Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
"The Obama administration took another step to close what many see as a health-law loophole that allows large employers to offer medical plans without hospital coverage and bars their workers from subsidies to buy their own insurance.
“It has come to our attention that certain group health plan designs that provide no coverage of inpatient hospital services are being promoted,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in proposed rules issued late Friday."
Elise Viebeck, The Hill
"The Obama administration is seeking to tighten how insurers segregate funds for abortion coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges after a scathing government investigation found the rules have been widely ignored.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided additional detail Friday about how health plans should go about charging women for abortion coverage that is handled separately from their other health benefits obtained on the exchanges."
Howard Kurz, Fox News
"The man who changed the ObamaCare debate was at a gas station when I reached him, and he wasn’t dying to talk.
“I really want to stay out of the limelight,” said Rich Weinstein, a Philadelphia investment adviser. “This is not about me.”
But it is about him in the sense that if not for one slightly obsessed citizen, we wouldn’t have the videos of Jonathan Gruber saying the health care law was deceptively designed and its passage depended on the stupidity of the American public. And it is about his frustrating struggle to get that information out to the media."
"WASHINGTON - A new video has surfaced showing economist Jonathan Gruber, who made controversial comments about how the Affordable Care Act was written, talking about states' opposition to the Medicaid expansion in the law, and the role poverty may play in its success or failure.
"There's larger principles at stake here," Gruber said in the video, which appeared on the website Healthinsurance.org in April. "When these states are not just turning down covering the poor people, but turning down the federal stimulus that would come with that.
"They're not just not interested in covering poor people, they're willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. I mean, it really is just almost awesome in its evilness.""
Tristan Hallman and Tom Benning, Dallas Morning News
"Retired Dallas police Sgt. Tom Wafer recently received a call from a commander that “shocked the fool” out of him: The city can’t let him or any of his fellow retirees watch police surveillance camera feeds anymore when the year is over because of an obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act.
City officials say they had to cut Wafer, 74, along with two dozen other retired officers because the health care law put them in a costly bind. The layoffs also affect a few other city agencies but hit the Dallas Police Department hardest."
Phillip Bump, Washington Post
"In the blink of an eye, Obamacare enrollment numbers through August fell from 7.3 million to just under 7 million -- a level that dips overall enrollment under 2013 enrollment projections from the Congressional Budget Office. How'd it happen? In short, the administration combined Obamacare medical plan enrollment with dental plan enrollment for those August numbers -- while previous reports had kept the two numbers distinct.
Here's how the Department of Health and Human Services reported enrollments in a report last April. This shows only the last line of enrollments, but the number of plans with data on "metal level" (that is, the quality of the plan), is fairly close to the overall number of enrollments. Underneath, the number of people who got standalone dental coverage. 8 million; 1.1 million."
Dave Gram, Associated Press
"MONTPELIER, Vt. An economist who said "the stupidity of the American voter" helped pass the complex federal health care law has agreed to finish his work on Vermont's health insurance systems for free, a top state official said Wednesday.
But the state will continue to pay assistants working with Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised the Obama administration as it crafted the Affordable Care Act."
Elise Viebeck, The Hill
"Sparks flew Wednesday at a hearing on the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov as Republican lawmakers grilled former White House Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Todd Park about his role in the site's creation.
GOP members had sought for almost a year to bring Park before the House Science and Technology Committee, desiring to suss out his level of involvement in the debacle."
Chuck Loveless, Morning Consult
"So where do things stand with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now that the dust has settled from November’s midterm elections? With Republicans seizing control of the U.S. Senate and an expanded- and newly emboldened- conservative majority in the House of Representatives, expect a slew of new political attacks on the health care reform law. While Bill McIntyre and Elizabeth Harrington noted in their November 6 post for the Morning Consult that election night polling indicated that for most voters the ACA was not a major factor in their decision on how to cast their ballot, it WAS a huge issue for the Republican base."
Katie Pavlich, Townhall
"Over the past few years Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has been candid about how the Obama administration lied to misled "stupid" Americans in order to get healthcare legislation passed. We've seen countless videos that show Gruber talking about his close relationship with President Obama, how seniors are "terrible" at picking healthcare plans, describing how taxes were "mislabed" in order to dupe Americans into believing Obamacare wasn't a tax increase, how a lack of transparency was "critical" to passing Obamacare, how the redistribution of wealth from healthy to sick was covered up, etc. But when the folks over at Hannity confronted Gruber this week about his comments, he didn't have much to say other than "no comment.""