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Obamacare

Earlier this week, an outreach worker from Moffitt Cancer Center was invited to speak at the White House.

Eight groups that are hiring and training "navigators" to help uninsured Floridians enroll in Obamacare have been sent letters by a U.S. House committee seeking information on their activities  -- a letter that some have called "intimidating."

Two of the groups are public entities: University of South Florida and Pinellas County Board of Commissioners.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act rallied hundreds of conservatives at a Tampa hotel Wednesday night with a call for the Republican House to strip funds for the law out of next year's budget.

The budget vote is scheduled for right after Labor Day, in time for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

"Can we defund Obamacare? Yes, we can!" declared Mike Needham, CEO of the host group Heritage Action for America. The crowd applauded heartily at his use of President Barack Obama's campaign slogan.

Health policy and political consultants say that for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, politically and substantively, organizing efforts must focus on three states with large numbers of uninsured: Florida, Texas and California. Unfortunately for Democrats and the law’s supporters, as Politico reports, two of those states are run by Republicans who are trying to hamper the enrollment effort.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

When the new online health insurance marketplace opens Oct. 1, millions of people will be able to buy insurance at the click of a mouse. The federal government has a website and a hotline people can call for help. But they'll also have people who can help face-to-face. They're called "navigators." During a stop at the USF Tampa campus last week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said "navigators" will assist many people who have never been enrolled in a health plan before.

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was on the University of South Florida Tampa campus Thursday afternoon to hand out $7.8 million in grants to help Floridians with the Affordable Care Act. 

The money will be given to eight organizations around the state to hire staff to help consumers enroll in a health insurance plan. Starting Jan. 1, almost all Americans will be required to buy health insurance under the ACA.

politifact.com

The state of Florida has not exactly been warm and welcoming to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- better known as Obamacare.

There may be a way for 1 million below-poverty-level uninsured Floridians to gain access to health coverage, even though the state legislature voted against Medicaid expansion.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

We asked our readers to tell us what they thought was confusing about the Affordable Care Act, and you called, e-mailed and Facebooked us with questions. On Florida Matters, WUSF’s Craig Kopp sits down with attorney Linda Fleming of Carlton Fields; Julian Lago, the regional vice president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, and Health News Florida Editor Carol Gentry to help answer some of those questions. 

To listen to the complete show, visit the Florida Matters website

AP

This month, Democrats say, they won't sit out the summer Congressional recess. They're planning to show up at Town Hall-style meetings sponsored by conservatives to present an alternative view. 

In the past, Florida's August meetings have been dominated by Republicans and the Tea Party, denouncing Obamacare. It had an effect in polls, turning the public against the law even as most of its main features  -- when polled separately -- drew approval.

The Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio held a press conference at Gatorland, an Orlando tourist attraction, on Friday to denounce the Affordable Care Act for putting the employer in the position of offering more comprehensive coverage or laying people off. But the Rubio press release didn’t really explain why the premiums will go up.

The answer: The law requires insurance policies to meet the “minimum essential benefits” set by the government.

On June 22, consumer-health groups across the nation will launch what they hope will be a massive education and enrollment campaign to find uninsured people and get them ready to sign up for health coverage.

ObamaCare vs. RomneyCare vs. RomneyCandidateCare

Sep 28, 2012

The number of uninsured would soar and the health-care safety net would unravel under Republican candidate Mitt Romney's  health proposals, according to a report by three economists.

In Florida, the number of uninsured would grow by 500,000 by the end of Romney's first term, instead of dropping by 2.5 million if President Barack Obama is re-elected and the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, they said.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act have derided it from the beginning as "Obamacare."

Recently, something interesting happened. Supporters of the ACA, even President Obama, began to adopt the term "Obamacare" as well.

At that point, "Obamacare" began being used by NPR as well as media outlets throughout the country.

But former University of Michigan professor and Sarasota resident Stephen Cooper wrote in to say why he thinks we still shouldn't use the term:

University of South Florida

With Election Day still four months away, the anger and elation felt in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act may die down slightly by November. But if the economy is issue-1 on people's minds when they go to the polls, USF Political Science Professor Dr. Susan MacManus says healthcare reform will likely be issue-1a.

"Clearly the economy and jobs is still going to be preeminent," she said. "But what this ruling does do is to now interweave healthcare as a cost item and a job creation item into the debate. So in that way, it sort of joined the two issues."

Dr. Jay Wolfson, a health care law expert with the University of South Florida and Stetson University talks about the Supreme Court's decision and the effect it will have on Floridians.

UCR Today

If you're on twitter or have access to any other form of media, you are no doubt hearing all sorts of drips and drabs about today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

But plain English explanations of just what the decision are hard to come by. We found this on the SCOTUS blog.

 

From Amy Howe, of SCOTUS blog:

Flickr Creative Commons/ Jobs with Justice

Florida has the third-highest total number of deaths resulting from the lack of health care coverage. That's according to a new report comparing all 50 states by Families USA, a non-profit advocacy group.

And Florida doesn't fare much better on a per capita basis, either.

By that measure, Florida had the sixth-worst rate of uninsured people dying, only slightly better than much-poorer West Virginia.

The study says that in 2010, almost 2,300 Floridians between the ages of 25 and 64 died from the lack of care.

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