Obamacare

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation about the future of Obamacare. Members of Congress could soon make fundamental change to The Affordable Care Act as part of a major tax overhaul.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in 2011
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/EPd159

Open enrollment for health plans under the Affordable Care Act begins today.

Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/rpL7cW

President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a Green Beret killed in Niger has prompted questions about the level of respect the President displayed for the soldier’s service.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in state politics, a plan to repeal Obamacare fizzled in the U.S. Senate. What impact, if any, will that have on North Carolina's congressional delegation?

Two of about 140 protesters who rallied in front of Senator Thom Tillis' office in downtown Raleigh.
Jess Clark / WUNC

More than one hundred protesters rallied outside Senator Thom Tillis' Raleigh office Tuesday afternoon calling for the Republican senator to reject his party's bill to replace Obamacare.

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. faces challenges within his own party this week in advancing the Republican health care bill.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step toward achieving one of the Republican Party's major goals.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina headquarters in Durham.
BCBSNC

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina filed to increase Affordable Care Act premiums by 22.9 percent next year.

Walter Jones, who represents North Carolina’s Third Congressional District, was the only Republican in this state to vote against a bill that will repeal portions of Obamacare.

"Most of the reason is that we don’t have an updated Congressional Budget Office score," he told WUNC as the bill passed 217-213.

"The last day or two, leadership has talked to me about it, (asked me), 'What would it take to get your vote?' They are cutting deals with members of Congress, tweaking this and tweaking that, and you don’t know what the costs are going to be."

Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to vote on the American Health Care Act Thursday. The bill would replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Obama’s signature legislation. Approval of the AHCA would mean approximately 24 million people could lose health care coverage by 2026, according to an estimate released last week by the Congressional Budget Office. 

jasleen_kaur / flickr, Creative Commons

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has issued a policy brief recommending a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and cuts to Medicaid spending, a move that worries child advocacy organizations.

Ninian Reid / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump started work on his first official day in office by signing an executive order on Obamacare. Trump pledged throughout his campaign to roll back the Affordable Care Act but has not yet articulated what plan will take its place to cover the 20 million Americans who rely on Obamacare.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Time Warner Cable Washington Reporter Geoff Bennett about Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office. 

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Across North Carolina, health systems will again face penalties because too many patients returned to hospitals shortly after being discharged.

In fact, hospitals will pay higher penalties in 2017 than any year in history.

Latino child
Lillian Zepeda / Flickr Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped close the health insurance gap for North Carolina's Latino children, according to a national report.

doctor, child, health child health
Courtesy of Pixbay.com

Child health insurance coverage in North Carolina is at a record high of nearly 95 percent, and researchers at Georgetown University say the increase is thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A picture of a dctor holding a stethoscope.
Alex Proimos / Flickr

North Carolina lawmakers have chosen to not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

Republican state leaders, including Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, have said that, even if the federal government initially subsidizes new people enrolling in Medicaid, the program would eventually cost the state more than it saves.

An image of the Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision today upholding tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's opinion.

Three justices, the court's most conservative members, dissented. The decision allows 460,000 North Carolinians to continue to receive subsidies for their health insurance.

Supreme Court building, Washington, DC, USA. Front facade.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Daderot

The U.S Supreme Court will take up a case this week that potentially puts half a million North Carolinians at risk of losing their subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

In King v. Burwellthe high court will examine whether the federal government can assist in paying insurance premiums for all Americans or if it can only offer funds in states that have created their own health care exchanges.

Illustration: Cadeceus
Flickr user takomabibelot

Roughly 480,000 people in North Carolina have signed up or been automatically re-enrolled for Obamacare plans by the end of January using the healthcare.gov system, according to government data released Friday. Almost 7.5 million in total have signed up across the country.

The Republicans have dubbed them the "Obamacare Dozen," the 12 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, all of whom voted for the president's health care and insurance overhaul law.

In GOP world, each one of those senators managed to provide the "deciding vote" for the Affordable Care Act.

And each one, in the wake of the law's online rollout debacle, is in a "panic" — the GOP buzzword of the week — over its political implications.

HealthServe is closing in Greensboro this week and 20,000 people will have to find a medical provider elsewhere.
Flickr.com

A total of 1,662 North Carolinians have signed up for a health plan in the federal marketplace.

That's according to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of the 30 states that have signed up individuals, North Carolina has the fourth most, behind Florida (3,571), Texas (2,991) and Pennsylvania (2,207). 

Kay Hagan
politico.com

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan can be added to the list of Obama allies who is also critical of healthcare.gov, the federal government's health care exchange website.

Senator Kay Hagan has not been afraid to speak her mind about the rocky roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.  She’s voiced her concerns on Twitter and during a visit to N.C. State yesterday.

“You know, I’m just as frustrated as my constituents are.  We’ve got to be assured that we get a website that works," said Hagan.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

  

Wednesday night, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Obama_signs_health_care-20100323.jpg

  

You probably know it as Obamacare, but its official name is the Affordable Care Act. And starting Tuesday, enrollment opens for mandatory insurance.

New policies don’t actually go into effect until January 1, but in the meantime, curious shoppers can take to the health exchanges to find a deal on health insurance.

HealthServe is closing in Greensboro this week and 20,000 people will have to find a medical provider elsewhere.
Flickr.com

North Carolina is asking local health departments to work with people hired to give information about the Affordable Care Act. 

The Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to every county last week, encouraging them to work with so-called health care navigators.  The federal government gave out about $3 million in grants to non-profits, hospitals and volunteers to hire navigators last month.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would block an expansion of North Carolina's Medicaid program. It passed on third reading Thursday. Republican lawmakers are opposed to enlarging Medicaid to help cover about 500,000 uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. Representative John Blust says the state would end up covering too many costs.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

A state House committee has moved along a bill that would block any state-funded expansion of Medicaid.  The Health and Human services Committee voted to follow Governor Pat McCrory's lead saying that Medicaid should not grow to cover about half-a million uninsured residents.  States can expand Medicaid to help cover the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act..but they can also opt out of that expansion.   Governor McCrory said the program's budget is tight in a speech at the Emerging Issues Forum at N-C State yesterday.

Republicans are looking to make big changes to how industries like energy, telecommunications and transportation are regulated. First on the agenda: fire most board and committee members and replace them with people hand-picked by Governor McCrory and the legislature.

Insourcing Healthcare

Nov 15, 2012

With Obamacare in effect, about 32 million citizens will become eligible for healthcare. As it stands now, our healthcare facilities are markedly understaffed.

North Carolina has until Friday to decide whether to build its own health exchange or let the federal government run one for the state. It's a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, which seeks to provide health care insurance to everyone. Al Delia is the Acting Secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. He says whatever path the state chooses, there's a whole series of decisions about infrastructure that need to be made.

A non-profit that supports new mothers in Durham County is getting a boost from President Obama's healthcare measure. Healthy Families Durham will use a $320,000 grant to support new families in east Durham. Program Director Jan Williams says they'll be providing home visits for two reasons.