Affordable Care Act

Where We Live
7:50 am
Wed October 16, 2013

The Day Before the Debt Ceiling Deadline

President Barack Obama meets with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of the House Democratic leadership in the Oval Office, Oct. 15, 2013.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

This shutdown is getting old. Federal workers aren’t getting paid, and that means lots of people right here in Connecticut are affected directly - and a lot more are having problems, too.

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Access Health CT
9:03 am
Sat October 12, 2013

So, Who is Signing Up for Obamacare?

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been two weeks since enrollment began under the new health insurance law known as Obamacare. First, the numbers. Connecticut has about 344,000 people without health insurance. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, was designed to lower that number.

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Affordable Care Act
7:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges Suffer Ills Of Geography

Alexandra Dixon is one of 350 "navigators" hired to help people sign up for health insurance in Maryland.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:05 am

These first two weeks have been rocky for the state health insurance exchanges. The online marketplaces opened across the country Oct. 1, with computer glitches and staffing shortages.

Even the states that have agreed to run their own exchanges are having a hard time. In states that have not embraced the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is struggling to fill in the gap.

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Quinnipiac Poll
4:16 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

GOP Shutdown Strategy Unpopular With American Voters

Credit Matanya / Flickr Creative Commons

Quinnipiac University released their latest national poll on Tuesday, looking at American voters' attitudes about the government shutdown and Obamacare. The poll of 1,497 registered voters revealed that 72 percent are opposed to the notion of shutting down the government to stop implementation of Obamacare, and 64 percent oppose blocking an increase of the debt ceiling to derail the Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
9:11 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Where We Live: Rolling Out the Health Care Exchange

Kevin Counihan.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Join us while we talk about the new Connecticut health care exchange on Where We Live. Listen live here.

9:11 am: Kevin Counihan, CEO of Connecticut's health insurance exchange, says Access Health CT is up and running. He says plenty of people are visiting the site and it's active. "It's a highly complex implementation," he says, citing lots of support in the state for the health care exchange.

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Health Care
8:01 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Access Health CT Opens Its Virtual Doors

Credit Pete/Comedy_Nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Access Health CT, the state's new health care marketplace, goes live for customers today. Officials are encouraging people shopping for insurance plans to do it online, if possible, to limit paperwork. Officials are also sending workers into the community to work with low-income people who may not have web access, or may not be web-savvy. 

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Government Shutdown
5:43 am
Tue October 1, 2013

No End In Sight As Government Shutdown Nears First Full Day

Members of the U.S. Park Service place barricades around the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. A partial shutdown of the federal government has led to the closing of national parks.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:08 pm

Update at 8:18 p.m. ET. Impasse:

As first day of a federal government shutdown came to a close, Congress was not any closer to a resolution.

Case in point: Republicans in the House proposed three bills that would have reopened national parks, the Department of Veteran's Affairs and kept the D.C. government afloat. But all three bills didn't even make it out of the House.

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Government Shutdown
5:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Transcript And Audio: NPR Interview With President Obama

President Obama speaks with reporters at the White House on Monday about the threat of a government shutdown.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama on Monday about the looming government shutdown, the upcoming debt ceiling fight and more. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: As you have watched what's happening in Congress, do you feel that House Republicans are coming any closer to anything that you could sign?

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Affordable Care Act
3:23 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs the Massachusetts health care bill in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:23 am

Today marks a milestone on the nation's long march toward universal health coverage: the launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, designed to help people find insurance they can afford.

It's an idea pioneered by Massachusetts seven years ago. People here call their program a success, and say the state's exchange was an indispensable factor.

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Tue October 1, 2013

The Health Exchange in Connecticut

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT
Chion Wolf

Today’s the day the new Affordable Care Act kicks into gear.  

The health care reform known as “Obamacare” is creating state exchanges where those without insurance can buy it.  But how do these exchanges work? Who’s eligible and who’s not? What about all the myths, mysteries and misconceptions? How much is it really costing us?

