The health law's policy ramifications make news as eHealth's CEO offers to take over the troubled healthcare.gov, and other groups consider the coverage their workers -- including some part-timers -- receive. Also, business groups get new lawmaker allies in their fight to delay a health law tax on insurance.
Los Angeles Times: eHealth CEO To Obama: Let Us Take Over Healthcare.gov
eHealth Inc., the nation's largest online seller of health insurance, is offering to run Obamacare enrollment for the federal government while the balky healthcare.gov website is being fixed. Gary Lauer, chief executive of eHealth, said in a letter this week to President Obama that his Mountain View, Calif., company was willing to operate the federal exchange through its website as a temporary stopgap to give officials more time to repair the troubled online marketplace (Terhune, 10/30).
The Wall Street Journal: Some Factories Stick With Old Health Plans
Some small manufacturers facing soaring costs for employee health insurance say they are likely to continue coverage for their workers, even though they won't be required to under the Affordable Care Act. They are wary of discontinuing coverage and sending their employees to new insurance exchanges to obtain their own insurance. They say the problem-filled rollout of the federal government's online insurance market has raised further doubts about whether their employees would have access to sufficient coverage at lower costs (Tita, 10/30).
The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Obamacare Prompts Cutbacks For School Part-Timers
The health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress is prompting Richmond-area school divisions to cut part-timers' hours. Henrico and Chesterfield counties and Richmond schools have already established policies that limit part-time workers to less than 30 hours per week to avoid paying for their health insurance. Hanover County school officials are considering setting a cutoff (Shulleeta, 10/31).
The Hill: Business Groups Call For Repeal Of Obamacare Insurance Tax
Two groups of business associations and state and local chambers of Commerce are calling on Congress to pass new legislation that would delay an Obamacare tax on health insurance companies for two years. This week, Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.) proposed a bill delaying the tax for two years. The tax is expected to collect anywhere from $8 billion to $15 billion per year over the next few years (Kasperowicz, 10/30).