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Sep 25, 2013

Obamacare sign-up effort finds urban allies in ‘red’ states

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Behind the political battle lines on Obamacare, the three-story headquarters of Change Happens rises like a fortress in a blighted southeast Houston neighborhood of tiny wood-frame shacks, empty lots and crack houses.

The Rev. Leslie Smith has been running the nonprofit that helps poor adults and children with Medicaid enrollment, homeless support and HIV prevention since 1989. Now he is planning how best to reach uninsured people in the communities he serves with the offer of new healthcare benefits under President Barack Obama’s landmark reform law.

Sep 24, 2013

As ad war heats up, White House pushes to enroll millions in Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday kicked off a six-month campaign to encourage millions of Americans to sign up for health coverage under “Obamacare,” an effort in which the president and other political celebrities promote the law’s promise of subsidized health coverage.

But the massive public education campaign faces a long, difficult slog to persuade nearly 3 million healthy young people with low to moderate incomes to purchase private insurance. Many of them live in conservative, Republican-led states where opponents are spending millions of dollars to discourage enrollment in Obamacare’s new, online health insurance marketplaces beginning October 1.

Sep 18, 2013

U.S. government scales back Obamacare impact for 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Wednesday scaled back its projections for Obamacare’s impact in 2014, saying the law would generate slower healthcare spending growth and provide coverage to only half as many of America’s uninsured as anticipated last year.

The biggest factor in the change stems from the U.S. Supreme Court verdict last year allowing each state to decide whether to expand the public Medicaid program for the poor under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. Republican leaders in nearly half of the nation’s 50 states have rejected the expansion.

Sep 10, 2013

Obamacare exchanges seen headed for ‘rocky’ enrollment start: expert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Obamacare is likely to have a “rocky” enrollment start on October 1 in some U.S. states, because of ongoing technology challenges facing new online health insurance exchanges, a leading expert told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday.

“At this moment, not a single state appears to be completely ready,” W. Brett Graham of the Salt Lake City-based consulting firm Leavitt Partners said in testimony to a Republican-controlled oversight panel in the House of Representatives.

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.

    • 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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