Easier time in health marketplace is promised
WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials said Wednesday that consumers would have a much easier time buying health insurance in the federal marketplace this fall, and although they promised that HealthCare.gov would not crash, they provided few operational details to back up their confidence in the revamped website.
Panel recommends ditching plagued Oregon health exchange
WASHINGTON — With encouragement from the Obama administration, an Oregon panel recommended Thursday that the state scrap the website for its beleaguered health insurance exchange and use the federal marketplace instead.
One in five insured under new health law did not pay on time
WASHINGTON — One in 5 people who signed up for health insurance under the new health care law failed to pay their premiums on time and therefore did not receive coverage in January, insurance companies and industry experts say.
Problems with federal health portal stymie Medicaid
WASHINGTON — Problems with the federal health insurance website have prevented tens of thousands of low-income people from signing up for Medicaid even though they are eligible, federal and state officials say, undermining one of the chief goals of the 2010 health care law.
Rules to require equal coverage for mental illnesses
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment.
Contrite White House spurns health law’s critics
BOSTON — The White House on Wednesday blended expressions of contrition for the troubled rollout of its health care law with an aggressive rejection of Republican criticism of it, as the administration sought a political strategy to blunt the fallout from weeks of technical failures and negative coverage.
Democratic senators voice health care law concerns
WASHINGTON — Democratic senators, at a caucus meeting with White House officials, expressed concerns Thursday about how the Obama administration was carrying out the health care law they adopted three years ago.
Health law provision for small business is delayed
WASHINGTON — Unable to meet tight deadlines in the new health care law, the Obama administration is delaying parts of a program intended to provide affordable health insurance to small businesses and their employees — a major selling point for the health care legislation.
Catholic bishops reject contraception compromise
WASHINGTON — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops rejected the latest White House proposal on health insurance coverage of contraceptives on Thursday, saying it did not provide enough safeguards for religious hospitals, colleges
Health insurance marketplace approved in six states
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to health insurance marketplaces being set up by six states led by Democratic governors eager to carry out President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
Politics in play over safety net in deficit talks
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in Congress were supposed to make it easier for the party to strike a deal with Republicans to resolve the year-end fiscal crisis by providing new leverage. But they could also make it harder as empowered Democrats, including some elected on liberal platforms, resist significant changes in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
US advises states to expand Medicaid or risk losing funds
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is putting pressure on states to expand Medicaid, telling them they may lose federal money if they delay.
Publicity push as health law’s court date nears
WASHINGTON — Republicans on Capitol Hill have put together a highly coordinated two-week renewed assault on the health care law, seizing on the legislation’s second anniversary and the next week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court concerning its constitutionality.
CBO says economy is projected to remain sluggish
WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the economy would remain sluggish, with high unemployment, and that the federal budget deficit would exceed $1 trillion in 2012 for the fourth consecutive year.
Republican bill would benefit doctor-owned hospitals
WASHINGTON — The House Republican bill to hold down payroll taxes and extend unemployment benefits, coming up for a vote Tuesday, offers a special dispensation to doctors who invest in hospitals.
Congress turns to spending bills, deficit panel negotiates
WASHINGTON — As members of the congressional deficit reduction panel retreated to conference rooms Monday to continue negotiations, House Republicans and Senate Democrats were putting their final touches on a series of spending bills that they hope will avert another showdown over short-term financing of the government.
Obama’s jobs bill, now piecemeal, nears Senate fight
WASHINGTON — For the second time in 10 days, the Senate moved Thursday toward a showdown over Democratic efforts to take up a jobs bill championed by President Barack Obama.
House of Representatives approves stopgap spending bill
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday gave quick approval to a stopgap spending bill that will finance the government for the first four days of October, until lawmakers can return and vote on a more ambitious seven-week spending bill.
Obama: $320 billion cuts in Medicare, Medicaid
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s budget director said Monday that the president’s new deficit reduction plan would impose “a lot of pain,” and that is clearly true of White House proposals to cut $320 billion from projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid in the coming decade.
