Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is accusing President Barack Obama of being "dishonest" about his health care law.

Romney says Obama knew people would lose their private insurance coverage under the law. He criticizes Obama for promising that people could keep their existing plans if they wished.

In an interview on CBS This Morning  Friday, Romney said several times that Obama had been "dishonest." He says, quote, "What starts twisted, stays twisted."

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New York's new online health exchange reports 197,011 New Yorkers have completed applications to get insured, while 48,162 have subsequently enrolled in plans, nearly half in the government-funded Medicaid program for low-income New Yorkers.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Massachusetts U.S. Congressman Richard Neal made it out to the westernmost portion of his district today.

The Democrat spoke to members of the Pittsfield Rotary Club on a wide range of topics including what’s ahead for the federal government in terms of the economy and the debt ceiling.

Google

New York state's web site for people seeking health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s new exchange appears to be working again. Just after noon today, a message that new applications could not be processed had been taken down. Meantime, Families USA held a teleconference with state exchange officials and navigators to get an update on progress in enrolling citizens.

Today commentator Blair Horner of NYPIRG compares the federal healthcare program with the exchange in New York.

Once the antics ended over the shutdown of the federal government and a possible national default, all eyes focused on the implementation of the federal health care reform law; the Affordable Care Act.

And the picture has been ugly.

Andrew Coates: Glitches

Oct 25, 2013

Today, commentator Dr. Andrew Coates discusses the glitches plaguing the Affordable Care Act website.

When I was young I worked as a carpenter's helper here in rural upstate New York. The man I worked for, a treasure of local lore is someone who possesses generous good humor and a gift for analogy. On ladders and roofs, in the back road truck journeys to our jobs and at the sawhorses we would debate the big questions of life and also share the most pedestrian observations about farm and family life.

Poll: NY Residents Divided Over Health Care Law

Oct 23, 2013

A new poll has found more New York state residents who favor moving ahead with the new health care law than those who want to repeal it.

A Siena poll released Tuesday found 43 percent of respondents saying they want to see the law go forward. Another 32 percent say the law should be put on hold until it's workable and affordable and 22 percent want it repealed.

Democrats were far more supportive than Republicans of the law, which remains controversial. Other polls have shown Americans are just as likely to say it was a bad idea as a good one.

WAMC

Sean Eldridge, a Democratic candidate for Congress who is challenging Republican Chris Gibson in the 2014 race for the 19th District seat, tells WAMC that the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis are proof that America needs new leadership.

Coates: Political Divisions Harm Health

Oct 11, 2013

The government shutdown and the disconnect on health care By Andrew D. Coates, M.D., F.A.C.P.

I’d like to offer some thoughts this week about the discussion over health care in Washington. We’re heading into the second week of the federal government shutdown, in which the right wing of Congress has demanded that President Obama step back from his health reform.

This reveals to me the shocking disconnect between the center-stage discussion in Washington and the everyday discussion we have at our kitchen tables, at our jobs, and with our friends.

www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov

Affordable healthcare is just a click away in New York, where officials are trumpeting the rollout of the state's health exchange as a success. 

Since the health exchange went live online October 1, more than 40-thousand New Yorkers completed the application process for health insurance: officials say the number surpasses the numbers reported by any other state.

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As the nation endures day three of the partial federal government shutdown, New York’s congressional representatives from the Hudson Valley say they’re trying to open all the closed doors. 

The official overseeing the launch of Vermont's online health insurance marketplace says the system is on track for its scheduled opening.

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A county health department in New York’s Hudson Valley is the latest entity to announce help for residents with the new health insurance marketplace under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

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A New York congresswoman says the vote in the Republican-controlled U.S. House to gut the Affordable Care Act is a vote for putting insurance companies back in charge and for a government shutdown.

Rep. Chris Gibson
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With about a week to go before all employers must comply with certain elements of the Affordable Care Act and individual health exchanges open, tensions are rising as lawmakers in Washington find themselves embroiled in a  bitter battle over defunding "Obamacare."

homehealth4america.org

Home health care agencies are facing a 14 percent cut in Medicare funding over the next four years.  Industry representatives warn this will have a devastating impact on seniors and the disabled who receive medical care at home.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.

