Capsules: Study: Newly Insured Patients Are Likely To Be Healthy; States Requiring Broader Drug Choices Than Skimpy Federal Limit; Medicaid Stars In New Obama Campaign Ad; Some 'Bingo' Fun For Debate Season

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Julie Applebly reports on a new study regarding the health law's newly insured: "Good news for insurers: 88 percent of people new to health coverage after the health law fully goes into effect will be in relatively good health.  That means providers won't be overwhelmed, at least initially, says a report out today by PricewaterhouseCoopers" (Appleby, 10/2).

Also on the blog, Phil Galewitz reports on how states are handling certain minimum benefit rules set by the federal government: "When the Obama administration set initial rules last December to determine what minimum benefits insurers must offer in plans sold to individuals and small groups starting in 2014, one provision stood out: Insurers selling small group and individual policies would have to provide at least one drug per class of drug. In other words, insurers could cover just one drug for cholesterol, one for high blood pressure or one drug for attention deficit disorder" (Galewitz, 10/2).

In addition, Galewitz reports on a new Obama campaign ad: "At last, Medicaid is getting some respect. Medicaid, not Medicare, is the subject a new television campaign advertisement for President Barack Obama.The 30-second ad is being broadcast in five election battleground states — Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Iowa and Ohio. It accuses GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of supporting the plan passed by the GOP-led House of Representatives that cuts $800 billion from Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled, over the next 10 years" (Galewiz, 10/3).

And, in anticipation of tonight's presidential debate, Kaiser Health News offers a way enhance debate with a health policy version of BINGO: "Kaiser Health News feels your pain (so to speak).  And we're here to help.  Jim Lehrer, the moderator of the debate, has promised to devote a segment to health policy issues.  There's no better way to help you stay focused on the questions and answers than with a good, old fashioned game of BINGO.  Or in this case, DEBATE-O" (10/2). Check out what else is on the blog.

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