Health Care

LA-area restaurants adding healthcare surcharge to cover workers

Some Los Angeles diners are discovering an unfamiliar new item when the bill comes for the truffled lobster Bolognese and for their crunchy Spanish fried chicken and waffles - a 3 percent surcharge for employees' medical insurance. | 10/10/14 08:09:49 By - By SHAN LI

Dallas deputy tested negative for Ebola, state lab says

The Dallas County Sheriff’s deputy does not have the Ebola virus, a test from the state public health lab showed Thursday. | 10/09/14 18:30:45 By -

Ebola: Questions and answers

Who is most at-risk of catching Ebola? Health care workers, because they may come in contact with blood of other bodily fluids of patients. | 10/09/14 18:27:48 By -

Dallas Ebola patient mourned as others are monitored for signs of disease

A total of 48 people are being monitored after having some type of contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, including four who are kept isolated and guarded at a home in Dallas. None were displaying symptoms. | 10/09/14 10:48:52 By - Judy Wiley

Dallas Ebola patient dies; leaders, loved ones respond

Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died at 7:51 a.m. Wednesday at a Dallas hospital, leaving loved ones to grieve and public health officials to ponder how to stop the often-lethal virus from spreading in the U.S. | 10/09/14 09:46:58 By - Judy Wiley

Ebola airport screenings to begin Saturday at New York’s JFK

Airline passengers arriving from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will soon face enhanced screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from those Ebola-stricken West African nations. | 10/08/14 19:36:55 By - By Tony Pugh

Redesigned Obamacare website is faster and easier to use

Obama administration officials expressed confidence Wednesday that the government's health care website will work far more quickly and dependably this year, cutting in half the time needed for most people to apply for insurance. | 10/08/14 17:09:48 By - By DAVID LAUTER

Redesigned Obamacare website is faster and easier to use

Obama administration officials expressed confidence Wednesday that the government's health care website will work far more quickly and dependably this year, cutting in half the time needed for most people to apply for insurance. | 10/08/14 17:04:46 By - By DAVID LAUTER

Hospital: Dallas Ebola victim dies

Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died at 7:51 a.m., according to a statement from a Texas Health Resources spokesperson. | 10/08/14 11:57:48 By - Judy Wiley

Airport body temperature checks a possibility in anti-Ebola effort

Airline passengers from Africa could soon have to submit to body temperature checks upon arrival in the U.S. as the Obama administration looks to toughen traveler screening requirements in response to the growing Ebola threat. | 10/07/14 20:14:41 By - By Tony Pugh

Wal-Mart to end healthcare coverage for 30,000 part-timers

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting healthcare benefits for roughly 30,000 part-time employees, citing rising costs. | 10/07/14 18:24:46 By - By ANDREW KHOURI

U.S. to enhance airport screenings for Ebola

Calling the Ebola crisis a “top national security priority,” President Barack Obama on Monday said the U.S. will improve airline passenger screening for the deadly virus to better ensure the outbreak is contained in West Africa. | 10/06/14 19:35:56 By - By Tony Pugh and Lesley Clark

Texas Ebola victim's girlfriend's 'hopes and dreams' crushed

It was Thomas Eric Duncan’s first trip to the United States, although his mother, sister, brother, girlfriend and their son live here. Now, days after he was plucked from obscurity as the first person discovered in the United States with the deadly virus, more is being learned about the 42-year-old Liberian. | 10/05/14 12:44:32 By - Barry Schlacter

Mississippi hospitals on the lookout for Ebola

When patients walk into the Biloxi Regional Medical Center burning with fever or displaying nausea symptoms these days, emergency room staffers face a potentially crucial moment. | 10/04/14 15:51:29 By - By Greg Gordon

Ebola ruled out in DC case; health officials checking Dallas patient’s contacts

Medical officials in the nation’s capital have “ruled out” the possibility that a patient who had traveled to Nigeria was infected with the Ebola virus. | 10/04/14 15:23:41 By - By Tony Pugh

White House reassures public on Ebola scare

In the face of growing Republican calls for travel restrictions on Ebola-ravaged areas in West Africa, the Obama administration on Friday sought to reassure anxious Americans that current safeguards were enough to keep the deadly virus from gaining a foothold on U.S. soil. | 10/04/14 05:20:53 By - By Tony Pugh and Anita Kumar

Pentagon orders changes for deficient military health care facilities

After a review of all military health care facilities, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the military Wednesday to improve treatment at its hospitals and clinics, instructing the armed services to compose a plan on how it can be accomplished. | 10/02/14 08:15:31 By - By W.J. HENNIGAN

Texas state health dept. confirms Ebola case in Dallas

A patient in a Dallas hospital tested positive for the Ebola virus, the Texas state health department said Tuesday. | 09/30/14 17:36:14 By - Judy Wiley

Up to 1.4 million could become infected with Ebola, CDC says

Without strong efforts to counter the ongoing Ebola epidemic, the West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone would likely see 550,000 to 1.4 million new cases by the end of January, according to a new report by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. | 09/23/14 17:27:52 By - By Tony Pugh

HHS says 700,000 have lost insurance coverage since May

After enrolling more than 8 million people into marketplace health insurance this year, roughly 700,000 have lost their coverage, Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner testified Thursday before Congress. | 09/18/14 18:41:55 By - By Tony Pugh

U.S. poverty declines in 2013, median income stagnant, Census Bureau finds

An improved economy with more full-time workers drove a decline in the national poverty rate in 2013 _ the first in seven years _ and the first decline in the nation’s child poverty rate in 13 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday. | 09/16/14 13:02:18 By - By Tony Pugh

Feds offer lifeline to 115,000 facing loss of health coverage

After failing to respond to multiple outreach attempts, more than 100,000 people could lose their federal marketplace health coverage on Sept. 30, while more than three times that many could see their premiums increase, if they fail to verify their income, U.S. residency or immigration status as required by the Obama administration. | 09/15/14 19:29:31 By - By Tony Pugh

Job-based health premiums increasing slowly, deductibles faster

Average premiums for job-based family health coverage are up just 3 percent this year, while the cost of single coverage rose only 2 percent, continuing a sustained trend of moderate growth in insurance costs, according to a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 businesses. | 09/10/14 17:49:45 By - By Tony Pugh

American youths consume way too much salt, CDC says

More than 90 percent of U.S. schoolchildren eat more salt than they should, taking in an average of nearly 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, according to a government report released Tuesday. | 09/09/14 17:09:09 By - By Tony Pugh

CDC issues nationwide alert for child respiratory virus

Health care providers nationwide have been told to watch for an increase in respiratory illness among children after the outbreak of a rare and sometimes serious virus strain that’s hospitalized dozens of youngsters in Chicago and Kansas City, Mo. | 09/08/14 18:48:45 By - By Tony Pugh

Little improvement in U.S. obesity rates, report shows

While childhood obesity rates in the U.S. appear to be stabilizing, the rate among adults remains stubbornly high, reaching new peaks in several states over the past year. | 09/04/14 19:01:53 By - By Daniel Salazar

States that decline to expand Medicaid give up billions in aid

If the 23 states that have rejected expanding Medicaid under the 2010 health care law continue to do so for the next eight years, they’ll pay $152 billion to extend the program in other states _ while receiving nothing in return. | 09/02/14 17:03:49 By - By Tony Pugh

Administration moves toward new rule on contraceptives

The Obama administration on Friday moved to enact new rules that help ensure contraception coverage for employees of certain companies that have religious objections to birth control. | 08/22/14 19:16:42 By - By Tony Pugh

Thousands might lose health insurance over missing documents

Some 310,000 people with inconsistencies in their citizenship and immigration materials might lose their federal marketplace health coverage Sept. 30 unless they provide proper supporting documents by Sept. 5, the Obama administration announced Tuesday. | 08/12/14 16:51:06 By - By Tony Pugh

WHO declares Ebola a worldwide 'public health emergency'

World Health Organization calls for both affected and unaffected countries to implement a coordinated international response that features a wide range of new safety measures, including travel restrictions for some and a plan to return infected health workers to their home countries. | 08/08/14 05:58:57 By - Tony Pugh

Relief official says Ebola crisis more serious than reported

In stark, often chilling congressional testimony on Thursday, an official with a relief organization responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa labeled efforts to control the virus a failure. | 08/07/14 20:21:54 By - By Tony Pugh

CDC ramps up Ebola response; WHO considers experimental treatments

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday placed their emergency operations center in Atlanta on the highest response level because of the worsening Ebola outbreak in West Africa. | 08/07/14 18:33:34 By - By Tony Pugh

Growing Ebola crisis fuels calls for coordinated international response

As the second American stricken by Ebola returned to the United States on Tuesday, concern is mounting about the lack of a coordinated international plan to fight the growing outbreak in West Africa. | 08/05/14 19:46:13 By - By Tony Pugh and Alejandro Davila Fragoso

With funds for physician training set to expire, rural doctor shortage persists

After two years as a medical school resident for the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Aaron Rhyner sees 14 patients a day, works 50 to 80 hours each week and earns roughly $50,000 a year. | 08/05/14 17:27:39 By - By Rob Hotakainen

An N.C. mayor treks 273 miles to help rural hospitals

Only four days after the Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven, N.C., closed its doors for good on July 1, Portia Gibbs suffered a heart attack in neighboring Hyde County, which has no doctors or hospitals. | 07/28/14 18:10:50 By - By Tony Pugh

Confused about the health care rulings?

