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Affordable Care Act

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.

The federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional earlier this month said that the law can remain in effect while under appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor wrote in his ruling filed on Sunday that "many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal."

aia-akronins.com

A Franklin County judge Friday denied a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit seeking to maintain current healthcare coverage for retired Ohio first responders. 

The Trump administration is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Columbus, three other cities and a Virginia couple for allegedly sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.  

Nearly eight thousand retired first responders have filed a class-action lawsuit against the board of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund over recent changes to their health care.  

If last Friday's district court ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional were to be upheld, far more than the law's most high-profile provisions would be at stake.

In fact, canceling the law in full — as Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, ordered in his 55-page decision — could thrust the entire health care system into chaos.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has a history of siding with Republicans on ideologically motivated lawsuits. His ruling last week, in which he sided with the GOP on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, was not a one-off.

In fact, critics say, his history is ultimately why that case was before him in the first place.

A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, apparently setting the stage for another hearing on the health care law by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor invalidates what's commonly referred to as Obamacare nationwide and casts into doubt the survival of the law on the eve of the deadline for tens of millions of Americans to sign up for health care coverage in 2019.

Editor's note: This story was updated with enrollment figures made available on Dec. 19.

About 8.5 million people enrolled in health plans for 2019 through the federal HealthCare.gov website by the Dec. 15 deadline.

That's about 367,000 fewer people than signed up during the 6 week open enrollment season last year, a decline of about 4 percent, according to new numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pension changes could cost retired Ohio first responders their healthcare.  

Enrollment Period For Affordable Care Ends Saturday

Dec 12, 2018

Open enrollment for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends this Saturday.

After years of steady decline, the number of U.S. children without health insurance rose by 276,000 in 2017, according to a Georgetown University report released Thursday.

Dan Konik

Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio has a double-digit lead in most polls going into Election Day.

Dan Konik

Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Renacci says his U.S. Senate race against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown is about two people from different backgrounds.

Once again, Medicare is moving front and center in this fall's campaigns.

Throughout the election season, Democrats have been criticizing Republicans over votes and lawsuits that would eliminate insurance protections for pre-existing conditions for consumers.

But now Republicans are working to change the health care conversation with a tried-and-true technique used by both parties over the years: telling seniors their Medicare coverage may be in danger.

USA Today published an opinion column by President Trump Wednesday in which the president falsely accused Democrats of trying to "eviscerate" Medicare, while defending his own record of protecting health care coverage for seniors and others.

The column — published just weeks ahead of the midterm elections — underscores the political power of health care to energize voters. But it makes a number of unsubstantiated claims.

cleveland.com

In the third and final gubernatorial debate of 2018 last night, the two major-party candidates sparred in Cleveland over health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions and other issues. 

Ohio Public Radio

750 doctors say they're endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray. 

Ohio has been gaining jobs over the last few years, and its unemployment rate hit its lowest level in 17 years a few months ago.

Consumers who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act markets may be pleasantly surprised this fall as average premiums are forecast to rise much less than in recent years.

The price of a 2019 policy sold on the ACA exchanges will increase less than 4 percent, according to an analysis of preliminary filings from insurers in all 50 states by ACASignups.net, a website and blog run by analyst Charles Gaba that tracks ACA enrollment and insurer participation.

And those insurers are expanding their offerings.

cnn.com

President Trump didn't mention U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona during his speech at the Ohio Republican Party's annual state dinner in Columbus on Friday night,  hours after the family of the ailing Republican said he had chosen to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer. 

President Trump has consistently declared that the Affordable Care Act — commonly referred to as Obamacare — is a broken mess, and after several unsuccessful attempts to repeal the national health care law, he has eagerly anticipated that it will "fail" and "implode."

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The Republican gubernatorial candidate says he's had a plan to keep Medicaid expansion in the state. 

For the first time, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine is clearly stating he would keep Medicaid expansion in the state. 

Senate Democrats, who are divided on abortion policy, are instead turning to health care as a rallying cry for opposition to Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Specifically, they are sounding the alarm that confirming the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals judge could jeopardize one of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions — its protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

The Trump administration said Saturday that it is temporarily halting billions of dollars of payments designed to help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick.

Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine has released what he says is a plan to invest in Ohio's children, families and future. 

The Trump administration is refusing to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, essentially arguing that federal courts should find the health law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.

The federal lawsuit hinges on the ACA's individual mandate, or the requirement to get health coverage or pay a penalty. The mandate has long been a sticking point for conservatives, who argue that the government should not be telling individuals what coverage they must have.

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