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Government Shutdown
7:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: A Closure Appears Inevitable

As the sun started its descent behind the U.S. Capitol building on Monday, it seemed virtually certain to rise on a partially shuttered federal government.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Monday's Highlights:

Only hours before a partial shutdown of the federal government would take effect, House Republicans still hadn't arrived at a temporary spending bill that Senate Democrats were willing to approve to keep government workers on the job. A closure appeared inevitable.

On Monday afternoon, Senate Democrats rejected a stopgap spending bill passed by the House over the weekend because it contained anti-Obamacare measures that Democrats found objectionable.

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Government Shutdown
5:26 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Obama On The GOP: 'I Shouldn't Have To Offer Anything'

President Barack Obama talks about the government shutdown during a media availability following Obama's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 10:09 pm

With just hours to go before a potential government shutdown, President Obama said there is still a window to avert it.

"There's still an opportunity, during the course of this day to avert a shutdown and make sure that we are paying our bills," Obama said in an interview with NPR.

But when asked if any proposal from the House is closer to something he would approve, Obama said flatly, "No."

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Government Shutdown
3:24 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Looming Shutdown: Senate Rejects Second House Measure

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, arrives for a Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Friday in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:56 pm

Not even an hour after the House voted in favor of a bill that would avert a shutdown of the federal government, but also delay a key part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the Senate rejected it with a vote of 54-46.

With less than an hour before the government runs out of authority to spend money, the ball is now back in the court of Speaker John Boehner in the House.

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Affordable Care Act
3:37 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Insurance Exchange 101: Here's What You Need To Know

The audience concentrates on a presentation by Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger's office about the federal health care overhaul at the University of Kansas satellite campus in Overland Park, Kan., earlier this month.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:36 am

The Affordable Care Act has been through two years of legislative wrangling, a presidential election and a Supreme Court test that took it to the brink.

Now, after yet another round of debate and argument, major pieces of the federal health law are expected to kick in Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, people who don't have insurance or who buy it on their own will be able to shop online or at various locations in their communities for coverage that will take effect Jan. 1.

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Congress
8:52 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Shutdown Standoff: 'How Dare You,' And Other Views From Congress

The federal government remains on track to miss a midnight Monday deadline to fund its operations. Chambers of Congress sharply disagree over a temporary funding bill. Here, the Capitol is seen Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 12:10 pm

The federal government has moved closer to the brink of a shutdown, as the House of Representatives approved a temporary funding bill Saturday night that the Senate and White House say has no chance of becoming law.

The House bill would avert the budget deadline at midnight Monday by funding the U.S. government into December. But it also includes a one-year delay of Obamacare — a provision that Democrats and some Republicans say has no place in a stopgap funding bill.

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Health Care
5:35 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Insurance Exchanges Will Open To Scrutiny, Curiosity, Confusion

Workers at a Minnesota health care exchange prepare for opening day on Tuesday.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:51 am

Tuesday is a big day for the White House. That's when new health insurance exchanges open in every state, where people can buy the insurance the Affordable Care Act requires next year. They will also see if they qualify for new subsidies to help them afford it.

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Congress
4:07 am
Sun September 29, 2013

House Ties Government Funding To One-Year Obamacare Delay

Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives at the Capitol on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 8:52 am

Updated at 12:24 a.m. ET Sunday

The House voted early Sunday to tie government funding to a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare, sending the dispute back to the Senate, where it is certain to get a frosty reception. The House measure also repeals the Affordable Care Act's tax on medical devices.

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Congress
6:37 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Government Shutdown Looms

The U.S. Capitol.
Credit Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

In a rare weekend session, Congress will continue to debate how to avoid a government shutdown. The Senate voted along party lines for a temporary spending bill that would keep the government from shutting down next week. But Senate Democrats stripped a provision that would defund Obamacare, something House Republicans insist upon.

