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Mar 21, 2014

Insurers see double-digit Obamacare price rises in many states next year

By David Morgan and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – U.S. consumers eligible for Obamacare health plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to draw large numbers of enrollees for 2014, including some states that have been hostile to the healthcare law, according to insurance industry officials and analysts.

The early estimates come as insurance companies set out to design plans they intend to sell in 2015 through the state-based health insurance marketplaces that are a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement that is widely referred to as Obamacare.

Mar 18, 2014

Obamacare campaign highlights sports injuries to enroll young people

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the clock running down on Obamacare enrollment, the administration sought to persuade young people to sign up for health coverage on Tuesday by telling them how much it hurts not be insured – that is, how much it can hurt the wallet.

Take the humble ankle sprain, one of the most common injuries among young adults under the age of 25. Treating it can cost $2,290. Then there’s the broken arm: On average $7,700. And people without health insurance get to pay full freight.

Mar 17, 2014

U.S. administration says Obamacare enrollment tops 5 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 5 million people have enrolled in private health insurance under the law known as Obamacare since open enrollment began on October 1, the U.S. administration said on Monday.

With the March 31 enrollment deadline only two weeks away, a top administration official reported a big upswing in public interest in subsidized health insurance and said traffic on the federal website HealthCare.gov reached 1 million visitors over the weekend.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. says Obamacare covers married gay couples under family plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Married gay couples will be eligible for a family health policy under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, beginning in 2015, the U.S. government said on Friday, encouraging insurers to begin offering coverage this year.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also announced it would extend for one month a temporary program that offers insurance to some of the sickest Americans, who have had trouble finding private plans in new health insurance marketplaces set up in all 50 states under Obamacare.

Mar 13, 2014

Partisanship engulfs U.S. Congress effort to avoid doctor pay cut

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – A bipartisan deal in
Congress to spare doctors from recurring Medicare pay cuts was
in jeopardy on Thursday, as Republicans ignored protests from
physicians and moved forward with legislation that would use the
so-called “doc fix” to undermine Obamacare.

Hundreds of thousands of doctors who participate in
traditional Medicare face a 24 percent pay cut on April 1, as
part of a 1990s initiative to restrain federal spending on the
government healthcare program, which today serves nearly 50
million elderly and disabled people.

Mar 13, 2014

U.S. doctors push back on latest Republican move on Obamacare

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – U.S. doctors’ biggest lobby
group said on Thursday legislation intended to avoid a major
Medicare pay cut for doctors had become a victim of partisan
politics after Republicans tied it to their efforts to undermine
Obamacare.

The American Medical Association, the biggest lobby group
for U.S. doctors, called on lawmakers in the Senate and House of
Representatives to resume the bipartisanship that early this
year produced legislation for a permanent “doc fix” that would
avoid once and for all a cut in traditional Medicare payments
enshrined in a 1997 budget law.

Mar 12, 2014

Sebelius says no Obamacare mandate delay, enrollment extension

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There will be no delay in the penalty most Americans face under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law if they fail to obtain health coverage this year, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday.

Sebelius also said there would be no postponement of this month’s deadline for enrolling in coverage through new private health insurance marketplaces or the Medicaid program for the poor.

Mar 11, 2014

Obamacare enrollment in private coverage rises to 4.2 million people

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration said on Tuesday that 4.2 million people have signed up for private health insurance under Obamacare, and indicated that total enrollment could surpass a 6 million-enrollee forecast by the end of March.

New enrollment data for a five-month period from October 1 through March 1 came out as the administration threw its public relations campaign into overdrive, with President Barack Obama appearing for an interview on the comedy website, “Funny or Die,” in a direct appeal to the site’s audience of young adults.

Mar 10, 2014

US administration pulls back on Medicare drug benefit proposals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration, in an abrupt about-face, said on Monday it would drop proposed changes to Medicare drug coverage that met wide opposition on grounds they would harm health benefits for the elderly and disabled.

Late last week, more than 370 organizations representing insurers, drug makers, pharmacies, health providers and patients urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw changes it had proposed for Medicare Part D.

Mar 8, 2014

Republicans press Medicare attack in congressional elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans, looking for ways to turn November’s congressional elections into a referendum on President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, are trying to portray Obamacare as a danger to Medicare.

The aim is to court one of the biggest and most reliable voting blocs in midterm elections, senior citizens and people near retirement, by depicting Republicans as defenders of the federal healthcare program for 42 million seniors.

    • 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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