Contrary rulings Tuesday on a key element of the Affordable Care Act by two separate federal appeals courts raise a variety of questions. | 07/22/14 18:37:24 By - By Tony Pugh

Courts issue conflicting rulings on health care tax subsidies

Two appeals courts on Tuesday reached radically different conclusions about whether millions of consumers in 36 states can use tax credits to help buy health coverage on the federal health insurance marketplace. | 07/22/14 16:08:48 By - By Michael Doyle and Tony Pugh

U.N.: Blacks in U.S. bear disproportionate burden of HIV

The United States is lagging in the global battle against HIV and AIDS, a new U.N. report says, with inadequate treatment and a drop-off in awareness among the reasons the U.S. carries a disproportionate share of HIV and AIDS cases among wealthy nations. | 07/16/14 18:47:59 By - By John Zarocostas

Sebelius gets warm reception from health law supporters

In one of her first public speaking events since she left office last month, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday thanked her supporters, jabbed her detractors and shared some of the encounters with everyday Americans that kept her going through the rough, early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout last year. | 06/17/14 16:58:15 By - By Tony Pugh

New hepatitis C wonder drug shakes up the health care industry

When the harsh side effects of his hepatitis C medication forced Joel Roth to stop treatments last year, the only hope for his ailing liver was Sovaldi, a new wonder drug by Gilead Sciences Inc. that would hit the market later that year. | 06/12/14 17:17:54 By - By Tony Pugh

Senate confirms Burwell as new HHS secretary

The Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Thursday as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by a bipartisan vote of 78-17. | 06/05/14 17:32:32 By - By Tony Pugh

GOP senators say management, not money, is the problem at VA

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and three Republican colleagues on Tuesday announced support for legislation they say would tackle the root causes of treatment delays at veterans medical facilities by giving former service members the option of choosing private health care. | 06/03/14 18:34:26 By - By Renee Schoof

Worst U.S. measles outbreak in 20 years is due to overseas travel

After declaring in 2000 that measles had been eliminated from the U.S. through a successful vaccination program, government officials now say the number of confirmed cases has reached a 20-year high as people who get the disease abroad bring it back to America. | 05/29/14 13:33:24 By - By Tony Pugh

Coventry, Humana, WellPoint offer most affordable marketplace coverage, study finds

Consumers in 37 states that want affordable marketplace health coverage are more likely to pick a plan from Coventry, Humana or WellPoint, according to new research by Avalere Health. | 05/21/14 15:30:18 By - By Tony Pugh

Insurers, regulators prepare to negotiate 2015 health coverage costs

With the 2014 enrollment for individual marketplace coverage under the health care law now in the books, consumers, stakeholders and insurers have turned their attention to the cost of coverage in 2015. | 05/20/14 18:14:33 By - By Tony Pugh

HHS nominee Burwell gets tough questions from committee that will decide her fate

The road to becoming the next U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary got a little bumpy for Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Wednesday as she was peppered with a series of pointed questions on a wide range of issues during her second Senate nomination hearing. | 05/15/14 05:39:11 By - Tony Pugh

Second U.S. MERS case discovered in Florida, airline passengers notified

A health care worker from Saudi Arabia is hospitalized in Orlando, Fla., with America's second confirmed case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, government officials reported Monday. | 05/13/14 05:56:18 By - By Tony Pugh

Second U.S. MERS case discovered in Florida, airline passengers notified

A health care worker from Saudi Arabia is hospitalized in Orlando, Fla., with America’s second confirmed case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, government officials reported Monday. | 05/12/14 18:48:38 By - By Tony Pugh

Medical devices could fall prey to computer malfunctions, hackers

Chris Carroll won’t forget the first time he saw someone hack into an insulin pump and make it deliver a lethal dose. | 05/12/14 13:25:05 By - By John Kuhn

Burwell easily clears 1st confirmation hurdle for HHS head

The first Senate nomination hearing for prospective Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell offered no political fireworks or surprises Thursday. | 05/08/14 18:06:27 By - By Tony Pugh

Judges seem skeptical over latest challenge to health care law

The seemingly endless legal war over health care found an esoteric new front Thursday, as appellate judges considered where certain bills should originate. | 05/08/14 17:27:38 By - By Michael Doyle

Young adults fuel final surge in health insurance enrollment

Nearly half of the 8 million Americans who signed up for marketplace health insurance did so in the final seven weeks of the six-month enrollment period that ended on April 19, the Obama administration reported Thursday. | 05/01/14 19:47:05 By - By Tony Pugh

With Sebelius gone, what’s next for Obamacare?

The resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius comes at an opportune time for the Obama administration. | 04/11/14 17:56:48 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama looks to pivot from health care roll-out

President Barack Obama worked to turn a page Friday on his signature health care law, nominating White House aide Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace embattled Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services. | 04/11/14 17:55:26 By - By Lindsay Wise and David Lightman

Sebelius resigns after turbulent stint at HHS

Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned, ending a turbulent five-year tenure that saw her become the public face of the troubled federal health insurance marketplace, | 04/10/14 20:35:08 By - By Tony Pugh, Lindsay Wise and Dave Helling

Proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage plans out, payment hikes in

In a move that blunts a potent line of political attacks from Republicans, the Obama administration reversed itself on Monday, announcing that private health plans that provide Medicare benefits will see a slight increase in government payments next year, rather than the reduction that was proposed earlier. | 04/07/14 19:39:07 By - By Tony Pugh

Veterans push to smoke pot to ease PTSD, other ailments

After flying helicopters in Vietnam, Perry Parks couldn’t stop the panicked dreams. He took sleeping pills for years after he retired, to help with post-traumatic stress disorder. Then he found a more satisfying alternative: two or three bong hits at least three times a day. | 04/02/14 17:08:32 By - By Rob Hotakainen

With 7 million enrolled, Obama exudes new confidence about health care law

More than 7 million Americans have now enrolled in private coverage on the nation’s health insurance marketplaces, thanks to a wave of late signups that has pushed the latest enrollment tally beyond the original goal set by the Congressional Budget Office. | 04/01/14 18:50:45 By - By Tony Pugh and Lindsay Wise falters, but enrollments continue as official sign-up period ends

After months of solid performance, the website faltered several times on Monday due to problems from heavy usage as record numbers of Americans scrambled to purchase health insurance on the last official day of the Affordable Care Act's inaugural enrollment period. | 03/31/14 17:41:46 By - By Tony Pugh

Many newly insured still face health coverage upheaval

As procrastinators rushed to purchase health insurance Monday by the Affordable Care Act’s official enrollment deadline, new research estimates that about half of those with subsidized coverage obtained from federal or state marketplaces will lose it within a year because of changes in their incomes or other family circumstances, such as divorce, relocation or the births of children. | 03/31/14 16:49:14 By - By Tony Pugh

Health care signups reach 6 million-plus

More than 6 million Americans have signed up for private coverage on the nation’s health insurance marketplaces, surpassing the Congressional Budget Office estimate for first-year enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. | 03/27/14 16:35:25 By - By Tony Pugh

Extended health care enrollment draws cheers and jeers

The Obama administration’s decision to allow marketplace health insurance enrollments beyond the March 31 deadline could exacerbate a growing credibility gap with insurers and lawmakers who have chafed at the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act. | 03/26/14 19:32:23 By - By Tony Pugh

CDC says hospitals can be hazardous to your health when infections aren’t controlled

Catching a life-threatening illness while lying in crispy-clean linens is one of the last things most people expect from a hospital stay. | 03/26/14 19:16:26 By - By Daniel White

Administration: More than 5 million have signed up for health care

More than 5 million Americans have now signed up for marketplace health coverage on state and federal insurance exchanges, the Obama administration announced Monday. | 03/17/14 19:07:31 By - Tony Pugh

Health care enrollments reach 4.2 million, but young adults remain elusive

More than 4.2 million people have signed up for coverage on the nation’s health insurance marketplaces through February, but low participation from young adults and early technical problems with the website have jeopardized the government’s goal of enrolling 6 million people by March 31. | 03/11/14 19:33:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Do GOP Rep. Ellmers’ claims of cuts to Medicare Advantage plans hold up?

