Senate GOP leaders face a major test over the next two weeks in trying to round up enough Republicans to back a bill that would gut Obamacare and strip funding from Planned Parenthood — but they're caught in a tug-of-war between powerful conservative lobbies who view the issues in very different ways.
Health Care Reform
News coverage, opinion and information on health care reform and health care policy including the Affordable Care Act.
By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times
Roughly 1.6 million people have selected coverage on HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration said Wednesday in a snapshot of enrollment through the first three weeks of signups for the 2016 plan year. Published November 25, 2015
Over two dozen conservative groups asked GOP leaders Tuesday to make certain that a looming spending deal reins in a part of Obamacare designed to protect insurers during the overhaul's early -- and financially precarious -- rounds of enrollment.
The nation's largest insurer said Thursday it may drop out of Obamacare's exchanges within two years, adding to a particularly gloomy outlook for the law as it enters its third year of full operation with customers facing rising premiums and the collapse of most nonprofit co-ops.
A leading Democratic senator asked the administration Thursday to update him on its efforts to implement a piece of Obamacare that allows states to waive parts of the law in 2017 if they find ways to outdo the federal health law in terms of the affordability and quality of coverage and how many people get insured.
More than 1 million people selected health coverage on the federal Obamacare website through the second week of open enrollment, the administration said Wednesday in a snapshot that shows the number of plan selections nearly doubling since the first week's tally.
The GOP's long-sought bid to dismantle Obamacare has hit another snag in the Senate, flustering House Republicans who thought they'd figured out a way to get a bill to President Obama's desk without having to face a Democratic filibuster.
Virginia faces a $1 billion increase in Medicaid spending through fiscal 2018, according to a two-year forecast Tuesday that state Republicans swiftly used as a cudgel against Gov. Terry McAuliffe's bid to expand the program under Obamacare.
When Amy Grech, a freelance Web consultant and horror story author in New York, was looking for health insurance, a broker pushed her toward Health Republic, the state's co-op under Obamacare. It had the doctors she needed, and the price seemed right.
More than a half-million people selected a health plan through the federal Obamacare website during the first week of open enrollment, according to a government update Thursday that said two-thirds of the customers were renewing coverage they already had.
The administration is warning HealthCare.gov customers to make sure they log onto the Obamacare website and get covered so they don't face a stiff penalty for lacking health insurance next year.
"The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah shared his experience of spending his first stint in a U.S. hospital after an emergency appendectomy forced him to skip Wednesday's episode.
The Supreme Court said Friday it will hear lawsuits from religious nonprofits who say the government didn't go far enough when it offered to carve them out of President Obama's birth-control rules on employers.
Hoping to boost Obamacare signups in a tough third year, the White House on Friday challenged 20 cities across the U.S. to root out their uninsured residents and drive them into Web-based exchanges set up under the law.
President Obama kicked off a media campaign in support of his signature health law Wednesday by cheering on "navigator" groups tasked with rooting out the millions of Americans who failed to sign up during the first two rounds.
More than half of Obamacare's nonprofit co-op plans have failed, with Michigan becoming the latest to announce it will not offer plans for next year, prompting Republicans to label the program a disastrous waste of taxpayer money.
The Obama administration on Monday approved Montana's plan to expand its Medicaid program, making it the 30th state, plus D.C., to augment the government insurance program for the poor under Obamacare.
Leading Senate Republicans pressed the administration Monday to explain how it plans to recoup $2.4 billion in loans to Obamacare's flailing co-op program and whether consumers will be able to get new coverage without significant hiccups.
Consumers seeking 2016 coverage on the federal Obamacare exchange will see an average premium increase of 7.5 percent on vital mid-tier plans, the administration said Monday in an enrollment-season preview that shows a bigger bump in prices than last year, as insurers get a feel for the new marketplace.
Obamacare opponents are asking the Supreme Court, once again, to invalidate the massive health overhaul, pushing an appeal that says Congress violated the Constitution's "origination clause" requiring the House to kickstart revenue-raising bills.
With Colorado's shaky Obamacare exchange in peril, some health care advocates are calling for voters to scrap it and replace it with something far more ambitious.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney said Friday that without his 2006 health care insurance reform in Massachusetts, widely known as "Romneycare," there would probably be no Obamacare today.
The administration on Friday said consumers will find a sleeker, easier-to-use HealthCare.gov when Obamacare's third round of sign-ups begins Nov. 1.
It's still far too easy for undeserving Obamacare enrollees to get taxpayer subsidies on the law's exchanges, and some customers are getting both Medicaid and tax credits under the law, government auditors said Thursday in written testimony to Congress.
A federal judge Monday denied the administration's request to hit pause on a House lawsuit over Obamacare so that it could appeal an earlier, and notable, ruling that allowed the case proceed in the first place.