Shumlin, Vt. Chamber To Kick Off Health Forums

Sep 18, 2013
Courtesy VT Governor's Office

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is to join the Vermont Chamber of Commerce in kicking off a series of forums for small businesses to learn about the new health insurance exchange being created under the federal Affordable Care Act.

A program today from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Montpelier's Capitol Plaza hotel and conference center will be geared to helping small businesses learn what they need to know as they prepare to shop in the Vermont Health Connect exchange for health insurance.

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A national, nonprofit consumer health organization is calling October 1 a milestone, when more than 2.4 million New Yorkers may enroll in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Two congressional representatives say many are probably unaware of the financial help available.

Governor To Kick Off Vt. Health Connect Forums

Sep 16, 2013
Courtesy VT Governor's Office

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is set this week to help kick off a series of forums for small businesses to learn about the new health insurance exchange being created under the federal Affordable Care Act.

A program Wednesday from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Montpelier's Capitol Plaza hotel and conference center will be geared to helping small businesses learn what they need to know as they prepare to shop in the Vermont Health Connect exchange for health insurance.

WAMC

The state agency that administers the health insurance market in Massachusetts has launched an outreach effort to make people aware of changes that will be coming under the federal Affordable Care Act. 

   The approximately 250,000 people who have obtained health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector will need to sign up for new plans because of federally mandated changes in benefits and subsidies that take effect January 1,2014.   Health Connector Executive Director Jean Yang said the outreach is targeting a six-month open enrollment that begins October 1st.

NYS

With some uncertainty and much anticipation, New Yorkers join all Americans in preparing for a monumental change in the nation’s health care. Proponents of the Affordable Care Act believe it should not be feared, but embraced. They aim to set the course of public perception in a friendly direction.

Public health exchanges are scheduled to begin operations October 1st. They were created by federal mandate to make affordable health insurance available to everyone.

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The New York Health Benefit Exchange has listed health and dental plans for individuals and small business owners that will be available for enrollment starting Oct. 1 and coverage beginning next year.

The exchange, established under a federal mandate, is expected to help enroll 1.1 million uninsured New Yorkers and includes subsidies for those who meet certain income thresholds.

It has also changed its name to "NY State of Health"

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States are preparing to implement their health care exchanges as required under the federal Affordable Care Act. On October 1st, individuals will be able to enroll in the marketplaces and choose their insurance coverage. On Thursday, the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency announced grants to help states enroll individuals in those marketplaces.

Uninsured Americans face major decisions on health coverage, and the deadline is fast approaching.
The good news for New Yorkers is, they will have access to plenty of personalized help in making their Affordable Care Act choices.  Susan Dooha with the Center for Independence of the Disabled-New York says the Act is opening the door for up to a million New Yorkers to gain access to health coverage, and they won’t have to go it alone.

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In an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts is the state with  the highest per-capita expenditure on healthcare, with the average individual paying more than $9,200 a year on health care costs. Expenses taken into account include emergency care, physician visits, nursing home care, prescription drugs, dental care, and other categories.

The United States spends more on health care than any other nation on earth.  Yet, the U.S. has some of the worst health care outcomes of any nation in the developed world.  Why is that?  It’s due to the tortured way the nation runs its system.

Blair Horner: The Budget Wraps Up

Apr 1, 2013

The 2013-2014 state budget was approved last week, marking the third on-time budget in a row.  Three on-time budgets haven’t occurred in a generation, so there was a lot of back-slapping and “at-a-boys” at the Capitol.

Vt. to be first state to post health care rates

Apr 1, 2013
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Vermont is poised to become the first state in the country to tell people without health insurance how much they can pay for coverage through the federal Affordable Care Act when it begins offering benefits next year.

On Monday, the state is going to post the proposed rates offered through the state's health care marketplace for various levels of coverage.

Andy Hyman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says it's a big step.

"Kicking the can down the road" is an idiom that means to defer something crucial in hopes that the problem will become someone else's responsibility. The other day it occurred to me that "kicking the can down the road" has become a trademark of contemporary governments worldwide -- from the European debt crisis, to the so-called sequester, to the decision to defer changing the tax on New York's wealthy until a non-election year.

In Albany today, state legislators, patient advocates, labor leaders, and health care professionals unveiled a new proposal for government funded, universal, single-payer statewide health insurance.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke today with New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Democrat of Manhattan’s 75th district, sponsor of the bill and chair of the Assembly Health Committee.

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