OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Medicare Advantage enrollment jumps

"Over the next few years, it is possible there will be some shakeout in the market as payment reductions are implemented and benchmarks move closer to spending for traditional Medicare," researchers wrote. "Ultimately, to remain viable, some plans either will have to become more efficient or modify the extra benefits they provide to their enrollees."

Read more at Healthwatch.

Hiring concerns: Healthcare costs are the top concern for manufacturers in expanding their businesses, a new report showed Monday. The National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) second-quarter survey said that 82.2 percent of manufacturers identified rising healthcare and insurance costs as their top challenge, an increase from 74 percent in the previous survey, according to the IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers.

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In a series of special questions on healthcare, nearly all respondents said that they offered insurance coverage to their employees, with 38 percent saying that they self-insured. At the same time, more than 56 percent were either not prepared or were uncertain about how their firm planned to implement the healthcare law next year.

Also, 41.2 percent said that they were uncertain if their business would join a health insurance exchange later this year. Read more at The Hill's On the Money blog.

Coming to the floor: Rep. Trent Franks's (R-Ariz.) late-term abortion ban will be marked up Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee and then come to the floor next week, according to Douglas Johnson, legislative director with the National Right to Life Committee. The bill started as a reintroduction of Franks's ban on late-term abortions in the District of Columbia and was later expanded to apply nationwide.

The D.C. ban failed to pass the House last year under suspension of the rules, which requires support from two-thirds of the chamber. Johnson predicted a different outcome this time.

"My expectation is that it would not come up under suspension next week," Johnson said. Under regular order, the bill would pass the GOP-led House.

About those Ohio rates: Insurance regulators in Ohio said last week that ObamaCare will lead to steep premium hikes in the state. But now those estimates are being called into question, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Critics, including the Department of Health and Human Services, said the state relied on estimates from an actuarial study, rather than comparing post-Obamacare rates to actual policies available in the state's individual market. And one of the policies Ohio used for comparison came with a $25,000 deductible — hardly a comparable level of coverage.

Ohio's political leaders have long opposed the healthcare law, and some of the law's supporters see the state's rate analysis as a political ploy rather than an honest assessment.

Read the Plain-Dealer's report here.

GOP probes co-ops: House Republicans are pressing for more information about the healthcare law's new insurance cooperatives. The law provided loans to help set up new insurance cooperatives, but Congress cut off funding for new loans as part of a budget deal last year.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent letters recently to the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as Vermont's co-op, asking about potentially risky loans. The Vermont co-op, for example, received a $34 million loan from the federal government but then couldn't get an insurance license from the state, according to Issa.

His latest letter to HHS is here, and the letter to Vermont's co-op is here.


Tuesday's schedule

The White House Office of Cabinet Affairs will host the administration's chief technology officers and social media directors on Tuesday at a meeting to discuss the healthcare reform law's rollout.

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will wrap up its conference in Arlington, Va.

Abortion-rights activists will gather in Washington’s Dupont Circle to highlight the case of a woman named Beatriz who made international headlines after she was denied an abortion under El Salvador's stringent laws. The protest will highlight attempts to curb abortion rights around the globe.


State by state

Ariz. panel rejects Medicaid expansion, full House must now revive

Mich. House may pass Medicaid expansion this week

Ariz. panel advances bill allowing surprise inspections of abortion clinics


Reading list

Republican senators want HHS to investigate the secrecy surrounding California's insurance exchange, the AP reports.

The Washington Post digs into the investigation surrounding a high-profile leak earlier this year of Medicare Advantage payment rates.

Democrats are working hard to sell the public on ObamaCare, McClatchy reports.


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Week ahead: Lawmakers to descend on policy summit

Animal-rights advocates sense turning point in chimpanzee research


Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Elise Viebeck: eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523

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