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Mar 5, 2014

U.S. House votes to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to delay for one year the tax penalty Americans will pay under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law if they decline to enroll in health coverage for this year.

The measure passed by a vote of 250-160, with 27 Democrats joining with 223 Republicans to back the legislation. But the bill is expected to go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate and would face a White House veto even if it succeeded.

Mar 5, 2014

White House readies health insurance renewal extension: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will allow consumers to extend health insurance plans that fail to comply with President Barack Obama’s healthcare law beyond 2014, according to three people familiar with the matter.

In a move that could help Democrats avoid a repeat of last autumn’s public outcry over canceled health policies, administration officials are expected to announce the change within the next few days, according to the sources.

Mar 4, 2014

Obama budget sets Medicare savings, hospitals seek reprieve

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s budget plan for 2015 would save $402 billion from the Medicare and Medicaid government healthcare programs for the elderly and poor over the next 10 years, primarily due to reduced reimbursement to healthcare providers and drugmakers.

A White House budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning October 1, released on Tuesday, would save more than $350 billion by pursuing a familiar menu of options that range from increased drug rebates to more efficient post-acute care, reduced hospital admissions and new means testing for Medicare.

Feb 28, 2014

Chronically ill facing high drugs costs under U.S. health law

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s ban
on discriminatory health insurance practices against the sick
has not stopped insurers from increasing up-front charges for
the expensive drugs needed to control chronic illnesses from
leukemia to multiple sclerosis.

Actuarial studies of plans sold through health insurance
marketplaces in some states found that many make consumers
responsible for as much as 50 percent of the price of specialty
drugs, which can cost $8,000 or more a month.

Feb 25, 2014

U.S. Medicare chief defends proposed Part D drug benefit reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s top Medicare official on Tuesday defended proposed changes to the popular Part D drug benefits program for the elderly and disabled that are fiercely opposed by a broad network of drugmakers, insurers, healthcare providers and patient advocates.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule in January that would fundamentally alter the program’s private insurance coverage for certain drugs, change the pharmacy networks that some plans cover and limit the number of policies available to beneficiaries in any given region.

Feb 14, 2014

Obamacare enrollment push for the young enters 11th hour

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One of the latest Obamacare pitches to get young adults to sign up for health insurance starts out with a mother’s kitchen note reminding her grown son to enroll.

“Mom, you know I can’t afford it,” the young black man protests, as he sits down at a kitchen table next to a bespectacled woman with a laptop computer linked to the U.S. federal enrollment website, HealthCare.gov.

Feb 12, 2014

U.S. says 3.3 mln have enrolled in private Obamacare coverage

WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Wednesday said the number of people who have enrolled in private
Obamacare health plans rose to 3.3 million from Oct. 1 to Feb.
1, providing new evidence that its effort to extend coverage to
the uninsured is gaining momentum.

Data collected from new health insurance marketplaces set up
in all 50 states, under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law,
showed enrollment rising by 1.1 million or 53 percent in January
and surpassing a government projection set before the botched
rollout of the federal website HealthCare.gov.

Feb 11, 2014

Obama defends latest delay to his healthcare law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended the latest delay in his healthcare law’s employer mandate, saying it follows similar relief his administration has already given to certain individuals.

In an apparent response to heightened Republican criticism, the president also asserted that the law known as Obamacare will be “good for” the U.S. economy, despite a recent government estimate that it will shrink the labor force by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers over the next decade.

Feb 9, 2014

Democrats promote positive message on Obamacare and work hours

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Democrats sought to turn the
latest controversy over Obamacare and the economy into a
positive political message on Sunday by casting an expected
decline in American work hours as a boon to worker freedom and
family values.

In a new partisan tussle over election messaging that is
likely to color this year’s congressional mid-term campaign,
Democratic lawmakers said a predicted drop in work hours brought
about by Obamacare would mean more family time for mothers, more
study opportunities for college students and less job stress for
older workers.

Feb 4, 2014

Obamacare to cut work hours by equivalent of two million jobs: CBO

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s healthcare law will reduce American workforce participation by the equivalent of 2 million full-time jobs in 2017, the Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday in a report that could fuel Republican efforts to paint the law as a job killer.

In its latest U.S. fiscal outlook, the nonpartisan CBO said the health law would prompt some lower-income workers to limit their hours to avoid losing federal subsidies that are available under the law to help pay for health insurance.

    • About David

      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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