California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

The Big Picture: Who Stands To Gain, Lose Under The American Health Care Act

News outlets analyze the specifics of what's in the GOP plan, compare it with Obamacare, identify who wins and loses as a result of its changes, and detail issues such as taxes, subsidies and mental health coverage and public health benefits.

Los Angeles Times: A Side-By-Side Comparison Of Obamacare And The GOP’s Replacement Plan
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, people who are older, lower-income or live in areas with higher premiums (such as Alaska and Arizona) receive larger tax credits under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, than they would under the Republican replacement plan. Some people who are younger, higher-income or live in areas with lower premiums (such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Washington) may receive additional assistance under the replacement plan. (Levey and Kim, 3/7)

The New York Times: Who Wins And Who Loses Under Republicans’ Health Care Plan
Both Obamacare and the recent Republican replacement proposal use refundable tax credits to help people buy their health insurance. That is part of the reason the new G.O.P. bill is under fire from conservatives, who see it as a new entitlement program. But the structure of the tax credits is really different. Obamacare calculated the credits based on the cost of insurance in a given area and how much the purchaser could afford to pay. The Republican plan hands out tax credits on a flat basis, according to age. (Both plans cut off subsidies at a certain income level, on the assumption that high earners can pay their own way.) That means that the government subsidy you might get under the different plans would depend on a number of factors – age, income, address. (Quealy and Sanger-Katz, 3/8)

Politico: Obamacare Repeal Seen As Weakening Mental Health Protections
House Republicans who last year made good on longstanding promises to overhaul the mental health system could roll back coverage for millions of people with mental illness and addiction problems by overhauling Medicaid as part of an Obamacare repeal package. Legislation being marked up Wednesday would phase out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which covers 1.2 million Americans with serious mental illness and substance abuse problems, as well as scrap baseline coverage requirements. The change means certain beneficiaries would no longer get coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatments guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. (Ehley, 3/8)

Bloomberg: Republican Health Bill Would Make It Easier To Sport That Potentially Precancerous Glow 
Republicans’ Obamacare replacement will make it easier to sport that beachy, potentially precancerous glow: Their American Health Care Act would do away with a 10 percent excise tax on tanning services...The move is part of the Republican plan to repeal billions of dollars in of levies associated with the law, including the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans, fees on health insurers, and the tanning tax, included in the Affordable Care Act because of indoor tanning’s link to skin cancer. (Greifeld, 3/8)

Sacramento Bee: Zika Testing, Vaccines And Other Public Health Essentials Could Vanish With ACA Repeal 
The GOP legislation, as it was released Monday, proposes cutting a piece of the Affordable Care Act called the Prevention and Public Health Fund – a store of federal money created to bolster immunization rates, disease surveillance, workforce training and community health education, among other programs. If the replacement legislation passes, county and state agencies throughout California will lose millions of dollars they relied on for public health efforts. Those governments also used the grants to prepare for emergencies such as Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, health officials said. (Caiola, 3/9)

This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.