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Affordable Care Act

When it comes to worries about high health care costs, having health insurance doesn't necessarily spare you, according to a study recently published in JAMA.

Despite the gains in insurance coverage brought by the Affordable Care Act, high health care costs continue to plague many Americans, researchers found. Around 11 million Americans experienced "catastrophic medical expenses" in 2017, the last year the study covered — and privately insured people represented more than half of those.

Obamacare is back before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with opponents challenging it for a third time. The first attempts to derail the law failed in the high court by votes of 5-to-4 and 6-to-3. But the makeup of the court is very different now, with three justices appointed by President Trump – among them new Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Before her nomination, Barrett consistently criticized the court's two previous decisions, a critique that Senate Democrats repeatedly bludgeoned her with at her confirmation hearings.

This week on Prognosis Ohio, Dan Skinner talks with Loren Anthes,  who is the William C. and Elizabeth M. Troyhaft Chair in Health Planning at the Center for Community Solutions, and leads Community Solutions’ Center for Medicaid Policy. He's also a lecturer at Ohio University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, located on the Cleveland campus.

 

mccourt.georgetown.edu

A new Georgetown University report shows between 2016 and 2019, the number of Ohio children without health insurance rose by 27 thousand to 131 thousand. 

Updated at 3:23 p.m. ET

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court would, Democrats fear, imperil the Affordable Care Act, which has twice narrowly survived in the high court.

The ACA, which is also known as Obamacare, is scheduled to be argued once again before the Supreme Court a week after the Nov. 3 election. On Tuesday, during the second day of hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats repeatedly pressed Barrett on whether she'd made assurances to anyone about how she would rule on the ACA.

Associated Press

During a campaign stop hosted by concrete contractor Nickolas Savko Monday in Columbus, Vice President Mike Pence criticized Mayor Andy Ginther's removal of the Christopher Columbus statue from the City Hall grounds.  

On this week’s episode of Prognosis Ohio, Dan talks with Charles Gaba—blogger, website developer, healthcare analyst, and founder of ACASignups.net. Gaba has been tracking Obamacare enrollments as early as October 2013 to showcase the critical importance of the Affordable Care Act. 

 

For the past few months Prognosis Ohio has been spotlighting candidates in Ohio who have a particular interest in health and health care. On this week’s episode, Dan Skinner talks with State Representative Allison Russo of the 24th House district about her campaign for reelection. Russo’s background in the health field shapes her positions and values as a representative.

Host Dan Skinner interviews Joel Newby, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Steve Stivers in Ohio's 15th Congressional District. Topics include health care access and costs and the future of the ACA, gerrymandering, whether health care should be considered a right, and more. 

***LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE***

Get set for 2020's mega-campaign against the flu amid the COVID-19 pandemic: immunization drives in the parking lots of churches and supermarkets, curbside inoculations outside doctors' offices, socially distanced vaccine appointments held indoors, with breaks in between for disinfecting.

These are just some of the ways heath providers say they will give tens of millions of flu shots this fall — arguably the most important U.S. effort to prevent influenza's spread among Americans in a century.

Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET

In a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Trump administration has reaffirmed its position that the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is illegal because Congress eliminated the individual tax penalty for failing to purchase medical insurance.

A coalition of LGBTQ clinics and organizations are suing to block a Trump administration rule that aims to strip "sex discrimination" protections for transgender people from laws that govern health care. The rule, issued in final form by the Department of Health and Human Services on June 12, is distinct from last week's landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that bars discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

The Trump administration on Friday finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance.

The U.S. Supreme Court has told the federal government that it has to pay $12 billion to insurance companies, money that was promised in the Affordable Care Act as part of the start-up costs of Obamacare in the first three years of its existence.

The law, as enacted, promised to limit profits and losses for insurance companies in the first three years of the Obamacare program. Some companies made more money than allowed by the formula, and had to pay some back to the government, and other companies lost money and were owed money by the government under the formula.

Host: Dan Skinner, Associate Professor of Health Policy, Ohio University, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Follow him on Twitter.

Guest: Mary Jo Kilroy, former U.S. Congresswoman from Ohio (15th district).

 

Ohio Public Radio

As the coronavirus spreads, people are being urged to prepare by stocking up on food and supplies, checking to see if they can work from home if schools and workplaces are shut down, and staying home if they’re sick.

Updated at 8:28 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court panel in New Orleans has dealt another blow to the Affordable Care Act, agreeing with a lower-court judge that the portion of the health law requiring most people to have coverage is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated the tax penalty that was intended to enforce it.

But it is sending the case back to the lower court to decide how much of the rest of the law can stand in light of that ruling.

Sunday was supposed to be the final deadline to enroll in health coverage for 2020 on HealthCare.gov, the federal marketplace for buying individual health insurance. But website glitches — that may have caused enrollment problems — prompted an outcry, and the government restarted enrollment Monday.

Any day now, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could rule that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

At least it seemed that two of the three appeals court judges were leaning that way during oral arguments in the case, State of Texas v. USA, in July.

The U.S. Supreme Court examined Obamacare for the fifth time on Tuesday, only this time the justices cast their skeptical gaze on Republican efforts to hobble the law.

Enacted by a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act promised to partially reimburse insurers if they lost money by covering people with preexisting conditions. The law said that the government "shall" make these payments. But in 2015, Republicans, by then in control of both houses of Congress, attached riders to appropriations bills barring the use of the money for the promised payments.

More than $12 billion is at stake for the nation's health insurers Tuesday when the Supreme Court hears a case involving the Affordable Care Act.

For the federal government, the potential damages could be far greater, as its reputation as a reliable partner to private businesses is on the line.

Unlike earlier Obamacare cases before the high court — where the entire 2010 law and health coverage for millions of Americans was at risk — the latest case has largely flown under consumers' radar.

The state is starting the process that will eventually require thousands of Ohioans to work 20 hours a week or lose their Medicaid benefits, after getting permission from the federal government earlier this year.

It's the season to roll up your sleeves, gather your documents, and pick a health insurance plan for 2020. For those shopping for their own plans, HealthCare.gov and the other state exchanges are open for enrollment as of November 1.

ccf.georgetown.edu

A new report from Georgetown University shows the number of uninsured Ohio children rose by 28 percent from 2016 to 2018. 

The very day President Trump was sworn in — Jan. 20, 2017 — he signed an executive order instructing administration officials "to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, while Congress got ready to repeal and replace President Obama's signature health law.

While many Capitol Hill Republicans would like to avoid another public debate about whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and his appointees keep bringing it up — promising their own health plan that would be "phenomenal" and make the GOP "the party of health care."

The fate of the Affordable Care Act is again on the line Tuesday, as a federal appeals court in New Orleans takes up a case in which a lower court judge has already ruled the massive health law unconstitutional.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to roll back an Obama-era policy intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in health care.

Ohio’s Republican Attorney General is asking a federal court not to strike down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

In a significant shift, the Trump administration says the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in the courts. Previously, the administration had pushed to remove the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions but had not argued in court that the whole law should be struck down.

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