Rep. Renee Ellmers this week joined fellow Republicans who say the Obama administration is slashing Medicare Advantage to pay for the health care law. | 03/06/14 17:56:54 By - By Renee Schoof

Canceled health insurance plans extended - again

Americans whose 2013 health insurance policies were supposed to be canceled this year because they don’t meet tough new standards under the Affordable Care Act can now renew those noncompliant policies for another two years if their home states allow it, the Obama administration announced Wednesday. | 03/05/14 19:54:57 By - By Tony Pugh

Health insurance enrollment efforts enter their final month

After an horrendous start and months of playing catch-up against a barrage of political attacks, Affordable Care Act supporters have hit the homestretch in their six-month effort to educate and enroll millions of Americans in health insurance. | 02/28/14 15:10:59 By - By Tony Pugh

VA’s time to resolve disability appeals shoots up, lagging department’s goals

The average time for a denied claim to work its way through the cumbersome Department of Veterans Affairs appeals process shot up to more than 900 days last year, double the department’s long-term target. | 02/27/14 18:12:27 By - By Chris Adams

Kansas’ Dennis Moore returns to Congress for personal testimony

The former Kansas congressman returned to Capitol Hill to urge his old colleagues on both sides of the aisle to invest in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease from which he suffers. | 02/26/14 18:15:39 By - By Lindsay Wise

Obesity rates fall for young children, rise for older adults

While adults and older children continue to struggle with obesity, America’s 2- to 5-year-olds appear to be slimming down. | 02/25/14 18:49:18 By - By Tony Pugh

How the health care law has evolved

Here are some of the changes the Obama administration has made in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act without approval from Congress: | 02/24/14 06:00:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Medicaid expansion is expected to strain mental health services

As millions of Americans gain health coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, experts say their higher rates of mental health and substance abuse disorders will be difficult to treat due to a lack of counselors and behavioral therapists who accept Medicaid patients. | 02/13/14 06:00:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Health care enrollment rises; more young adults sign up

Nearly 3.3 million Americans have enrolled in health coverage on state and federal health insurance marketplaces as of Feb. 1 and sign-up rates for young adults continued to grow, according to new figures released Wednesday by the Obama administration. | 02/12/14 19:03:44 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama administration delays health law’s employer mandate – again

Employers with 50 to 99 workers will have yet another year, until 2016, to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide health coverage for full-time employees, the Obama administration announced Monday. | 02/10/14 18:55:05 By - By Tony Pugh

Obamacare: The political issue that keeps on giving

Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday engaged in a fierce brawl to define what the Affordable Care Act means to consumers – making it clear that Americans’ qualms about the law will remain a volatile issue throughout the election year. | 02/05/14 17:47:59 By - By David Lightman

CVS pharmacies will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products

CVS pharmacies announced Wednesday that they will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products at its 7,600 U.S. stores beginning in October. | 02/05/14 12:37:28 By - Tony Pugh

Legislators formulating plan to remove Kansas from Affordable Care Act

A group of Kansas lawmakers is seeking to sever Kansas from the authority of the Affordable Care Act. Rep. Brett Hildabrand, R-Shawnee, introduced a bill at the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs this week that, if passed, would bring Kansas into the Health Care Compact, a group of states asking Congress to give them independence from the Affordable Care Act. | 01/31/14 13:13:19 By - Bryan Lowry

What sticker shock? Exchange rates comparable to or less than job-based health coverage

Despite concerns about "sticker shock," marketplace health insurance costs, on average, about the same as job-based coverage - and sometimes less, according to a new study by PwC's Health Research Institute. | 01/30/14 13:19:25 By - Tony Pugh

Three Senate Republicans offer alternative to Obamacare

On the eve of the president’s State of the Union speech, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina on Monday offered a plan to repeal Barack Obama’s signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with a plan he says would lower costs and expand access to coverage. | 01/27/14 18:30:12 By - By Renee Schoof

New report on smoking harkens back to historic 1964 report

50 years after a U.S. Surgeon General's report concluded that smoking causes lung cancer, a new government report estimates that 5.6 million children will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases if current rates of tobacco use continue. | 01/17/14 12:09:34 By - Tony Pugh

Holocaust survivors say Germany needs to help ease poverty among aging members

Holocaust survivors in the United States face severe health problems and often-grinding poverty, and advocates urged members of the U.S. Senate Wednesday to push German officials to make good on that country’s decades-old promises to them. | 01/15/14 18:15:34 By - By Chris Adams

FDA intends to clear the air on e-cigarettes

Any day now, the federal Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue a proposed rule about electronic cigarettes — a ruling that could send ripples into the workplace and other public places. | 01/15/14 08:57:01 By - Diane Stafford

Young adult enrollment in health care marketplaces lags

Halfway through the six-month enrollment period for private marketplace health insurance, just one in four new adult enrollees are between ages 18 and 34, the crucial demographic group whose participation rates are key to keeping monthly premiums affordable under Obamacare. | 01/13/14 19:04:38 By - By Tony Pugh and Anita Kumar

Most uninsured unaware of cost breaks for Obamacare

Obamacare supporters say nonstop news coverage of’s early technical problems has hurt efforts to inform the uninsured about financial assistance that can help them purchase marketplace health coverage. | 01/09/14 19:04:24 By - By Tony Pugh

Growth in 2012 health care spending remained at record low

Total public and private spending for health care in the United States increased to nearly $2.8 trillion in 2012, or nearly $9,000 per person, according to a government report released Monday. | 01/06/14 17:36:08 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama administration declares 'new day' for health care

The Obama administration said Tuesday that 2.1 million people have enrolled for health insurance through the state and federal marketplaces, just as many provisions of the Affordable Care Act begin to kick in at the start of the year. | 12/31/13 16:25:57 By - Lesley Clark

Major health law changes begin in 2014

After more than three years of piecemeal implementation, the Affordable Care Act reaches an important new phase in 2014, when most of the law’s major provisions finally kick in. | 12/30/13 18:07:37 By - By Tony Pugh

Low premiums may mean high out-of-pocket health costs

If you buy one of the less expensive insurance plans sold through the new health law’s marketplaces, you may be in for a surprise: Some plans won’t pay for doctor visits before you meet your annual deductible, which could be thousands of dollars. | 12/26/13 16:13:55 By - By Julie Appleby

Obama signs up for health insurance

President Barack Obama, who is on a family vacation in Hawaii, has signed up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange | 12/23/13 14:01:28 By - Anita Kumar

Obama touts health insurance enrollment spike as deadline looms

President Barack Obama said Friday that more than 500,000 Americans had obtained health insurance through the website in December and “tens of thousands” were enrolling each day as the Monday deadline for selecting insurance that’s effective Jan. 1 fast approaches. | 12/20/13 18:45:32 By - By Tony Pugh

‘Junk insurance’ comes back to haunt its policyholders

April Capil has mixed feelings about the national outcry over canceled health insurance policies. Like millions of Americans, Capil thought she had solid individual health insurance. Then she got sick and found that her coverage was woefully inadequate. | 12/19/13 06:00:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Insurers extend payment deadline for Jan. 1 Obamacare coverage

The nation’s largest health insurance industry trade group announced Wednesday that consumers, frustrated by technical problems with federal and state health insurance marketplaces, will get more time to pay for individual coverage that begins Jan. 1. | 12/18/13 16:18:05 By - By Tony Pugh

Administration relaxes some health care rules, asks insurers to be flexible

In yet another acknowledgment of the difficulties Americans have faced purchasing coverage through the website, the Obama administration on Thursday announced that it would grant a one-month extension for a transitional federal program that provides health coverage to people with serious illnesses. | 12/12/13 19:05:31 By - By Tony Pugh enrollment swings upward in November

The federal health insurance marketplace that serves 36 states enrolled 110,410 people in November, up from just 26,794 in October when technical problems stifled enrollment and created a political firestorm for President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. | 12/11/13 09:00:00 By - By Tony Pugh

White House, N.C. Democrats press state to expand Medicaid

The White House enlisted two top North Carolina Democrats on Monday to urge Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature to reconsider their opposition to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. | 12/09/13 18:15:41 By - By Renee Schoof

Rep. Ellmers calls Obamacare a ‘war on women’

The Affordable Care Act is an example of a “war on women,” Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., said Saturday in the Republicans’ weekly address. | 12/07/13 06:00:00 By - By Renee Schoof

California Democrats from neighboring districts part ways on health care

Reps. Doris Matsui and Ami Bera are both Democrats, represent parts of California’s Sacramento Valley and vote pretty much the same way on most issues. | 12/06/13 18:32:52 By - By Curtis Tate

One in four enrollees may not be properly signed up

An estimated one in four people who signed up for health insurance through the troubled website in October and November may not be properly enrolled in coverage due to technical problems with the electronic enrollment reports that the federal marketplace sends daily to each health plan. | 12/06/13 16:57:04 By - Tony Pugh

Obama strives to pivot from health care woes

President Barack Obama, stung by the enduring controversy over his health care overhaul, tried Tuesday to go on the offensive. Republicans waited with a new round of congressional hearings. | 12/03/13 17:31:13 By - By David Lightman and Anita Kumar

White House confident it’s met deadline to fix for most

After two months of relentless criticism about the troubled rollout of the new federal health care law, Saturday marks the day when President Barack Obama pledged that the flawed website,, would be fixed. | 11/30/13 00:00:00 By - By Anita Kumar

Latino enrollment is low so far in Calif. health insurance marketplace

Latino lawmakers and health leaders in California are sounding alarms about the state insurance marketplace’s tactics for enrolling Spanish speakers and are urging changes after the recent announcement that fewer than 1,000 had signed up in the health law’s first month. | 11/29/13 17:27:38 By - By Anna Gorman

Supreme Court takes up Obamacare’s contraception dispute

The embattled health care law dubbed Obamacare will be returning to the Supreme Court, this time for a decision on whether employers must cover contraception in their insurance plans. | 11/26/13 17:17:35 By - By Michael Doyle

South Carolina rejected Medicaid expansion, but numbers will still go up

Like half the states, South Carolina chose not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law, citing the program’s high costs and inefficiency. Yet state officials still forecast a 16 percent enrollment jump by the end of June 2015, even higher than the average increase expected in states that are expanding eligibility. What’s going on? | 11/26/13 13:19:10 By - By Phil Galewitz

