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Health Care Reform

News coverage, opinion and information on health care reform and health care policy including the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare Stain on the GOP Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obamacare repeal and the discharge petition

By Jenny Beth Martin

Repealing Obamacare - the most famous and oft-repeated campaign promise in American history - is not yet dead, if the House Freedom Caucus and President Trump have anything to say about it. Published August 18, 2017

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Senate Majority Leader McConnell chided President Trump as a political novice and said he set his timeline expectations too high. (Associated Press/File)

Trump vs. McConnell: Republicans choose sides

- The Washington Times

President Trump said Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's failure to get an Obamacare repeal bill across the finish line was a disgrace and that the Republican leader must start notching some wins or else it will be time to talk about ousting him.

President Barack Obama gestures as he answers questions during his news conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 20, 2016. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obama's IRS 'misled' Obamacare customers: Audit

- The Washington Times

The Obama administration "misled" Americans into thinking signing up for Obamacare would be cheaper than it really was, according to an inspector general's report Thursday that said the IRS dramatically understated the actual cost of enrolling.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2017, as the Republican majority in Congress remains stymied by their inability to fulfill their political promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare."  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans slam Senate after health care vote

- The Washington Times

Some House Republicans gathered on Capitol Hill Friday slammed the Senate for failing to pass its health care repeal bill earlier in the morning, saying they took care of business a few months ago and upper chamber colleagues didn't hold up their end of the bargain.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2017. The Senate voted decisively to approve a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, sending the popular bill to President Donald Trump for his signature after weeks of intense negotiations. The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. McCain said the bills passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

McCain 'no' vote kills Obamacare repeal effort in Senate

- The Washington Times

Drained by self-inflicted wounds, shifting aims and unrelenting protests, Republicans' push to kill off President Obama's signature health law sputtered out of gas early Friday, as Senate leaders failed to rally the votes for a significantly pared-down repeal bill in a vote after midnight.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks from his office to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 26. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Senate GOP to Dems: Declare your stance on single-payer

- The Washington Times

Senate Republicans, driven by their push to repeal Obamacare, turned the spotlight on Democrats Thursday by forcing them to stake out a position on a controversial alternative to the GOP's free-market push -- government-run, single-payer health care.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, as the Senate was to vote on moving head on health care with the goal of erasing much of Barack Obama's law. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate forges ahead with thorny repeal push

- The Washington Times

Senate Republicans barreled ahead with their uphill battle to repeal and possibly replace Obamacare Wednesday, reviving a 2015 bill that would gut much of the President Obama's overhaul within two years.

Illustration on government run Health Care by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The fake 'health care' debate

Confucius, who lived so long ago that famine, not obesity, menaced public health, supposedly observed that "the first step to wisdom is to call things by their proper name." If so, then angry congressional town hall meetings and serial legislative impasses are not really about health care, let alone reform.

Vets balk at Hill proposal to offer 'choice' health care

- The Washington Times

Several leading veterans' groups are voicing opposition to House legislation scheduled for a vote Monday that would shift $2 billion from some veterans' programs to fill a budget shortfall in a "choice" health care plan that allows veterans to see a private doctor.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the parliamentarian's guidance is not a ruling. (Associated Press/File)

60 votes or nothing: Senate parliamentarian warns Republicans about rules for health care bill

- The Washington Times

Key parts of the Republican health care bill, including defunding Planned Parenthood and barring the use of tax credits for abortion coverage, are not eligible for the fast-track process Republicans are using to prevent a Democratic filibuster, says the Senate's referee, throwing yet another roadblock in front of President Trump's attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare this week.

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Former CBO directors defend agency's integrity

- The Washington Times

Former chiefs of the Congressional Budget Office defended the federal agency in a letter to congressional leaders Friday, saying its nonpartisan scorekeepers cannot nail every prediction about policy but frequently do a better job than less-informed analysts.

Recent Opinion Columns

Illustration on the unfairness of paying for preexisting conditions by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

America's sickly health insurance system

I'm beginning to wonder whether anyone in Washington or in the media has the slightest clue what insurance is? Here is a standard dictionary definition of the term: "Insurance -- A promise of compensation for specific potential future losses in exchange for a periodic payment. Insurance is designed to protect the financial well-being of an individual, company or other entity in the case of unexpected loss."

FILE - In this July 23, 2013 file photo, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., testifies at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Moderate Republicans face intense pressure on their party's latest attempt to scrap Democrat Barack Obama's health care law, from President Donald Trump, House GOP leaders, medical professionals and outside political groups. If the GOP bill became law, congressional analysts estimate that 24 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026, including 14 million by next year. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Reloading repeal-and-replace

Some things are worth an extra wait. Better health care could be one of them. Voters are about to see whether Obamacare repeal-and-replace is finally ready for prime time. If congressional Republicans who couldn't find common ground to pass the American Health Care Act a month ago can do it now, a major drag on President Trump's first hundred days won't be a drag on the second hundred. It would tell the Democrats, loud and clear, that resistance and insurrection are not working.

