Obamacare

As congressional Republicans and the Trump administration keep chipping away at the Affordable Care Act, a number of states are enacting laws that aim to safeguard its central provisions.

The GOP tax plan approved by Congress in the last days of 2017 repealed the ACA penalty for people who fail to carry health insurance, a provision called the individual mandate.

But before that federal change happens next year, some states are working to preserve the effects of the mandate by creating their own versions of it.

A bipartisan group of senators and House members has been working since last summer toward measures to keep prices from rising out of control and undermining the individual market—the market that serves people who don't get insurance through work or through the government. Members hope to attach a package of fixes to what should be the year's final temporary spending bill, due late this month.

Health plans that don't meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act; work requirements for Medicaid coverage; changes to Medicare's approved drug lists: As the ground continues to shift on health care coverage, I'm answering readers' queries this week about these three different types of plans:

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

A major liberal policy group is raising the ante on the health care debate with a new plan that builds on Medicare to guarantee coverage for all.

Called "Medicare Extra for All," the proposal to be released Thursday by the Center for American Progress gives politically energized Democrats more options to achieve a long-sought goal.

HMO Group Slams Bill, Compares It To Obamacare

Feb 14, 2018

In an attempt to kill a bill that would limit its members from retroactively denying claims, the Florida Association of Health Plans issued a statement Tuesday calling a House proposal (HB 217) “nothing more than a codification” into state law of a federal Obamacare policy.

Lynn Hatter/WFSU / WFSU

Republicans on the campaign trail this year will be eager to tout the potential benefits of their tax cut plan.

U.S. House of Representatives

The top Senate Republican is skeptical at best about revisiting the Senate's botched efforts to dismantle Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act despite one GOP lawmaker's insistence the health care law will be scrapped.

healthcare.gov

More than 700,000 Floridians selected or were automatically re-enrolled in Obamacare plans during the final week of regular enrollment, bringing the state’s six-week enrollment total to 1.73 million.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

During a routine visit at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Dr. Ajoy Kumar was going over blood test results with a 46-year-old patient named Paul.

healthcare.gov

Floridians have until December 31st to sign up for a health insurance plan through Obamacare, thanks to Hurricane Irma.

healthcare.gov

A deadline burst of sign-ups after a tumultuous year for the Obama health law has revealed continued demand for the program's subsidized individual health plans. But the Affordable Care Act's troubles aren't over.

healthcare.gov

Floridians have two extra weeks to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act has had a profound impact on how money moves through Florida’s health care economy, according to a biennial market report out this week.

Why Do People Hate Obamacare, Anyway?

Dec 13, 2017
healthcare.gov

The Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” has roiled America since the day it was signed into law in 2010. From the start, the public was almost evenly divided between those who supported it and those who opposed it.

Open enrollment on the federal health law's marketplace — HealthCare.gov — ends Friday, and most people who want a plan for next year need to meet the deadline.

But some consumers who miss the cutoff could be surprised to learn they have the opportunity to enroll later.

"While a lot of people will be eligible ... I am still worried that a lot of consumers won't know it," says Shelby Gonzales, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote was pivotal in pushing the GOP tax bill forward last week, thought she had a deal to bolster health care protections in exchange for her support.

But it's now unclear whether her strategy to shore up part of the Affordable Care Act will prevail or that it would produce the results she anticipates.

healthcare.gov

Nearly 500,000 Floridians signed up for an Affordable Care Act plan in the first three weeks of enrollment.

This year is six weeks shorter than last year.

Not on the calendar, or course, but there are six fewer weeks this year for people getting their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act -- otherwise known as Obamacare or ACA-- to sign up for 2018.

Consumers are getting the word that taxpayer-subsidized health plans are widely available for next year for no monthly premium or little cost, and marketing companies say they're starting to see an impact on sign-ups.

Floridians have until Dec. 15 to buy health insurance through healthcare.gov, and a lot has happened since the last shopping season.

Multiple attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” have failed. Now there’s a proposal to dismantle the health care law through the tax bill. President Donald Trump has already stopped funding some pieces of the Affordable Care Act.

So where does that leave the average consumer?

healthcare.gov

Obamacare enrollment is off to a strong start in Florida and around the nation, according to national data and those who help people sign up for health insurance.

Updated 5:56 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans now plan to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as part of a tax overhaul bill.

Several Senate Republicans said Tuesday that including the repeal in tax legislation, currently making its way through a key Senate committee, would allow them to further reduce tax rates for individuals without adding more to the deficit.

healthcare.gov

Despite President Donald Trump's efforts to take down "Obamacare," more than 600,000 people signed up for coverage the first week of open enrollment, the government said Thursday.

Residents in this rural state grappling with a heroin epidemic and an aging population voted Tuesday to deliver a rebuke to Republican Gov. Paul LePage and join 31 other states that have expanded Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's health care law.

Did Obamacare exacerbate the opioid crisis in America? And is expanding the child tax credit the only way the middle class will get a break from the GOP's proposed tax plan? We tackle those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

healthcare.gov

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, begins in less than a week.

Two top Republicans announced a bill Tuesday restoring federal subsidies to insurers while including tough conditions sought by the White House. Senate Democrats have enough votes to kill it, but the measure underscores the changes the Trump administration and congressional conservatives say they want in exchange for resuming the payments.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

A bipartisan coalition of 24 senators — 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats — has signed on to health care legislation to prop up the individual insurance market and keep premiums down. With the expected support of all Senate Democrats, it could have the votes to pass the chamber. But questions remain over when it might actually get a vote, as well as whether President Trump and House Republicans would bring the bill over the finish line.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

When patients come to The Outreach Clinic in Brandon, one of the first people they encounter is Jackie Perez.

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

A proposal in the Senate to help stabilize Affordable Care Act marketplaces would ensure that subsidies paid to insurance companies benefit consumers rather than padding the companies' profits.

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