Obama officials: on target to work for most by Nov. 30

The Obama administration on Monday expressed guarded confidence that it’s on track to get the troubled website running properly by Nov. 30, its self-imposed deadline. | 11/25/13 18:06:46 By - By Tony Pugh

States divided on Obama’s plan to allow insurance policy renewals

Across the nation, states are still deciding whether to allow insurers to extend or renew canceled health insurance policies through 2014, as President Barack Obama requested last week. | 11/22/13 18:06:33 By - By Tony Pugh

Most state insurance exchanges ward off woes of

With millions of dollars in federal funding, a more harmonious political environment and the benefit of early planning, most of the state-run health insurance marketplaces are outperforming the clunky, glitch-prone federal website that serves the other 36 states. | 11/22/13 13:38:58 By - By Tony Pugh, Barbara Anderson and Brad Shannon

Patient advocacy group says health policy cancellations are being overblown

A patient advocacy group that supports the Affordable Care Act is pushing back against the wave of media reports about policy cancellations involving people with individual health insurance. | 11/21/13 19:41:56 By - Tony Pugh

Sen. Hagan, like other Democrats, on the health care hot seat

Republicans working to eject Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., from her Senate seat say she was dishonest when she said that people could keep their health care plans. | 11/20/13 19:45:28 By - By Renee Schoof

Doctors are concerned about pay scales under health care law

Many doctors are disturbed that they’ll be paid less – often a lot less – to care for the millions of patients who are projected to buy coverage through the health law’s new insurance marketplaces. | 11/20/13 16:40:01 By - By Roni Caryn Rabin

Obama health care tech official unaware of early prediction of website problems

An Obama administration technology expert who worked closely on the development of the federal health insurance exchange told a congressional panel on Tuesday that he was never privy to an independent report in March that warned of potential problems with the project – even though many of his colleagues and White House staffers were. | 11/19/13 19:29:37 By - By Tony Pugh

Parnell: Alaska won't expand Medicaid

In a closely watched and controversial decision, Gov. Sean Parnell announced Friday that Alaska will not participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, describing it at a news conference as a "failed experiment." | 11/19/13 13:25:46 By - Lisa Demer

White House still expects trouble for 20 percent of health website users

Roughly 1 in 5 visitors to won’t be able to buy insurance coverage Nov. 30 when the bulk of repairs to the troubled website are supposed to be completed, the White House announced Monday. | 11/18/13 18:38:28 By - By Tony Pugh

SC insurers to offer once-canceled policies

South Carolina’s largest private insurer will allow customers – sent cancellation notices in recent months, based on new Affordable Care Act requirements – to keep their health-insurance policies for 2014. | 11/18/13 13:41:28 By - Joey Holleman

Vulnerable Democrats break ranks with Obama on health care law

Looking toward their own re-election prospects rather than standing by their party or president, 39 Democrats in the House of Representatives broke ranks Friday to support a Republican bill that would modify President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. | 11/15/13 18:39:30 By - By Curtis Tate

Obama’s shift in health care policy: Just what does it all mean?

President Barack Obama’s plan to allow people to keep their canceled health plans for another year has raised some nagging questions. Here are some answers. | 11/15/13 18:06:06 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama’s health care ‘fix’ could raise premiums in 2015

President Barack Obama’s administrative “fix” for the Affordable Care Act may solve some immediate political problems, but it will likely create other concerns by causing premiums for marketplace health plans to increase in 2015. | 11/14/13 19:29:03 By - By Tony Pugh

Roiling health care waters, Obama’s fix could make matters worse

Facing growing outrage from Americans, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and offered to let insurance companies sell existing plans even if they don’t meet the minimum standards set by his new problem-fraught health care law. | 11/14/13 19:03:50 By - By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark

A frequent Obamacare critic, Rep. Ellmers says GOP has its own plan

The troubled start of the Affordable Care Act is giving Republican critics in Congress a new game plan. | 11/14/13 18:37:33 By - By Renee Schoof

Only 25% of new health care enrollees signed up on federal website

Just one in four people nationwide who’ve enrolled in health coverage on the new insurance marketplaces have done so through the troubled website – even though the site serves 36 states. | 11/13/13 19:51:43 By - By Tony Pugh

Officials appeal to frustrated users: Come back

Confident that repairs to its website are progressing as planned, the Obama administration has begun notifying some 275,000 people who couldn’t enroll in coverage at the troubled website’s Oct. 1 debut to try again. | 11/12/13 18:47:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Regulation requires parity from insurers for mental illness coverage

The Obama administration on Friday issued final rules requiring insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatments in the same way that medical and surgical benefits are covered. | 11/08/13 17:31:45 By - By Tony Pugh

Congress weighing laws to let people keep health insurance

As President Barack Obama signals he will do something on his own to make good on his broken promise that Americans could keep their insurance plans if they liked them, members of both parties in Congress are proposing to do it by law. | 11/08/13 17:09:16 By - By Renee Schoof

Sen. Hagan wants people to be able to keep their health insurance

Sen. Kay Hagan on Thursday joined a push by Senate Democrats to get the Obama administration to make sure that people who like their health insurance can keep it. | 11/07/13 18:38:27 By - By Renee Schoof

Sebelius on the hot seat again over health care website

After a longtime family friend repeated his call for her resignation during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned of “very low” numbers when enrollment figures for the troubled website are released next week | 11/06/13 18:34:44 By - By Tony Pugh official questioned about website security

A top Obama administration official on Tuesday tried to assure anxious senators that Americans’ personal information was secure on the troubled website, which erroneously provided a South Carolina man’s personal information to a man in North Carolina last week. | 11/05/13 19:12:20 By - By Tony Pugh

White House defends use of alternatives to

The Obama administration on Monday defended its request that consumers frustrated with the malfunctioning website apply for coverage by phone after it emerged that customer service operators must still use the troubled website to assist callers. | 11/04/13 19:46:54 By - By Tony Pugh and Anita Kumar

House committee: Only six people signed up for coverage on's first day

New documents released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa indicate that only six people nationwide managed to enroll in health coverage through the troubled website on Oct. 1, the first day of open enrollment for 2014 coverage. | 11/01/13 16:40:17 By - Tony Pugh

Issa subpoenas HHS documents regarding healthcare website woes

Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for documents that shed light on the ongoing problems with the website. | 10/31/13 16:40:00 By - Tony Pugh

Doctors are enlisted to aid both sides on health care law

In a push to get millions signed up for new insurance options, health officials are counting on physicians. They’re motivated by a long-standing principle: People trust their doctors. But like everyone else, physicians have differing opinions on the law: Some promote it and others oppose it. In fact, both sides of the political debate are using health care providers to get out their messages. | 10/31/13 14:16:12 By - By Anna Gorman

Sebelius shoulders blame for flawed health care website

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius threw herself on a live political grenade Wednesday, taking full responsibility for the problem-riddled rollout of the federal health insurance marketplace and the decision not to delay the Oct. 1 launch of its troubled website. | 10/30/13 19:16:08 By - By Tony Pugh

‘Why is my policy being canceled?’ and other health care questions

News that health insurers are ending the policies of what might be millions of Americans has rattled consumers and added to the debate over the new health care law. Here’s a guide to help you understand the bigger picture, including why your premiums and benefits are likely to change next year and what you should consider if you must shop for a new policy. | 10/30/13 16:17:23 By - By Julie Appleby official apologizes; website problems ‘took us by surprise’

The Obama administration’s lead official on the problem-plagued health insurance marketplace apologized at a congressional hearing Tuesday for its poor performance but said the setback “took us by surprise.” | 10/29/13 19:02:35 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama administration report: Health insurance for most young adults is reasonable

A new analysis by the Obama administration finds that 1.3 million young adults ages 18 to 34 who could be eligible for health coverage in 34 states served by the federal marketplace and state/federal partnership marketplaces could find coverage for $50 or less per month after receiving a government subsidy, according to a new Obama administration analysis. | 10/28/13 19:18:16 By - Tony Pugh

Critics point to drawbacks in changing health law deadline, ‘individual mandate’

Extending the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 open enrollment deadline has become a familiar plea for congressional Democrats frustrated with the poor performance of the federal insurance marketplace. | 10/28/13 19:11:58 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama administration says it will take another month to fix health care website

The Obama administration said Friday it will take another month to work the kinks out of its balky health care website, now promising that most consumers will be able to easily navigate the site by the end of November. | 10/25/13 18:31:26 By - By Lesley Clark

Health care call centers: ‘Controlled chaos’

An elderly man calls to ask if the land he owns will count as income to qualify for health coverage through Medicaid. A legal immigrant asks if she can sign up for a health plan through the state’s online insurance marketplace. A broker wants help to become certified to start selling coverage. | 10/25/13 15:39:36 By - By Phil Galewitz

Contractors say late changes, lack of testing doomed health care website launch

Private contractors told a congressional committee Thursday that they needed several months, but only had two weeks, before the launch date to fully test what could be the most complex government IT system in U.S. history. | 10/24/13 19:18:19 By - By Tony Pugh

Democrats call for changes to Obama’s health care law

Republicans have always been harsh critics of Obamacare. | 10/23/13 20:28:32 By - By Tony Pugh and David Lightman

