Capsules: Feds Increase Costs To High-Risk Pool Members; Valentine's Day Surprise: Senate Democrats Blast Obamacare Implementation; As Hospital Challenges Rise, Their Bond Ratings Fall

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Phil Galewitz reports on news related to federal high-risk pools: "The Obama administration has increased costs for about 38,000 people enrolled in high-risk insurance pools run under the federal health law to prevent the program from running out of money" (Galewitz, 2/14).

In addition, he filed a report about some Senate Democrats' criticism of certain elements of the health law: "Testifying before the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the administration’s top regulator on new health exchanges encountered criticism from several Democrats who helped push through the 2010 federal health overhaul — among them Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Bill Nelson of Florida and Maria Cantwell of Washington" (Galewitz, 2/14).

Also on Capsules, Jay Hancock writes about hospital bond ratings: "Nonprofit hospitals don't issue stock, so you can't track their financial health by the ups and downs of share prices. But many sell bonds, and it's fair to say that hospital bonds haven't fared as well recently as the Dow Jones average. Last year set a record for hospital-bond downgrades, as debt levels rose and hospitals faced the uncertainty of business under the Affordable Care Act, debt-rater Moody's said this week" (Hancock, 2/15). Check out what else is on the blog.

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