Affordable Care Act

Lawmakers returning to Washington this week will find a familiar quagmire on health care legislation and a budget deadline dramatized by the prospect of a protracted battle between President Donald Trump and Democrats over his border wall.

Repeal and replace is on-again, off-again, but that doesn't mean the rules affecting your insurance will stay the same in the meantime.

The Trump administration late Thursday issued a final rule aimed at stabilizing the existing health law's insurance marketplace that could have rapid, dramatic effects — perhaps as soon as early summer — on people who do not get insurance through work, and buy it on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges instead.

The Affordable Care Act's worst enemies are now in charge of the vast range of health coverage the law created. They're also discussing changes that could affect a wider net of employment-based policies and Medicare coverage for seniors.

Although Republicans failed last month in their first attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, President Donald Trump vows the effort will continue. And even if Congress does nothing, Trump has suggested he might sit by and "let Obamacare explode."

The Republican health care bill remained in shambles Thursday as House leaders threw up their hands and sent lawmakers home for a two-week recess. GOP chiefs announced a modest amendment to curb premium increases, but internal divisions still blocked their promised repeal of former President Barack Obama's law.

"This brings us closer to the final agreement that we all want to achieve," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said of the new amendment, flanked by about two dozen GOP lawmakers at a news briefing meant to project unity.

Congressman Vern Buchanan was greeted with a huge turnout — and chants, boos and cheers — during a town hall meeting.

Michael Botticelli served as President Obama's director of National Drug Control Policy, and pushed Congress to pass a funding measure last year making more money available for the treatment of opioid addiction.

Now he's concerned that the proposed Republican health plan will reduce access to health services for people with addiction.

When the Congressional Budget Office on Monday announced that the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would lead to 24 million people losing insurance coverage, Tom Price cried foul.

Price, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the estimate that 14 million people would lose insurance in a year, and another 10 million over the following nine years, was "virtually impossible."

UPDATED 3/24/2017 4:45 PM

Republican leaders in the U.S. House have pulled the American Health Care Act from the floor after failing to round up enough votes within their own caucus.

Had the bill passed, Americans would have no longer been required to buy health insurance, and it would have eliminated the current subsidies that are used to bring down the cost of premiums.

NPR and dozens of member stations collected public statements from members of Congress to help the public understand where lawmakers stood on this issue.

When Colorado expanded Medicaid coverage under former President Barack Obama's health care law, the largest provider in the Denver region hired more than 250 employees and built a $27 million primary care clinic and two new school-based clinics.

More than 1,000 nurses from around the country met this week in Tampa at the American Nurses Association annual conference, and part of it was spend discussing the potential impact of repealing Obamacare.

People in their 50s and 60s could be hit with higher health insurance premiums and less financial help paying for them under a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

House Republicans unveiled their much anticipated health law replacement plan Monday, slashing the law’s Medicaid expansion and scrapping the requirement that individuals purchase coverage or pay a fine. 

Republicans are increasingly talking about repairing former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, a softening of tone that comes as their drive to fulfill a keystone campaign promise that encounters disunity, drooping momentum and uneasy voters.

Quincy Walters/WUSF

Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis held a town hall Saturday, to hear ideas about replacing the Affordable Care Act. 

But he was met with opposition as about every one of the 200 people gathered at The Centre of Palm Harbor were in support of Obamacare. Many came to voice their concerns with the law's potential repeal. 

Through years of acrimony over the relative merits of Obamacare, one kind of health insurance has remained steady, widespread and relatively affordable: Employer-sponsored plans.

Job-based medical plans still cover more Americans than any other type, typically with greater benefits and lower out-of-pocket expense. Recent cost increases for this sort of coverage have been a tiny fraction of those for Obamacare plans for individuals.

While talk of repeal and replace has dominated the recent conversation about the Affordable Care Act, consumers have quietly been signing up in record numbers.  

People are still signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act despite its uncertain future.

During an enrollment event at the University of South Florida Tuesday,  people said they were worried about losing their health care.

Congress To Complete First Step To Repealing Health Law

Jan 13, 2017

Congress is on the cusp of completing the first — and by far the easiest — step toward gutting President Barack Obama's divisive health care law.

Friday's vote in the House would adopt a House-Senate measure to make it easier for a subsequent "Obamacare" repeal bill to advance through the Senate without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.

Republican-Led Senate Takes First Step To Repeal 'Obamacare'

Jan 12, 2017

The Senate early Thursday passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law, responding to pressure to move quickly even as Republicans and President-elect Trump grapple with what to replace it with.

An overwhelming majority of people disapprove of Republican lawmakers' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law, according to a poll released Friday.

And judging by the letter-writing and lobbying in the first week of the new congressional session, many health care and business groups agree.

Pages