Obama says ‘no excuse’ for website foul-ups, vows to fix them

President Barack Obama said Monday that he was angry and frustrated with the failures of the federal government’s new health care website and he vowed to solve them as soon as possible. | 10/21/13 18:52:25 By - By Anita Kumar and Tony Pugh

Obama on health care law: 'No one is more frustrated than I am'

President Barack Obama said Monday that the website that supports the new health care law,, is not as efficient as it should be, but a team of private sector experts are working around the clock to fix it. | 10/21/13 12:28:15 By - Anita Kumar

For thousands, keeping your old health insurance policy isn’t an option

Health insurance companies are sending notices of cancellation to hundreds of thousands of people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more expensive policies. | 10/18/13 16:33:47 By - By Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby

Health care law, medical device tax survive shutdown debate

With the debt ceiling stalemate now resolved, the Affordable Care Act and its tax on medical devices have both emerged virtually unscathed from the latest – but probably not the last – political effort to weaken the contentious health care overhaul. | 10/17/13 16:58:04 By - By Tony Pugh

House Republicans will probe botched launch of Obamacare

Republicans in the House of Representatives are making plans to investigate the disastrous Oct. 1 launch of the federal health insurance marketplace established under Obamacare. | 10/15/13 18:31:28 By - By Tony Pugh

As feds ponder solutions, bedrails pose deadly hazard to frail, elderly, mentally impaired

Thousands of people have been injured and hundreds killed after becoming trapped in safety rails installed to keep them from falling out of bed. | 10/08/13 06:00:00 By - By Lindsay Wise

Report: States lack strategies to curb prescription drug overdoses

Despite a major increase in prescription drug overdoses and deaths, most states aren’t doing all they can to combat the problem, according to a report from Trust for America’s Health. | 10/07/13 19:06:22 By - By Kendall Helblig

Cancer society, researchers look back on decades’ worth of progress in fight against cancer

Research on the detection, prevention and treatment of cancer has made substantial progress during the 100 years the American Cancer Society has been in existence. In fact, the society’s hope is that it won’t live to see another 100 years. | 10/07/13 00:00:00 By - By Justine McDaniel

Computer glitches still ail some state health care signup sites

For the second straight day, computer problems continued to stymie online visitors hoping to compare health plans or enroll in coverage on state insurance marketplaces under the new health care law. | 10/02/13 18:30:38 By - By Tony Pugh

Obamacare begins with fits and starts

The nationwide launch of the new online health insurance marketplaces got off to a rocky start on Tuesday. | 10/01/13 19:38:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Families urge stronger restrictions on painkillers

Steve Rummler was a financial planner and musician who was about to marry his high school sweetheart when his addiction to pain medication prescribed for a back injury led him to a fatal overdose. | 10/01/13 20:10:29 By - By Sarah Sexton

Consumers denied health insurance look to Obamacare marketplaces

Denise Marshall of Sonoma, Calif., was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011, and a year later lost her toy company job along with her health insurance benefits. | 10/01/13 03:30:50 By - By Phil Galewitz

Obamacare born in controversy, rolls out still mired in dispute

After years of attempts to defend, defame and now defund it, the Affordable Care Act’s watershed moment is finally here. On Tuesday, the health care law’s online insurance marketplaces are scheduled to debut in every state, giving Americans their first opportunity to kick the tires and purchase insurance benefits that might not have been available to them before. | 09/27/13 19:27:01 By - By Tony Pugh

Poll: 'The partisan divide over the health care law is stark'

Americans are divided over whether Obamacare should survive. | 09/26/13 13:26:54 By - By David Lightman

Obamacare program for small business will be delayed a month

In the latest setback for the rollout of Obamacare, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that small businesses in 36 states can’t enroll their workers into health coverage through the new federally run insurance marketplaces until at least Nov. 1 – one month later than previously announced. | 09/26/13 18:39:12 By - By Tony Pugh

Health plans on Texas exchange priced below national average

The Texas health insurance exchange created under the federal Affordable Care Act will offer dozens of policies starting Oct. 1 with premiums on average below the national level, the government announced today. | 09/25/13 13:33:15 By - Jim Fuquay

Report: Obamacare health insurance will have affordable rates

In spite of concerns about “sticker shock,” rates for individual coverage on the new health insurance marketplaces appear to be lower than expected in most states due mainly to robust competition among insurers, the Obama administration reported Wednesday. | 09/25/13 00:00:00 By - By Tony Pugh

Obamacare’s tax credits: Tell me again how they work?

About 6 million of the 7 million people expected to buy health coverage on the new insurance marketplaces next year will be low- and middle-income consumers who’ll receive federal subsidies, or “tax credits,” that will drastically cut their costs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. | 09/24/13 16:13:09 By - By Tony Pugh

Questions and answers about Obamacare tax credits

Here are answers to some basic questions about the Obamacare tax credits: | 09/24/13 19:13:09 By - By Tony Pugh

Carolinas HealthCare’s planes used for business, personal trips

Michael Tarwater, the CEO of one of the nation’s largest hospital chains, enjoys a rarely discussed perk: the freedom to fly planes owned by the nonprofit system for business and pleasure. | 09/23/13 17:04:27 By - Ames Alexander

Average health insurance tax credit for Obamacare estimated at $2,700

Americans who buy health insurance outside their jobs next year can expect an average tax credit of nearly $2,700 to help them obtain coverage on the new state insurance marketplaces, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The tax credits will vary by household income and family size, as well as the cost of coverage in a particular state and local area. | 09/22/13 19:13:52 By - By Tony Pugh

HHS delivers $67 million to pay for Obamacare enrollment ‘navigators’

After several months of delays, the Obama administration awarded $67 million on Thursday to fund an army of outreach and enrollment workers known as "navigators," who will help people sign up for coverage on the new state health insurance marketplaces beginning Oct. 1. | 09/22/13 19:13:07 By - By Tony Pugh

Job-based health insurance costs rise in 2013

For the 14th straight year, the average cost of job-based family health insurance grew faster than overall inflation and employee wages, according to a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 businesses released on Tuesday. | 09/22/13 19:12:43 By - By Tony Pugh

Medicaid ‘coverage gap’ looming for the poor in 21 states

One month after undergoing a partial hysterectomy in 2011 to remove a rare form of ovarian cancer, Erika Neal of St. Louis got a double dose of more bad news: Her salary as deputy director of a nonprofit museum was being cut and her job-based health coverage was being eliminated. | 09/22/13 19:12:09 By - By Tony Pugh

Studies show varying costs for coverage under Obamacare

A flurry of new reports from prominent health care research organizations show the cost of individual health coverage under Obamacare will vary widely among states next year, but drastic predictions of premium “sticker shock” have not materialized thus far. | 09/22/13 19:11:47 By - By Tony Pugh

As enrollment in health care law looms, some states erect roadblocks

The individuals and groups tasked with helping people enroll for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are facing a stiff head wind of restrictive laws, regulations and outright obstruction in some Republican-led states. | 09/22/13 19:11:23 By - By Tony Pugh

Obamacare: Are you covered?

When the Affordable Care Act takes effect in January 2014, most people must have health insurance or face a fine for noncompliance. The roughly 260 million Americans with job-based, individual or government coverage probably have nothing to worry about. But if you’re unsure we’ve prepared a guide to bring you up to speed. | 08/26/13 14:10:36 By - Tony Pugh

California gets federal funds to review health insurance rates

California won more than $4.3 million in federal grants to improve its reviews of health insurance rates, but the state's insurance commissioner said California missed out on potentially more funds. | 09/22/11 06:50:02 By - Darrell Smith

Administration tries to sell states on health insurance exchanges

Worried that the federal government could end up running new insurance marketplaces for dozens of states, the Obama administration is making a new pitch Monday for cooperation to 46 states and the District of Columbia. | 09/19/11 12:02:18 By - Marilyn Werber Serafini

S.C. Gov. Haley to reject federal health insurance exchange funds

Gov. Nikki Haley said she will let federal deadlines slip by and not accept millions in federal funds to help South Carolina set up its own health insurance exchange. | 09/01/11 07:17:55 By - Gina Smith

Florida rejects child-abuse prevention funds tied to health care law

Florida lawmakers have rejected more than $50 million in federal child-abuse prevention money. The grants were tied to the Obama administration’s health care reform package, which many lawmakers oppose on philosophical grounds. | 07/21/11 07:10:11 By - Carol Marbin Miller

Opponents: Health care law is 'unconstitutional'

Attorneys for 26 states, led by Florida, argued that the federal health care law provision that forces people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional. The Obama administration disagrees. Florida’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law moved to a federal appeals court Wednesday, where a trio of judges grilled President Barack Obama’s top lawyer and repeatedly questioned whether Congress can force people to buy health insurance. | 06/09/11 07:04:51 By - Janet Zink

Health care law challenge goes before Court of Appeals

Florida already leads a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law, but state officials are going a step further and ignoring the law almost entirely. The decisions put Florida at odds with conservative governors in Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin, who are fighting the health law’s constitutionality on one hand and planning for the law on the other. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday in the suit pitting 26 states against the federal government. | 06/08/11 06:57:32 By - Janet Zink

