December 8, 2011 |
Mitt Romney isn't the only candidate with a healthcare problem in the GOP primary. One-time front-runner Rick Perry, in part of a furious bid to make up ground before the Iowa caucuses, is linking Newt Gingrich to Romney and President Obama in a new television ad. "We don't want government-mandated healthcare. Yet Newt Gingrich supports it. And Mitt Romney? He put it into law in Massachusetts," the narrator says. Perry himself then says he "won't let the big government liberals ruin this country," and promises to repeal Obama's healthcare law. The Texas governor's campaign is looking to find an opening for the candidate in what has become a two-man race in each of the early states.
October 2, 2013 |
Good news, President Obama: Americans support the Affordable Care Act, as Jimmy Kimmel showed Tuesday night. The bad news: They hate Obamacare. Of course, we all know that "Obamacare" is the pejorative shorthand for the Affordable Care Act, Obama's 2010 healthcare reform law being held ransom by House Republicans who cite the American people's dislike of the legislation as their reason for bringing much of the federal government to a halt. Correction: As Kimmel showed , some of us know.
May 31, 2013 |
The central provisions of the Affordable Care Act require younger and healthier Americans to buy insurance policies that will, in essence, subsidize the healthcare of older and sicker Americans. But one of Obamacare's hidden taxes - a new limit on contributions to health flexible spending accounts, or FSAs - will hit older and chronically ill individuals hardest. Starting this year, the healthcare law imposes a $2,500 annual cap on an individual's contribution to an FSA that is part of an employer's "cafeteria" benefits plan.
November 21, 2013 |
The Rubik's Cube that is healthcare reform might have become even more puzzling for some people Thursday after the operator of California's online insurance exchange rejected President Obama's call for extending the life of canceled policies. Covered California said it'll stick with its Dec. 31 deadline. All plans that don't comply with the requirements of Obamacare must go adios by that day. Unless, that is, they've been grandfathered in. Color June Maguire confused. The 88-year-old Mission Viejo resident was among numerous people who have contacted me in recent days to ask what's what with the Affordable Care Act and what's this grandfathering thing all about anyhow?
September 20, 2013 |
Republicans in Congress took their first vote Friday in a gamble that almost no one expects to end up going their way. The bet is that, to avoid a government shutdown, Democrats and President Obama would agree to gut funding for his signature domestic program, the nation's healthcare law. Even Republicans in the Senate have acknowledged that is not going to happen. But the measure passed anyway , largely because Obama's plan has become, for a hugely influential piece of the Republican Party, about something far bigger than healthcare.
October 1, 2013 |
Government agencies have shut down because Congress has failed to pass the necessary money bills, known as appropriations, needed to keep them open. What's the impact? Q: Will mail delivery and post offices keep operating as usual? A: Yes. The Postal Service is a quasi-independent entity and does not depend on annual appropriations, so its business will continue as usual. Q: How about Social Security, Medicare and Medi-Cal? A: Those programs will also continue, with checks being sent out as normal.
September 8, 2013 |
Last month, Americans took pride in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Unfortunately, we are also revisiting a far darker episode in our history, a civil rights-era conflict that tells us much about the hurdles facing President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the most ambitious piece of social legislation enacted in almost half a century. That episode was the "massive resistance," a policy pushed by a phalanx of Southern white politicians, journalists and local worthies who organized in the 1950s and early '60s when the courts, the federal government and the civil rights movement pressed for desegregation of public schools and the end of Jim Crow racism in American life.
October 27, 2013 |
One of these weeks, now that the Obama administration has recruited a SWAT team of computer whizzes, Healthcare.gov will recover from its shambolic debut and turn into, well, just another website. After all, it's only a website, and websites can be fixed. But that's when a far more interesting chapter in the life of Obamacare will begin. We're about to witness a massive experiment in federalism to see whether the Affordable Care Act can succeed in two very different kinds of states: those where governments are actively working to help the law succeed, and those where they're working to make it fail.
March 12, 2013 |
If it is done right, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) may well promise uninsured Americans a lot more than cheap, reliable medical care. It can also open the door to the democratic empowerment of millions of poor people, who are often alienated from much of the nation's civic life, by strengthening the organizations that give them a voice. This year more than 30 million uninsured Americans are to begin signing up for Obamacare, but the vast majority of those eligible for either the expanded Medicaid program, or for subsidized private health insurance through state health exchanges, have no idea how to enroll.