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Health Care Overhaul
9:36 am
Fri September 27, 2013

With Obamacare, Not Everything Is Public Information

A redacted contractual document from Access Health CT, obscuring information about how much contractor Maximus is paid.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The nation's new health care law rolls out next week. One essential part of that is a call center to both field questions and enroll people. But it's not clear how much the private company taking these calls, Maximus Health Services, is actually charging taxpayers. 

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Obamacare Calculator
12:50 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

The Affordable Care Act: How is Your Health Care Affected?

Credit Darnyi Zsóka / Creative Commons

Connecticut is launching a new online health exchange, Access Health CT, where residents can shop for and purchase health insurance. The unemployed or uninsured may be able to receive health insurance under the new federal law. To see how it affects you, and whether you can take advantage of the health exchange, try the helpful tools below.

Obamacare's Bad Rap
9:28 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Changes are Coming to Health Care, But That Doesn't Mean People Like It

A national survey by UConn showed an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act.
Credit UConn

Most Americans don't like the new federal health care law that begins enrollment next week, according to a new national poll from the University of Connecticut. It's not that Americans don't want the government to help cover the uninsured. It's that they specifically don't like this law: the Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
11:51 am
Fri September 20, 2013

House GOP Votes To Fund Government, Kill Obamacare

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) talks to reporters Thursday about the deadline to fund the government while simultaneously eliminating President Obama's health care law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:37 pm

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.

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Insurance
3:21 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Getting Personal With Your Health Insurance Exchange Questions

The final countdown: It's time to figure out how insurance through the health exchanges will work for you.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:15 am

With the launch of new health insurance exchanges just about two weeks away, many of the questions in this month's mailbag focused less on the big picture and more on exactly how the law will operate for individuals.

We can't answer every question we get. But here is a sampling of questions that were really popular, or that would apply to a lot of people.

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Health Care
6:05 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Connecticut Takes Obamacare To The People

Outreach worker Emanuela Cebert (right) talks to Papilon Ferreiras about health insurance outside a rap concert.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:12 am

All across Connecticut, you can see billboards and TV ads, hear radio spots and get pamphlets about how to get insurance under the new health care law starting Oct. 1.

But the state is also using less traditional, and more expensive, ways to get the word out.

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Hospital Care
2:42 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

St. Francis Changes Course, Funds Program for Expectant Mothers Month-To-Month

 But the hospital has apparently had a change of heart. Last month, St. Francis told the city that it would no longer fund the program. But Raul Pino, the city's health director, says the hospital has let him know it has reversed its course. "They have informed us that they are funding the program on a month-to-month basis." Pino says the hospital will also conduct an analysis of the program to see if it is running efficiently.

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Where We Live
11:17 am
Wed July 24, 2013

The Wheelhouse: You Mean There Was News Other Than The Royal Birth?

Thomas Good, Wikimedia Commons; SROPhotos, Flickr Creative Commo

Are you ready for the 2014 gubernatorial election? We don't know if we are, but we're wading into it anyway after Senate Minority Leader John McKinney announced his bid for the governor's mansion.

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Affordable Care Act
2:05 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Obama Pushes Health Care Deadline Back, Businesses Cheer

On Tuesday, President Obama announced that one-year delay for a crucial aspect of his Affordable Care Act. The delay gives businesses another year to figure out how to comply with the law.

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Budget
3:55 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Hospitals Continue To Make Cuts, And The State Continues To Defend Its Budget

Hospitals are making cuts to programs and staffing following the passage of the new state budget. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. First, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford cut funding to a city infant mortality program. Then, last week, Waterbury Hospital announced it is cutting its workforce. Both hospitals blamed the cuts on a decrease in state funding.

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Affordable Health Care Act
3:20 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Medicaid and Food Stamp Delays -- Is The Problem The People Or The Process?

The state has a problem. People who apply for food and medical benefits often face substantial delays before finally getting their approvals. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's an issue that has now twice ended up in federal court. Advocates for the poor say the solution is in the staffing.

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