Pressure is mounting on the administration to account for the cascading failure of Obamacare's co-op program, where more than a third of participants have gone bust, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in federal loans.
Reaching for a Republican victory amid party chaos, the House Budget Committee has approved a fast-track bill to gut Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider steeped in controversy over some undercover videos.
The Obama administration says it's strengthening privacy protections for consumers on the government's health insurance website ahead of a new sign-up season starting Nov. 1.
Everyone from Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton to Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, wants to scrap the "Cadillac tax" on generous health care plans — a rare bipartisan push to tweak Obamacare — but there is little consensus on how to fill the $90 billion budget hole that a repeal would leave.
House Republicans announced Friday they will forge ahead next week with efforts to dismantle Obamacare through a fast-track budget process, wasting little time after three panels recommended ways to repeal the 2010 law's most unpopular mandates, taxes and regulations.
The House Ways and Means Committee moved Tuesday to chip away at Obamacare by using a fast-track budget tool to repeal the law's most unpopular taxes and provisions, including the mandate requiring Americans to hold insurance.
Republicans in charge of top House committees want to use a fast-track budget tool to take a big bite out of Obamacare and redirect funding away from Planned Parenthood amid controversy over its abortion practice.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday he plans to roll out an alternative plan to Obamacare sometime in the next three weeks.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings says he believes affordable health care for all Americans is an achievable goal, and cites President Obama's signature law as a good start.
Pope Francis made an unscheduled visit to a convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order that is suing the Obama administration over its birth control rules on employers.
The Obama administration paid $4 million to a leading HealthCare.gov contractor to fix some of its own errors on the balky website, according to an audit Tuesday that says the government held back only a small portion of payments to the company that was ultimately dropped from the project.
Roughly 17.6 million Americans are now insured because of Obamacare, the administration said Tuesday in a preview of the upcoming enrollment period that toggled between celebrating success and admitting the challenges that lie ahead in rooting out the remaining uninsured.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says he is the only 2016 GOP contender for president who has a real plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, now that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has dropped out.
A federal appeals court Thursday ruled in favor of faith-based nonprofits who fought Obamacare's birth control rules, dealing an elusive victory to religious employers who now have a stronger hand in urging the Supreme Court to shield them from the administration's "contraception mandate."
The percentage of people without health coverage dropped by nearly 3 percentage points from 2013 to 2014, according to Census figures released Wednesday that reflect the impact of Obamacare.
Congressional budget minders say repealing Obamacare's "individual mandate" would save taxpayers more than $305 billion and increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million over the next decade.
President Obama will need to more than double the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare exchange plans to reach 21 million next year, the target set in budget projections, in what is shaping up as the next major test for the health care law.
The House has legal standing to sue President Obama over how he implemented his signature health care law, a federal judge said Wednesday, dealing a blow to the White House and breathing new life into a pioneering lawsuit that frequently evoked the Founding Fathers' wishes.
The administration counted 9.9 million paying customers on Obamacare's exchanges as of June 30, according to an enrollment update Tuesday that showed a net drop of 300,000 customers since the end of March due to nonpayment, citizenship or immigration problems or because they got covered elsewhere.
Cutting the number of major U.S. health insurers from five to three through a pair of blockbuster mergers would erode competition in a way that is "not in the best interests of patients or physicians," a top doctors' group said Tuesday.
The White House praised Alaska Gov. Bill Walker for opting to expand Medicaid Tuesday under President Obama's health care law, balancing out their praise with thinly veiled criticism for about 20 states that have refused to expand their own programs, leaving millions "needlessly uninsured."
A federal judge Monday blocked the Obama administration from enforcing its birth-control mandate on March for Life, a secular nonprofit, saying the anti-abortion group met the same criteria for an exemption as houses of worship that do not have to comply with the Obamacare rule.
Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" will hit one in four employers that offer health care benefits, a leading industry analyst says in a report being released Tuesday, socking companies with a massive levy that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say is unfair to those who have negotiated high-quality plans as part of their jobs.
A federal appeals court that refused to exempt a group of nuns from Obamacare's birth-control rules said Friday the sisters can duck the mandate and its hefty fines until the Supreme Court decides whether to take up their appeal.
Lawmakers in Alaska want a judge to block Gov. Bill Walker's unilateral plans to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker touted his "put up or shut up" style and called out members of his own party Tuesday in unveiling his own plan to repeal and replace Obamacare with a system of refundable tax credits, an overhaul of Medicaid and reforms to long-term care.
Nearly a million people have signed up for Obamacare since Feb. 23 because they lost other forms of coverage or had a significant life change, the Obama administration said Thursday in a snapshot of people who used the federal HealthCare.gov website between the law's formal enrollment periods.
A quirk in the law means the IRS will never be able to recoup nearly $350 million in overpayments on Obamacare tax credits last year, and one top senator says he is worried that fraudsters will exploit the loophole to wring more cash out of the government.
