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Jan 15, 2015

U.S. healthcare executives say Obamacare is not going anywhere

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. healthcare executives say Obamacare is likely here to stay, despite repeated calls from Republican lawmakers for repeal of the 2010 law aimed at providing health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.

Top executives who gathered in San Francisco this week for the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference, say that while President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement may well be tweaked, it is too entrenched to be removed.

Jan 8, 2015

U.S. House votes to ease Obamacare employer requirements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-led U.S. House of
Representatives voted on Thursday to ease Obamacare’s health
insurance requirements for employers by approving the first of
an expected series of bills aimed at weakening the overall
healthcare reform law.

Only 12 Democrats broke with President Barack Obama to join
Republicans in backing a measure that would allow companies to
offer health coverage to fewer full-time workers by raising the
full-time benchmark to 40 hours of work a week, from the 30
hours currently stipulated by the Affordable Care Act.

Jan 6, 2015

Opening Republican salvo on Obamacare draws fire on both sides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first congressional Republican attempt to weaken Obamacare with legislation boasting Democratic support appeared to be headed for troubled waters on both sides of the partisan aisle on Tuesday, only days before an expected vote.

The bill, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, seeks to reduce the law’s burden on companies by requiring them to offer private health coverage to full-time employees who work 40 hours a week rather than the 30 hours stipulated by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Nov 15, 2014

Obamacare’s 2.0 health insurance enrollment period begins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s plan to extend private health coverage to the uninsured entered a new uncertain phase on Saturday as government-backed online insurance marketplaces opened their 2015 plans to millions of potential enrollees.

The HealthCare.gov website was widely expected to avoid the mishaps of a year ago, when technical glitches paralyzed operations and drove Democrat Obama’s signature domestic policy to the brink of disaster, exposing him to criticism from Republicans who have campaigned for its repeal.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. calls its Ebola response the right strategy at home, abroad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration tried to assure skeptical members of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that its efforts to combat Ebola were showing progress and urged lawmakers to approve $6.2 billion in new emergency funds to contain the deadly virus.

“We believe we have the right strategy in place, both at home and abroad,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Nov 12, 2014

HealthCare.gov may work better, but challenges loom for Obamacare customers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The technology glitches may be a thing of the past. But people shopping online for health insurance plans under U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare law may encounter a new set of problems early next year, one of them being unexpected new costs.

HealthCare.gov, the federal website where people enroll for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, opens for sign-ups for policies covering 2015 this Saturday, the so-called open enrollment period.

Nov 10, 2014

U.S. releases low 2015 Obamacare enrollment forecast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. administration on Monday dramatically cut expectations for 2015 Obamacare enrollment, saying it aims to have a total of 9.1 million people enrolled in government-backed federal and state health insurance marketplaces next year.

The stated goal, 30 percent lower than a Congressional Budget Office forecast of 13 million enrollees, reflects the government’s latest thinking about new enrollees and returning customers, according to officials who expect the actual number to fall between 9 million and 9.9 million.

Nov 2, 2014

U.S. Senate win could give Republicans a chance to weaken Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After years of trying to repeal Obamacare, Republicans are planning a new strategy to eliminate some of the law’s most unpopular provisions by using targeted legislation with the potential to attract enough Democratic votes to reach President Barack Obama’s desk.

First they have to pick up the six seats they need for a U.S. Senate majority in Tuesday’s midterm elections, which would give the party control of both congressional chambers for the first time since 2006.

Oct 31, 2014

Republicans question preparedness spending after Ebola missteps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Texas Republicans, including Tea Party-backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, sought to ratchet up the pressure on the Obama administration’s Ebola response on Friday, by questioning its use of federal tax dollars for emergency preparedness.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the lawmakers said they were concerned about missteps in the Dallas Ebola case of Thomas Eric Duncan, which they said occurred after large sums of federal money were spent to help U.S. cities prepare for infectious diseases.

Oct 27, 2014

U.S. CDC says returning Ebola medical workers should not be quarantined

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal health officials on Monday called for voluntary home quarantine for people at the highest risk for Ebola infection but said most medical workers returning from West Africa would require daily monitoring without isolation.

The announcement by Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ran counter to the mandatory quarantines being imposed on returning doctors and nurses by a handful of states including New York and New Jersey.

    • 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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