On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting decisions that could have major ramifications for the future of the Affordable Care Act.
The controversy hinges on whether people in the 36 states that opted NOT to set up their own health insurance exchanges can qualify for subsidies (really, tax credits) on their health insurance premiums. Missouri and Illinois are among those 36 that don't have state-run exchanges.
Paramedic Jaclyn Kloecker has experienced her share of tension, turmoil, rising adrenaline and blaring sirens. She's been responding to 911 calls and rushing the sick or injured to emergency rooms for 15 years.
On a recent rainy morning, however, Kloecker wasn't responding to an emergency. Rather, she was on a calmer, quieter mission, performing medical screenings aimed at reducing the number of 911 calls that Christian Hospital’s Emergency Medical Service system handles.
For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.
Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.
But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.
Last week, people all over St. Louis – and all over the Midwest and East Coast, probably – celebrated the official start of spring. They celebrated because the winter has been unusually long and cold and, somehow, darker than usual. And they celebrated with a tinge of worry that the brutal winter could give way to an equally brutal, hot summer.
If that does happen, be prepared for a lot of talk about climate change.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius holds a press conference with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in north St. Louis. Law student Nathaniel Carroll spoke about the benefit of having health insurance.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried to put a price tag and a face on the government’s health reform push in Missouri when she visited the Grace Hill Water Tower Health Center on Friday.
The price tag: $5 million a day. That’s how much she says Missouri is losing by refusing to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
The face: a local resident who praised the law for the help it is providing his family while he attends law school.
As of January 1st, the first Americans enrolled in health insurance via the Affordable Care Act began receiving coverage.
According to Professor Sidney Watson of the Saint Louis University Health Law Policy Center, a little more than 33,000 Missourians have signed up for plans through the federal Marketplace so far, leaving another 467,000 Missourians eligible to enroll. Almost 26,000 Missourians have enrolled in Medicaid.
“We think most of them are children,” Watson said. “Parents were going to the Marketplace and realizing their children were eligible.”
The centerpiece of the federal government’s war against HIV/AIDS bears the name Ryan White.
The public might not remember him without a little context. A hemophiliac who was diagnosed with AIDS at age 13, White drew international attention when he not only had to cope with the disease but also had to wage a legal fight to attend school with his classmates in Kokomo, Ind., following his diagnosis. He died in 1984 at the age of 18 after becoming a poster child for more compassion, counseling and medical care for those facing AIDS-related illnesses.