June 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama, in his drive for a national healthcare overhaul, strove to provide a new guarantee that all Americans, no matter where they live, would have basic protection against sickness and disease, ending decades of variation among states. The Supreme Court did not dismantle that guarantee Thursday. But while upholding the Affordable Care Act, the court opened the door to something the president and other champions of the law sought to avoid - widening disparities between red and blue states in who gets healthcare.
June 28, 2012 |
CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday called the healthcare decision “historic,” noting that presidents from both parties for decades before Obama tried and failed to expand medical coverage. As Obama's chief of staff at the beginning of the term, Emanuel was a key player in passing the law through Congress, where he previously served. It's a good thing the president ignored his warnings about the political peril of wading into health care, Emanuel told reporters.
May 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Even as Americans debate whether to scrap President Obama's healthcare law and its promise of guaranteed health coverage, many far less affluent nations are moving in the opposite direction - to provide medical insurance to all citizens. China, after years of underfunding healthcare, is on track to complete a three-year, $124-billion initiative projected to cover more than 90% of the nation's residents. Mexico, which a decade ago covered less than half its population, just completed an eight-year drive for universal coverage that has dramatically expanded Mexicans' access to life-saving treatments for diseases such as leukemia and breast cancer.
March 28, 2012 |
Something close to two out of three bankruptcies in this country are not on account of Vegas gambling trips that got out of hand, or wild living in high style. They're because of medical bills. That means that Mary Brown, who owed about $4,500 in medical bills out of the $55,000 debt she and her husband held, could be the poster woman for the healthcare overhaul law now being argued before the Supreme Court. Except that she was already the poster woman for the other side, the opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Brown and her husband were running an auto repair shop in Florida when she volunteered to be a plaintiff against the law being challenged by the National Federation of Independent Business.
March 8, 2012 |
Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue. Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.
December 16, 2011 |
Seeking to defuse a potential showdown over a key part of the new healthcare law, the Obama administration moved Friday to let states, rather than the federal government, define which medical benefits insurance companies will have to offer consumers starting in 2014. That allows state leaders to retain more control of health insurance even as the law extends a new federal guarantee that all Americans can get coverage, even if they are sick. "This is significantly more state-flexible and friendly than many would have expected," said Alan Weil, head of the National Academy for State Heath Policy.
November 30, 2011 |
Nearly 300 protesters were arrested early Wednesday morning as the Los Angeles Police Department cleared the 2½-month-old tent city surrounding City Hall. Clearly, the protesters wanted to continue to Occupy L.A. But leaving the encampment will probably turn out to be good for their health, experts say. As these activists and their compatriots around the country have weathered heat, rain and snow as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, germs have had a prime opportunity to occupy their immune systems.
November 15, 2011 |
For the second time in eight months, California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross is being sued over allegations that it has breached contracts with individual policyholders for hiking annual insurance deductibles in the middle of the year. The latest lawsuit, filed Monday by the group Consumer Watchdog, says that California's largest for-profit health insurance company used "bait and switch" tactics to raise deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for some customers May 1. Anthem, the consumer group contends, violated state law by misrepresenting the cost of its coverage for more than 100,000 customers.
November 3, 2011 |
The trade group for California's hospitals has sued state and federal officials to block a 10% cut in government reimbursements for some healthcare providers who treat low-income patients. The California Hospital Assn. said in its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, that cuts to the Medi-Cal insurance program will threaten the ability of many hospitals to continue operating skilled nursing facilities. As a result patients, particularly those in rural communities and other medically underserved areas, are likely to face delays or gaps in healthcare services, the lawsuit contends.
September 8, 2011 |
A federal appeals court in Virginia rejected two challenges to President Obama's healthcare law, saying the legal dispute over whether the government can require Americans to buy medical insurance should be put off for three years until the first taxpayers are hit with a penalty. The decision injects a new element into a brewing election-year court showdown over Obama's signature accomplishment. Though the Supreme Court is poised to take up the issue early next year, the Virginia-based court decided that federal law forbids judges from ruling on tax challenges until a tax penalty has been levied.