J.D. Harrison, The Washington Post
"Jody Manor has run a small cafe and catering company for nearly three decades in Old Town Alexandria, only a few blocks from where he was born. Six years ago he purchased an adjoining building, and more recently he started searching for a second location. Whether he moves forward with expansion depends on the price tag of the requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health-care initiative."
Megan R. Wilson, The Hill
"The IRS said it did not need to go through that assessment because only large employers — defined as businesses that employ 50 or more people — are required under the healthcare law to either provide workers with health insurance or pay a fine. But Sargeant and his assistant chief counsel, Dillon Taylor, said the act of a small business assessing whether or not it should comply with the regulation — and the paperwork it must keep in case it does — impose a heavy burden."
Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
"State officials say they need 20,000 people for the job of signing up millions of Californians for health insurance in the coming months, but a battle is brewing over whether these workers should undergo background checks and fingerprinting. At issue is the level of screening these 'assisters' should receive before they handle confidential information about the people they are enrolling this year in the state's new health insurance exchange, called Covered California."
Elise Viebeck, The Hill
"A new GOP bill would require health insurance companies to describe their tax burden under healthcare reform to consumers in annual statements. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), a critic of the Affordable Care Act, said the measure would inform patients about the law's "nearly trillion dollars in taxes" and how they might affect premiums. 'If the federal government is going to play such a big role in our healthcare going forward, we have the right to know just how much it costs us,' Walden said in a statement."
Tom Murphy, The Associated Press
"Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people. The nation's big health insurers say they expect premiums - or the cost for insurance coverage - to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014."
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press
"Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.
The government's draft application runs 15 pages for a three-person family. An outline of the online version has 21 steps, some with additional questions. Seven months before the Oct. 1 start of enrollment season for millions of uninsured Americans, the idea that getting health insurance could be as easy as shopping online at Amazon or Travelocity is starting to look like wishful thinking."
Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
"Writing a new menu labeling law 'has gotten extremely thorny,' says the head of the Food and Drug Administration, as the agency tries to figure out who should be covered by it. The 2010 health care law charged the FDA with requiring chain restaurants and other establishments that serve food to put calorie counts on menus and in vending machines."
Eliott Rodriguez, CBS Miami
"Pet owners listen up: You may want to start saving more money for veterinarian care this year. The reason goes all the way back to Washington and an unintended consequence from medical reform."
Ben Goad, The Hill
"A newly unveiled component of President Obama’s healthcare law forcing insurers to pay annual fees is sowing angst in state capitols, where officials view the provision as a $15 billion tax that could disrupt Medicaid programs and other services. The health insurance providers fee, included in the healthcare reform law over the objections of congressional Republicans, is designed to raise tens of billions of dollars in the coming years."
Julie Bird, FierceHealthcare
"The Pioneer accountable care organizations have asked the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to revise quality benchmarks the ACOs have to meet to qualify for Medicare bonuses, threatening to drop out of the program otherwise. The Pioneer ACOs note 19 of 31 quality measures were set without anchoring methodology, reflecting a lack of data, according to a letter sent Feb. 25 and posted online by The Washington Post."