Health Care | St. Louis Public Radio

Health Care

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

A Cole County judge heard arguments Friday on whether to issue a temporary restraining order against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D).

Carnahan and Republican leaders are sparring over the language used in a ballot initiative regarding health care exchanges.  Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and GOP lawmakers accuse Carnahan of using misleading language in order to influence voters to defeat the ballot question in November.  Attorney Jay Kanzler represents the plaintiffs.

“Secretary of State Carnahan's language talking about denying families and individuals access to affordable health care frankly doesn’t even come close to describing, in fact, what the ballot initiative would do,” Kanzler said.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Aug 15, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

St. Charles County voters could face two anti-smoking ballot measures

St. Charles County voters could face not one but two ballot measures in November that would restrict smoking.

Hearings set in case over Mo. health care measure

Aug 14, 2012
(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

A Missouri judge has scheduled two hearings this month on a challenge to the ballot language of a health care measure that goes before voters in November.

The lawsuit by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and several top GOP lawmakers contends the ballot summary is unfair and misleading. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat, wrote the summary.

Online court records show Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green will hear arguments Friday and again on Aug. 28.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The idea of a health care exchange in Missouri continues to be a political sticking point between Republicans and Democrats.

Today, Governor Jay Nixon did his best to sidestep the issue.

In fact, Nixon says he hasn’t really looked at how the ballot measure is written.

As for the idea of health care exchanges in general, the governor isn’t ready to commit.

With a vote of 244 to 185, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature domestic legislation known colloquially as "Obamacare."

Of course, the vote doesn't matter, because the measure has a very slim chance of being adopted by the Senate.

The AP reports that this is the "33rd time in 18 months that the tea party-infused GOP majority has tried to scrap, defund or scale back the law since grabbing the majority."

The AP adds:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) and GOP legislative leaders have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) over the language used in a ballot initiative regarding health care exchanges.

The language approved by Carnahan asks if the law should be amended to, “deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum.”  Kinder says the language skews the ballot question’s true purpose, to bar the governor from creating an exchange by executive order.

(Courtesy Missouri Foundation for Health)

A new report by the Missouri Foundation for Health estimates that about two-thirds of Missouri's more than 800,000 uninsured could get health insurance under the federal health care law  - and the county-level data suggest that rural counties will benefit the most.

The analysis uses census data to project how the number of uninsured could change in every county in Missouri under the Affordable Care Act.

File photo

House Speaker Steven Tilley says there is no need for a special session to decide whether Missouri should opt out of a Medicaid expansion.

McCaskill hails Supreme Court health care ruling

Jul 5, 2012
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

US Senator Claire McCaskill is speaking out for the first time in the St. Louis area on the Supreme Court's health care ruling

The Missouri Democrat told supporters today at a party campaign office in St. Charles that she stands firm in her support of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

She also says the solutions for fixing health care offered by her Republican opponents would be a burden to seniors.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Elana Gordon of KCUR reported for this story.

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is once again filing suit against a health care measure. He and some other Republican lawmakers have announced plans to challenge the secretary of state’s office on newly issued ballot language for a health care measure that’s slated to appear on the November ballot.

Check your mailbox: Health insurance rebates are on the way

Jul 4, 2012

UPDATED on Friday, July 6, 2012, to add a correction from Anthem's Deborah Wiethop.

Some 588,000 Missourians will get money back from their health insurance companies this month.

The federal healthcare law requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care and quality improvement. The rest can go to administrative costs, marketing and profits.

Visualize this: a health care ruling word tree

Jun 28, 2012
(Visualization: courtesy Matt Stiles)

For a different look at today's health care ruling, check out this fun word visualization. It's an interactive word tree put together by Matt Stiles and posted on his blog, The Daily Viz.

(Matt also happens to be Data Editor of News Apps at NPR).

Try out the tool below with your own phrases, maybe "health" or "cost" or "tax" - you decide.

The Supreme Court's health care decision: what does it mean for the St. Louis region?

Jun 28, 2012
(via Flickr/Phil Roeder)

Will be updated.

Updated 5:06 p.m. with more information.

As we reported this morning, the Supreme Court has held that the federal healthcare law is constitutional.

That includes the individual mandate that requires almost all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014.

The Court called the penalty that someone must pay for refusing to buy insurance a kind of tax that the Congress can impose under the Constitution.

Health Insurance Exchanges

Some will turn to the online marketplaces known as health insurance exchanges to fulfill the mandate.

The director of health policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health, Ryan Barker, says Missouri is one of a couple dozen states that have resisted setting up a state health insurance exchange.

This was a post from an earlier event. Thank you for joining us here.

For more on the Supreme Court's decision about the federal health care law, see our full coverage here.

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President Obama is expected to address the nation shortly regarding the US Supreme Court's decision on the federal health care law, handed down this morning.

Watch it with us live below or listen on air at 90.7FM or online here.

JOIN THE LIVE CHATVISIT WHITEHOUSE.GOV

The Supreme Court ruled today that the 2010 Affordable Care Act is constitutional — giving the Obama administration a big election year win over conservative critics who argue that the health care overhaul is a step on the way toward socialized medicine.

The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act; the health care overhaul enacted in 2010.

Rosmary via Flickr

An Illinois Democrat who has led work on implementing a key part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul now says the state won't be ready to run its own insurance exchange by a Nov. 16 deadline.

Rep. Frank Mautino says Illinois must consider a new option - a state-federal partnership - to get its online insurance marketplace ready for its first year if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the law this week.

With the United States Supreme Court's decision on healthcare expected to come on Thursday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon broke with his party on Monday over a key part of the legislation.

Speaking with reporters in St. Louis, Governor Nixon sounded more like a Republican when asked about the impending decision.

Referring to the Affordable Care Act as the “Washington Healthcare Law” Nixon spoke out against the key ingredient of President Obama’s signature legislation—the so-called individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance.

(via Flickr/Congress of local and regional authorities)

A report from KCUR's Elana Gordon.

This fall, voters in Missouri will face a number of decisions: picking state and congressional representatives, the President.  But also on the ballot will be a measure that like two years ago, has to do with the federal health law. 

It follows months of political tension over a key component.

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Illinois hospitals would be required to provide free care to some low-income people under a bill passed by the Legislature and headed to the governor's desk.

Urban hospitals would have to provide free treatment to patients with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

That's about $46,000 for a family of four.

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