President Obama's top health official said Friday the next administration should push for universal coverage by solidifying Obamacare's gains in taxpayer-subsidized coverage, urging holdout states to expand Medicaid and prodding Congress to revamp U.S. immigration laws.
Health Care Reform
News coverage, opinion and information on health care reform and health care policy including the Affordable Care Act.
By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times
As expected, President Obama vetoed legislation Friday that would have repealed Obamacare and defunded Planned Parenthood, saying the Affordable Care Act "is working." Published January 8, 2016
Roughly 12.7 million people have selected plans on Obamacare's exchanges, the administration said Thursday, giving the first comprehensive look at potential enrollment in the third year of the health overhaul.
House Democrats sustained President Obama's veto of an Obamacare repeal Tuesday, defeating the GOP's deepest salvo yet against the controversial health law but delivering a rallying cry to conservative Republicans in a pivotal election year.
The administration declared victory for Obamacare on Monday, saying the third year of sign-ups on the health care exchanges went smoothly and set an enrollment record, with customers younger and healthier than they have been in the past.
Obamacare places pretty far down the list of concerns for Americans, according to a survey, underscoring President Obama's difficulty with just three days left to apply for coverage to get the public to buy into his health care law.
Nearly 9 million people selected a plan on HealthCare.gov ahead of Obamacare's last week of signups, the Obama administration said Wednesday, inching the program closer to a downgraded enrollment target of 13 million customers in 2016.
Obamacare enrollment is lagging far behind what economists had projected, the Congressional Budget Office said in a new report that cuts the total number of customers expected to buy plans on the exchanges from 21 million down to just 13 million this year.
The man in charge of implementing Obamacare told Congress he will take a proactive approach toward nonprofit co-op plans that have failed at a startling rate, pledging to both help co-ops that survived and leverage the Justice Department to seek repayment of taxpayer loans from those that did not.
The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to take up an appeal that says Congress flouted the Constitution by kick-starting Obamacare in the wrong chamber.
The nation's largest insurer said Tuesday it still might withdraw from the Obamacare marketplace by 2017, citing losses on the law's Web-based exchanges despite a stronger-than-expected earnings report buoyed by its Optum division and other lines of business.
Two powerful Republicans threatened Friday to subpoena the Obama administration unless it explains by Jan. 28 why it is funding an obscure program under Obamacare without explicit approval from Congress.
About 8.7 million customers had selected a plan on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange as of Jan. 9, according to a government update Wednesday that showed only a slight uptick in consumer interest between crucial deadlines to get covered under Obamacare in 2016.
Hillary Clinton over the past two days has launched an all-out assault on presidential primary rival Sen. Bernard Sanders' health care plan, arguing that voters in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire deserve answers from the senator on how he'll guarantee health care to all Americans without raising middle-class taxes.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday defended her daughter's contention a day earlier that Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont wants to "dismantle" Obamacare and private health insurance, saying the Vermont senator needs to better explain how to pay for his national, single-payer health care proposal.
More than 200 members of Congress asked the Supreme Court Monday to protect faith-based colleges, charities and other nonprofits from Obamacare's birth control rules, citing an American track record of religious liberty that extends from the Pilgrims' landing in Massachusetts to a 1993 law designed to protect the faithful from government mandates.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has invited a group of nuns fighting Obamacare's "contraception mandate" to be among his honored guests Tuesday at President Obama's final State of the Union address to Congress.
Flanked by dozens of his GOP troops, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday signed the first-ever Obamacare repeal bill that will make it to the White House.
Roughly 11.3 million people have selected private plans on Obamacare's exchanges, according to a government update released Thursday that for the first time includes 2016 signup data from all of the states.
Six years after President Obama rammed Obamacare through a Democrat-run Congress, Republicans used their own majority to take a "monumental" step toward scrapping the overhaul Wednesday, approving a bill to ax the onerous mandates that penalize Americans who refuse to comply with the health care law's demands.