Still voting 'no:' 2 'Blue Dogs' explain why they oppose repeal

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, co-chairman of the Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats, voted "no" last year when President Barack Obama's health care reform proposal came before the House. So did U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell. But when the Republicans vote today on repealing the health care law, both Shuler and Kissell, Democrats from North Carolina, will side with their fellow Democrats to keep the law. | 01/19/11 07:14:02 By - Barbara Barrett

Add Kansas to states suing over federal health care law

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sent a letter Wednesday seeking to join almost two dozen states in challenging the new federal health care law. The letter, addressed to Florida's attorney general, asks permission to join the 20 states that are suing the federal government over the law. | 01/13/11 17:17:16 By - Dave Klepper

California is first to form health insurance exchange

Amid appeals from the White House and consumer health care advocates, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two key health bills Thursday that make California the first state to begin establishing its own health insurance exchange, which could widen medical coverage for small businesses and the millions of uninsured. | 10/01/10 06:49:08 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Kansas' Roberts unleashes on Sebelius over health care

Pat Roberts and Kathleen Sebelius have a long history. Their families have been close. He supported her Senate nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary. Wednesday, however, the former Kansas governor found herself on the receiving end of some pretty strong criticism from her old friend and fellow Kansan, over health care. | 09/29/10 19:09:06 By - David Goldstein

Consumer's guide to health overhaul, 6 months in

By Sept. 23, the six-month anniversary of the enactment of the health care overhaul, many of the law's provisions will be in effect. Most consumers, however, won't see any changes until after Jan. 1, when their new health plan year begins. | 09/15/10 16:15:12 By - Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

Federal health care subsidies will to go 29 N.C. companies

More than two dozen businesses and nonprofit groups in North Carolina will receive federal health care subsidies to offset the cost of insuring their retirees. The subsidies, announced Tuesday, are the first visible sign of the recently passed Affordable Care Act. | 09/01/10 07:26:45 By - John Murawski

New health care plans for uninsured off to slow start

Ruth Titus, a 59-year-old cook from Taos, N.M., leaped at the opportunity in July to sign up for health insurance under a new federally subsidized program for uninsured people with health problems. With her history of bladder cancer, she said, "it was hopeless to even look" for private coverage because she'd be turned down. | 08/20/10 19:40:34 By - Phil Galewitz

One thing sure in new health law: paperwork

Employers will have more paperwork to deal with, attorneys from Foulston Siefkin said at a workshop in Wichita earlier this week | 08/20/10 14:44:29 By - Karen Shideler

Forget Prop 8: GOP cheers Missouri's health care opt out

Republicans across the country are gleefully rubbing their hands this week, convinced that Missouri voters' thunderous opposition to a key part of the federal health care overhaul is fully exportable this fall. Almost three out of four Missouri voters in Tuesday's election endorsed Proposition C, aimed squarely at the new law's individual insurance mandate. | 08/07/10 15:50:03 By - Dave Helling and Steve Kraske

Missouri voters approve challenge to federal health care law

Missouri law now contains a direct challenge to the federal health care law passed earlier this year. Primary voters approved Proposition C by a wide margin Tuesday, giving Missourians the power under state law to ignore government requirements to buy health insurance and nullifying penalties for failing to do so. | 08/04/10 07:04:47 By - Jason Noble

GOP-backed health care amendment removed from Florida ballot

Calling the wording of a Republican-backed constitutional amendment on health care "manifestly misleading," a Circuit Court judge in Leon County has tossed it off the November ballot. The proposal had been drafted and put forward by the GOP-led state legislature as a counter to the new federal health care plan. It would prohibit the state from participating in any health insurance exchange that compels people to buy insurance. | 07/30/10 07:02:57 By - Lee Logan

Aetna withdraws 19 percent rate increase, citing math error

Aetna Thursday withdrew plans to raise premiums on 65,000 customers who buy health insurance on their own, becoming the second insurer to do so in as many months because of "substantial mathematical errors" in its rate calculations. | 06/24/10 21:27:37 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Study: People with personal health policies pay more

People who buy their own health insurance are being asked to pay 20 percent more for the same coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, but the study provided little data on what's behind spiking premiums. | 06/21/10 16:16:51 By - Bobby Caina Calvin

Feds to states: Explain high-risk insurance pool plans

Federal officials, eager to launch one of the signature programs of the new health care law, have told states that they must provide more information by the end of next week on how they intend to run the high-risk health insurance pools. | 06/18/10 15:16:28 By - Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

New health care rules for employers draw mixed reaction

Business groups gave mixed reviews this week to new Obama administration rules limiting how much employers and insurers can change their health insurance plans while remaining exempt from potentially costly new consumer protections. | 06/15/10 16:02:01 By - Phil Galewitz and Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

Bitter feelings over health bill could bruise Medicare nominee

Just because Congress passed a health care law, the fight isn't over. Get ready for round two. The confirmation hearings for Dr. Donald Berwick, the White House's choice to run Medicare, could turn into a proxy war over a debate that, while settled, left many Americans angry and confused. | 06/11/10 18:01:42 By - David Goldstein

Federal health care law has support from Californians, poll indicates

A majority of Californians say they support the new federal health care law but view it as just the first step toward fixing the country's much-criticized health care system, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. These sentiments run counter to those expressed nationally. | 06/03/10 06:58:16 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Crist embraces Obama's high-risk health insurance pool

Gov. Charlie Crist will leave it to the Obama administration to run the federally subsidized high-risk health insurance plan that is to cover people unable to buy such insurance in the private market due to preexisting conditions such as cancer or diabetes. | 05/02/10 15:51:43 By - Fred Tasker

California's Anthem Blue Cross admits 'miscalculation' in 39 percent rate hike

Anthem Blue Cross used deeply flawed math and assumptions when it announced plans to hike premiums by as much as 39 percent for thousands of California subscribers, the Department of Insurance announced Thursday. Acknowledging that it had made "inadvertent miscalculations," the state's largest for-profit health insurer said it would withdraw its controversial rate filing. | 04/30/10 06:41:42 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Some faithful turn to health sharing ministries instead of insurance

A growing number of Americans are becoming members of faith-based "health sharing ministries" where members directly pay for each others' medical bills. Members also pray for each other, and a "get well" card from a stranger isn't uncommon. National health care reform will force millions of Americans to buy insurance or face fines, but a little-noticed provision excludes people who belong to such groups. | 04/29/10 07:06:12 By - Jaweed Kaleem

A Happy Meal toy ban in California's Santa Clara County

In what seems to be a first-of-its-kind rule, Santa Clara County, Calif., voted Tuesday to ban restaurants from giving away free toys in high-calorie meals. This includes nearly all versions of the McDonald's Happy Meal. The toy edict is the latest in the growing ado about childhood obesity. | 04/28/10 06:53:45 By - Anna Tong

In health care overhaul lawsuit, Alaska caps legal spending at $5,000

Lawyers rarely work for free, let alone for a discount, so Alaska's getting a bargain in the lawsuit it joined this week seeking to overturn the new federal health care law. The state has committed to spending $5,000 on its share of the multi-state suit challenging the constitutionality of the mandate that people buy health care insurance or pay a fine. | 04/26/10 06:36:51 By - Erika Bolstad

Health care tax credits for small businesses start to roll out

More than 500,000 Internal Revenue Service postcards will go out this week to California small businesses and tax-exempt groups that may qualify for new tax credits on their employees' health care premiums. The federal tax credits are one of the first pieces to roll out of the health care legislation signed last month by President Barack Obama. | 04/20/10 06:54:02 By - Claudia Buck

Health care overhaul includes 'game-changing' long-term care coverage

Millions of Americans need long-term health care. But few can afford it. That's where a little-discussed part of the massive Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the national health care reform package, comes into the picture. | 04/19/10 07:17:14 By - Diane Stafford

California's health insurance rates rise due to hospital costs

Behind every public uproar are some hidden facts. Here's one about rising health insurance rates in California: Sharp jumps in hospital costs are a big part of the story. Hospitals are charging insurance companies, and by extension their customers, billions of dollars for expenses not directly related to care. These include new hospital wings, new technology and services for the uninsured. | 04/19/10 06:59:16 By - Bobby Caina Calvan and Phillip Reese

Pelosi, Boxer celebrate health care's passage at party convention

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer took health care victory laps at the state Democratic Party convention Saturday, betting that the recently passed legislation will help Democratic candidates fight political head winds this year. | 04/18/10 10:33:31 By - Jack Chang

Uninsured ignore heart attack symptoms, study finds

Warning signs of a heart attack should be hard to ignore. But that's just what many people try to do if they have little or no health insurance, a new study finds. Uninsured people — and even people who have insurance but have trouble paying medical bills — wait significantly longer to go to a hospital for heart attacks than insured people who don't have major financial concerns about their health care. | 04/14/10 07:15:09 By - Alan Bavley

Kansas should stay out of health care suit, governor says

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson said Wednesday that he supports Attorney General Steve Six's decision to keep the state out of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new national health care law. The attorney general has been pressured by some Kansas lawmakers and may ultimately be forced to bring the state into the lawsuit, which 18 states have joined. | 04/08/10 15:15:43 By - Don Lefler

