Health Law Creates Challeges For Various Parts Of The System

News outlets report on a variety of implementation issues, including the question of how to provide treatment for the millions of people with addiction and alcohol dependencies who will have insurance for the first time and the difficulties faced by safety-net hospitals. In addition, one labor union is urging repeal.

The Associated Press: Millions More To Get Coverage For Addiction, Alcoholism Treatment, But Can The System Deliver?
It has been six decades since doctors concluded that addiction was a disease that could be treated, but today the condition still dwells on the fringes of the medical community. Only 1 cent of every health care dollar in the United States goes toward addiction, and few alcoholics and drug addicts receive treatment. One huge barrier, according to many experts, has been a lack of health insurance. But that barrier crumbles in less than a year. In a major break with the past, 3 million to 5 million people with drug and alcohol problems — from homeless drug addicts to working moms who drink too much — suddenly will become eligible for insurance coverage under the new health care overhaul (Johnson, 4/16).

The Washington Post's WonkBlog: Hospitals Serving The Uninsured Face Challenge Under Obamacare
Under the Affordable Care Act, the safety-net hospitals will gain a new source of revenue when millions of the uninsured gain coverage. At the same time, the law's spending cuts could prove challenging for hospitals that tend to operate with relatively small profit margins (Kliff, 4/16).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Roofer Union Calls For Repeal Of Obama Health Law
A labor union representing roofers is reversing course and calling for repeal of the federal health law, citing concerns the law will raise its cost for insuring members. Organized labor was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, but more recently has voiced concerns that the law could lead members to lose their existing health plans. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is believed to be the first union to initially support the law and later call for its repeal (Adamy, 4/16).

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