Reflex: November 21, 2011

More health care cuts coming, report  Marilyn Werber Serafini and Mary Agnes Carey (KHN). “[Recent] proposals include cutting payments to medical providers, asking beneficiaries to pay more for their coverage, and increasing the eligibility age. The health care interests who stand to take another hit in 2013 want to begin planning now.” Austin’s comment: Many want to make smarter cuts and improve efficiency. The trouble is those things are either politically difficult or take years to implement. When lawmakers need quick budget cuts, they don’t always have the luxury to make the ones wonks and stakeholders might consider smart. 

Supercommittee poised to announce no deal, writes Lisa Desjardins and Lisa Bouldan. This of course means the sequester will kick in by default. Don’s comment: Not a surprising outcome. Next steps per the long range budget issue: the Supreme Court ruling on the individual mandate and related health reform issues, and the next election, with the only question along the way being whether Congress will actually allow the sequester to kick in.

Georgia is planning to implement a health insurance exchange even as they oppose the ACA, reports Guy Gugliotta. “In Georgia, like many other Southern states, opposition to the new federal health-care law runs deep. Yet a conservative committee of experts has, without rancor, outlined a plan to give the state a health insurance exchange, a cornerstone of the legislation enacted last year.” Aaron’s Comment: Even the governor, Nathan Deal, believes the law is unconstitutional. But preparing for the “worst” even as you hope for repeal or a Supreme Court decision that overturns the law seems sensible. Otherwise, the federal government is going to run your exchange.

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