Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

House Dems' Investigation Finds Big Increase in Health Insurance Denials

An investigation by House Democrats found a 49 percent spike in the number of people with pre-existing conditions who were denied health insurance coverage by four big insurers in the individual market between 2007 and 2009.

Premiums Will Be Higher If Insurers Get Their Way on Exchanges, Consumers Union Says

If the Department of Health and Human Services goes along with the wishes of the insurance industry in setting rules for the creation of state-based exchanges, consumers won't get the best deals, a Consumers Union official said.

Medicare Advantage Program to See Modest Changes Next Year, Study Says

Seniors will see modest changes next year in Medicare's private health plans, according to a study released last week—a conclusion seemingly at odds with Republican warnings earlier in the week that enrollees in the plans face big new costs and vanishing choices because of the health care overhaul law.

Don't Cave on Medical Payout Rule, Rockefeller Exhorts NAIC

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV issued a statement urging the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to "stand strong" against industry efforts he said would deny rebates to consumers in some states under the health care overhaul law.

Allowing 'Ultra Lite' Exchanges Will Blow Big Chance to Improve Care, Kaiser Exec Warns

If the Department of Health and Human Services decides to let states set up minimal health insurance exchanges under the health care overhaul, a big opportunity to improve the nation's quality of care will be squandered, the chief executive of the nation's largest nonprofit health plan warned last week.

States' Lawsuit Against Health Care Law to Move Forward

A U.S. District Court judge in Florida allowed two parts of a multistate lawsuit against the health care law to move forward, including an argument that the measure's individual mandate is unconstitutional. But the ruling was far from a final decision on the law.