States can start new Medicaid expansion Thursday

Starting Thursday, states can choose to take the first steps toward the massive expansion of insurance coverage that is the recent health overhaul legislation's chief goal. For some states, that move could have the benefit of reviving funding for state-run programs that insure low-income adults. | 03/31/10 18:43:33 By - Christopher Weaver, Kaiser Health News

Blue Cross Blue Shield agrees to insure Texas newborn who was denied coverage

Houston has health insurance. The news, announced on a Web site set up for the Texas baby, ended his family's week-long fight after the newborn was denied health insurance because he needed surgery to repair a heart defect — what the insurance company called a pre-existing condition. | 03/31/10 07:40:41 By - Jan Jarvis

Uninsured waiting for health care overhaul provisions to kick in

It will be years before the most sweeping parts of health care reform take effect. But some provisions will start in just a few months. The provision that covers pre-existing conditions is one of the initial benefits of the new law and many uninsured, like Jim Lewis of Charlotte, find that to be a relief. | 03/30/10 07:22:53 By - Karen Garloch

Health overhaul invigorates GOP candidates in Washington state

Republican candidates running in the fall elections urged party activists Saturday to help them rein in federal and state spending, cut taxes, protect rights and fight off the "socialism" some fear has been ushered in by the recent health care reforms. But no issue — or personality — reverberated as deeply or loudly as state Attorney General Rob McKenna and his effort to overturn Congress' health reforms by joining a federal lawsuit. | 03/29/10 17:41:31 By - Brad Shannon

Health care battle boosts GOP's McCollum in Florida governor's race

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's decision to sue the federal government over the health care overhaul looks like a political winner, according to a new poll showing that he has widened his lead over state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in the race for governor. Republican McCollum draws 49 percent support compared to 34 percent who would vote for Sink, a Democrat, according to the poll of 625 registered Florida voters. | 03/29/10 15:54:02 By - Marc Caputo

Kansas GOP lawmakers may force state to sue over health overhaul

Kansas Republican lawmakers critical of federal health care reform are considering a rare procedural move that would force Attorney General Steve Six, a Democrat, to join the mounting legal challenges against the new law. | 03/29/10 15:37:44 By - Dave Klepper

Texas newborn denied health insurance over pre-existing condition

At birth, Houston Tracy let out a single loud cry before his father cut the cord and handed him to a nurse. Instantly, Doug Tracy knew something was wrong with his son. That turned out to be d-transposition of the great arteries, a defect in which the two major vessels that carry blood away from the heart are reversed. Surgery would correct it, but within days of Houston's birth March 15, Tracy learned that his application for health insurance to cover his son had been denied. The reason: a pre-existing condition. | 03/26/10 07:37:50 By - Jan Jarvis

Congress approves final piece of health care overhaul

Congress Thursday passed and sent to President Barack Obama the final piece of landmark health care legislation intended to change dramatically how most Americans buy, use and maintain insurance coverage. This legislation, combined with the bill signed into law on Tuesday, will bring the most significant change in health care policy since Medicare was created in 1965 to provide health insurance coverage for seniors and the disabled. | 03/25/10 21:10:59 By - David Lightman

Senate approves fixes to health bill, returns it to House

The Senate Thursday passed by 56-43 the final piece of landmark health care legislation that's intended to change dramatically how most Americans buy, use and maintain insurance coverage. Because of a technical glitch, the House of Representatives also must pass it again, which was to occur virtually automatically later Thursday, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. | 03/25/10 09:27:55 By - David Lightman

Health bill included big Republican idea: individual mandate

The lawsuit against the health care overhaul filed Tuesday by 13 state attorneys general is focused on a provision that's long been advocated by conservatives, big business and the insurance industry. Among the Republicans who had endorsed an individual insurance mandate: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, and even Arizona Sen. John McCain. | 03/24/10 00:14:40 By - John Dorschner

Details of the new health insurance overhaul

The health care overhaul package is the most far-reaching health legislation since the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. While the underlying Senate bill is now law since President Barack Obama signed it Tuesday, additional changes will occur if the Senate passes the House of Representatives' reconciliation-bill part of the package. | 03/23/10 19:29:08 By - Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News

Obama signs health care bill, but GOP protests continue

President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law a vast overhaul of the nation’s health care system, the most sweeping expansion of government social policy in more than 40 years. There were no Republicans at the historic signing. Every Republican in Congress voted against the bill, and Republicans protested anew Tuesday that the measure threatened Americans' freedom. | 03/23/10 19:28:35 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Kansas lawmakers seek ways to block federal health care overhaul

A day after the U.S. House passed major health care reform legislation, the Kansas House debated a proposed state constitutional amendment designed to block it. The amendment would attempt to prohibit the federal government from requiring almost every Kansan to have health insurance. But it appears the measure could fall a few votes shy of passing when the House holds a final vote today. | 03/23/10 19:28:11 By - David Klepper

Last lap in health care marathon to begin in Senate

The final lap of the historic health care marathon is expected to begin Tuesday in the Senate, where Democrats are confident that they have the votes to complete revamping the nation's health care system. | 03/23/10 19:27:51 By - David Lightman

Experts say states' health care lawsuits don't stand a chance

The top prosecutors in 13 states — 12 of them Republicans — filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the health-care bill minutes after President Barack Obama signed the landmark legislation into law. Several noted law professors, however, said that there are significant legal hurdles in establishing the states' standing to challenge the health-care law and in persuading federal judges that it violates the Constitution. | 03/23/10 19:10:15 By - James Rosen

Kentucky Blue Dog Chandler takes heat for 'no' vote on health bill

Many liberal-leaning Democrats are furious about U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler's no vote on the health care overhaul, but political observers say he's still likely to be re-elected. Chandler's district, which wraps around Lexington, is a centrist-to-conservative place. Its 16 counties are mostly rural or suburban, and in the previous three presidential elections, the district backed the Republican nominees by fat margins. | 03/23/10 15:46:18 By - John Cheves

Congress sacrificed many of health bill's provisions

In the year it took Congress to write and pass a health care overhaul, turbulent political shifts — including the Democrats' loss of the seat long held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and the rise of the Tea Party movement — forced critical compromises on the scope of legislation. | 03/23/10 15:16:23 By - Jordan Rau

Texas Rep. Neugebauer apologizes for 'baby killer' outburst

It began as somewhat of a mystery Sunday night on the House floor: a voice, with a Texas accent, bellowed "baby killer" as Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., explained how he was voting for the health care bill after a compromise on abortion language. On Monday, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, a usually low-key member, owned up to his outburst and apologized. | 03/23/10 14:52:26 By - Maria Recio

Florida GOP candidates take aim at health care overhaul

Hours after congressional Democrats passed a major health-reform bill, Republicans in Florida's capital opened a broad assault Monday to dismantle the legislation at the ballot box and in the courts. At issue: the legislation's so-called "individual mandate" that requires most people to buy insurance or face fines. | 03/23/10 07:02:27 By - Marc Caputo

Are there enough health care providers to handle newly insured?

Across the country, as many as 32 million of the country's 46 million uninsured could soon have improved access to affordable health insurance — through government subsidies or by becoming eligible for Medicaid. Whether the system will be ready to receive them remains a significant unknown. The influx of new patients may strain the nation's supply of primary care physicians. | 03/23/10 06:45:23 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Who should be at Obama's health care signing? Truman

He won't be there when President Barack Obama signs health care legislation into law Tuesday, but the memory of the late President Harry S Truman will. Truman is considered the political Godfather of universal health care, having first proposed it on Nov. 19, 1945, and establishing it as a keystone of the Democratic Party agenda ever since. | 03/22/10 19:28:16 By - Steven Thomma

Health care bill includes payoff for Washington State

The health care bill approved Sunday by the House of Representatives lays the groundwork to overhaul a Medicare reimbursement formula that has punished Washington state. The bill also provides $800 million over two years to doctors and hospitals in Washington and other states until changes are made. | 03/21/10 23:11:17 By - Les Blumenthal

Pelosi's persistence pays off in final health care push

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already made the history books, and now she's written a new chapter in wielding power. Whatever its merits or long-term consequences, the $940 billion health care bill the House of Representatives passed Sunday night, the San Francisco Democrat, who turns 70 on Friday, has flexed all her muscles, and developed some new ones. | 03/21/10 23:09:58 By - Michael Doyle

As vote's outcome became clear, Tea Party protests faded

For most of the day, the Tea Party demonstrators had been the most vocal, chanting "We the people," "No, no, no," and "kill the bill." But as it became clear that Democrats had won the votes of key anti-abortion lawmakers, the Tea Party protesters lost their enthusiasm, and their numbers shrank. They were quickly replaced by those who'd supported the health care overhaul as well as hundreds of demonstrators favoring immigration legislation. | 03/21/10 21:06:34 By - Erika Bolstad and William Douglas

House Democrats poised to enact sweeping health care overhaul

With Democrats increasingly confident they have enough support, the House of Representatives planned for an historic vote Sunday that would enact the most dramatic changes in the nation's health care system in decades. As a sign of that confidence — and to quiet concerns among Democrats as well as Republicans — House leaders Saturday abandoned a plan to approve the Senate's health care legislation without a direct vote. | 03/20/10 19:35:31 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Tea Party protesters target lawmaker who agrees with them

