A Health Law Architect Worries That Public Confusion Could Lead To 'Train Wreck'

At a Wednesday Senate Finance Committee Hearing, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about what the administration is doing to educate the public as it rolls out key provisions of the law.

The Washington Post: Senator Gives Administration 'F’ On Public Education For Health-Care Law
A Democratic senator who helped craft President Obama’s signature health-care law gave the administration "a failing grade" Wednesday for its efforts to educate the public and small employers about sweeping changes set to take effect in eight months (Morgan, 4/17).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Co-Author Of Obama Health Care Law Sees 'Huge Train Wreck' In Implementation
Baucus is the first top Democrat to publicly voice fears about the rollout of the new health care law, designed to bring coverage to some 30 million uninsured people through a mix of government programs and tax credits for private insurance. Polls show that Americans remain confused by the complex law, and even many uninsured people are skeptical they will be helped by benefits that start next year (4/17).

The New York Times' The Caucus: Misconceptions Could Lead To Health Law 'Train Wreck,' Baucus Warns
A routine Senate budget hearing turned into a public scolding as a prominent backer of the health care overhaul warned that a lack of public information could cause a "train wreck" as the law's implementation moves forward (Wheaton, 4/17).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Baucus Warns of Health-Law 'Train Wreck'
Mr. Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman and a key figure in the crafting of the overhaul, grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a Senate hearing Wednesday morning, telling her that he was getting increasingly worried because she couldn't give him the answers he wanted to assess the administration's progress (Radnofsky, 4/17).

Politico: Max Baucus Worried About Health Law 'Train Wreck'
After the hearing, Baucus explained that the train wreck is "that consumers and businesses will just not have enough information. That it will be too confusing." He also expressed frustration that the White House and HHS are not providing details of its outreach efforts (Haberkorn, 4/17).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Sebelius Gets Grilling In Senate Committee Hearing
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with Jackie Judd about Wednesday's Senate Finance Committee hearing during which Chairman Max Baucus, a "key architect" of the health law, was "visibly angry and frustrated" as he questioned HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about progress implementing the law (4/17).

CQ HealthBeat: Sebelius Aims To Set Record Straight On Small Business Exchanges
Among the groups most confused about the health care law are small businesses — a charge Chairman Max Baucus leveled at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to clear away at least one area of confusion: what choices will be offered to small businesses and when the new insurance marketplaces — called SHOP exchanges — will be available (Reichard, 4/17).

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