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Health Care Reform
Category archives for: Health Care Reform

Obamacare Tally: Florida Subsidies Average $3,000, But Some Families Complain of Costly Exclusion

| April 1, 2014

And yet only one in four Floridians who qualifies for a subsidy had enrolled in a plan by March 1, leaving 1 million eligible residents uninsured. A mother describes how the law’s employee-insurance provision barred her family from subsidies.

As March 31 Deadline Nears: Going Without Health Insurance Will Likely Cost You At Tax Time

| March 26, 2014

If you thought you could get health coverage later this year, you may not get that chance until November, which means that you’ll most likely have to pay a penalty of 1 percent of your income at tax time, even if only a single member of your family is not insured. Penalties rise in subsequent years.

Pot’s Uphill Toke in Florida, CIA Torture Cover-Up, Obama Between Two Ferns, Dieudonné: The Live Wire

| March 12, 2014

Florida’s medical marijuana amendment is no sure thing, a senator reveals a CIA torture cover-up, Bill O’Reilly attacks Obama’s Between Two Ferns appearance, Kevin bacon offers up 1980s awareness, Dieudonné heats up the hate on France’s comedy circuit.

Obamacare Enrollment Surging in Florida Despite Resistance from State Officials

| February 18, 2014

By the end of January, nearly 300,000 Floridians had enrolled in a new health plan through Obamacare — a surge that left most other states in the dust, despite state officials’ opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the relative scarcity of helpers available.

In Major Shift, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Now Urges Fix, Not Repeal, of Obamacare

| February 1, 2014

In 2010, the Chamber got behind a major business lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in a striking about-face, the chamber says the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and should be worked on, not repealed.

Hendry County, With Highest Uninsured Rate in Florida, Sees Little Impact From Obamacare

| January 27, 2014

Thirty-five percent of Hendry County’s 33,000 residents under 65 lack health insurance, but nearly a month after the health law’s expansion of coverage began, local health officials say little has changed for most uninsured residents.

Obamacare’s Popularity Overwhelms Florida Blue as System Crashes, Costing Enrollees

| January 20, 2014

Many who signed up and paid Florida Blue for their new plan between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 say the insurer has lost them in its computer system.  Now, when they go to the doctor or try to get a prescription filled, they have to pay the bill themselves or cancel.

Florida Hospital Flagler CEO: State Must Extend Medicaid to Working Poor

| January 4, 2014

The Florida Legislature still has the opportunity this year to draw down $51 billion in federal dollars already sent to Washington to help pay the cost of health insurance for those who cannot afford it, argues Floridfa Hospital Flagler CEO Ken Mattison.

Despite Florida’s Resistance, A New Era Of Health Insurance Begins for Millions

| January 3, 2014

Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years. More than half of Florida’s nearly 4 million uninsured are projected to qualify for coverage through the Marketplace. Another million would qualify if the Florida Legislature would permit it.

Obamacare Dilemma:
High Deductibles vs. “Huge Fear”

| December 26, 2013

Going without insurance “is like gambling,” says a 43-year-old social worker. But the high deductibles of Affordable Care Act plans make them a hard sell, as the plans sold on the exchange are not as generous as employer-sponsored insurance.

Yes, That Too: Your Employee-Provided Health Insurance Costs Are Going Up in 2014

| December 23, 2013

The new year will likely bring higher deductibles and co-payments, penalties for not joining wellness programs and smaller employer contributions toward family coverage, but Obamacare isn’t entirely to blame: it is only accelerating pre-existing conditions.

Longing For Stormin’ Norman: How Obama’s Smugness Is Crippling His Leadership

| December 12, 2013

There are leaders out there. The Obama administration administration has let us down by failing to find them. As a result, the task Barack Obama has left himself is to convince us that the Affordable Care Act is a winner, not a clunker.

Another Obamacare Surprise: Married Couples Not Eligible For Subsidies Given Single Filers

| December 5, 2013

For middle class married couples who don’t have children, the subsidy cutoff is $62,000. If one spouse makes $30,000 and the other $40,000, they are ineligible for a subsidy when combined. But if they were just living together, each would be eligible for a subsidy.

Medicaid Gap: A Reporter Who Covers Obamacare But Doesn’t Qualify For It

| December 4, 2013

The Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, as Florida did, but the law didn’t include subsidies for people in those states who earn less than the federal poverty level to buy coverage through the exchanges. They were supposed to be covered under Medicaid. And Medicaid is not there for them.

With 3 Weeks To Go, Consumers Fear Ending Up Without Health Coverage On New Year’s

| December 2, 2013

The next three weeks are critical for consumers keen on getting health coverage as soon as the health law allows it on Jan. 1. People who desire coverage by then need to sign up in the new marketplaces no later than Dec. 23. Consumers can still enroll up to the end of March, but their coverage will begin later.

Despite $51 Billion For the Taking, Florida Unlikely to Expand Health Coverage in 2014

| November 25, 2013

Consumer groups, hospitals and insurers are clamoring for Florida to take the $51 billion in federal funds that have been offered to the state over the next decade to provide health coverage to the working poor. But those who are tuned in politically — even those who desperately want it to happen — say it’s very unlikely in 2014.