Drug makers win support by Obama admin. in price dispute
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, following a lengthy internal debate, has unexpectedly come down on the side of pharmaceutical companies that are accused of overcharging public hospitals and clinics that care for large numbers of poor people.
Short of repeal, Republicans will chip away at health care
WASHINGTON — Republicans are serious. Hopeful of picking up substantial numbers of seats in the congressional elections, they are developing plans to try to repeal or roll back President Barack Obama’s new health care law.
On health care bill, a roadmap by the Grand Old Party
WASHINGTON—When Republicans take President Barack Obama up on his invitation to hash out their differences over health care this month, they will carry with them a fairly well-developed set of ideas intended to make health insurance more widely available and affordable, by emphasizing tax incentives and state innovations, with no new federal mandates and only a modest expansion of the federal safety net.
Senate Bill Covers Fewer Than House Version, Costs Less
The Senate version of health reform legislation would cover 5 million fewer people than a companion bill passed by the House, but it would cost less, in part because Senate Democratic leaders said they believed they had to win support from fiscally conservative members of their party.
Democrats Say House Bill Cuts Premiums for Many
As the House moved toward climactic votes on legislation to remake the health care system, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday that middle-income families might be required to pay 15 percent to 18 percent of their income on insurance premiums and co-payments under the proposal.
Senate Leader Vows to Pursue Public Option
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, sided with his party’s liberals on Monday and announced that he would include a government-run insurance plan in health care legislation that he plans to take to the Senate floor within a few weeks.
Congress Splits on Taxing High-Cost Health Plans
A proposed tax on high-cost, or “Cadillac,” health insurance plans has touched off a fierce clash between the Senate and the House as they wrestle over how to pay for legislation that would provide health benefits to millions of uninsured Americans.
At Obama Health Care Meeting, Goals Not Shared
President Barack Obama engineered a political coup on Monday by bringing leaders of the health care industry to the White House to build momentum for his ambitious health care agenda.
President Barack Obama vowed Thursday to end a decades-long stalemate on overhauling the health care system, and he indicated for the first time that he was open to compromise on details of the proposal he put forth in the campaign.
Daschle Apologizes Over Taxes as Allies Give Support
Tom Daschle offered a public apology on Monday evening for his failure to pay income taxes on use of a luxury car and driver, and Senate Democrats rallied behind him, saying they intended to win his confirmation as secretary of health and human services.
Bush Warns of Vulnerability In Transition to Obama
President Bush, warning that terrorists “would like nothing more than to exploit this period of change,” said Thursday that he intends to talk to President-elect Barack Obama on Monday about issues that will face his administration, including the turmoil in the financial markets and the war in Iraq.
House GOP Leaders Wrangle Balky Caucus on Bailout
House Republican leaders struggled Thursday to persuade some of their members to reverse course and support the $700 billion economic bailout package, but both parties said that they were guardedly optimistic about winning final passage of the measure in a vote expected early Friday afternoon.
Politics and Fiscal Agendas Mix in Voting on Capitol Hill
The House passed a $3 trillion Democratic spending plan on Thursday as Congress engaged in a day of budget theater that had as much to do with the political bottom line as federal fiscal policy.
Moves to Insure More Children Face Possible Federal Obstacles
In the absence of federal action, governors and state legislators around the country are transforming the nation’s health care system, putting affordable health insurance within reach of millions of Americans in hopes of reversing the steady rise in the number of uninsured, now close to 47 million.
Vote on New Version of Vetoed Child Health Care Bill Planned
Sensing a political advantage, Democrats rushed Wednesday to move a health care bill for children back to the House floor after making minor changes to win over more Republicans.
Senate Signals Support For Provisions Of a Comprehensive Immigration Bill
The Senate signaled support for major provisions of a comprehensive immigration bill on Wednesday by rejecting many proposed amendments, including one that would have made it much harder for many illegal immigrants to achieve legal status.
Back Taxes Unchecked By Gov’t As Doctors Accumulate Wealth
Thousands of doctors and other health professionals who participate in Medicare are delinquent in paying federal income and payroll taxes, owing more than $1.3 billion, but they continue to receive Medicare payments because the government does little to check their background, federal investigators said Monday.