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Healthcare Law

NEWS
February 4, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by roughly 13 million this year and 25 million once the law is fully phased in, but will also result in the equivalent of 2-million people reducing their work hours because of the availability of insurance subsidies, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. The latest projections from the nonpartisan budget analysts immediately produced talking points for both sides in the deeply polarized debate over the Affordable Care Act. Republicans seized on the projected reduction in work hours, roughly a 1% to 2% decline, to boost their claim that Obamacare will harm the economy.
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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
January 31, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Ever since the housing market collapse, nothing stokes the flames of public outrage quite like the phrase "government bailout. " It's become the condemnation of choice for both parties when faced with a policy they don't like. Lately, conservatives have been arguing that an obscure provision of the 2010 healthcare law would provide a taxpayer bailout to insurance companies that don't charge high enough premiums. Funny, but they didn't have a problem with that concept when it was used to help launch Medicare's prescription drug program under (Republican)
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
WASHINGTON--President Obama's pitch to women in his State of the Union address Tuesday night was, without question, an opening shot in the 2014 contests. At a time when Republicans have struggled to build support among women, Obama's pledge to do away with the workplace policies of the “Mad Men” era caught the attention of that key voter bloc and was a step toward shifting conversation away from his unpopular healthcare law. The Democratic women of the U.S. Senate picked up that ball on Capitol Hill Thursday, echoing the president's call to increase the minimum wage by arguing that it “disproportionately affects women” who make up two-thirds of the minimum-wage earners in the country.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
WASHINGTON - In his State of the Union address, President Obama will touch on his healthcare law but keep the focus instead on his agenda to tackle income inequality : a push to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment benefits and boost access to pre-kindergarten education. That was not the case across town Tuesday at the Republican National Committee, where the pre-buttal to the speech was all Obamacare, all the time. Though the administration has made  progress by enrolling some 3 million people through the marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, Republicans show no signs of backing off their opposition as they hammer Democratic lawmakers over the problems created by the law. At RNC headquarters, Republican leaders handed the microphone to 10 constituents from eight states who were asked to share the problems they have faced - from premium increases to canceled plans - as a result of the healthcare law. LIVE BLOG: State of the Union 2014 Not surprisingly, a number of the guests were from states where Democrats are facing tough reelection contests, and even from some blue states where Republicans suddenly see opportunities for upsets.
NATIONAL
January 28, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Hoping to leave a bruising year in the rearview mirror, President Obama vowed Tuesday to work with Congress when possible but around it when necessary to push ahead with a series of mostly modest steps aimed at helping low- and middle-income families share in the economic recovery. In his State of the Union address, Obama shook off his earlier recession-era rhetoric to envision an increasingly robust economy. He warned Congress not to impede that progress, and swore he would work to shrink the gap between rich and poor left by the years of job losses and depressed wages.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Economists working for U.S. businesses are more optimistic about growth this year and see little effect from the start of healthcare reform or the reduction in a key Federal Reserve stimulus program, according to survey results released Monday. More than 40% of respondents in the January survey by the National Assn. for Business Economics said they expected their firms to raise prices in the first three months of the year, the largest percentage since 2012. But despite the brighter outlook, the pace of hiring is not expected to increase, the survey said.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
California keeps signing up people for Obamacare policies at a rapid clip, but the state's struggle to reach uninsured Latinos is drawing more criticism. The Covered California exchange said Tuesday that more than 625,000 people have enrolled statewide in health plans through Jan. 15 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Even though enrollment opened in October, more than 500,000 of those enrollees signed up in just the last six weeks. That surge in volume has often overwhelmed the state exchange and many of its participating health plans.
OPINION
January 19, 2014 | By Eric J. Segall
Rarely in American history has the Supreme Court been called on to decide so many important social, legal and political issues in such a relatively brief period of time. This term, the court will hand down decisions on affirmative action, campaign finance reform, free speech and the separation of church and state. At the same time, the lower courts are struggling with new and aggressive abortion laws, same-sex marriage restrictions at the state level and yet more church/state issues that could have important consequences for President Obama's Affordable Care Act, even as more constitutional challenges to that legislation are headed toward the high court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
When Alva Alvarez gets sick, she buys over-the-counter medicine from the grocery and takes as much as she can until she feels better. The mother of five resorts to this because she can't afford a visit to the doctor to figure out what's ailing her. Although scenarios like this are supposed to disappear as millions of Americans become newly insured under the national healthcare law, Alvarez's situation isn't likely to improve and could get worse....
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