Republicans Fret as Motor Voter Law
Meets Obamacare

| November 20, 2013

Twenty years ago, Congress passed a controversial law requiring states to allow people to register to vote when they applied for driver’s licenses or social services. That same law is bringing voter registration to the health insurance marketplaces, and again, it is expected to result in legal fights as Republicans fear it will drive up Democratic registrations.

Obamacare Will Survive. Obama and Democrats, Maybe Not So Much.

| November 17, 2013

The law’s rocky debut has refocused attention on whether Obama, intellectually gifted though he may be, was ready to be the country’s chief executive. It may also decide which party is in control after 2016.

Only 3,600 Floridians Enroll in Affordable Care Act’s First Month; Obama Accepts Blame But Questions Abound

| November 14, 2013

Only 3,571 people have successfully enrolled in a private insurance plan in Florida in the first month of the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace. The target was 33,400, resulting in a success rate of just 11 percent, though 3.8 million Floridians are without health insurance.

Popular and Consumer-Driven Provisions Fuel Sticker Shock of Obamacare Premiums

| November 7, 2013

When setting premiums for next year, insurers baked in bigger-than-usual adjustments, driven in large part by a game-changing rule: They can no longer reject people with medical problems. It’s the double-edged sword of Obamacare–a crucial provision that comes with sticker shock for some.

Florida Blue Says It Never Dropped 300,000 Customers, Only Their Current Insurance Plans

| November 1, 2013

It’s a distinction that some Florida Blue members have a hard time seeing — especially when the new plan costs more and offers benefits they don’t necessarily want. Older, sicker people who had a harder time finding health insurance in the past because of pre-existing conditions welcome the change.

School District, County’s Largest Employer, Starts Health Clinic Experiment With Florida Hospital Flagler

| October 30, 2013

The $288,000 annual contract with Florida Hospital Flagler’s Prompt Care Clinic will allow 1,400 of the school district’s 1,700 employees to seek out primary care at no cost, but with some restrictions. The district hopes it will lower the annual increases in premiums that employees and taxpayers have been bearing.

Too Young for Medicare, Too Old for Medicaid, and Neglected By Affordable Health Act

| October 30, 2013

While most of the uninsured will be able to get subsidized health coverage Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act, the poorest adults under 65 will be out of luck in many states, including Florida. Many are women in their 50s and 60s, too old to have children still at home so they can’t qualify for Medicaid. But they’re not yet 65 so they don’t qualify for Medicare, either.

Your Policy Is Cancelled: Insurers End Coverage That Falls Short of Affordable Care Act

| October 21, 2013

The main reason insurers are cancelling policies offer is that they fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify.

Congressman Ron DeSantis: A Tea Party Fanatic Who’s Earned His Walking Papers

| October 20, 2013

Ron DeSantis, who represents Flagler County, is not interested in governance. A standard-issue tea party reactionary, he’s a saboteur. He derails, with self-righteous bombast and distortions. He is part of the suicidal extremists willing to plunge the country in default over Obamacare, rather than fight to amend it legislatively. He should pay the price of his recklessness.

Kathleen Sebelius to Florida Legislature: That $51 Billion Offer Is Still Good for the Taking

| October 9, 2013

Kathleen Sebelius has visited Florida half a dozen times since June, trying to get the word out to the state’s millions of uninsured to sign up for a health plan., but she hopes the Florida Legislature reverses its opposition to expanding Medicaid and accepting $51 billion over the next 10 years.

A Confederacy of Choices: Marketplace Plans Vary Widely In Costs, In Counties And Across U.S.

| October 5, 2013

Consumers shopping in the new health insurance marketplaces will face a bewildering array of competing plans in some counties and sparse options in other places, with people in some areas of the country having to pay much more for the identical level of coverage than consumers elsewhere.

Shutdown Geezers: The Medicare
Generation’s Immoral War on Obamacare

| October 4, 2013

Opponents of Obamacare think that by doubling down on hurting Americans through a shut-down, they might stun them into submission. They must be stupider than they let on. The Affordable Care Act has its issues. Lacking for moral high ground isn’t among them.

As Health Act Rolls Out, a Small Demonstration With a Big Message: “We ♥ Obamacare”

| October 1, 2013

Just 15 people turned up for the Flagler Democratic Club’s pro-Obamacare demonstration at the county health department at noon Tuesday, marking the first day of the new law’s central provisions of insurance for almost all, but “we’re big in our hearts, and we’re big in meaning and in understanding,” the gathering’s organizer said.

Flagler Democrats Will Demonstrate For Obamacare in Front of Health Department Tuesday

| September 30, 2013

The noon demonstration by the Flagler County Democratic Club marks the first day of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, and protests Florida’s sustained opposition, and various obstacles, to the law, including the prohibition against use of local health departments to make it easier for the uninsured to get coverage.

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