Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act
3:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Obamacare's First Year: How'd It Go?

In New Jersey in March, Dianna Lopez of the Center for Family Services (right) speaks with Betsy Cruz, of Camden, N.J., about health insurance coverage during an Affordable Care Act information session.
Lori M. Nichols South Jersey Times/Landov

Exactly one year ago, the Obamacare insurance exchanges stumbled into existence. Consumers struggled to sign up for its online marketplace — and the Obama administration was pummeled. Eventually, HealthCare.gov's problems were mostly fixed, and two weeks ago, the administration announced 7.3 million people have bought insurance through it so far this year.

So, was the health exchanges' first year a success — or something less?

Ask President Obama, and he says you measure the Affordable Care Act's success this way:

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Public Health
9:32 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Stories From South King County's Medical Van

Dr. Sarah Vanston, the family physician on board, often has to determine creative medical plans for her patients. For instance, she couldn't prescribe a diuretic to a man who didn't have regular access to a safe and clean bathroom.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

About twice a month, King County’s Mobile Medical van comes to Renton. It opens at 4:30, but it’s often slow until closer to 6:30, when the church across the street begins serving hot meals for homeless people.

The inside of this RV has been retrofitted so there’s an exam room, a nurse’s station and a waiting area.  A generator gives off a droning buzz as it powers this efficient little clinic.

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Health Exchange
9:11 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Cover Oregon Officials Set To Face State Lawmakers

State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:52 pm

The leaders of Oregon's struggling health insurance exchange will be grilled by state lawmakers in a series of hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday.

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Health Care
12:33 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Senator Murray Focused On Countering Hobby Lobby Ruling

Senator Patty Murray.
Credit Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Free contraceptive coverage is mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

But in the landmark Hobby Lobby decision last June, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations are exempt from the law if the owners object on religious grounds.

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Health News
6:22 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Two Doctors Weigh Whether To Accept Obamacare Plans

Doctors say they need to accept patients with a variety of types of insurance in order for them to stay in businesses.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun August 3, 2014 12:22 pm

On a recent afternoon at his office in Hartford, Conn., Dr. Doug Gerard examines a patient complaining of joint pain. He checks her out, asks her a few questions about her symptoms and then orders a few tests before sending her on her way.

For a typical quick visit like this, Gerard could get reimbursed $100 or more from a private insurer. For the same visit, Medicare pays less — about $80. And now, with the new private plans under the Affordable Care Act, Gerard says he would get something in between, but closer to the lower Medicare rates.

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Insurance Commissioner Hearing
10:50 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Whistleblower In Children's Hospital Hearing Alleges Pressure In Ruling

If you have a dispute with a government agency, chances are, your complaint will go through a process called an administrative hearing. These hearings usually haven’t attracted public attention — until recently.

Last October, Seattle Children’s Hospital challenged the Office of Insurance Commissioner for allowing health plans to exclude providers like Children’s from their networks.

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Health Care
11:12 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Washington AG Puts Health Plans On Notice To Cover Same-Sex Spouses

File photo of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 2:58 pm

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is reminding employers they may not discriminate against same-sex spouses when it comes to health coverage.

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Affordable Care Act
11:04 am
Fri May 23, 2014

1 Million Texans Still Without Health Coverage

Terry Jordan, 56, is one of a million Texans affected by the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. (Carrie Feibel/KUHF)

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:26 pm

More than 700,000 Texans have signed up for a health plan through the online insurance marketplace. For that group, the Affordable Care Act appears to be working.

But an even larger number of Texans — one million or more — still have no access to affordable coverage because Texas officials opted out of a federal plan to expand Medicaid for the poorest adults.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Feibel of KUHF explains.

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White House Advisor
3:30 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

How To Make The Affordable Care Act Better

Credit Ezekiel Emanuel's book "Reinventing American Health Care."

Steve Scher talks to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel about his book “Reinventing American Health Care.”  Dr. Emanuel was previously a health care adviser to the White House.

Affordable Care Act
3:16 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Why Oregon's Health Exchange Website Failed

Credit Flickr Photo/Sara Westermark (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter and producer Kristian Foden-Vencil about  Oregon's troubled health exchange website, Cover Oregon.

Health Exchange
3:42 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

New Rule Promises 'No Surprises' From Health Insurance Plans

Credit Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler.

Marcie Sillman checks in with Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler about a new rule that will mandate increased transparency for plans offered on the Washington state health exchange.

Affordable Care Act
8:17 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Candidates Jump On Cover Oregon's Troubles

The state of Oregon has decided to scrap its troubled health insurance exchange website.

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:01 pm

The finger-pointing is underway now that the state of Oregon has decided to scrap its troubled health insurance exchange website.

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Affordable Care Act
9:00 am
Sun April 27, 2014

Giving Up On Its Obamacare Exchange No Cure For Oregon's Ills

Oregon was an early adopter of the Affordable Care Act, and ran a series of ads encouraging all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance. But their website never became fully functional.
Cover Oregon

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 3:45 pm

Oregon has been "all in" on health reform. Its embrace of the Affordable Care Act includes a very successful Medicaid expansion, a $2 billion federal experiment to show the state can save money by managing patients' care better, and, of course, the state's own online marketplace to sell Obamacare insurance.

But that last point has been a huge problem.

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Local Recipient
8:44 am
Fri April 25, 2014

White House Honors Community Health Enrollment 'Champions'

Teresita Batayola was honored at the White House Thursday for her outreach efforts in health care enrollment.
Credit Courtesy of International Community Health Services

This week the White House honored community heroes for their work in educating and signing up Asian American and Pacific Island residents for health care.

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Health Care Enrollment
8:22 am
Thu April 24, 2014

About 600,000 Washington Residents Enrolled Through Health Exchange

Washington's health exchange used ads featuring a fictitious rap duo to get the word out during open enrollment.
Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

State and local officials are celebrating the robust number of people who signed up for health care through Washington’s exchange over the open enrollment period.

Between last October through the end of March, more than 164,000 Washington residents bought private health plans through the state exchange. In addition, more than 423,000 people got coverage through Washington Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. 

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