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July 9, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Agricultural subsidies are contributing to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and should be revised to help improve public health, Canadian researchers say. Agriculture policy “remains largely uninformed by public health discourse,” they write in an article published Tuesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Government farm subsidies have helped create an inexpensive food supply with the sorts of foods that lead to obesity, they said. That's a position about which there is a great deal of contention, with some arguing that inexpensive commodity prices do not do much to reduce retail prices; and that other countries with high subsidies do not have high obesity rates.
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial page
Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have mounted the most far-reaching legal challenge to the law since the (unsuccessful) attempt to have its insurance mandate declared unconstitutional. At issue is whether the subsidies the law provides to help lower-income adults buy policies will be available in the 34 states with federally launched insurance exchanges, rather than just the state-operated ones. The Internal Revenue Service ruled that any American who meets the income limits can qualify for a subsidy; the plaintiffs say subsidies should be available only in the 16 states that set up their own exchanges.
March 9, 2009 | Francesca Lunzer Kritz
After last week's column on the insurance subsidy included in President Obama's stimulus package, we received quite a lot of mail asking more questions. That's understandable. The details are complicated. In a nutshell, some laid-off employees can get a 65% subsidy, for up to nine months, to help defray the cost of continuing their healthcare coverage through a program known as COBRA. The subsidy only applies to people who lost, or will lose, their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009.
March 25, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Proposed legislation aimed at providing more tax credits to attract so-called runaway movie and television productions back to the industry's birthplace in California won initial approval from a legislative committee Tuesday. The proposal would renew and increase a state tax credit - amounting to as much as $400 million a year - to better compete with generous tax subsidies available in more than 40 states, including New York, Louisiana, New York and Michigan, as well as studios in Canada and Britain.
November 8, 2009 | Kim Geiger
In a last-minute compromise seeking to secure a majority vote for a healthcare overhaul, House Democratic leaders agreed Saturday to essentially exclude abortion coverage from their bill except for insurance policies paid exclusively with private money. The amendment, offered just prior to the vote on the healthcare bill, passed 240 to 194. The compromise won immediate support from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which urged Catholics to "lend their full-throated support" to the Democrats' healthcare bill.
October 21, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The launch of Covered California, the state's marketplace for health insurance, has prompted a new line of argument over the 2010 healthcare law among readers of The Times. Some supporters of the law say they've found lower prices for insurance through the new state exchanges; others (some of whom say their premiums are skyrocketing) insist that's impossible. It's not, and I'll explain in a minute. But first, here's an excerpt from the comments on Sunday's editorial about the extremely troubled rollout of the federally run exchanges (edited to correct the occasional typo)
April 9, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Some Republicans still cling to the hope that they'll be able to repeal Obamacare someday, but a report released Wednesday by Families USA shows why it may be even harder for them to do so after Jan. 1. The report estimates that nearly 3 million Californians could be eligible for generous insurance subsidies under the 2010 healthcare reform law, starting next year. Anyone with an income between one and four times the federal poverty line -- in other words, between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four -- could receive a tax credit that reduces monthly premiums dramatically.
July 17, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Congressional Republicans are so obsessed with the idea of repealing any or all of "Obamacare," they don't seem to care about the potential harm that might inflict on their constituents. The latest example comes from Tennessee Republican Reps. Phil Roe and Scott DesJarlais (both of them physicians), who introduced a resolution aimed at denying lower-income Americans in more than two dozen states, including their own, the subsidies the bill provides for health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires virtually all adult Americans to obtain coverage, starting in 2014.
April 26, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
The White House is seizing on House Speaker John Boehner's surprising comments that lawmakers ought to "take a look at" eliminating some subsidies for oil and gas companies. In a letter fired off to congressional leaders on Tuesday, Obama said he was "heartened" by Boehner's remarks, which came in an ABC News interview and seemed to be a concession to Democrats who have long sought to abandon the subsidies. "Our political system has for too long avoided and ignored this important step, and I hope we can get together in a bipartisan manner to get this done," the president wrote in a letter circulated to the media.
March 23, 2010 | By Meris Lutz
Conservative rivals of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood firm Monday in their fight to prevent him from rapidly cutting government subsidies for basic staples and taking control of the billions in savings. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said lawmakers would not revise their decision to cut subsidies by $20 billion, half of what Ahmadinejad demanded. At issue is not just who controls the money saved but also whose supporters gain or lose a slice of government subsidies.
