Bloggers argue about potential effects of the provisions in the health overhaul that go into effect soon, a doctor and a critic find common ground on physician pay, one Democratic lawmaker labels state efforts to challenge the law “appropriate”, and a new health blogger debuts.
The National Journal’s Marilyn Werber Serafini queries her experts on whether they think they early changes in the health law will be “helpful or harmful?” John Goodman, David Kendall and Bruce Lesley respond.
At least one blogger found that Congress may find the new law more “harmful” than it originally expected, based on a New York Times story that suggests details were not included to guarantee a stable transition for lawmakers to purchase insurance from new exchanges that have yet to be formed, rather than the through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Hot Air’s Allah Pundit reacts: “Turns out that fantastically long, mind-bogglingly complex bills which no one has actually read may create unintended consequences. Remember how they forgot to require insurers to cover kids with preexisting conditions? Oh, and they forgot initially to let young adults be covered by their parents’ insurance until Reid fixed it in reconciliation. Now this. Who knew that when Pelosi said they’d have to pass the bill so that people could find out what’s in it, ‘people’ meant Congress.”
The Altarum Institute Blog posts commentary from American Medical Association J. James Rohack on the new health law. Rohack writes: “While the new law is not perfect and more still needs to be done, this sweeping reform package will greatly benefit America’s patients and their physicians. … The new health reform law includes significant improvements, but there are still some important measures that need to be addressed. Congress still has not acted to permanently repeal the broken Medicare physician payment formula that threatens steep cuts to physicians for the care of seniors and military families.”
Echoing some of Rohacks’ concerns, Heritage’s Kathryn Nix explores the lack of a new physician payment scheme in the health overhaul as part of the blog series “Side Effects of ObamaCare.” Nix writes, “Rather than create new entitlement programs and expand old ones, Congress would have done better to try to fix the numerous problems in existing programs and cut federal spending. True reform would have made systemic changes to Medicare and Medicaid that would make them financially viable. Instead, the programs’ fiscal woes will only get far worse. ”
Mother Jones’ Suzy Khimm reports that while Democratic leaders have scoffed at some states’ efforts to challenge the health bill in court,”some vulnerable Dems who supported health care reform can’t afford to be so scathing [in their criticism of health care lawsuits]. Take Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), who describes these legal efforts as ‘an appropriate gesture,’ even while maintaining his own support for the health care law.”
The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait looks at a totally different repeal effort: a 1936 campaign to repeal Social Security, where Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon, who had “declared that Social Security was ‘unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted, and wastefully financed,’ upped the stakes still further by insisting the federal government had no way of keeping track of Social Security recipients. ‘Are their photographs going to be kept on file in a Washington office? Or are they going to have identification tags put around their necks?’ he asked.” Chait reacts: “Whatever plans the Republican Party has to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s hard to imagine they’ll come up with a response as strong as [that].”
On the flip side of the issue, The New America Foundation posts the webcast of a forum it held about implementation of the new health law.
And there’s a new health blogger on the block: Katherine Hobson started today at the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog. Hobson was formerly a health reporter for U.S. News & World Report.