insurance | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

insurance

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

The House voted Thursday to narrowly approve a Republican-drafted measure that would eliminate many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the first step toward keeping one of President Trump's campaign pledges and a victory for GOP lawmakers who have long railed against Obamacare, as the ACA is commonly known. The vote was 217-213.

The measure moves to the Senate, where its fate is far from certain — and where top lawmakers in both parties are already signaling that there is a long legislative process ahead.

Updated 5 pm April 3, 2017 to include the proposed Upton amendment.

The House may yet pass its bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans' options to fulfill their seven-year effort to undo the federal health law are getting narrower by the day.

"As of now, they still don't have the votes," said Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) as he was leaving a meeting of GOP members Tuesday. King has been heavily lobbied by both sides.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

National uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act is making state officials nervous, and the CEO of Access Health CT, the state’s health care exchange, has told his board that he fears insurers could back out of the marketplace the state created. 

startupstockphotos.com

The Hartford announced plans to donate $3 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for a new workforce development initiative. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s U.S. senators say there’s still a very real threat to the Affordable Care Act, despite the failure of the Republicans’ alternative health care bill. It centers around funding for some of the system's crucial subsidies.

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

A bipartisan group of legislators and advocates are urging passage of a bill that would allow all pregnant women in Connecticut access to insurance coverage for pre- and post-natal care.

The Affordable Care Act's worst enemies are now in charge of the vast range of health coverage the law created. They're also discussing changes that could affect a wider net of employment-based policies and Medicare coverage for seniors.

Although Republicans failed last month in their first attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, President Donald Trump vows the effort will continue. And even if Congress does nothing, Trump has suggested he might sit by and "let Obamacare explode."

Would opening the door to cheaper, skimpier marketplace plans with higher deductibles and copays attract consumers and insurers to the exchanges next year? That's what the Trump administration is betting on.

In February, the administration proposed a rule that would take a bit of the shine off bronze, silver, gold and platinum exchange plans by allowing them to provide less generous coverage while keeping the same metal level designation.

@SeemaCMS / Twitter

Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have officially failed, and President Donald Trump said he's waiting for the health insurance marketplace to explode. But what will that mean for Connecticut?

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Connecticut activists who oppose President Donald Trump's agenda say they're energized by the defeat of the Republicans' health care overhaul, and ready for the next fight.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mary Anne Williams

Homeowners whose foundations are crumbling because of faulty concrete pleaded with lawmakers Tuesday for help.

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.

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini continues to make headlines with his frank views. Wednesday, one day after announcing the end of his company's merger plans with Humana, he had some choice words for the Wall Street Journal, when asked about the future of Obamacare.

Luis Pérez / Creative Commons

From self-service menus to self-driving cars to... androids around the water cooler? This hour, we explore the past, present, and future of workforce automation. 

Aetna, one of the nation's largest insurance companies, says that starting in March it will remove what's been a key barrier for patients seeking medication to treat their opioid addiction. The change will apply to all its private insurance plans, an Aetna spokeswoman confirmed. Aetna is the third major health insurer to announce such a switch in recent months.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As one health insurance mega-merger becomes history, the other has a less certain end. Cigna said it wants to terminate its agreement with partner Anthem, despite the fact that Anthem has filed an appeal over the court ruling denying the tie-up.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

At least one of the health insurance industry's mega mergers is off for good. Aetna and Humana said Tuesday they will not appeal the judge's ruling in the recently decided anti-trust case, which denied their $34 billion tie-up. Hartford-based Aetna will now pay Humana a $1 billion break-up fee.

There are many challenges to farming for a living: It's often grueling work that relies on unpredictable factors such as weather and global market prices. But one aspect that's often ignored is the cost of health care. 

Pages