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December 11, 2013

Latest Healthcare.gov stats look better, still not great

  • June Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters that the Obama Administration was looking to have at least 7 million consumers enrolled in new health insurance plans by the end of March 2014.
  • December The White House has admitted that getting 7 million people enrolled by March 2014 is basically impossible, revealing that only 365,000 applications have been filed via Healthcare.gov during the site’s first two months of operation. That’s still not even 50 percent of the 800,000 people that the Obama Administration was hoping to have enrolled by the end of October. source
15:44 // 9 months ago
December 4, 2013

Healthcare.gov is improving but not quite there yet

  • 26K people successfully enrolled in new health insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov during the month of October; a number far below the 800,000 that the Obama Administration was expecting to see during the site’s first month online.
  • 29K successfully enrolled on Sunday and Monday of this week, which is good, but still not going to cut it if 45 million uninsured Americans (or even a significant percentage of them) are going to sign up by the March 31 deadline. At the current rate, it would still take several years for every uninsured American to apply for coverage. source
14:16 // 9 months ago
November 14, 2013
The Affordable Care Act, for this year, will not require insurance companies to upgrade their plans for individuals who have been in these existing plans. [Instead,] insurers can offer consumers the option to renew their 2013 health plans in 2014 without change, allowing these individuals to keep their plans.
An unidentified White House official • Confirming that the Obama Administration plans to offer an extension to those who’ve recently been notified that they would lose their existing health insurance as a result of certain provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Estimates have suggested that at least fifty percent of those with existing coverage will be forced to find new plans, but they’ll at least have an additional 52 weeks to find something to their liking. source
16:16 // 10 months ago
May 29, 2013
So, here’s a quandary. From day one, the GOP’s main argument against ObamaCare (or BaucusCare, as we like to call it) has been that the individual mandate, which requires people above a certain income threshold to purchase health insurance, is unconstitutional. But years later, as it debates immigration reform, Republicans are realizing that allowing uninsured immigrants to stay in the country could be a massive financial drain on the health care system. That confronts the party with an awkward choice: Either accepting that financial drain, or impose an individual mandate on undocumented immigrants. We’re very curious to see how this will play out; will Republicans end up voluntarily defanging their own strongest argument against the Affordable Care Act? source

So, here’s a quandary. From day one, the GOP’s main argument against ObamaCare (or BaucusCare, as we like to call it) has been that the individual mandate, which requires people above a certain income threshold to purchase health insurance, is unconstitutional. But years later, as it debates immigration reform, Republicans are realizing that allowing uninsured immigrants to stay in the country could be a massive financial drain on the health care system. That confronts the party with an awkward choice: Either accepting that financial drain, or impose an individual mandate on undocumented immigrants. We’re very curious to see how this will play out; will Republicans end up voluntarily defanging their own strongest argument against the Affordable Care Act? source

16:38 // 1 year ago
May 24, 2013
Jan Brewer, liberal hero? The Republican Governor of Arizona—traditionally no friend to the left—has pledged to veto every bill that lands on her desk until her fellow Republicans agree to implement the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare. Yesterday, she made good on the threat, vetoing five bills in quick succession and repeating demands that Republicans in the state house approve the expansion.  A local wing of the GOP is putting enormous pressure on Republican state legislators to oppose the expansion, which would provide coverage to an estimated 50,000 low-income Arizonans. (Photo credit: AP)  source

Jan Brewer, liberal hero? The Republican Governor of Arizona—traditionally no friend to the left—has pledged to veto every bill that lands on her desk until her fellow Republicans agree to implement the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare. Yesterday, she made good on the threat, vetoing five bills in quick succession and repeating demands that Republicans in the state house approve the expansion.  A local wing of the GOP is putting enormous pressure on Republican state legislators to oppose the expansion, which would provide coverage to an estimated 50,000 low-income Arizonans. (Photo credit: AP)  source

16:14 // 1 year ago
October 11, 2012

CDC: Thousands at risk of contracting meningitis

  • 14,000 people may have meningitis due to tainted steroid injections
  • 170 have already contracted it, up from 33 yesterday
  • 14 deaths have been reported thus far. Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for a criminal probe into the facility that produced the tainted steroid, speculating that it may have misled regulators. source
16:34 // 1 year ago
We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.
Mitt Romney today. Actually, about 26,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance, so Romney is flatly wrong (and, in our eyes, being a bit disrespectful to about 26,000 American families). He also said that "we don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack.’" source
13:53 // 1 year ago
March 1, 2012

Sen. Roy Blunt’s health care “conscience” amendment voted down

  • 51-48 Senate defeat for the Blunt amendment source

» Roy Blunt, blunted: The amendment authored by the Missouri senator was a response, initially, to a very public dispute between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration over contraception insurance. If passed into law, it would have stated that any employers could deny a certain type of health care service if that service violated their religious beliefs, or moral conscience. The latter provision is the key one – there isn’t a stipulation as to what constitutes a moral objection, which means employers would have a great deal of power over workers’ health care. One person who might benefit from this failure? Mitt Romney, who publicly flip-flopped on it yesterday. He’d likely be happy just to have it out of the news cycle.

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14:23 // 2 years ago
February 16, 2012

Obama’s health care plan benefited tens of millions in 2011

  • 54 million people benefited from the Affordable Care Act in 2011 source

» Approximately one-sixth of Americans received one or more additional preventive care services in 2011, as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a newly released report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Over 20 million adult women received an additional service, as well as 14 million children, and just under 20 million adult men. Of the 50 states, Wyoming had the fewest patients (102,000) receive a new service while California took the cake with more than 6 million patients, over 2 million more than 2nd place Texas, receiving at least one new preventive service last year.

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12:28 // 2 years ago
November 9, 2011

Dr. Always Low Prices? Wal-Mart wants to be your physician

Wal-Mart expanding into medical care: Beloved by some for their low, low prices and reviled by others for suspect workplace practices and their debilitating effect on local economies, Wal-Mart is moving a new direction that figures to stoke similar passions — the health care industry. Their thinking seems to be that with a huge surge in insured citizens on the horizon, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there will be a shortage of general practitioners and medical clinics to accommodate them. These in-store medical clinics would, according to NPR, be equipped to handle such critical things as HIV and diabetes management. source

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14:54 // 2 years ago