Morning CheckUp: September 22, 2011

Growing number of young adults are taking advantage of ACA: “Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that in the first quarter of 2011, the percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased by 3.5 percentage points, representing approximately 1 million additional young adults with insurance coverage compared to a year ago.” [HHS]

Michigan pushes redundant partial-birth abortion ban: The federal government already has a so-called “Partial Birth Abortion” ban, but that’s not stopping Michigan lawmakers who approved measures Wednesday to criminalize the procedure [Detroit Free Press]

Employers expecting smaller increase in health costs: “Employers project that their group health care plan costs will increase an average of 5.4% in 2012, a somewhat slower increase compared with recent years, according to a Mercer L.L.C. survey released Wednesday.” [Business Insurance]

Consumer groups oppose Georgia’s MLA waiver: 17 Georgia consumer organizations have objected to the state’s request to delay a requirement that health insurers spend 80 percent of the money they collect from customers on claims, “saying that giving insurers more time to comply with the federal rule will rob Georgians of the value they should be getting from their health plans. Most Georgia insurers would not meet the threshold based on data submitted by the insurance commissioner’s office.” [AJC]


California may be a testing ground for the ACA: “If you want to know what the future of health reform will look like, keep an eye on California. The state has pushed aggressively to set up the Affordable Care Act, only to run full speed into daunting obstacles that could derail its efforts.” [Sarah Kliff]

HHS struggling with the so-called dual-eligibles: “A top CMS official on Wednesday (Sept. 21) urged lawmakers to give the agency more time to study ways to better handle dually eligible beneficiaries before stepping in with legislative reforms, making the plea as Senate Finance Committee members signaled strong bipartisan support for addressing the issue, which is also viewed as a potential cost-saving area by the debt law’s super committee.” [Inside Health Policy]

Wyden is frustrated over the lack of progress: “We have been treading water on this issue, literally, for decades,” Wyden said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. We’re “about where we were three decades ago, when I had a full head of hair and rugged good looks … and we were talking about exactly the same issues.” [Julian Pecquet]