Maryland Democrats hope to break new ground in the push for universal voter registration, planning to wage a fight in the General Assembly this year to automatically sign up everyone who visits certain state social services agency or buys coverage through the state's Obamacare exchange.
Congress is poised to dispatch an Obamacare repeal bill to President Obama's desk Wednesday, fulfilling a long-standing but elusive goal for Republicans who seized the House in 2011 and reaffirmed their vow after taking control of the Senate last year.
An elder-care charity run by nuns asked the Supreme Court on Monday to shield them from Obamacare's birth control mandate, arguing that the government can provide their organizations' female employees with contraceptives if it really wants to but shouldn't force them to facilitate the coverage.
Heidi Savage's clients felt like they received an extra Christmas gift last week when the Treasury Department said large employers would have an extra couple of months to complete and file a series of complex tax forms under Obamacare.
It's been like a long-delayed New Year's resolution for Republicans. But 2016 will finally be the year when they put legislation on President Barack Obama's desk repealing his health care law.
A greater share of Obamacare customers logged back onto HealthCare.gov to shop around and select a new plan for 2016 than in last year's renewal period, the administration said Wednesday, casting it is as a sign that more people are heeding its advice to seek out the best deal in the federal marketplace.
Obamacare sign-ups on the federal HealthCare.gov website are running 2 million ahead of last year's pace, with 8.2 million so far, the administration announced Tuesday, saying demand has surged as customers rush to have coverage in place before the new year.
Roughly 6 million people selected a health plan on HealthCare.gov in time to be covered on Jan. 1, the Obama administration said Friday, boasting of a "very strong start" to the Obamacare signup season that outpaces last year's effort to beat a crucial mid-December deadline.
Congress is poised to take the first major bites out of Obamacare's finances this week when it postpones a series of taxes intended to pay for the hefty overhaul — defying President Obama's pleas to leave his signature domestic achievement alone.
At least 4.1 million people have selected a 2016 health plan on HealthCare.gov, according to an Obamacare update released Wednesday that says more than 1 million people signed up in the last week alone.
The administration on Monday told the uninsured to log onto HealthCare.gov and select a plan within 24 hours so they are covered by Jan. 1 and avoid a tax penalty under Obamacare.
More than 70 percent of Kentuckians don't want Gov.-elect Matt Bevin to scale back the state's Medicaid program, according to a survey released Friday that paints a complex portrait of Obamacare politics as the Republican takes charge.
Roughly 7 million Americans would have to pay more for the cheapest Obamacare plan available to them than to satisfy the sharply rising tax penalty for going uninsured in 2016, according to a new analysis that looked at the economic trade-offs of the administration's main tool to prod people into the new marketplace.
The man closest to the implementation of Obamacare told Congress that the handful of states with their own Obamacare exchanges are self-sustaining and doing a slightly better job at cutting their ranks of uninsured than states that rely on the federal HealthCare.gov website.
Senate Republicans brushed aside five years of frustration Thursday and fast-tracked an Obamacare repeal bill to President Obama's desk, fulfilling their pledge to hold Democrats and the White House accountable for a 2010 law they still view as fiscally ruinous and politically misguided.
Health spending spiked by more than 5 percent last year as Obamacare took full effect, according to a new government analysis Wednesday that said the low-growth trend that had prevailed for most of President Obama's time in office changed as new prescription drugs came on the market and Americans started using more services.
The White House formally signaled President Obama's intent Wednesday to veto a Republican bill that would dismantle his signature health overhaul, saying Congress should work to promote the law instead of making a political statement ahead of the 2016 elections.
One in 10 large nonprofits has asked the administration to shield it from Obamacare's birth-control rules, according to a survey released Tuesday that says many of them are likely Catholic colleges or hospitals that would qualify for the "accommodation" at the heart of an upcoming fight before the Supreme Court.
Senate Republicans put themselves on track to pass a long-sought bill this week to dismantle Obamacare and strip funding from Planned Parenthood for one year, finalizing a measure Tuesday that will put a major repeal of the Affordable Care Act on President Obama's desk for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
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.