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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2014

The February 2014 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that those who are most likely to be customers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s new insurance exchanges (the uninsured and those who purchase their own coverage) are more likely to prefer less costly plans with narrow provider networks over more expensive plans with broader networks, while the public overall has the opposite preference. Overall opinion of the ACA remains about the same as it has been since November, with just under half the public viewing the law unfavorably and just over a third having a favorable view.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: February 2014

The Kaiser Health Policy News Index is designed to help journalists and policymakers understand which health policy-related news stories Americans are paying attention to, and what the public understands about health policy issues covered in the news. This month’s Index finds that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the most-closely followed health policy news story this month, ranking behind news of the U.S. economy. The survey also finds that the news media is by far the public’s top source of information on the ACA, and the public believes media coverage of the law has focused more on politics and controversies than the impact on people.

All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.

State Exchange Profiles: Texas

Final update made on December 11, 2012 (no further updates will be made) Establishing the Exchange On July 9, 2012, Governor Rick Perry (R) announced that Texas would not establish an exchange.1 Prior to this announcement, the Department of Insurance and the Health and Human Services Commission had partnered to explore…

State Marketplace Profiles: Hawaii

Final update made on November 6, 2013 (no further updates will be made)  Establishing the Marketplace On July 11, 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) signed SB 1348 into law establishing the Hawaii Health Connector, a State-based health insurance Marketplace.1 The law builds on Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act of 1975…

States Sustain and Expand Coverage For Low-Income Children and Families Despite Recession, But Gains Are Threatened By Impending End of Federal Assistance

New 50-State Survey Illustrates Key Role of CHIP Reauthorization and the Federal Stimulus Law in Safeguarding Coverage    WASHINGTON  – Despite the deep recession, most states have managed to safeguard and, in some cases, expand health coverage for children and parents in their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs in…

State Marketplace Profiles: Arkansas

Final update made on October 29, 2013 (no further updates will be made) Establishing the Marketplace On December 12, 2012, Governor Mike Beebe (D) informed federal officials that Arkansas would pursue a state-federal partnership health insurance Marketplace (also referred to as exchange).1 A state opting for a partnership Marketplace…

State Exchange Profiles: Maine

Final update made on April 2, 2013 (no further updates will be made)  Establishing the Exchange On November 16, 2012, Governor Paul LePage (R) wrote in a letter to federal officials that Maine would not be pursuing efforts to implement a state-based health insurance exchange.1 Legislation establishing a state-run health insurance…

Webinar for Journalists: Researching Consumer Stories, Finding New Ideas & Securing Real-World Examples

Featuring Kaiser Health News Staff Writer Sarah Varney and “Insuring Your Health” columnist Michelle Andrews, this webinar will discuss approaches to covering this complex story by incorporating individual examples; provide tips and techniques for digging into the details of the law (with expert help) to describe how its provisions play out in real life; and suggest new angles and under-reported story ideas. Additionally, they will identify upcoming policy deadlines and timelines, and explore how to weave these into your stories over the next several months. After a brief presentation, both presenters will answer questions.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.