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Obamacare

BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Soumya Karlamangla
Facing a flood of interest, the Covered California exchange plans to prevent some consumers from finishing their Obamacare enrollment so others can start the sign-up process to meet Monday's deadline. Californians were waiting in line for hours Monday to get coverage and heavy consumer traffic was slowing down the state's exchange website at coveredca.com. Overall, health plan enrollment through Covered California surpassed more than 1.2 million by early Monday. Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said the state plans to log off some online applicants to make room for other consumers to use the website.
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BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Against all odds and expectations, enrollments in health plans qualified under the Affordable Care Act are surging Monday toward -- and maybe beyond -- the 7-million figure projected by the Congressional Budget Office before Oct. 1, when the open-enrollment period began. The deadline for starting enrollment applications for 2014 plans is midnight Monday. The surge is creating a big problem for the "train wreck" narrative of Republican opponents of the ACA, who have been holding out hope for Obamacare's utter failure.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After months of head counts for Obamacare, it is the medical bills that will start to matter now. Even before enrollment closes Monday, California has far exceeded its initial goals for signing up people under the Affordable Care Act. Although the sheer volume of 1.1 million policyholders is impressive for a brand new government program, the number of sicker patients is what's likely to draw the most attention. How sick they are and the size of their medical bills will be front and center in the weeks to come as insurers begin drawing up next year's insurance rates, which will become public this summer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
One long period of Obamacare hand-wringing in Los Angeles County will end Monday, as the window for residents to enroll in mandatory healthcare coverage comes to a close. But less than 24 hours later, county elected officials will be confronted with another politically sensitive facet of the nation's healthcare overhaul: how to manage roughly a million people, many of them poor or undocumented, who will remain uninsured either because they aren't eligible or failed to enroll. Unlike some other counties in California, which are sidestepping the issue and leaving the problem largely to nonprofit free clinics, Los Angeles has committed to providing residents without coverage some system of government-supported medical care.
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.
OPINION
March 29, 2014
Re "Taming the boardwalk," March 26 Iread about some of the "artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists" all coming together on the "circus-like boardwalk" of Venice, and I thought, "Strange but nice. " Then I read about our conservative-controlled Supreme Court and arguments about Hobby Lobby not wanting to provide contraceptives to women - many of whom are probably already taking them - and the thought crossed my mind: Just who is strange?
NATIONAL
March 29, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
Enrollments in the nation's healthcare program have nearly concluded, but for states whose insurance exchanges have been crippled by technical problems, a difficult phase is just beginning: potential legal battles and a race to overhaul their systems before federal grant money dries up. Officials in Oregon, Massachusetts and Maryland are exploring legal options as they sever contracts with those who created their sites. All three states are considering a move to the federal exchange, which had its own grievous start-up problems but is now largely stable, or licensing the technology of a more successful state such as Connecticut.
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 28, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Soumya Karlamangla
Strong consumer interest in Obamacare coverage ahead of Monday's enrollment deadline was leading to long waits and website trouble for some Californians. The Covered California exchange said sign-ups have been building throughout the week with about 80,000 people picking a health plan Monday through Thursday. An additional 150,000 households created an online account and started the shopping process in the last three days, officials said. That heavy volume was creating havoc, confusion and delays for many consumers, enrollment counselors and insurance agents trying to use the exchange's website.
NEWS
March 28, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - As Obamacare sign-ups hit the politically important threshold of 6 million this week, new polling has shown that the public has begun to warm a bit to the controversial law, butĀ opponents continue to care much more about it than supporters. For both sides in the intensely fought argument over the Affordable Care Act, the new data provideĀ encouragement mixed with caution. Supporters of the law can point to a recent Kaiser Foundation survey , which found that over the last two months, opinions about the law have begun to improve.
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