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Health Reform

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NEWS
July 30, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Two new reports provide striking evidence that President Obama's health-care overhaul will keep countless Americans healthier, cut the federal deficit, and even save millions of lives — though how many will depend on whether Republican-run states opt for good medicine over partisan politics.   The Affordable Care Act faces continued opposition from presidential candidate Mitt Romney and GOP members of Congress, despite passing a historic legal review by the Supreme Court in June.
NEWS
September 23, 2009 | By CHRISTINE OLLEY, olleyc@phillynews.com 215-854-5184
Eric Aycox wasn't feeling well on Nov. 18, 2006, but he didn't have health insurance so he went to an emergency room, where he was sent home with a prescription for codeine and an antibiotic. But he didn't have money to fill the prescriptions, and he later died of a bacterial infection that morphed into menigitis. He was only 44. Yesterday, his mother, Joan Kos-loff, and his father, Frank Aycox, gathered with members of Healthcare for America Now, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the Service Employees International Union, and the United Food and Commerical Workers, Local 1776, to protest and demand that Cigna Insurance Co. stop blocking health-care reform.
NEWS
November 11, 2010
Emboldened congressional Republicans are predicting a rocky couple of years ahead for the health-care overhaul that they disparagingly call "Obamacare" - as they hatch plans to scuttle the law by holding up funding for key elements. But they had better act quickly. Millions of Americans already are enjoying tangible benefits from the health-care law, and they're not likely to look kindly on having those benefits weakened, much less revoked. The list of benefits so far includes: required coverage of preventive services such as childhood immunizations and cancer screenings for women; a ban on denying coverage for youngsters with preexisting medical conditions; letting young adults still at home remain on their parents' health plan; barring insurers from setting lifetime limits on coverage; and a $250 rebate for seniors facing the Medicare "doughnut hole" in drug coverage.
NEWS
September 17, 1993 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The draft of President Clinton's health-care reform plan calls for sweeping changes in the way medical services are delivered, dramatic savings from government and private insurance plans, and the promise that the patient - a bloated health-care system - will make an amazingly swift recovery. At the same time, though, the administration proposes to provide medical care to an estimated 37 million Americans who are currently uninsured, expand services for the elderly, and increase spending on medical research - all without any new taxes.
NEWS
March 23, 2012 | By Ouida Brown and Jamie Mondics
On this second anniversary of the health-care reform law, and on the eve of its consideration by the Supreme Court, it's worth recalling what preceded it.Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act came into being, insurance companies could deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions, cancel policies when people needed them most, place lifetime limits on coverage, and raise rates without justification. Before President Obama signed the legislation into law, 45,000 Americans were uninsured due to preexisting conditions.
NEWS
September 27, 1994 | By R.A. Zaldivar, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Clinton's yearlong crusade to guarantee health insurance for all Americans ended in failure yesterday as Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell announced he was giving up on efforts to pass any bill this year. "It is clear that health-insurance reform cannot be enacted this year," a somber Mitchell (D., Maine) told reporters. In a statement issued by the White House yesterday, Clinton called the collapse of health-care reform a "rough spot" but not the end of the road.
NEWS
December 8, 2009
THERE are two glaring problems with the Senate health bill. First, it takes $464 billion out of Medicare over 10 years, of which $120 billion comes out of Medicare Advantage, unless you live in New York, Oregon or Florida, exempted cuts through a special deal made before the bill went to the floor. These cuts can't be good for Medicare, which is already becoming insolvent. Those with Medicare Advantage will be forced to buy a Medigap policy to replace the coverage they now have.
NEWS
August 25, 1994
In this autumn-like moment of late August, the pruning of health reform proceeds apace. There is not much left, of course. It is a 95-pound weakling, its sternest stuff having bitten the dust: No more grand talk about bringing 39 million uninsured Americans into the loop. No more can-do talk about squeezing down medical costs. House Speaker Tom Foley, the Washington Democrat, says he'll settle for tinkering with insurance rules - the ones that kick out sick people, or cheat them out of benefits for existing conditions, or stop coverage when they switch jobs.
NEWS
September 1, 2009 | By Geoff Garin
Ted Kennedy's voice and leadership will be sorely missed in the effort to pass health-care reform. But when Republicans say Democrats don't have anyone to take his place in achieving a bipartisan compromise, they are either missing - or deliberately obscuring - the relevant lesson of Kennedy's example. The truth is that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.), with the support of the White House, has worked hard for months to reach consensus with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa)
NEWS
January 20, 1994
Members of Congress have been trooping back from the holidays with grim news about health reform. The optimism that once gave loft to Harris Wofford's Senate campaign has dissipated. The bipartisan bear hugs that greeted President Clinton's first forays have turned into arm-wrestling matches. There's a can't-do, proceed-with-caution mood emerging. It is a message the President - and health maven Hillary Rodham Clinton - had better listen to. And quickly respond to. It was nearly a year before the White House began taking the rumblings over NAFTA seriously.