February 26, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
The average premium paid for Obamacare coverage on a leading insurance website has dropped by nearly $100 a month since October as more young people sign up, a new industry report shows. The average age of people buying coverage at online broker dropped from 44 mid-October to 36 in late February, according to the company. The average premium for 2014 health plans sold through EHealth tumbled from $370 a month to $273 over that period, which the company said reflects a higher proportion of younger applicants.
February 4, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - In a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a nearly $1-trillion farm bill, a hard-fought compromise that sets policy over agricultural subsidies, nutrition programs and the food stamp safety net for the next five years. The Senate approved the measure, 68-32, as a cross-section of farm state senators from both parties fought opposition from budget hawks and some liberals and sent the bill to the White House for President Obama's signature.
January 15, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - A federal judge Wednesday emphatically rejected a last-ditch challenge to President Obama's healthcare law, ruling that the Affordable Care Act allows low-income Americans to get government subsidies to buy health coverage no matter what state they live in. Critics of the law argued that the statute, passed by Congress in 2010, limited these subsidies to consumers in states that operate their own insurance marketplaces. Only 14 states do that; the remaining 36 rely on the federal government to run their marketplaces, or exchanges.
December 26, 2013 | By David Wharton
When you're spending a reported $51 billion to host the most costly Olympics ever, what's another $50 million added to the pile? With six weeks to go before competition begins at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, the Russian Cabinet has allocated $50 million in extra subsidies for organizers. That brings the total amount of subsidies to $420 million, according to the RIA Novosti news service . Lawmakers gave no reason for approving the 1.6 billion rubles, but said the money will go toward the cost of hosting the Games, as opposed to the far greater amount that is being spent on infrastructure as organizers scramble to finish constructing venues, accommodations, roads and railways.
December 24, 2013 | By Andrea Chang
It's a perk wireless customers have come to expect: Sign up for a two-year service contract, and get a new smartphone at a deeply discounted price or sometimes even free. But the reign of cellphone subsidies could be ending as customers demand more flexible mobile plans, forcing wireless carriers to look for alternatives to the long-standing practice. AT&T Inc. hinted this month that it was considering doing away with phone subsidies. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said subsidizing a smartphone every two years was an expensive undertaking that he didn't think the company could afford.
October 29, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Developments in the rollout of Obamacare are coming with dizzying speed, though not as fast as the pileup of fiction and misunderstanding created by politicians, pundits and the news media. So here's a list of the latest themes you're hearing on America's healthcare reform, and what they mean. 1. Obama "knew" that people would lose their health insurance. This story, chiefly promoted by NBC News , reflects the Washington media's eternal search for scandal, abetted by every politician's instinct to reduce even the most complicated ideas to a sound byte.
October 13, 2006
Re "Airbusted," editorial, Oct. 12 Airbus is subsidized to build high-technology aircraft, which provides manufacturing and engineering jobs for Europeans. We subsidize tobacco farmers. Don't complain too much about government subsidies; if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have much aerospace work in California. Don't kid yourself: Government contracts are subsidies by a different name. PETE ALBERINI La Mirada
May 12, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois proposed cutting government subsidies to private insurance companies under Medicare by $150 billion over the next decade. Campaigning in Des Moines, Obama said the money could be used to strengthen the Medicare program overall, including a reduction in the prices seniors pay for prescription drug prices. "We don't do that because we are not setting the agenda in Washington -- insurance companies and drug companies are.
October 22, 2013 | By Jon Healey
A federal judge on Tuesday denied the federal government's motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a key provision in the 2010 healthcare law, but the court didn't stop the provision from going into effect either. At issue is whether health insurance subsidies for low- and moderate-income Americans will be available in 34 states where the federal government is operating the new marketplace (or "exchange") for individual policies. Four residents and three business owners from five of those states sued to stop the subsidies, arguing that the 2010 law makes them available only in states that set up their own exchanges.
October 22, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Another week, another attack on the 2010 healthcare law. Days after opponents of Obamacare failed to derail it by shutting down the government, a federal court in Washington took up a lawsuit aimed at canceling the premium subsidies the law provides for many low- and moderate-income Americans. It's the first of two such challenges to reach the federal courts this month, and it illustrates - again - how some of the law's critics are trying to repeal it by inflicting the maximum possible damage on the public.
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