As Health Law Nears Implementation, Concerns Raised About Premium Increases, Impact On Food Industry, Use Of Incentives

Several news outlets explore questions raised about the impact of the law.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Insurers Warn Of Sticker Shock Due To Health Care Law's New Taxes, Requirements As It Expands
Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people. The nation's big health insurers say they expect premiums — or the cost for insurance coverage — to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014 (Murphy, 3/13).

CQ HealthBeat: Republicans Probe Health Care Law Impact on Food Service Industry
If there's a ground zero for the impact of the health insurance employer mandate, it appears to be the low-wage and high-turnover restaurant industry. But whether the result of the mandate turns out to be many fewer Dunkin’ Donuts or Outback Steakhouse locations — or much higher prices for lattes and burgers — will remain unclear until the requirement included in the health care law fully takes effect in 2014 (Norman, 3/14).

Medpage Today: Health Reform Success Requires Good Incentives
Improperly aligned incentives could undermine healthcare reform efforts by being either ineffective or leading physicians to think more about economics and less about the patients' interest, according to a perspective article. Instead, reform-related incentives should focus not just on economic motivation but on an array of financial and nonfinancial incentives across the delivery system, stated the piece published in the March 14 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (Pittman, 3/13).

Also, several publications examined implementation issues in the states.

The Associated Press: Okla. House Oks Attempt To 'Nullify' Health Law
The Oklahoma House moved Wednesday to declare the federal health care law "null and void" in the state, approving a bill over the objection of Democrats who argued it was nothing more than a political statement. The House voted 72-20 for the bill by Republican Rep. Mike Ritze, a Broken Arrow physician and a fierce opponent of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he frequently refers to as "Obamacare” (3/13).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Future Challenges Loom Regarding Chesterfield’s Part-Time Employees
Future challenges have cast budgetary uncertainty over the Chesterfield County Human Services Division that some worry may affect services the county provides to its most vulnerable residents. One of the most pressing issues facing the division's mental health department is the nearly 200 part-time employees who would become eligible for health insurance benefits or have their hours cut back to fewer than 30 hours a week in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act (Slayton, 3/14).

HealthyCal: L.A. Care Health Plan Faces Challenges Of Today And Planning For ACA
When Steven Sample's health provider quit accepting Medi-Cal, he didn't know where to turn until he heard about L.A. Care Health Plan at a meeting near where he lived in downtown Los Angeles at the time. Sample's health emergency was a broken ankle he suffered stepping off a bus, and the injury required surgery. ... L.A. Care Health Plan is the nation's largest public health plan, providing coverage to approximately a little more than one million Los Angeles County residents. ... With the Affordable Care Act ramping up and the impending implementation of a state health insurance exchange, L.A. Care's role in the new world of health care is evolving along with the reform (Fulton, 3/13).

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