President Obama will highlight his signature healthcare law Friday during a stop in California — a state the administration has pointed to as an example of the law's success. Obama's speech comes amid Democratic hand-wringing over the political consequences of an uneven rollout, and at the early stages of a massive promotional blitz designed to boost enrollment and help ensure a smooth implementation process.
The Affordable Care Act remains unpopular and deeply misunderstood, but the White House is hoping to overcome those obstacles with an intense education effort and direct appeals from Obama himself. California provides a good backdrop for the administration's pitch — the state has been a leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, and early signs indicate that the law will likely function pretty much as intended there.
Obama is scheduled to speak Friday morning.
Sick people are expensive: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report Thursday about one of the biggest cost centers in healthcare — people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid. These so-called "dual eligible" beneficiaries are elderly, poor and tend to be among the sickest patients in the country. It's well known in Congress that better care for dual eligibles would save the government money, but lawmakers have never agreed on a way to change the system.
So, just how expensive are dual eligibles? According to the CBO, the average beneficiary costs the government about $33,300 per year — compared with just $8,300 for the average senior who only receives Medicare.
The full report is available here.
FOIA scoop: Turns out Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanRepublicans won't vote on ObamaCare repeal bill this week Overnight Finance: Dems explore lawsuit against Trump | Full-court press for Trump tax plan | Clock ticks down to spending deadline Senate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' MORE (R-Wis.) isn't the only ObamaCare opponent who has sought the law's grant funding for his constituents. At least 11 other GOP lawmakers have lobbied the Obama administration to accept grant applications from healthcare interests in their states, according to documents obtained by The Nation. The letters primarily focused on two grants established by the Affordable Care Act — one to fight chronic disease and one to expand community health centers.
The lawmakers who sought funds included Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSenate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' McConnell: Senate will pass short-term funding bill to avoid shutdown The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Texas), Rob PortmanRob PortmanTrump talks big on trade, but workers need action Trump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality MORE (Ohio), Thad CochranThad CochranMcConnell: Senate will pass short-term funding bill to avoid shutdown Lawmakers push one-week stopgap funding bill Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (Miss.), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissGOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race Democrats go for broke in race for Tom Price's seat Spicer: Trump will 'help the team' if needed in Georgia special election MORE (Ga.) and Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonTrump signs executive order creating new VA office Overnight Defense: Commander calls North Korea crisis 'worst' he's seen | Trump signs VA order | Dems push Trump to fill national security posts Georgia campaigns keep up pressure ahead of runoff vote MORE (Ga.), and Reps. Michael McCaul (Texas), Hal Rogers (Ky.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Lee Terry (Neb.) and Kristi Noem (S.D.).
Read more at Healthwatch.
Abortion boycott: A former member of the Baltimore Ravens reportedly skipped the team's trip to the White House on Wednesday because he disagrees with President Obama on abortion. Matt Birk, a retired center, told KFAN-FM on Thursday that he could not attend the event because Obama recently said "God bless you" during a speech to Planned Parenthood.
"I have great respect for the office of the presidency, but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech ... Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn't deal with that. I couldn't endorse that in any way," Birk told the radio station.
State by state
Anti-abortion group pushes clinic inspection law
NH Senate rejects Medicaid expansion
Medicaid expansion complicated by proposed election changes in Ariz.
Neb. lawmakers put off Medicaid issue until 2014
Survey: Employers eye new health plan reimbursement approaches [free registration required]
No stopping sequestration cancer cuts, says CMS
Birth control pill tied to lower ovarian cancer risk
What you might have missed on Healthwatch
Toomey calls on Sebelius to change 'flawed' organ donation policy
ObamaCare rule lowered premiums, analysis finds
Analysis: Subsidies will offset ObamaCare 'rate shock'
Authorities credit ObamaCare for healthcare fraud busts
ObamaCare more unpopular than ever
Judge intervenes in transplant case
Markey pounces on Gomez's abortion comments during Mass. Senate debate
Rep. Labrador abandons House immigration bill over healthcare
Interior issues new healthy food standards for national parks
Comments / complaints / suggestions?
Please let us know:
Sam Baker: firstname.lastname@example.org / 202-628-8351
Elise Viebeck: email@example.com / 202-628-8523
Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch