Morning Health

STATE COMMISSIONERS WEIGH IN: They're leaning towards allowing insurers to exclude all federal taxes except those on investment income, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Background: The NAIC said its expected approval Tuesday of the forms insurers must fill out will give an early indication of the commissioners' thinking on the medical loss ratio. During a call with reporters Friday afternoon, the NAIC said the instructions that will accompany the forms will likely allow for the exclusion of most taxes but that the instructions can always be revisited later.

Final word? While the lawmakers' letter is seen as raising the pressure on HHS, the NAIC still expects to have the final word in setting the standards: "We feel pretty confident that what we submit [to HHS] is going to be certified," Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told reporters. 

SEATTLE SHOWDOWN: Consumer advocates protest insurance company's lobbying heft at the annual NAIC meeting in Seattle. At an event organized by the Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans and backed by Health Care for America Now, protesters reportedly handed out "lobbyist disinfectant packs," including soap and face masks, and demanded that regulators do their job for consumers, according to Consumer Watchdog:

RATE REVIEW: HHS this afternoon holds a conference call to discuss how the healthcare reform law "is helping states to improve the oversight of proposed health insurance premium increases, take action against insurers seeking unreasonable rate hikes, and ensure consumers receive value for their premium dollars."

On the menu: The state recipients of $51 million in rate review grants are expected to be announced. Read earlier story:

HEALTH STATISTICS: The National Center for Health Statistics kicks off its three-day 2010 National Conference on Health Statistics:

GLOBAL HEALTH: Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE delivers remarks on the administration's Global Health Initiative: