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Aug 28, 2013

U.S. delays deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.

Aug 28, 2013

Exclusive: U.S. delays deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.

Aug 5, 2013

Some states’ claims of Obamacare price spike are ‘incorrect:’ HHS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Forecasts by some U.S. states that show health insurance costs skyrocketing under Obamacare are “factually incorrect,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Monday, saying the administration will set the record straight in September.

Sebelius, President Barack Obama’s top healthcare adviser, did not name the states.

Aug 1, 2013

U.S. official challenges claim that Obamacare hurts workers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. healthcare official on Thursday challenged claims by Republican lawmakers that the country’s healthcare reform law is causing workers to lose hours or benefits, saying she is aware of only isolated cutbacks.

At a stormy House of Representatives committee hearing, Marilyn Tavenner, who heads the Medicare and Medicaid programs, said she has found only anecdotal evidence of employers reducing work hours or benefits because of worries about President Barack Obama’s landmark reforms, which take effect on January 1.

Jul 31, 2013

Obamacare technology testing slated for September: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is preparing to subject the information technology backbone of the new state and federal healthcare exchanges to final “dress rehearsal” testing that could continue until just before the online marketplaces are slated to begin enrollment on October 1.

The administration “has already completed the majority of the development of the services required to support open enrollment beginning on October 1,” Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, said in written testimony that appeared on the website of a congressional oversight committee on Wednesday.

Jul 30, 2013

‘Obamacare’ mandate delay will cost $12 billion, affect 1 million workers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday.

The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration’s unexpected one-year delay announced July 2 of the employer mandate – a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty.

Jul 25, 2013

Republicans prepare for ‘Obamacare’ showdown, with eye to 2014 elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.

Party officials, political analysts and lobbyists say the coming showdown will mark a new phase in the years-old battle over healthcare reform by shifting the focus from political ideology to specific examples of how “Obamacare” allegedly falls short, just as the administration presses the public on its benefits.

Jul 18, 2013

U.S. sees lower-than-expected Obamacare insurance costs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hoping to gain the high ground in an escalating war of words over Obamacare, the U.S. administration on Thursday forecast sharply lower than expected insurance costs for consumers and small businesses in new online state healthcare exchanges.

A report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said data from 10 states and the District of Columbia shows preliminary 2014 premiums on the lowest-cost mid-range “silver” plans in those marketplaces to be 18 percent lower on average than earlier administration and congressional estimates.

Jul 16, 2013

U.S. administration defends Obamacare contractor after UK probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday defended a decision to award outsourcing company Serco Inc a $1.25 billion contract to help implement new online health insurance exchanges after word the contractor’s parent company was under investigation in Britain.

Serco Inc, U.S. subsidiary of Serco Group Plc, will help review and process paper applications from consumers who apply for subsidized insurance coverage through federally operated exchanges in 34 states, according to the 12-year contract awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Jul 14, 2013

Analysis: Obamacare struggles to meet make-or-break deadline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With time running out, U.S. officials are struggling to cope with the task of launching the new online health insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama’s signature health reforms by an October 1 deadline.

The White House, and federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), must ensure that working marketplaces open for enrollment in all 50 states in less than 80 days, and are responding to mounting pressure by concentrating on three essential areas that will determine whether the most critical phase of Obamacare succeeds or fails.

    • 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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