Preserving employee wellness programs

From the start of the new Congress and new administration, reining in the regulatory state has been a leading priority -- and for good reason.

Illustration on the healthcare provider/insurance crisis by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Health care's burning platform

There are two ways to achieve success. The best way is to make the right choice. A second way is to avoid the wrong choice. Washington avoided disaster by withdrawing the hastily constructed, ill-conceived American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Anthony Michael Hall appears in "The Breakfast Club," a look at social stratification among teenagers in the 1980s.

Obamacare's clueless 'kids'

In "The Breakfast Club" a group of high school deviants were asked to write an essay in 1,000 words or less describing "who do you think you are?" There was the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, the criminal you remember.

Gov. Sam Brownback, with Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, walks out of Colyer's statehouse office Thursday, March 9, 2017, on their way to a humanitarian award ceremony in Topeka, Kans. (Thad Allton/Topeka Capital-Journal via AP) ** FILE **

Medicaid expansion effort comes up short in Kansas

- The Washington Times

Kansas won't be expanding their Medicaid program after all, after the state House of Representatives fell three votes shy Monday of overriding Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill that would have extended coverage to roughly 180,000 low-income residents under Obamacare.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley talks with new mothers while launching a statewide Baby Box Program to help improve family healthcare outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS) Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. (Julie Bennett /AL.com via AP)

Health care as a right, or a good

The political fiasco that unfolded last week as President Trump and the Republican House leadership failed to pass legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, is attributable as much to the failure of politics as it is to the failure of politicians to understand the constitutional role of the federal government.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., leaves a closed-door strategy session as he works to get past last week's failure to pass a health care overhaul bill and rebuild unity in the Republican Conference, at the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Collapse and replace

Congressional Republicans have tried to turn the page on the Obamacare debacle, but the next page has another dismal message. Instead of repeal and replace, Americans face collapse and replace of Barack Obama's health care system. The only uncertainty is how soon and how bad it will be. While the humbled party leaders snipe at each other over what could have been, the nation's health-care system continues to wither at the edges, and sometime soon someone had better be ready with something better.

Obamacare Repeal Failure Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Botching the Obamacare repeal

As of last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan's crumbling halfway house -- known officially as the American Health Care Act -- definitively collapsed.

FILE - In this March 16, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump sits with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congressional Republicans on Monday, March 27, 2017, pointed fingers and assigned blame after their epic failure on health care and a weekend digesting the outcome.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The right cure for Obamacare

"This is not the end of the debate." Rep. Mark Meadows said that on ABC's "This Week" regarding the House leadership's failed health care bill, and he's exactly right.

The Republicans couldn't even fire a blank

Marching the regiment up the hill, with every musket fully loaded, and then down again without firing a shot is no way to inspire an army. Paul Ryan's Republicans, who boasted for seven years that they couldn't wait to get their hands on the Democrats and Obamacare, promising to make quick work of repeal and replace, couldn't even get close enough to fire blanks.

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From The Vault

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump ready to roll on Day One, blasts media for 'fake news'

- The Washington Times

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has a slate of orders ready to sign in the days after his inauguration, promised to nominate a Supreme Court justice by early February and vowed to make good on his campaign promise to build a wall -- not just a fence -- on the U.S.-Mexico border.

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) **FILE**

Obamacare customers overpaid $8M by IRS

- The Washington Times

The IRS mistakenly overpaid more than $8 million to HealthCare.gov customers and Obamacare users in California, and cheated tens of thousands of others out of nearly $2 million in 2015 because the government relied on incorrect information to figure their taxes, an audit revealed Tuesday.

** FILE ** Linda Norman (right) and Joanna Galt, both from Florida, hold their banners during a "Exempt America from Obamacare" rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obamacare has been amended or delayed 19 times: study

- The Washington Times

President Obama has already signed 14 laws that amend, rescind or otherwise change parts of his health care law, and he's taken five independent steps to delay the Affordable Care Act on his own, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, released Wednesday.

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on May 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama: Health care law is 'here to stay'

- The Washington Times

Amid growing concerns about the implementation of President Obama's health care law, Mr. Obama stepped up promotion of the law by pegging its benefits to this weekend's Mother's Day celebration.

** FILE ** Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. (AP Photo)

Ruling excerpts from the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care overhaul Thursday. Below are comments from the justices on the ruling, which was 5-4 with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. siding with liberal justices.

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Obama chats up health care

Obama chats up health care

Gallery: 6 Photos
President Obama speaks about the Patient's Bill of Rights and health care reform in the backyard of a private residence in Falls Church, Va.