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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
Luis Rios, who lost his job at a filling station in December at the age of 56, is newly eligible for Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor. Following the advice of state-trained medical insurance enrollment workers, he filled out the paperwork required to get coverage - but has a nagging fear that he may have put his family's financial assets at risk. That's because, in certain cases, Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid, will be able to collect repayment for healthcare services from the estate after a recipient dies, including placing government liens on property.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli and David Lauter
WASHINGTON - Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections. The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. The Democratic National Committee has begun to make the sophisticated data analysis tools developed to target voters in the 2012 presidential campaign available to all the party's candidates.
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NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After overcoming website glitches and long waits to get Obamacare, some patients are now running into frustrating new roadblocks at the doctor's office. A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business. Experts have warned for months that the logjam was inevitable. But the extent of the problems is taking by surprise many patients - and even doctors - as frustrations mount.
OPINION
February 9, 2014
Re "Patients struggle to find covered doctors," Feb. 5 The article points out a major gap in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act: Many specialty providers and hospitals that cancer patients rely on are being left out of insurance exchange plans. Because out-of-network expenses do not count toward a patient's out-of-pocket maximum, cancer patients enrolled in some exchange plans could be responsible for thousands of dollars of medical expenses. The article also raises a larger issue: the lack of transparency by payers in these insurance marketplaces.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
President Obama, facing a new Republican push to dismantle his healthcare law, redoubled his efforts to sell his signature achievement Thursday at a White House event with Americans who have benefited from the law. The president pledged to “blow through” GOP attacks on the law and continue working to implement it. Obama touted recent news from New York, California, Oregon and other states that have reported that insurance companies will...
NATIONAL
September 27, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Orange County, the senior California Republican in Congress, was in office during the 1995-96 government shutdowns. He acknowledges that it hurt the GOP, but he sees the risk of another shutdown as "part of the game" of negotiating changes to the healthcare law he hates. "There's never any progress without risk," he told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a freshman Democrat from the San Francisco Bay Area, was 15 when the federal government last shut down.
NATIONAL
June 8, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
If the Obama administration had any doubt that its signature healthcare law faces a severe challenge in court, it was erased soon after Chief Judge Joel Dubina opened the proceedings here. "I can't find any case like this," Dubina said. "If we uphold this, are there any limits" on the power of the federal government? Judge Stanley Marcus chimed in: "I can't find any case" in the past, he said, where the courts upheld "telling a private person they are compelled to purchase a product in the open market....
NEWS
June 28, 2012 | By David G. Savage
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's healthcare law Thursday, ruling the government may impose tax penalties on persons who do not have health insurance. The court's long-awaited ruling rejected a broad legal attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brought by Republican state officials and the National Federation of Independent Business.
NATIONAL
March 29, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Michael Robertson put the bag of chemicals in an inside pocket of his sport coat, the pump in the other. He snaked the tubes between the buttons of his shirt to the port in his chest. He adjusted his tie to cover them. Then he sat down in a cavernous room in the White House complex and pulled his chair close to the table, hiding the bulges. Robertson, an aide to President Obama, was meeting with top officials from federal agencies working to implement the Affordable Care Act. He was also in treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama teased Ellen DeGeneres about the selfie she took at the Oscars and confessed to leaving his socks and shoes lying around while the first lady is out of town, but before the end of his Thursday appearance on her talk show, he got DeGeneres to put in a plug for the Affordable Care Act. That's Obama's deal with popular media these days as the president enlists help to boost healthcare sign-up numbers before the March 31...
NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- As the deadline approaches for enrolling in Obamacare health coverage this year, younger Americans have warmed somewhat to the president's healthcare law, but Latinos remain closely split over it. Those findings from a large-scale Pew Research Center survey provide a glimpse at two groups that are major targets of the Obama administration's push to get people to sign up before the March 31 deadline. The administration had originally hoped to get about 7 million people to sign up for coverage in the first year but lowered its expectations after the disastrous rollout last fall of the HealthCare.gov website . Enrollments now appear to be on track to end up somewhat more than 6 million.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Nearly half of callers to California's health insurance exchange in February and March couldn't get through and abandoned their call, state figures show. Those service woes could worsen as more people try to beat the March 31 deadline to get Obamacare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Also Thursday, the Covered California exchange reported progress on another front: low enrollment among the state's large Latino population. At its monthly board meeting, the exchange said 32% of health plan enrollees in the first two weeks of March described themselves as Latino.
NEWS
March 12, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- The House passed the first of a pair of bills aimed at reining in what Republicans call a pattern of overreach by the executive branch under President Obama . Democrats decried the base-pleasing measure as a political stunt. Immigration reform advocates said it threatens the administration's deferred action deportation program. The legislation is a response to what Republicans say has been an "imperial presidency" under Obama -- a term that one conservative lawmaker noted also fit the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal.
OPINION
March 9, 2014 | By Jonathan Turley
Recently, a bizarre scene unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives that would have shocked the framers of the Constitution. In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he had decided to go it alone in areas where Congress refused to act to his satisfaction. In a system of shared powers, one would expect an outcry or at least stony silence when a president promised to circumvent the legislative branch. Instead, many senators and representatives erupted in rapturous applause; they seemed delighted at the notion of a president assuming unprecedented and unchecked powers at their expense.
NEWS
June 28, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- House Republican leaders set a vote in two weeks to repeal the nation's healthcare law -- a largely symbolic act that is not be expected to go anywhere in the Democratic-led Senate. House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the vote will be July 11. "The House will once again vote to repeal ObamaCare," the leader said in a tweet. House Republicans already voted to get rid of the law in one of their first acts after taking the majority in 2011. They had promised another vote after the Supreme Court decision.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Noam Levey
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced Wednesday that some Americans with health insurance policies that don't meet consumer standards set by the Affordable Care Act will be allowed to keep their plans into 2017, three years later than originally envisioned. Allowing some consumers to keep old insurance plans past the end of the President Obama's term in office marks the latest effort by the administration to get out from under one of the most damaging controversies shadowing the launch of the healthcare law. Senior administration officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said they believe that about 1.5 million consumers nationwide currently are covered under such plans, about 500,000 of which were purchased by individuals and the rest by small businesses.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
A Republican state lawmaker sued California's health insurance exchange, saying it overstepped its authority by refusing to allow more than 900,000 people to keep their existing health policies. In his suit, state Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin) said the Covered California exchange violated federal and state laws by requiring participating health plans to cancel policies by Dec. 31 that didn't comply with new requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The issue of cancellations for about 900,000 individual policyholders in California and several million nationwide has sparked widespread criticism of President Obama's healthcare law. Many consumers got new, improved coverage at lower rates as a result of federal premium subsidies.
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