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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.

Jan 31, 2014

Two Obamacare exchanges see more health insurer competition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least two U.S. states running their own Obamacare health insurance exchanges expect new insurers to enter their marketplaces and bolster competition in 2015, officials said on Friday.

Kynect, which is Kentucky’s marketplace, and the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange have had separate talks about 2015 with health insurers that could opt to join the online marketplaces set up under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. Kentucky also expects an expansion of physician networks available within current plans.

Jan 30, 2014

U.S. says results encouraging for healthcare delivery reforms

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Thursday reported what it called encouraging results from
efforts to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of
care for more than 5 million Medicare beneficiaries under

As part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law,
the efforts center around more than 360 accountable care
organizations (ACOs), which are networks of doctors, hospitals
and other providers specially organized to help move Medicare
away from traditional fee-for-service medicine.

    • 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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