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NEWS
June 9, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
ATLANTA - A panel of three federal judges indicated it may be prepared to declare at least part of last year's health-care law unconstitutional, tossing a barrage of skeptical questions at a top Obama administration lawyer. The judges at Wednesday's hearing in Atlanta did not state plainly that they would overturn the law, but all three inquired - more than once - about whether its requirement that nearly every American buy insurance by 2014 could be struck down and the rest of the law upheld.
NEWS
July 28, 2013 | By Joann Loviglio, Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Friday against the Mennonite owners of a central Pennsylvania cabinetmaker who claimed new health-insurance requirements that they pay for employees' contraceptive services violated their First Amendment rights. The 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a decision that Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. of East Earl, Lancaster County, does not qualify for the exemption because it is a for-profit company making a secular product with no formal ties to a church or other religious group.
NEWS
June 28, 2012 | By Greg Sargent
For Republicans, nothing captures what they loathe about Barack Obama's presidency more perfectly than Obamacare: It's big government run amok and an existential threat to American liberty. But it turns out that Republicans like what's actually in the law. A Reuters-Ipsos poll taken June 19-23 found that Obamacare remains deeply unpopular: 56 percent of Americans oppose the law, while only 44 percent favor it. But the poll also found that strong majorities favor the law's individual provisions — including solid majorities of Republicans.
NEWS
July 5, 2013 | By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The sudden delay of a major part of President Obama's historic health-care overhaul is raising questions about other potential problems lurking in the homestretch. The requirement that many employers provide coverage is just one part of a complex law. But its one-year postponement has taken administration allies and adversaries alike by surprise. White House officials said Wednesday that the delay was firm and would not be extended after a year - and that the overhaul will still be fully implemented by the time Obama leaves office.
NEWS
July 6, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld health-care reform, President Obama can get to the next logical order of business: compulsory broccoli purchases.   Absurd? Tell that to the Supreme Court, which cited the vegetable no fewer than a dozen times in its ruling last week on the Affordable Care Act. Not so long ago, when no legal scholar believed the health-care law faced a serious constitutional challenge, the broccoli question sprouted as conservative reductio ad absurdum: If the federal government could force us to buy health insurance, why couldn't it make us buy broccoli?
NEWS
April 14, 2011
House Republicans continued their multipronged attack on the health-care law enacted last year with a vote Wednesday to eliminate a section in the law providing $15 billion over the next decade for preventive health care such as fighting obesity and reducing smoking. The sponsor of the repeal legislation, Rep. Joe Pitts (R., Pa.), said that while some of the spending might be laudable, "we have created a slush fund that the secretary [of Health and Human Services] can spend from without any congressional oversight or approval.
NEWS
August 5, 2011 | By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - An obscure provision tucked into the federal health-care law has turned into a jackpot for Massachusetts hospitals - and a plus for those in New Jersey - while upsetting officials in other states because the money will come from their hospitals. The windfall for Massachusetts - $275 million a year - could add up quickly, about $1.4 billion over five years. "If I could think of a better word than outrageous , I would come up with it," said Steve Brenton, president of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
NEWS
March 10, 2012 | By Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News
WASHINGTON - Before Supreme Court justices weigh the fate of the 2010 health-care law this month, the White House is helping to coordinate efforts to showcase the law's most popular provisions and blunt relentless Republican attacks. Dozens of consumer, church, and public health groups have planned events, including a prayer vigil, to rally support for the law as the Supreme Court holds arguments on it March 26-28. About 100 supporters met Wednesday at the White House to discuss a coordinated response, said an administration official who declined to speak on the record because he wasn't authorized to discuss the gathering.