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BUSINESS
March 10, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Will "Obamacare," for all its start-up pains, ultimately prove a boon to the economy beyond its chief purpose: providing universal access to affordable health insurance, as in every other industrialized nation? I argued so last month, after widely misportrayed projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would reduce "job lock," the impetus to stay in a job only for health coverage, say, for a hard-to-insure spouse. Ending job and entrepreneurship lock should spur people to pursue their talents and ambitions, to all our benefit.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
AtlantiCare, the dominant health-care provider in Atlantic County, has signed a letter of intent to join Geisinger Health System, an integrated health system in rural Pennsylvania known nationally for high quality and low cost, the providers said Wednesday. AtlantiCare had significant talks with seven health systems to find a partner that would help accelerate its move toward a model emphasizing health management rather than getting paid for discrete episodes of illness, David P. Tilton, AtlantiCare's president and chief executive, said.
NEWS
September 30, 2013 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kevin Teer, 51, of Collingswood, lost his job two years ago, working for a local printer, and hasn't had health insurance since. He works 4 to 12 p.m. as a dispatcher for a cab company now, while his wife is a part-time receptionist. They have a 20-year-old son who also has no health insurance, and a 14-year-old who is covered through a state program for children. What does he know about the health insurance exchange that comes to life this week? "I am completely ignorant.
NEWS
September 20, 2013
WE WANT to give full and hearty applause to Gov. Corbett, who announced Monday that he has a plan to reform Medicaid and expand health coverage for the poor. His office has made clear, though, that he is not embracing the federal Medicaid expansion, as many hoped. So, right now, our applause will be less than hearty. Under the Affordable Care Act, the feds have encouraged states to expand Medicaid participation; in exchange, the feds will cover 100 percent of the cost of expansion for the states for two years, and 90 percent in subsequent years.
NEWS
September 6, 2013 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The letter from Washington arrived on Laura Line's desk Wednesday, three weeks after her nonprofit won a federal grant to help consumers make sense of the health-insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act and four weeks before they were to open for business. It gave her nine days to provide Republicans on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce with all details and documents, electronic and paper, in her possession and not, involving the $953,716 her organization is getting to assist with health-insurance enrollment in 10 Pennsylvania counties.
NEWS
August 11, 2013 | By Curtis Skinner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nearly all of the region's hospitals will again see penalties to their vital Medicare payments come October, due to having too many patients return within 30 days, new federal data show. Forty-one of 43 hospitals across the region will see cuts of up to 1.25 percent of their Medicare payments, as penalties are applied for performance between July 2009 and June 2012, federal data analyzed by Kaiser Health News revealed. Inspira Medical Center Woodbury will see the region's largest penalty, at 1.25 percent, followed by South Jersey's Kennedy University Hospitals and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby Borough.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2013 | By Curtis Skinner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three major Philadelphia-area health systems announced a partnership Tuesday to jointly manage health benefits and care for their tens of thousands of employees. Einstein Healthcare Network, Abington Health, and Aria Health unveiled a plan for a jointly run company that will manage insurance and care for their combined 30,000 employees and family members. The three systems combined currently pay premium revenues of about $100 million annually, though how much each system will invest in the partnership has yet to be decided.
NEWS
July 15, 2013
The biggest health insurance changes in a generation are starting this fall with the opening of online insurance exchanges for individuals and small business employees. Robert I. Field, a law and public health professor at Drexel University, answers reader questions and writes the Field Clinic, a blog on Philly.com and Inquirer.com. A key part of Obamacare will be delayed until 2015, putting it a year behind schedule. That is the provision penalizing large employers that don't offer health coverage to their workers.
NEWS
March 25, 2013 | By David B. Nash
Look no further than Steven Brill's "Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us," in the March 4 issue of Time, to see why there is little role, if any, for the marketplace in health care. Simply put, government must be a key player if we are ever to rein in runaway health-care costs. Brill presents a bill-by-bill description of the staggering costs associated with hospital care: An uninsured patient billed $7,997.54 for a stress test using a radioactive dye (Medicare reimbursement rate for this procedure is $554)
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