People with ties to Glenn Beck's 9-12 Project, Tea Party Boise and other conservative causes plan a protest outside Rep. Walt Minnick's office this weekend, with the claim that the Idaho Democrat co-sponsored one of the health care bills that Congress is considering. Minnick, however, never sponsored such legislation, and he's said repeatedly that he plans to vote against the bill on Sunday. | 03/19/10 19:58:41 By - Erika Bolstad

Health bill may not shave deficits as CBO says

One big reason the Congressional Budget Office projects that federal budget deficits would drop by $138 billion over the next decade under the Democrats' pending health care overhaul is that the bill includes a tax on high-end insurance policies. That alone accounts for almost 25 percent of the expected savings. | 03/19/10 19:54:30 By - David Lightman

Revamped health care bill has 9 major changes

In their attempt to pass a sweeping health care overhaul this weekend, Democrats in the House of Representatives are pushing a package of legislative revisions to lure undecided or opposed members of their party to the "yes" category. | 03/19/10 19:54:05 By - Julie Appleby and Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

GOP state prosecutors threaten court challenge to health bill

Republican prosecutors from South Carolina and Florida said Friday they were preparing to file a lawsuit if the health care bill before Congress becomes law, challenging its requirement that all Americans buy insurance. | 03/19/10 19:53:51 By - James Rosen

Armed with CBO report, Clyburn makes plea to holdovers

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn hailed a new nonpartisan analysis showing the sweeping health-care bill would cut the deficit as he tried frantically Thursday to secure enough votes needed for House passage this weekend President Barack Obama joined Clyburn and other Democratic leaders Thursday in making personal pleas to the 20 or so Democrats who haven't made up their minds yet. | 03/18/10 21:06:40 By - James Rosen

Undecided California lawmakers get an earful on health bill

Public and private pressure is building on Central California lawmakers and others who say they're undecided on the big health care bill. That's the price of wait-and-see. As of Thursday, Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa remained publicly uncommitted. Both Democrats said they were awaiting a chance to see the bill's details. | 03/18/10 19:47:23 By - Michael Doyl

House sets health care vote for Sunday after CBO report

Two more Democratic representatives who'd voted "no" in December said they'd vote "yes" on Sunday when the revamped health care overhaul bill will be considered. The Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would reduce federal budget deficits by $138 billion over the next 10 years while ensuring 32 million Americans who don't have health insurance. | 03/18/10 18:36:15 By - David Lightman, Margaret Talev and William Douglas

Insurance-rate regulation dropped from latest health bill

A Democratic plan for new federal power over health insurance rates was dropped Thursday from the final health care bill, squeezed out by the way the Democrats are pushing the bill through Congress. | 03/18/10 17:41:31 By - Steven Thomma

State of the health care debate: Talk radio attacks an 11-year old

Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy's account of his mother's death as a "sob story" exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a "kiddie shield" to defend their health care legislation. | 03/18/10 17:35:54 By - Les Blumenthal

More states taxing hospitals to shore up Medicaid

Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, wrestling with a massive hole in the state's Medicaid budget, has proposed a new tax on hospitals and managed care plans. In addition, hospitals in Iowa and Tennessee, as well as in rural Wisconsin, are calling for higher taxes — on themselves. | 03/18/10 16:24:02 By - Andy Miller, Kaiser Health News

Idaho governor signs bill against health care insurance legislation

Democrats in Washington, D.C., hope to pass health care reform soon, but Republican state leaders in Idaho are preparing to go to court to fight it. | 03/18/10 12:37:46 By - Brian Murphy

In North Carolina, one Democrat wavers on health care

Depending on the vote of undecided Rep. Bob Etheridge, half of North Carolina's Democrats could join Republicans this weekend in opposing the final passage of health care overhaul legislation. Already, the state's three most conservative Democrats are expected to vote no — just as they did in November when the health bill first came up for a vote. | 03/17/10 21:49:44 By - Barbara Barrett

House Democrats struggling to win votes on health care

Democrats picked up support Wednesday for their health care overhaul from some important quarters — a congressman who'd opposed the bill, an influential anti-abortion lawmaker and a coalition of Catholic nuns — but they still appeared to be short of the number needed to pass the legislation. | 03/17/10 19:37:52 By - David Lightman

Loss of health insurance hits Texas middle class hard

The number of middle-class Texans without health insurance increased 41 percent between 2000 and 2008, with nearly 500,000 middle-class workers no longer covered through their job or private insurance, according to a study released today by the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. | 03/17/10 15:28:41 By - Dianna Hunt

Number of Californians without health insurance soars

One in four Californians, or 8.2 million people, now lack health insurance coverage, according to a report by UCLA researchers. The study, released Tuesday, quickly became a talking point in the national debate over health care legislation, which could culminate later this week in a dramatic up-or-down vote on Capitol Hill. | 03/17/10 06:58:34 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

For Idaho Democrat Minnick, it's still 'no' to health overhaul

They're among the 39 most sought-after people in Washington this week, the Democrats in the House of Representatives who voted against health care last year, but who might be persuaded to change their minds. But not Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, who was elected in 2008 in an overwhelmingly Republican district and already has announced he's not voting for the health care bill. | 03/16/10 19:46:32 By - Erika Bolstad

Texas' lone Blue Dog congressman is undecided on health care

As an undecided vote on health care, Rep. Henry Cuellar is at the epicenter of the health care debate. But instead of feeling battered and blue, Texas' only Blue Dog Democrat is enjoying the process and pushing for his issues: Medicaid expansion, tort reform and no federal funding of abortion. | 03/16/10 18:37:25 By - Maria Recio

Moderate House Democrats feeling the heat on health care

As a historic vote on sweeping health care legislation nears, Democratic moderates in the House of Representatives face relentless pressure as they juggle personal pleas from President Barack Obama, a multi-million-dollar ad barrage and constituents who are fed up with the convoluted congressional process. | 03/16/10 18:22:45 By - David Lightman

As Rules Committee member, Cardoza at center of health care battle

Rep. Dennis Cardoza is caught in the middle of the controversial endgame for health care legislation. As early as Wednesday, the Merced Democrat and others on the quietly powerful House Rules Committee will essentially construct the bill. Equally important, the 13-member panel will craft voting procedures that could have profound political consequences in November. | 03/16/10 17:31:46 By - Michael Doyle

Catholic bishops oppose health care plan over abortion language

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Monday it opposes the Democratic health care plan heading for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives because of its language on abortion. The group noted that it liked the House health care bill because it would continue the strict ban on federal financing of abortion. But it said the Senate version would open the door to federal financing, and it is the Senate version heading to the House for a vote. | 03/16/10 06:59:33 By - Steven Thomma

House plan to pass health care raises constitutional questions

As the battle over health care legislation built Monday toward a weekend crescendo, congressional Democrats considered trying to pass the controversial Senate version without voting for it, a tactic that Republicans and independent analysts warned could be politically treacherous and perhaps unconstitutional. | 03/15/10 18:29:10 By - David Lightman

Pressure builds on 'Blue Dog' Democrats over health care vote

With a Capitol Hill showdown only days away, two California Democrats remain crucial and undecided votes on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. In some ways, they hold in their hands the bill's fate, as well as several political futures — their own, the president's and their party's. | 03/12/10 17:19:20 By - Michael Doyle

Health overhaul's supporters make case in hearings, protests

Joanne Johnson wiped a tear from her cheek Wednesday as she struggled to tell a hearing room packed with lawmakers, health activists and reporters about how her brother, Marvin Wright, died an unnecessarily early death because he didn't have health insurance. | 03/10/10 22:06:50 By - James Rosen

Powerful Catholic quietly shapes abortion, health care debate

Richard Doerflinger doesn't look the part of a high-powered political strategist. Bearded and bespectacled, he works in a small, cluttered office out of one of Washington's less-fashionable neighborhoods, far from the lobbying bastions of K Street. | 03/10/10 15:41:20 By - Laura Parker, Kaiser Health News

Obama tells voters to push Congress for health care

President Barack Obama took his pitch for health care legislation on the road Monday, urging voters in suburban Philadelphia to make their voices heard above the political echo chamber in Washington and demand an up-or-down vote now in Congress. | 03/08/10 17:37:29 By - Steven Thomma

Lowe's, hospital cut health care deal over heart surgeries

In a move to control rising health care costs, Mooresville-based Lowe's has cut an unusual deal with a nationally known hospital. | 03/05/10 13:02:41 By - Jen Aronoff

Obama asks health insurers to post reasons for rate increases online

Amid consumer furor over rising health insurance premiums, the Obama administration asked insurers on Thursday to post rate increases — and the justification for them — on the Internet. Also on Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced legislation that would give the federal government authority to reject rate increases that insurance companies cannot justify. | 03/05/10 06:44:05 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Political firestorm rages over health insurance rates in California

While intense scrutiny is being focused on Anthem Blue Cross for proposing rate increases of up to 39 percent on hundreds of thousands of Californians who buy insurance on their own, other insurers are delivering some equally jolting rate increases. | 03/02/10 06:50:17 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

More Idaho employers shedding insurance

From 2002 to 2009, the percentage of Idaho employers offering health insurance to full-time workers has plunged to 56 percent, according to the state Department of Labor. | 02/27/10 14:51:18 By - Colleen LaMay

You can watch the White House health care summit here

This is the live stream from the White House of today's health care conference. The summit runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. | 02/25/10 09:58:20 By -

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