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Kaiser Health Policy News Index: June 2014

This month’s Health Policy News Index finds more than six in 10 say they followed
news about long waiting lists for those seeking care at Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities closely.
That makes the VA story the most closely followed health story in the first half of 2014, with slightly
more people following it than followed several ACA enrollment stories earlier this year.

Advancing Opportunities, Assessing Challenges: Key Themes from a Roundtable Discussion of Health Care and Health Equity in the South

This brief summarizes the primary themes expressed by participants of a roundtable discussion of current and future opportunities and challenges for advancing health care and health equity in the South organized by Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Does the Affordable Care Act Cover the Uninsured?

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, discusses what a new Foundation survey finds about one of the biggest questions about the Affordable Care Act: whether it covers the uninsured.

Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees

Executive Summary January 1, 2014 marked the beginning of several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) making significant changes to the non-group insurance market, including new rules for insurers regarding who they must cover and what they can charge, along with the opening of new Health Insurance Marketplaces (also…

Potential Supreme Court Decision: Who Will Bear the Coverage “Burdens?”

The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision by the end of June, 2014 on the cases brought forth by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two for profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The plaintiffs contend that the requirement that they include coverage for certain contraceptive services (emergency contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices) in the insurance plans “substantially burdens” both the corporation’s and the owners’ religious rights. During the arguments, several of the justices discussed the extent to which the corporations did or not did not have a choice in offering coverage to their workers. In this brief, we explore some of the factors influencing coverage decisions and possible consequences for women and employers given possible Supreme Court decision options: either upholding the contraceptive coverage requirement, or in favor of Hobby Lobby.