ready to set up and operate new health insurance markets in about half the states, where local officials appear unwilling or unable to do so. The markets, known as exchanges, are a centerpiece of President Obama's health care law, and running them will be a herculean task that federal officials never expected to perform (Pear, 8/4).

Stateline:  Safety Net Hospitals Imperiled By High Court Ruling
Safety net hospitals, which serve the vast majority of the nation's uninsured people, were meant to be major beneficiaries of the federal health care law. With 30 million mostly low-income people newly covered starting in 2014 either by Medicaid or federally subsidized private insurance, the hospitals' bottom lines seemed certain to improve.  But now that the Supreme Court has made the law’s Medicaid expansion optional for the states, many of those same hospitals are worried about their financial futures (Vestal, 8/6).

Also in the news, how a new round of advertising might boost the health law's reputation -

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: New Ads Promote Health Law's Preventive Benefits
They aren't campaign ads, but two new television commercials from the Obama administration that promote the president's health law may also be boosting its image. The ads, which began airing this summer, tout the law's preventive services benefits, including coverage of vaccinations, mammograms and other screenings. For many people, these services will now be available through their health insurance without a co-pay or out-of-pocket costs (Torres, 8/3).

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