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health care

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

A last-minute attempt by conservative Republicans to dump standards for health benefits in plans sold to individuals would probably lower the average person's upfront insurance costs, such as premiums and deductibles, say analysts on both sides of the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But it will very likely also induce insurers to offer much skimpier plans, potentially excluding the gravely ill and putting consumers at greater financial risk if they need care.

Updated at 9:48 p.m. ET

The White House issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday: Vote for the current GOP health care replacement plan or leave the Affordable Care Act in place and suffer the political consequences.

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Acceptance for medical marijuana is growing among people who swear by marijuana's power to relieve their ills. Older people are choosing marijuana for their aches and pains, parents are moving to states where marijuana is legal for children with seizure disorders, even pet owners are using pot to ease their pup's pain.  It's currently legal in twenty-eight states  with several more on deck.

RUSTY BLAZENHOFF / CREATIVE COMMONS

State Rep. Vincent Candelora proposed legislation that would impose a six percent tax on medical marijuana.

Photo courtesty of Pantone Inc.

It’s St. Paddy’s Day! And did you know the 2017 color of the year is Greenery?

This hour, we find out more from the so called Authority on Color — Pantone. Plus, Connecticut based fiddler Dan Foster joins us to play some Irish tunes for the occasion — ahead of his band's Friday evening concert in Stonington. 

Biomedical research and public health are among the big losers in the Trump administration's proposed budget.

The proposal promises:

  • A "major reorganization" in the National Institutes of Health, which supports most of the nation's research on diseases and treatments. That includes a cut of $5.8 billion, about 20 percent of NIH's $30 billion budget.

Lori Mack / WNPR

The American Health Care Act, which is the House Republican bill to replace Obamacare, includes a provision that would defund Planned Parenthood. The organization serves around 70,000 residents in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

A new report finds that the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade but would also leave 24 million more Americans uninsured during that same period.

Bill Would Consolidate Local Conn. Health Departments

Mar 13, 2017

The Connecticut Legislature’s Public Health Committee is considering a proposed bill that would consolidate local health departments into regional health districts.

Many people are worried about how potential changes to the federal health law might affect them. But few are as concerned as those with pre-existing health conditions.

On Christmas Day, I found out that I was pregnant. It was the best present I could have hoped for. My husband and I have wanted to start a family for years, and we could not wait to share the news with our loved ones.

But my initial exhilaration quickly turned to anxiety. As a physician, I knew many of the things that could go wrong. I wanted to do everything I could do to have a healthy baby.

Geoff Stearns / Creative Commons

Are you feeling emotionally stressed out from the 2016 election? Feeling anxious or sad? Does thinking about where the country is headed make you feel physically sick? If so, we want to hear from you. 

On Thursday, March 16, the Colin McEnroe Show, live at 1:00 pm, will talk about "election stress" that the American Psychological Association reports more than half of America is feeling - regardless of party affiliation. 

Got questions about the GOP plan to overhaul federal health law? Join us on Twitter Thursday 12-1 p.m. ET for our #ACAchat. Kaiser's Julie Rovner, NPR's Alison Kodjak and health policy analysts of various political persuasions will be online discussing how the Republican plan could work, who wins and who loses. See you there!

After literally years of promises, House Republicans have a bill they say will "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Some of the most conservative members of the House are at a crossroads over the plan from GOP leadership and the White House to replace the Affordable Care Act. Those lawmakers say their choice is between supporting a bill that goes against many of their principles, or falling in line behind President Trump — who won overwhelming support in their district.

We tracked the action on Capitol Hill Wednesday as two House committees — Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce, reviewed and amended the American Health Care Act. (It's the GOP plan to replace The Affordable Care Act.) Check in with us Thursday for more on the health law overhaul, including a live Tweetchat answering questions about the overhaul proposal, #ACAchat, from 12-1 pm ET.

House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin has been complaining about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) for so long that his list of grievances sounds like a refrain of some pop song.

"Obamacare is collapsing," he said on Feb. 28. "The Democrats got too far ahead on their ideology and they gave us a system where government runs health care. They gave us a system where costs went up, not down. They gave us a system where choices went away. They gave us a system where people lost the plans they liked, they chose."

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

Back in the day, people paid for routine, primary medical care on their own and used insurance only when something serious came up. Some primary care doctors are betting that model can thrive again through a monthly subscription for routine care and a high-deductible insurance policy to take care of the big stuff.

But the changes raise questions about whether that approach really leads to more effective and efficient health care.

ep_jhu/flickr creative commons

According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression -- and treatments can be hit or miss. But two recent studies by Yale researchers have led to a new tool that may better personalize treatments for patients.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford is one of the cities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic in Connecticut. But in an effort to help balance its budget, the state wants to move a drug and alcohol detox program in Hartford to Middletown. Officials say the move could save the state $2 million over the next two years.

Spotmatik/iStock / Thinkstock

A new report from C-HIT -- the Connecticut Health Investigative Team -- looks at how emergency rooms across the state are grappling with a rising number of child mental health patients. The number is still mounting, it says, despite efforts to confront the issue by Governor Malloy and other officials. 

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, health care under the Affordable Care Act is going to change in the next few years. The Republican-led Congress has vowed to "repeal and replace" the health law known as Obamacare.

That has left many people anxious and confused about what will happen and when. So NPR's Morning Edition asked listeners to post questions on Twitter and Facebook, and we will be answering some of them here and on the radio in the weeks ahead.

Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

Governor Malloy’s budget plan promises to aid struggling cities, but many towns are concerned about footing more of the bill.

This hour, we ask municipal leaders and lawmakers about Malloy’s budget proposal and we want to hear from you. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Cities across the state have struggled to crack down on mismanaged "sober houses" -- residences where people with addiction can pay to live in a drug and alcohol free environment.

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