States that embraced Obamacare -- particularly its expansion of Medicaid -- saw the sharpest drops in their uninsured rates between 2013 and today, according to a Gallup survey that also says no state reported a significant increase in its share of uncovered residents since the law took root.
A federal appeals court on Friday said it will not reconsider a 2014 ruling that held Obamacare didn't violate the Constitution's "origination clause" requiring the House to kickstart revenue-raising bills, despite the law's tax on people who do not obtain health insurance.
Health providers banned from state Medicaid programs for fraud or other serious reasons are still doing business in other states despite Obamacare's prohibition on the practice, according to a government audit that said $7 million in payments would have been withheld if the states had a better way to communicate.
Senate Republicans filed a bill Tuesday that would bar the government from forcing employers to insure drugs and services that violate their moral beliefs, a move that taps into renewed debate over religious liberty, abortion and the persistent legal fight over Obamacare's birth-control mandate.
Less than a third of Obamacare exchange customers are satisfied with their plans, according to a survey released Monday that finds enrollees in the signature heath overhaul are less happy than those covered through government programs or their jobs.
Obamacare's co-ops, designed to give more choices for insurance, lost hundreds of millions of dollars in their first year and didn't attract anywhere near as many customers as they had hoped, meaning they may go insolvent and default on taxpayer-funded loans, according to a government audit released Thursday.
A key White House ally on Obamacare used the 50th anniversary Thursday of Medicaid, the government health program that covers 71 million poor Americans, to urge red states to expand the program to millions more.
Roughly a week after its loss before an appeals court in Denver, a group of nuns who objected to Obamacare's birth-control mandate have taken their case to the Supreme Court.
Recent Opinion Columns
Every year, Medicare physician payment rates spark a legislative fire drill. The complex formula for updating doctors' reimbursements, the sustainable growth rate formula, routinely threatens Medicare physicians with draconian payment cuts. Next year, the formula mandates a 21 percent pay cut.
Washington is primed for Medicare reform. If nothing is done, the trust fund that covers the hospital bills for nearly 50 million Americans will run out in less than two decades.
Deception abounds in Obamacare. A video of MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, the "architect" of the Affordable Care Act, is all over the Internet, showing his admission that the entire measure was based on deceit, "written in a tortured way" to be deceptive so it could pass thanks to "the stupidity of the American voter."
When Zeke Emanuel writes a provocative, 5,000-plus-word polemic on why he — and by extension the rest of us — should hope to die at 75 in order to ease the burden on family, friends and society, it can't be written off as the ravings of a rogue intellectual.
Recent Blog Entries
Oregon may drop its glitch-laden Obamacare exchange and rely on the federally run HealthCare.gov website instead, according to a new report.
From The Vault
Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he'd be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect.
The head of the agency in charge of the new health care law apologized Tuesday to people who've tried to use the flawed federal Obamacare website, but she said she still has faith that the site will be working for most Americans by the end of November.
The Obama administration waited until the last minute to test the main Obamacare website and refused to ask for a delay when hiccups arose, government contractors testified to Congress on Thursday as they tried to explain why the rollout of the insurance exchanges has been so rocky.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday put off Republican lawmakers who want to question her about the disastrous rollout of Obamacare this week, instead agreeing to testify about the program's computer problems next week.
Dr. Ben Carson didn't mince words: Obamacare is "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery."
President Obama said in comments broadcast Tuesday, on the cusp of enrollment in Obamacare's exchanges, that of course there will be "glitches" in the implementation of the health reform — months of glitches, he added.
Senators from both parties linked arms to defy Sen. Ted Cruz, overcoming his attempt to filibuster the stopgap spending bill, which allowed Democrats to add back in full funding for Obamacare and power the bill through the chamber and sending it back to the House.
With new health insurance markets launching next week, the Obama administration is unveiling premiums and plan choices for 36 states where the federal government is taking the lead to cover uninsured residents.
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.
Coping with advanced cancer, Bev Veals was in the hospital for chemotherapy this summer when she got a call that her health plan was shutting down. Then, the substitute insurance she was offered wanted her to pay up to $3,125, on top of premiums.
Citing Obamacare, the United Parcel Service plans to remove 15,000 spouses from its health care plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere.
The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled $67 million in grants to more than 100 organizations tasked with helping Americans understand the new health care law and its potential benefits.
Tea party Republicans are girding for a fight with the White House — and members of their own party — over how to block President Obama's health care law, saying Congress must not miss the chance to use this year's funding bills to try to starve Obamacare to death.
The Obama administration launched its promotion of the new health care law in earnest Monday, revealing that it has asked the National Football League to advertise insurance options as it rolls out a glossy new website and a 24-hour call center to clear up confusion about the law.
The Ohio Department of Insurance predicts premiums in 2014 will rise by 88 percent, a direct result of President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Gallery: 40 Photos
The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul.
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.