April 24, 2012 |
The Obama administration should cancel plans for $8.4 billion in "quality" bonuses to insurance companies that provide Medicare coverage because Congress didn't authorize the spending and it's unlikely to improve care for the elderly, government auditors said. The bonuses for Medicare Advantage plans run by companies including UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. would pay about $5 billion more through 2014 than what Congress authorized in the U.S. health-care system overhaul, the Government Accountability Office said in a report today.
April 22, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Two former prosecutors, both from eastern Pennsylvania, are locked in an unusually bitter primary battle for a chance to make history by becoming the first Democrat elected Pennsylvania attorney general. Both have also assailed a Republican who is not even on the ballot - Gov. Corbett. In the run-up to Tuesday's Democratic primary, Kathleen Kane and Patrick Murphy have waged a TV air war that went negative days ago as they crisscrossed the state in search of last-minute funding and support.
April 11, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A possible misunderstanding about President Obama's health-care overhaul could cloud Supreme Court deliberations on its fate, leaving the impression that the law's insurance requirement was more onerous than it actually was. During the recent oral arguments, some of the justices and the lawyers appearing before them seemed to be under the impression that the law did not allow most consumers to buy low-cost, stripped-down insurance to...
April 6, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama is laying groundwork to make the majority-conservative Supreme Court a campaign issue this fall, taking a political page from Republicans who have long railed against liberal judges who don't vote their way. The emerging Democratic strategy to paint the court as extreme was little noted in this week's hubbub over Obama's assertion that overturning his health-care law would be "unprecedented. " His statement Monday wasn't completely accurate, and the White House backtracked.
April 1, 2012 |
If Tuesday's oral arguments before the Supreme Court were a reality check for the Obama administration and its hopes for its health-care overhaul, Wednesday's session may have been the day that dreams were shattered. A close reading of the arguments would seem to suggest that the tide of battle, for the Obama administration at least, had worsened. Too many inferences sometimes are drawn from the tenor of the back-and-forth bantering between Supreme Court justices and lawyers arguing their cases.
April 1, 2012
An amazing moment occurred the other day on the two-year anniversary of the health-reform law that has long been burdened by the pejorative term Obamacare. The president's campaign advisers essentially said, We're going to own that term and spin it as a positive. So they e-mailed their supporters: "It's about time we give it the love that it deserves. Let everyone know, 'I like Obamacare.'" And President Obama himself doubled down during a fund-raiser: "You want to call it Obamacare - that's OK, because I do care.
March 28, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Sharp questioning by the Supreme Court's conservative justices cast serious doubt Tuesday on the survival of the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Obama's historic health-care overhaul. Arguments at the high court focused on whether the mandate for virtually every American to have insurance "is a step beyond what our cases allow," in the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy. But Kennedy, who is often the swing vote on cases that divide the justices along ideological lines, also said he recognized the magnitude of the nation's health-care problem and seemed to suggest that it would require a comprehensive solution.
March 26, 2012
There's no courtroom big enough, of course, to hold all the Americans with health insurance who are reaping the early benefits of the federal health overhaul. But their interests - and those of 30 million uninsured citizens - are integral to the legal drama unfolding this week, as the Supreme Court hears arguments in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the reform. While the second anniversary of the landmark legislation finds the law under siege, it also brings proof that the reforms are already improving the lives of millions.
March 26, 2012 |
One prevalent notion about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - widely known as Obamacare - is that the law (which turned two years old on Friday) creates a radical health system. President Obama insists that his signature law is a radical improvement. Obamacare's opponents, especially conservatives, argue that it's a radical change for the worse. Both views ignore that Obamacare is integral to an unmistakable progression in American health care. The law takes us from partial to total government-controlled medicine.
March 25, 2012 |
After two years, the Affordable Care Act has yet to dramatically alter the health-care landscape in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but the controversial law, facing a U.S. Supreme Court challenge this week, has expanded insurance coverage in small ways and added momentum to changes already under way in the health-care system. "It has made a difference," said David Simon, executive vice president at Jefferson Health System. "It's been a catalyst for people to start thinking about things, looking at new ways of doing business, accelerating the pace of change in terms of increasing quality and efficiency.