Rep. Henry Waxman of California, a 20-term congressman and defender of the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” will retire from Congress.
The 74-year-old, who has overseen the passage of major liberal policy accomplishments from Obamacare to the strengthening of the Clean Air Act, said he has grown tired of the stalemate in Congress.
In the 1980s, Waxman fought to extend health care coverage to children living below the poverty line. He helped secure millions in funding to combat the AIDS epidemic and in a slew of hearings, took tobacco executives to task for covering up the harmful effects of cigarettes and adding addictors to their products to hook Americans.
“Expanding health coverage to those in need has been one of my driving passions,” Waxman said.
Republican political strategist Karl Rove quotes President Barack Obama’s pledge: “I’m not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance for the first time,” and then notes a McKinsey & Co. survey revealing that only around 11 percent of Obamacare enrollees had been previously uninsured. Instead, millions of privately insured Americans have shifted to public insurance “without reducing the number of uninsured very much,” says Rove.
The explanation may rest with two unintended consequences of Obamacare — the cancellation of many existing policies, and the incentives provided to businesses with fewer than 50 employees to drop their group coverage.
While the Affordable Care Act has created a new way to shop for dental insurance, it hasn’t improved the quality of that coverage, nor has it made the economics any friendlier—at least not for adults.
For the most part, Medicare doesn’t cover dental care; the program pays only in certain cases where dental and medical needs intersect. And only 2% of retirees have dental coverage through a prior employer.
Obamcare imposes annual out-of-pocket caps on certain pediatric dental expenses, limiting families’ financial exposure. But those benefits don’t extend to adult dental. Moreover, the federal subsidies that help income-eligible consumers pay for their health insurance can’t be used toward adult dental coverage.
Nationwide, 126.7 million Americans lack dental coverage, nearly three times the number of medically uninsured, according to the National Association of Dental Plans.
Retail store chain Target Corp. is dropping its health care plan for part-time workers, citing low participation and saying its workers will be better off applying for coverage under the Obamacare insurance exchanges.
In a blog post Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, the Minneapolis-based retailer said it will ease the transition by doling out a $500 cash payment to each employee who loses coverage.
CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program.
The company will be submitting Obamacare rates for 2015 on May 15.
ObamaCare enrollment numbers indicate that it is failing to attract the required proportion of younger Americans (18-34) and skewing heavily toward middle age, especially middle age.
a woman and a man of the same age must be charged the same premium, and their policies must cover the same conditions–including maternity care for unmarried men (and women past childbearing age).
What it also means, however, is that women, like persons with pre-existing conditions, are more expensive to insure. It means, further, that if ObamaCare enrollees are disproportionately female–just as if they are disproportionately older–premiums will tend to go up for everybody.
Three months after experts first pointed out the problem, a group of cyber security professionals warns that the U.S. government has failed to protect the HealthCare.gov website from hackers.
David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, says that the government has yet to plug more than 20 vulnerabilities that he and other security experts reported to the government shortly after HealthCare.gov went live on Oct. 1.
A study published in the journal Science reveals that new Medicaid patients in Oregon were 40 percent more likely to use the emergency room than the uninsured were. This finding is not a surprise to me or most physicians. But it does undermine one of the basic philosophical and practical underpinnings of Obamacare: the notion that expanding insurance will invariably unclog ERs, improve primary and preventive care, prevent diseases and lower costs.
Millions of new enrollees are signing up for Medicaid because of its expansion under Obamacare, but many will be shocked to learn that their estates can be held liable for the costs of their healthcare.
As part of the 1993 budget reconciliation bill, Congress required states to implement the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) to seek reimbursement of payments for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Obamacare, officially known as The Affordable Care Act, greatly expanded the services for which reimbursement can be pursued, and states can now use liens to recover money spent by Medicaid for services beyond long-term care.
While laws exist ensuring that private companies disclose if someone’s personal information has been compromised, there is no law requiring notification when databases run by the federal government are breached, and even though the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was asked to include a notification provision in the rules being drawn up for the new federal exchange, it declined to do so.
IT experts have repeatedly raised red flags about the security of the information people are putting into the exchanges. In fact, a report last month from HHS noted that 32 security incidents had been logged since the website rolled out Oct. 1, 2013. This website has been described by former Social Security Administrator Michael Astrue as a “hacker’s dream” and ten Attorneys General even joined together to send a letter citing their security concerns to HHS Secretary Sebelius.