Who The Health Law's First Wave Left Behind, And Who It Embraced

Health law coverage includes how the measure's implementation impacts a variety of different populations, as well as other key policy issues.

Kaiser Health News: Obamacare Comes To Skid Row
If you were led blindfolded from Los Angeles’ grand city hall a few blocks east, you would know when you entered Skid Row. There is the pungent smell of urine and burning marijuana smoke, and the sound of music and easy laughter. A carnival rising out of misery. This is the chaos that Chris Mack plunges into on most days. Once homeless himself, Mack is an outreach worker for the JWCH Institute’s Center for Community Health, a free clinic that sits at the heart of Skid Row (Varney, 1/2). 

Kaiser Health News: Many Spanish Speakers Left Behind In First Wave Of Obamacare
In Silicon Valley, the executives and engineers who’ve helped build the Apple, Google and Facebook empires earn high salaries and enjoy a slew of perks, including stellar health benefits. The clients of the Ravenswood Family Health Center, a community clinic in East Palo Alto just two miles away from Facebook’s sprawling headquarters, live in a very different Silicon Valley. They’re the gardeners, nannies, factory workers and service staff who keep Silicon Valley homes and offices humming, the lawns manicured and the families comfortable (Hernandez, 1/3). 

The Associated Press: Adding A Baby To A Health Plan Not Easy
There's another quirk in the Obama administration's new health insurance system: It lacks a way for consumers to quickly and easily update their coverage for the birth of a baby and other common life changes. With regular private insurance, parents just notify the health plan. Insurers will still cover new babies, the administration says, but parents will also have to contact the government at some point later on (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/3).

Los Angeles Times: Compromise Remains Elusive On Health Law’s Contraceptive Coverage
The intensifying Supreme Court clash over whether birth control should be required under President Obama's signature healthcare law has revealed just how deep divisions remain between administration officials and Catholic leaders over where to draw the line between religious freedom and women's reproductive rights (Savage and Levey, 1/2).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.