March 6, 2015 |
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.
February 19, 2015 |
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.
December 21, 2014 |
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.
November 17, 2014 |
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.
August 24, 2014 |
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.
August 11, 2014 |
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.
November 7, 2013 |
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.
October 30, 2013 |
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.
October 7, 2013 |
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.
October 4, 2013 |
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.