News with clear eyes. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Senate Finance Committee Republicans have included repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) in their Super Committee wish list.

Some PPACA provisions have already taken effect, and more are supposed to go live in 2014 or later. Court cases involving efforts to have the U.S. Supreme Court declare PPACA to be unconstitutional now have Supreme Court docket numbers.

Meanwhile, some members of Congress are still trying to repeal the act, either by eliminating the entire act or by killing the act one section at a time.

Now Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah – the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee – and 8 colleagues are suggesting that a PPACA-ectomy would make a fine strategy for curing part of what ails the federal budget.

The “Super Committee” – the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – is supposed to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction proposals by Thanksgiving.

Budget cutters should recognize that Medicare “is on a path to fiscal insolvency, and the status quo is a policy for national bankruptcy,” the Republican lawmakers say.

Similarly, Medicaid was supposed to be the safety net for the very poorest Americans but now covers about 1 in 4, and it already consumes about 22% of state budgets, the lawmakers say.

“Recognizing the magnitude of the problems in these programs is essential,” the lawmakers say.

Meanwhile, the true cost of the new programs and program expansions created by PPACA could be $2.6 trillion over 10 years, and PPACA could add $701 billion to the national debt and $118 billion in state Medicaid costs, the lawmakers say.

“The JSC should strongly consider repealing this flawed and partisan health law as an essential step in improving our nation’s future economic and fiscal outlook,” the lawmakers say.

MARKETING IDEA: MALL KIOSKS

HealthAmerica, Harrisburg, Pa., an affiliate of Coventry Health Care Inc., Bethesda, Md. (NYSE:CVH), will be trying a new approach to inside sales in the Medicare Advantage plan market this fall.

The company will be selling coverage through kiosks in 13 malls in its market areas in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

OPEN WIDE

Dearborn National, Chicago, a unit of Health Care Service Corp., Chicago – the parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans – has arranged to add the dentists in a network administered by Total Dental Administrators Inc., Salt Lake City, to its dental networks in Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

The deal means Dearborn will be able to offer about 890 more in-network dentists to customers in those three states.

BENEFITS?

Employers know they need to do something about improving benefits communication, according to Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, Columbia, S.C.

The company, a unit of Unum Group Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn. (NYSE:UNM), says it found when it sponsored an employer survey that only 19% of employers think their employees have a very good understanding of their benefits, and that about 5% think their employees know almost nothing about their benefits.