June 27, 2015 |
In its second ruling in three years upholding President Obama's health-care law, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday turned back challengers' claims that the law barred health insurance subsidies to millions in 34 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The 6-3 opinion, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., upheld a central pillar of the Affordable Care Act and allows the administration's five-year-old initiative to get health coverage to more Americans. The decision lifted a cloud that threatened to end coverage for millions of Americans, disrupt state insurance markets, and pressure politicians whose constituents receive the subsidies to find a way to save them.
June 26, 2015 |
Within minutes of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling, Gov. Wolf announced plans to drop the state-based insurance exchange that Pennsylvania had pursued to prevent more than 300,000 residents from losing subsidies. "I took steps to protect Pennsylvania's consumers by putting in place a contingency in the event the Supreme Court ruled people are not eligible for subsidies, but I am pleased to say that we will no longer need to rely on this plan," Wolf said in a statement. Pennsylvania and Delaware were the only states to win conditional approval last week to set up exchanges to protect their citizens from a potential ruling against subsidies in the 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance marketplace.
June 23, 2015 |
Barbara Butler takes home $250 a week for driving a school bus with blind children to a Catholic day school part time. Her health insurance premiums are $517 a month. She pays 76 cents, and Washington picks up the rest. The Supreme Court is expected to rule within a week on whether that subsidy, a key part of President Obama's health-care law, is legal in 34 states. If it decides not, then the West Philadelphia resident's premiums would swell to half her income. "Fortunately for me, I'm pretty healthy," Butler said.
June 22, 2015 |
After countless hours of courtroom argument, dozens of briefs, and seemingly endless legal maneuvering, the fate of President Obama's Affordable Care Act comes down to the meaning of six simple words. On June 28, 2012, when the U.S. Supreme Court first narrowly upheld the law, it seemed the bitter struggle over Obama's huge expansion of federally funded health care had come to an end. But the calm was short-lived. Within a few months, conservative legal theorists seized on a little-noticed sentence in the law that seemed to limit federal assistance for consumers to buy health insurance purchased on state-established exchanges, or marketplaces.
June 17, 2015 |
The Obama administration on Monday gave Pennsylvania and Delaware a head start in the scramble to save residents from losing health insurance coverage, the possible result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected this month. The action - conditional approval to establish state-based insurance marketplaces - moves forward both states' efforts to preserve health insurance subsidies for their citizens. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller described it as a "contingency plan" with the potential to help more than 300,000 residents who had bought subsidized insurance.
June 14, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - Ken Giles sat on a dugout bench as his manager and pitching coach yelled in his face. The emotionally charged pitcher barked back after the eighth inning of Friday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Giles had loaded the bases in the eighth inning on his own error and a pair of walks, one of which was intentional. He appeared to seethe throughout the inning. Pitching coach Bob McClure visited the mound. Catcher Cameron Rupp made his own trek to calm down the pitcher before they intentionally walked Pedro Alvarez.
June 12, 2015 |
MELISSA ALVAREZ enjoys it when police officers behave like pals. "This officer just took a selfie with me, the other greeted us with high-fives," said the 17-year-old Frankford resident, who is also president of the Philadelphia Youth Commission. "I want to see more officers like that!" Alvarez was one of several panelists at "Securing our Future," a meeting on community policing yesterday in City Hall organized by several groups including the Police Advisory Commission, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and the mayor's office.
June 4, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf this week formally proposed setting up a state-based insurance marketplace, potentially protecting hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents from the consequences of a Supreme Court decision that could gut Obamacare later this month. A ruling against the Affordable Care Act could end insurance subsidies for millions of people who live in the 37 states - including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware - that rely on the federal marketplace. The 13 that set up state marketplaces two years ago would not be affected.
January 29, 2015 |
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. might grow, or break up, or some combination of both. Chief executive officer Ian Read said Tuesday that Pfizer will keep looking for companies to buy and is taking the next steps to see whether its pieces are worth more than the sum of its parts. Pfizer has said that it tried to buy AstraZeneca in 2014, and it reportedly inquired about buying Actavis and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. AstraZeneca, Teva, and Actavis all have operations in the Philadelphia region.
January 12, 2015 |
Fifteen years ago, two Philadelphians with a shared affinity for classic cars, world affairs, and Cuba formed a quirky nonprofit that some now say was prescient. Their group, TailLight Diplomacy, sprung from the notion that the estimated 50,000, pre-1960, Detroit-built "Yanktanks" - the vintage cars still rolling in Cuba - could unite car enthusiasts from America and the island nation for groundbreaking exchanges. Founders Rick Shnitzler and John Dowlin corresponded with Cuban officials.