LISTEN LIVE

Obamacare

A Monday court hearing offers the Trump administration its best opportunity to prevent significant increases in health care costs for about 7 million lower-income Americans who buy their plans on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, USA Today reported.

Poor Floridians may see less access to medical care. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, said the state is turning down billions of dollars in federal funding for health care this year because it is not expanding Medicaid. Florida lawmakers are also planning to cut Medicaid and hospital funding.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

As their constituents protested in support of the Affordable Care Act in Miami Wednesday, two South Florida republicans provided crucial votes for a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which narrowly passed the house 217-213.

The moribund Republican health care bill received a jolt of life when the conservative House Freedom Caucus endorsed a revised version of the measure. But a leading GOP moderate criticized the reshaped legislation as a conservative exercise in "blame-shifting and face-saving" that wasn't winning new support from party centrists, leaving its fate unclear.

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.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says Republicans should start chipping away at eliminating the Affordable Care Act. He spoke to Fox News after attending a White House bill signing.

A Republican congressman who in 2010 lost both legs after stepping on a roadside bomb in Afghanistan told an occasionally raucous town hall meeting here that he supports his party’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act because Americans should be free to go without health care if they so choose.

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.

The White House and House Republicans appear short of a last-ditch deal on their long-promised repeal of Barack Obama's health care law. And in an unexpected twist, "Obamacare" — never very popular — seems to be rising in public opinion polls.

In a gamble with monumental political stakes, Republicans set course for a climactic House vote on their health care overhaul after President Donald Trump claimed he was finished negotiating with GOP holdouts and determined to pursue the rest of his agenda, win or lose.

GOP Plan Aims To Curb Medicaid, Expand State Options

Mar 23, 2017

For all its populist design, the House Republicans’ latest proposal to overhaul federal Medicaid funding creates financial risks for states and could leave some enrollees worse off.

Dramatic changes in Medicaid are a big part of the House bill to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act that’s steaming toward a floor vote scheduled for Thursday.

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 scored a pre-dawn triumph Thursday in their effort to scuttle former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but it masked deeper problems as hospitals, doctors and consumer groups mounted intensifying opposition to the GOP health care drive.

Over the strong objections of key conservatives and Democrats, House Republican leaders are forging ahead with a health care plan that scraps major parts of the Obama-era overhaul.

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 confronted a conservative rebellion in their own party Tuesday over their long-promised plans to repeal and replace the health care law, and beseeched President Donald Trump to settle the dispute.

Republican members of Florida’s Congressional Delegations have found themselves confronting angry constituents at recent town hall meetings. The move is part of a backlash from Democrats over the Presidential election. But how long will that anger last?

Sen. Marco Rubio said he has not held an open forum with constituents because the room would be packed by "liberal activists" and wouldn't be productive.


U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis held his third public listening session on health care reform in Wesley Chapel on Wednesday night.

Obamacare Success In States Like Florida Not Due To Politics

Feb 13, 2017

Ask anyone about their health care and you are likely to hear about ailments, doctors, maybe costs and insurance hassles. Most people don’t go straight from “my health” to a political debate, and yet that is what our country has been embroiled in for almost a decade.

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.

Pages