Health Overhaul Roundup: New Law Will Cover Young Adults, But Details Are Still VagueKaiser Health News: A provision of the health law that would allow children up to 26 years old to remain on their parents' health plans will not become effective until Sept. 23, six months after enactment of the legislation. Because of the delay and other questions about details about implementation, the otherwise consumer-friendly provision is not "giving the new law a public relations boost." Instead, "it's creating consternation among some parents, who are sharing their concerns online about when the provision kicks in and whether their family will qualify." People in the age group affected are among the most likely to be uninsured (Andrews, 4/2).
The Associated Press: "The law will allow young adults to stay on or return to their parents' insurance until age 26. To qualify, young people must be 'dependents' of their parents. They don't necessarily have to live under the same roof." The measure would apply to young adults up to their 26th birthday. Some ambiguities include whether parents would have to wait for an open-enrollment period to return their children to their plans or whether the benefit would be helpful for children living in other states (Johnson, 4/1).
NPR: "It got precious little debate in either the House or Senate, and President Obama didn't even mention it when he signed the huge health bill into law. But buried within the new health care overhaul is the first-ever federal insurance program to help Americans meet the often crushing costs of long-term care." The so-called "CLASS Act" would collect premiums from workers to cover the cost of long-term care down the road, but critics warn the program may not pay for itself (Rovner, 4/2).
The New York Times: While Obama gave a speech in Maine yesterday, patients funneled into a community health clinic across the street. The health law would channel $11 billion to such clinics. "Across the country, more than 1,200 of these centers are providing treatment to low-income patients who would otherwise linger in expensive emergency rooms. The law is intended to reduce the burden on Medicaid and help the centers serve 20 million more people" (Barry, 4/1).
Politico: "Republicans lawmakers are warning the law would put as many as 16,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents and workers on the streets. They claim Democrats tucked dozens of new departments and boards into the bill. And Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) predicts a massive expansion of the federal work force." However, government officials have not yet come up with hard numbers, and the Republicans' estimates are "highly speculative," experts say (Budoff Brown, 4/1).
McClatchy/The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer: "One of the two original major components of health care reform was pushed to the background by the time the bill was finished last week -- controlling America's world-highest health care costs." Despite some efforts to control costs, like a tax on expensive insurance plans and numerous pilot programs, experts believe the law does not offer robust solutions. In short, McClatchy writes, "It's politically easier to give coverage to the uninsured -- meaning more money for providers -- then cut costs, meaning less money for providers" (Dorschner, 4/1).