Political Pro examines the challenges the GOP presidential nominee would face to dismantle the health law, while the New York Times looks at the government's efforts to set up the nationwide plans mandated by the law.
Politico Pro: Romney's ACA Fight Could Become A Quagmire
Mitt Romney is campaigning on a pledge to repeal "Obamacare" on day one, but the reality is he can't make the law go away — not without a sudden surge that brings a big Republican majority to the Senate. And even though there are plenty of ways he could undermine the law on his own, they could backfire in ways that the Romney team would have to grapple with quickly after inauguration day. If Romney became president, he would have many tools to weaken and partly dismantle the law. But leaving some parts on the books and others in regulatory deep freeze may have unintended consequences on an already troubled health system. ... And if Romney just doesn't lift a finger to implement the law — and tells his administration not to either — he could set off a flood of lawsuits from the law's supporters as intense as President Barack Obama faced from its detractors (Haberkorn and Kenen, 10/26).
The New York Times: U.S. Set To Sponsor Health Insurance
The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state. These multistate plans were included in President Obama's health care law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program — the public option sought by many liberal Democrats and reviled by Republicans. Supporters of the national plans say they will increase competition in state health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by a handful of companies (Pear, 10/27).
Modern Healthcare: Dems Tout Impact Of Reform Law Drug Program
Congressional Democrats heralded a new Government Accountability Office report as proof that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's discount prescription drug program is working as planned. Starting in January 2011, the law stipulated that drugmakers that want their products covered under Medicare Part D must participate in the drug discount program. Under this provision, the drug manufacturers must provide a 50% discount on the price that Part D plan sponsors negotiate for brand-name drugs when beneficiaries reach the so-called doughnut hole—the gap between the initial and catastrophic coverage periods where Medicare helps pay the costs (Zigmond, 10/28).
Kaiser Health News: How The Individual Mandate Penalty Will Be Calculated (Video)
In this Kaiser Health News video, Insuring Your Health columnist Michelle Andrews answers a reader question about the requirement to carry health insurance in 2014 and the options for subsidized coverage (10/28).