Affordable Care Act

This is a picture of a hospital bed

Massachusetts is marking the tenth anniversary of a landmark healthcare law that would later serve as a model for the federal Affordable Care Act.

A new study finds that New York has made significant progress in getting Hispanic children enrolled for health insurance.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York senators have begun examining last year's financial failure of the insurance cooperative Health Republic, hearing from hospitals and doctors who say they've got $200 million or more in unpaid bills and want the state to step in.

  Even supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the system has some problems.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about an investigation into Health Republic. 

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

Area politicians and community leaders met Monday in Albany to launch the 2016 "Countdown to Coverage" campaign, marking the beginning of this year’s open enrollment period.

Rupert Millard

Community leaders from across the Capital Region are gathering Monday for the launch of the "2016 Countdown to Coverage" campaign.

The Affordable Care Act has changed health care for doctors and patients alike, but what about nurses. Dr. Beverly Malone, the CEO of the National League for Nursing, says the ACA has increased the demand for more nurses.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

New York officials say $7.3 billion is going to 25 networks of health care providers statewide to help overhaul the delivery of care and cut unneeded hospital visits. Meanwhile, state health officials say average spending for the state's Medicaid patients has declined to $8,233 annually while enrollments rose by 500,000 to nearly one-third of the state's 19 million people.   

St. Peter's Health Partners

Sunday on Midday Magazine, we heard from a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act — New York Congressman Paul Tonko, a Democrat. He welcomed the Supreme Court’s 6 to 3 ruling in the King v. Burwell case unveiled Thursday, which upheld the legality of Obamacare’s federal tax subsidies. Today we hear from a physician and healthcare manager on the ground: Dr. James Reed, CEO of St. Peter’s Health Partners. Reed says he was unsurprised by the ruling, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has again voted with his liberal colleagues to uphold a key portion of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy was a dissenter in 2012, but was part of the majority on Thursday. Roberts says in the majority opinion, quote, "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them." Nationally, 10.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul. That includes the 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help pay their insurance premiums. Of those receiving subsidies, 6.4 million people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

Connecticut officials say the state's health insurance marketplace next year will become the first in the nation that's financially self-sustaining, relying on revenue generated by the organization. Access Health CT was launched 19 months ago, offering health insurance plans to individuals and small businesses.


More than 14 million people in the United States gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but a new study has found a serious flaw: sky-high deductibles that actually make it cheaper to go to the emergency room than schedule a visit with a physician. 

Families USA, a group that advocates on behalf of the health care law, says that while the Affordable Care Act is an historic success in expanding health coverage, simply having health insurance is no guarantee that consumers can afford to pay for health care.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Happy Birthday Obamacare

Mar 26, 2015

This week, before a crowd of students attending the obligatory Monday morning convocation at Liberty University, Ted Cruz announced that he was running for President in 2016. This makes Mr. Cruz, a first-term senator from Texas, the first major Republican to officially declare their candidacy.

Massachusetts Health Connector

Federal health officials say more than 140,000 people signed up for, or were automatically re-enrolled in, health insurance plans in Massachusetts during the recent open enrollment period.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Republican leaders in the Vermont Legislature are calling for a federal investigation of the state's spending on its health overhaul, including Vermont's contract with health economist Jonathan Gruber.

Health exchange directors from New York and other states came together this week to review successes, analyze practices, and provide the latest enrollment numbers, as the second open enrollment period comes to a close.

In the fourth and final teleconference in this 2014-15 cycle, hosted by pro-Obamacare group FamiliesUSA, the directors looked back at the second health coverage enrollment period, which began on November 15th. They discussed some of the lessons learned this year, and outlined plans to help spur future enrollment.

  America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System is Steven Brill’s much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry.

Brill probed the depths of our nation’s healthcare crisis in his trailblazing Time magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest.

New York State of Health

With just one month remaining to sign up for online marketplace health insurance this year, outreach efforts are on the fast-track. Consumers who do not sign up by the end of business today will not have health coverage that starts on February 1.

Federal officials expect approximately 10 million people to enroll for health insurance on state and federal marketplaces this year, falling far short of 13 million the Congressional Budget Office had anticipated.

Due to what it’s calling heavy interest, Massachusetts is extending its payment deadline for people who want a state-based health insurance plan to December 28th.  But, people must still choose a plan by the end of today.

Access to health care in rural areas is a persistent struggle, and some residents of western Massachusetts found themselves considering less than ideal options this year. North Adams Regional Hospital closed in March to much community outcry; it has since been reopened as a satellite emergency center by Berkshire Health Systems. But the region, which lost some 500 jobs, isn’t alone in its experience.

Massachusetts is encouraging people who need to reenroll in Affordable Care Act insurance plans to do so by December 23rd while the state steps up call center staffing. Health Connector officials believe the website will hold up following last year’s failure.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Connecticut’s online healthcare marketplace continues to tout its success in rolling out the Affordable Care Act. It’s using technological savvy to reach its current goal of enrolling 70,000 people in ACA recognized private or government funded plans.

Massachusetts health leaders are continuing to alert people to the current health insurance open enrollment period. The state’s online marketplace, known as the Connector, is meeting with area leaders in Greenfield Monday.

NYS of Health

A second year of "Countdown to Coverage" kicked off in Albany today.  Government and community leaders shared the podium to let area residents and small business owners know they need to enroll in health coverage by February 15th through the New York State of Health Marketplace — and how to get free help to do so.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A consultant on health care to the Shumlin administration will finish out his work under a $450,000 contract with the state without getting any more money than the $160,000 he's already been paid.

Last week, the nation’s uninsured began their enrollment in the second year of the health reform law.  The end of the first year offers the nation a good opportunity to review the impact of the law, without all of the reports of mistakes, the campaigns of deception and outright lies.

New York's health exchange is gearing up for its second year. Officials are optimistic about the open enrollment period that begins Saturday.


Open enrollment at the Massachusetts health insurance exchange begins this week. State officials say there is a new – and functioning – website that people can use if they need to purchase insurance.

The Massachusetts Health Connector will launch the new online health insurance marketplace on Nov. 15th.  Thousands of people across the state who have Health Connector coverage now, or were placed in temporary plans over the last year, will have to use the new website to submit an application if they want to remain insured.

People on Medicare are being urged to look over their current health and prescription coverage and consider whether changes should be made. The latest open enrollment period began Wednesday and will continue until Dec. 7. For more on open enrollment, WAMC spoke with Ray Hurd, regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Regions 1 and 2, which includes New England, New York and New Jersey.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, the state’s online health insurance marketplace, met with Berkshire healthcare agencies Thursday ahead of the upcoming open enrollment period.