Affordable Care Act

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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.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

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.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

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
..:: WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas ::..

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.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

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.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

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"

taxcredits.net

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.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

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
wikipedia commons

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.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The federal health care overhaul law is providing both challenges and opportunities for Connecticut lawmakers as they try to reach a state budget compromise with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Malloy's two-year, $43.8 billion proposal includes millions of dollars in spending needed to comply with the federal health care law. But it also relies on millions of dollars in savings that the law generates.

When it comes to federal money to help states set up health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, you might expect that California would rank first and New York second. But here's a surprise: Vermont ranks number 3.

Most pundits have been describing last week's elections as a victory for the status quo, with President Obama being reelected and Democrats retaining control of the Senate despite the timid economic recovery and despite SuperPACs spending nearly a billion dollars on largely negative campaign ads. From a health and science policy perspective, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

For more on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health care reform, WAMC’S Brian Shields spoke with Vassar College economics professor Shirley Johnson-Lans, author of The Health Economics Primer, who says the upholding by the court of the individual mandate requiring those who can afford it to buy health insurance is the backbone of the Obama plan.

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced their majority decision to uphold most of the provisions of President Barack Obama’s landmark health care reform policy, including the mandate that all citizens purchase health insurance.

What does this ruling mean for the health, economy, and presidential politics of the country?

       Leora Harpaz, a professor at Western New England University School of Law, spoke with WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

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