NEWS
December 9, 2012
Gov. Corbett looks more and more like a stubborn holdout against covering the health-care needs of 600,000 low-income Pennsylvanians under Obamacare. His excuse is that he needs more data on the state's costs for the safety net. Lodging similar dollars-and-cents objections Wednesday, Gov. Christie vetoed legislation that would launch an online health insurance marketplace for New Jersey residents. Christie, too, wants to crunch more numbers. All in all, on this issue, the two governors are sounding like they might fit in better in some place like the Show Me State.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Robert I. Field, For The Inquirer
WASHINGTON - The fate of Obamacare hung in the balance Wednesday as the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act could continue offering subsidies to help people buy insurance in states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The 80-minute session - 20 minutes longer than expected - was often a strident affair, with justices grilling lawyers in ways that reflected their liberal and conservative bents. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who was notably silent through most of the questioning, could cast the deciding vote.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Theodore Ruger, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School since 2004, has been appointed dean of the law school, effective July 1. Ruger, 46, who teaches constitutional law and health-related law and regulation, succeeds Michael A. Fitts, who left in July to become president of Tulane University. Wendell Pritchett has been interim dean and will continue as a professor on the faculties of the law school and the Graduate School of Education. Pritchett, 50, taught at Penn Law from 2001 to 2009, when he left to become chancellor of Rutgers-Camden.
NEWS
December 21, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
For the better part of 52 years, Joseph Rosati Plumbing & Heating has offered its employees fully paid health insurance. "My father prided himself in being able to offer health benefits to his employees," says Regina Weinhardt, who, along with her brothers, Joe Jr. and Anthony, took over the company after their father died in 2007. But when the company was ready to renew its group policy last month, Weinhardt got a bad case of sticker shock - an 87 percent rate increase. Her broker was able to find Weinhardt a more affordable policy with less coverage.
NEWS
November 17, 2014 | BY RICHARD L. HASEN
  THE SUPREME Court's surprising decision last week to hear a new challenge to the Affordable Care Act has once again focused attention on Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the deciding vote in a 2012 decision that saved Obamacare from being declared unconstitutional. Many court watchers expect that he will once again be the swing vote in deciding a case crucial to the health-care law, this one involving questions about who qualifies for subsidies under the law. But Roberts' vote in a recent voting-rights case suggests he might not step in to save the health law this time.
NEWS
August 24, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
States running their own Affordable Care Act marketplaces enrolled more people in health insurance than those using the federal marketplace, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute. Given the federal Website's dreadful October launch, that isn't exactly jaw-dropping news. But Penn's Health Insurance Exchange researchers were surprised to find that even after Healthcare.gov began working well in December, state-based marketplaces kept outperforming the federal site.
NEWS
August 11, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Experts thought if people bought health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, they would find a private doctor and stop using hospital emergency rooms for their primary care. Well, more people have health insurance. But they are still crowding into emergency departments across the nation. An online study by the American College of Emergency Room Physicians found that nearly half of its members have seen a rise in visits since Jan. 1 when ACA coverage began. A resounding 86 percent of the physicians said they expect that number to continue growing.
NEWS
November 7, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Great news: Pennsylvania recently passed a law to improve women's health. Alas, it is based on faulty science and lacks funding. On Friday, right after the pink-ribboned month of October, Gov. Corbett signed into law the Breast Density Notification Act. The law requires mammography centers to notify women about breast density so they might consider further tests such as ultrasounds and MRIs. Denser breasts appear white in mammograms, as do tumors, making them more difficult to read.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2013 | By Kelly April Tyrrell, For The Inquirer
Some school districts and state and local governments are limiting part-time workers' hours or letting them go to comply with the Affordable Care Act. And it's not all political. This month in Delaware, which has embraced the health law, officials decided to limit all casual and seasonal employees, including substitute teachers, to fewer than 30 hours a week to save on health insurance. About 376 workers from education, corrections, and homeland security agencies could be affected.
NEWS
October 7, 2013 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
This message on the Affordable Care Act's online portal Friday summed matters up succinctly: "We have a lot of visitors on the site right now. Please stay on this page. We're working to make the experience better, and we don't want you to lose your place in line. We'll send you to the log-in page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!" So went Week One of the nation's great experiment with universal health care: a flood of demand, at least for information, overwhelming new online health exchanges that, at least initially, were not up to the task.
NEWS
October 4, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach of Chester County became the latest local Republican to break with House conservatives Wednesday, calling for a "clean" spending bill to reopen the federal government. Gerlach, who accompanied his statement with eye-opening statistics about the tenor of messages from his constituents, is the fifth Republican from the moderate Philadelphia suburbs to part ways with the GOP's House leadership in the ongoing fight over government spending and President Obama's sweeping health-care law. "It is time for Congress to vote on a budget bill that gets the government back to work providing all of the services already paid for by the hardworking taxpayers in my district and across the country," Gerlach's statement said.
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