A nation debates: the federal health care law

The latest coverage related to the debate over the federal health care law - both in the US Supreme Court and how it touches the St. Louis region.

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St. Louis on the Air
2:18 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Healthcare For All: Proposing Fixes To Medicare

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Host Don Marsh talks with Dr. David Ansell about his proposal to reform healthcare by fixing Medicare and providing it to all Americans.  Dr. Ansell is the Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.  He is also the author of “County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital." 

Physicians for a National Health Program in St. Louis are sponsoring talks by Dr. Ansell:

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Kinder/Obamacare
4:46 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Fed. Appeals Court Won't Reinstate Kinder's Suit Against Federal Health Care Law

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, pictured here in 2010.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has lost another round in his battle against President Obama’s federal health care law.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Republican Lt. Governor has no legal standing to file suit because the Affordable Care Act poses no immediate threat to Kinder’s legally protected interests.  He filed suit two years ago as an individual, not in his official capacity as Lt. Governor.  The three-judge panel’s ruling did not address the constitutionality of the federal health care law, most of which was upheld last year in a 5-4 ruling by the U-S Supreme Court.

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Judge dismisses contraception suit
3:14 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Federal Judge Dismisses Contraception Mandate Lawsuit

(via Flickr/brains the head)

A federal judge in St. Louis has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the contraception mandate of the federal health care law.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Frank O'Brien and his company, O'Brien Industrial Holdings LLC of St. Louis, was one of nearly three dozen cases nationally challenging the constitutionality of regulations in the health care law. Among other things, O'Brien, a devout Catholic, claimed the requirement to pay for birth control infringes on his religious beliefs.

health care
3:23 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Illinois Sets Benchmark For Health Coverage

A doctor's stethoscope.
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

Illinois has chosen a Blue Cross Blue Shield small group policy as the benchmark plan for essential health benefits in the state, another milestone in implementing President Barack Obama's health care law.

Friday's decision comes from Gov. Pat Quinn's health care council. It will determine the cost of future premiums and how broad coverage will be for many patients. Policies sold in Illinois must match the actuarial value of the benchmark plan.

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Health Care
5:43 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Show-Me Medicaid expansion? Missouri weighs the costs

Richard Freese sits in the waiting room of Family Care Health Centers in St. Louis. Freese is self-employed, servicing and selling industrial machines. But he says if he wound up hospitalized, he’d have no income – and no way to pay his bills.
(Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

When the US Supreme Court upheld the federal health care law in June, it ruled that states couldn’t be penalized for failing to expand their Medicaid programs.

After the ruling, Missouri was one of a number of states that seemed ready to opt out of Medicaid expansion. Many in the Republican-led state legislature say expanding insurance coverage for low-income Missourians would cost too much.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra reports, without Medicaid expansion, Missouri’s working poor could be among those paying the biggest price.

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Health insurance exchange
4:17 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Judge erases, replaces health care exchange language approved by Sec. of State Carnahan

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

Updated 4:15 p.m. Thursday: Carnahan will not appeal Judge Green's new language, saying Attorney General Chris Koster refused a request for further legal action, and the Secretary of  State's office is not in a position to appeal on its own.  A full version of today's developments can be found here.


Our original story:


The language used in a ballot initiative approved by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) has been tossed out by a Cole County judge.


Proposition E centers on the conditions for creating a health care exchange in Missouri; the language authorized by Carnahan read in part whether the law should “deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care.”  Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) called the language used by the Secretary of State unbelievably biased.

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Health Care
2:50 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

In-school health clinic opening at Roosevelt High

Mercy Hospital will run the clinic at Roosevelt High School.
(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Students at Roosevelt High School in St. Louis can now access medical care through an in-school health clinic.

The clinic is operated by Mercy Hospital and received funding through $500,000 grant from Boeing.

Crystal Gale is the Principal of Roosevelt High.  She says the facility will provide basic medical services for students, as well as the children of students.

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Health Care
1:27 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Judge hears lawsuit over Mo. health care measure

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

(Update:  Judge Daniel Green ruled in favor of Lt. Gov. Kinder and changed the ballot language initially approved by Sec. of State Carnahan...an updated version of this story can be found here.)


A Cole County judge heard arguments today in a lawsuit that claims Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) deliberately used misleading language in a ballot initiative regarding the creation of a health insurance exchange.


The language in question asks in part if the law should “deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care.”  Attorney Jay Kanzler represents Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) and a group of Republican legislative leaders who filed suit.

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Health insurance exchange
6:11 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

No temp. restraining order yet over health care exchange ballot language

(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.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 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.

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