OVERNIGHT HEALTH: DOMA ruling affects ObamaCare, Medicaid eligibility

The same basic math applies to ObamaCare's tax credits to help buy private insurance. The size of the tax credit is based on household income, and it cuts off at a certain level. So some same-sex couples might receive smaller tax credits — or no credit at all — now that they'll be treated as a couple, rather than two individual earners.

The Hill has full coverage of Wednesday's rulings.

Final exemption list: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a final rule on Wednesday outlining who is exempt from ObamaCare's individual mandate to buy health insurance.

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Apart from people who cannot afford coverage, those who need not follow the mandate include: members of recognized Indian tribes, or those eligible for care through the Indian Health Service; people eligible for the Medicaid expansion whose states refused to pursue the policy; people experiencing a short gap in coverage; people in jail; illegal immigrants; U.S. citizens living abroad; and members of certain religious groups.

Patients without geographic access to a plan on their state's health insurance exchange would also not be penalized, according to Modern Healthcare.

Read more about the final rule here [free registration required]. 

NFL backlash: Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) launched a petition Wednesday opposing a potential role for the NFL in promoting ObamaCare. The anti-tax group urged supporters to sign in order to "stop your taxpayer dollars from funding NFL ObamaCare commercials." 

"I don't watch the NFL to be preached at by [Health and Human Services] Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other politicians," the petition reads. Sebelius announced this week that she's in talks with several major sports leagues about promoting the administration's healthcare law in the next six months.

See the petition here.

One year ago: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) marked the first anniversary of ObamaCare's Supreme Court decision at a press conference Wednesday, when they vowed the law's exchanges will be ready by Oct. 1. Pelosi compared the Affordable Care Act to Medicare and Social Security, calling it the "third pillar" of society.

Healthwatch has more from that event. 

Making ObamaCare cool: That's the administration's big task over the summer as officials prepare for millions of people to enroll in the new insurance exchanges. The trick is to get lots of healthy, young adults in the mix so premium prices remain stable, and to do that, the White House is counting on sports and Hollywood partnerships to create buzz.

At Healthwatch, we break down what those efforts might look like and potential pitfalls for the administration. There's also a list of the top 10 celebrities you might see promoting ObamaCare.

Thursday's agenda

The federal Commission on Long-Term Care will hold its first meeting.

The U.S. Chamber's Health Care Solutions Council will release a report proposing business-oriented healthcare reforms.

The House Small Business subcommittee on Health and Technology will hold a hearing on mobile medical app entrepreneurs.

At a briefing on Capitol Hill, First Focus will release a new analysis on making the social safety net work better for children.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will deliver remarks in St. Louis at the Education Commission of the States' National Forum on Education Policy.


State by state

Texas governor may revive abortion proposal

Mich. group named to explore Medicaid expansion

Brewer savors victories, looks to heal GOP anger

Nelson keeping pressure on Scott to call special Medicaid session


Lobbying registrations


Capitol Hill Consulting Group / The Huntsville Hospital Foundation

American Continental Group / Athens Healthcare

Madison Government Affairs / Avancen MOD Corporation


Reading list

NIH to retire most chimps from medical research

Incentives, penalties may not be enough to encourage a healthy workforce [free registration required]

Many cancer patients expect a cure from palliative care


What you might have missed on Healthwatch


Obama account tweets support for Texas abortion rights filibuster

AHIP touts strong enrollment in plans with health savings accounts

New bill would pay seniors for staying healthy

Proposal would streamline access to home healthcare


Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

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

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

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch

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