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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.

Keith Saunders, left, a certified Cover California insurance agent, explains a health insurance plan to Mark Tammes at a registration site hosted by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) ** FILE **

Republicans gleefully mark one-year anniversary of failed Obamacare rollout

By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times

Republican operatives marked the one-year anniversary of Obamacare's failed tech rollout Wednesday by highlighting another early stumble — the promise that everyone could keep their health plans, even though the overhaul's new coverage standards resulted in cancellation notices for thousands of people in states with key Senate match-ups this fall. Published October 1, 2014

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, accompanied by Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, briefs reporters at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, on the military health care system. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Hagel: Military medical system 'average'

- Associated Press

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday directed military medical officials to show within 45 days how they will improve care, patient safety and access to treatment at underachieving military health care facilities.

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2010 file photo, a student uses an Apple MacBook laptop in his class in Palo Alto, Calif. New warnings are emerging of a security flaw known as the "Bash" bug, which cyber experts say may pose a serious threat to computers and other devices using Unix-based operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

State panel: No confidence in Medicaid contract

- Associated Press

Members of a state legislative panel said last week they don't believe Xerox Corp. will be able to fulfill its $70 million contract to create a new computer program to manage Medicaid payments.

National Commander of the American Legion Michael Helm at their national headquarters, Washington, D.C., Tuesday. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

'Substantial' VA staff will face discipline

- The Washington Times

A "substantial" number of VA employees will face punishment for the veterans treatment scandal, the new national commander of the American Legion predicted Tuesday, indicating that the slow pace of discipline has more to do with the hoops the department must jump through than it does a lack of willingness to fire people.

FILE - In this July 8, 2014 file photo, Katherine Mitchell, M.D., medical director, Iraq and Afghanistan Post-Deployment Center, Phoenix VA Health Care System, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Veterans Affairs Department has reached financial settlements with three employees who faced retaliation after filing whistleblower complaints about the troubled Phoenix VA hospital. The employees were among the first to report widespread wrongdoing at the Phoenix hospital, including chronic delays for veterans seeking care and falsified waiting lists covering up those delays. Similar problems soon were identified across the country amid a growing scandal that forced the ouster of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

VA settles complaints by 3 Phoenix whistleblowers

- Associated Press

The Veterans Affairs Department said Monday it has settled complaints filed by three employees who faced retaliation after filing whistleblower complaints about the troubled Phoenix VA hospital.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky Democrat, who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell,  on Monday unveiled a social-media campaign dubbed "#AlisonCares." It plays off Mrs. Grimes' stump speech, in which she declares, "Mitch McConnell doesn't care. I do!" (Associated Press)

Grimes' embrace of Obamacare is at arm's length

- The Washington Times

Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has carefully avoided endorsing Obamacare in her run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, but Monday she inched closer to identifying herself with the president's namesake health care law by launching an "AlisonCares" ad campaign.

Hoyer

Hoyer makes a pitch for a Democratic House

- The Washington Times

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Monday that if voters unhappy with gridlock in Washington should give Democrats the majority in the House, allowing President Obama and his party another chance to pursue their agenda.

Under Gov. Bobby Jindal's leadership on the economy, Louisiana's credit rating has greatly improved. (Associated Press)

Analysis: Jindal under fire in La. on health care

- Associated Press

Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, sent a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald demanding answers on what he called serious deficiencies in the Caribbean VA system, including the arrest of a top official and "inappropriate hiring practices." (Associated Press)

Caribbean VA health system under fire

- The Washington Times

The chairman of a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee demanded Thursday that new VA Secretary Bob McDonald explain serious deficiencies in the department's Caribbean Health Care System, including the arrest of a top official and a suicide note left by a veteran who said he wanted to end his life because of the poor treatment he was receiving.

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Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before the House Ways and Means Committee on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Obamacare website chief apologizes for poor rollout

- The Washington Times

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.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius arrives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, for and event with President Barack Obama on the initial rollout of the health care overhaul. Obama acknowledged that the widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the cascade of computer issues. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Sebelius to appear before House on Obamacare on Oct. 30

- The Washington Times

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.

** FILE ** In this Aug. 22, 2013, file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks during an event discussing the federal health care overhaul in Philadelphia. 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. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Premiums unveiled for health overhaul plans

- Associated Press

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.

** 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.

Bev Veals (left), accompanied by her husband, Scott, undergoes chemotherapy treatment at Duke Cancer Center in Durham, N.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Patient's health insurance bill soars as Obamacare falters

- Associated Press

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.

Tea party asks its grass roots to help kill health care law

- The Washington Times

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.

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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.