March 28, 2012 |
The Supreme Court's hearings on the 2010 healthcare reform law wrapped up Wednesday with the issue of whether the law's vast expansion of the Medicaid program coerced states to do something Congress couldn't order them directly to do. Former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who's representing officials from the 26 states challenging the law, had barely uttered one sentence Wednesday afternoon when Justice Elena Kagan asked what strikes me as...
June 22, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Should Congress use scarce gas tax funds to try to coax states into cracking down on distracted driving? That's the question before the House, which will vote next week on whether to seek to keep $78 million in "legislative candy" out of a new transportation bill. Under the Senate transportation bill, states would receive additional funds if they outlaw texting from behind the wheel, prohibit drivers under age 18 from using cellphones of any kind while driving and take other actions to combat distracted driving.
March 12, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google has agreed to pay a $7-million fine to settle a probe by 38 states and the District of Columbia that it collected personal data from unsecured wireless networks while operating its Street View fleet. The Connecticut attorney general's office, which led an eight-state committee that investigated the data collection, made the announcement Tuesday. Word leaked Friday that Google had reached a settlement with the states . As part of the agreement, Google must educate employees about the privacy of consumer data and sponsor a public service campaign to teach people how to secure their wireless networks.
April 14, 2012 |
The fight against the death penalty is gaining momentum, opponents of the practice say, with Connecticut's decision this month to abolish capital punishment making it the fifth state in five years to so do. "For this to be happening in succession, and coupled with the decline in death penalty convictions, it creates a momentum that other states will at least consider to be a part of," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the independent Death...
January 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has cleared what could be the final group of states to open their own health insurance exchanges this fall, advancing a key goal of the 2010 healthcare law to provide Americans with new options to shop for coverage. The conditional approvals announced for California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah mean 17 states and the District of Columbia are on track to operate their own insurance exchanges this year. Exchanges in the remaining states will be run by the federal government or by state-federal partnerships.
April 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans do not have a right to obtain public records from states other than their own, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, dealing a setback to businesses and researchers who gather data across the nation. The unanimous decision upheld laws in Virginia and a handful of other states that release some public records only to their own citizens. "This is disappointing. We have a national information economy now, and all sorts of activities depend on data from all 50 states," said Washington attorney Deepak Gupta, who represented two men who had challenged the "citizens only" provision of Virginia's public records law. Despite the ruling, Gupta said the trend has been for states to open their public records on an equal basis.
February 1, 2012 |
President Obama's job approval rating declined in all but three states in 2011, with some of the steepest declines coming in likely battlegrounds he must win this fall to claim a second term. New state-by-state data released by Gallup on Tuesday (chart below) shows that a majority of respondents approved of the president's performance in only 10 states plus the District of Columbia, down from 13 a year earlier. Meanwhile the number of states where his approval rating was below 40% doubled in 2011, from 10 to 20. That list now includes New Hampshire, where his approval rating was 38.7% -- the lowest score in any of the states he carried in 2008.
April 11, 2012 |
The day Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination saw President Obama in Florida. He'll be back in the Sunshine State on Friday. Floridians can expect to see a lot of the president, and of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, as well as a deluge of television advertising over the next seven months. Florida is one of a handful of states - maybe as few as four or five - that likely will decide the election. Right now, Obama appears to have at least narrow leads in most of those states, judging by the most recent polls - two last month in Florida had him up by between three and seven points, for example.
March 29, 2014 |
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.
September 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Colorado residents shopping for health insurance next year will be able to compare health plans using a star system that ranks insurance companies on quality. In Oregon and Maryland, consumers will save as much as 30% on some plans after state regulators forced insurers to lower 2014 premiums. Californians will get extra help selecting a health plan next year from a small army of community workers paid in part by foundations and the state. As President Obama's healthcare law rolls out next month, even supporters acknowledge there will be problems.