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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Sen. Claire McCaskill
12:46 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

McCaskill "glad" SCOTUS taking up health care overhaul

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she is "glad" the Supreme Court is taking up the health care overhaul.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she is “glad” the Supreme Court will hear arguments over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

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Mercy
8:00 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Mercy to build first-in-U.S. virtual care center, invest $2.4B in St. Louis area

A rendering of the planned exterior of Mercy Virtual Care Center, to be built in Chesterfield, Mo.
(via Mercy)

A "first-of-its-kind in the country" virtual care center" in Chesterfield is just one part of a plan announced by Mercy Tuesday to invest $2.4 billion into the St. Louis area.

The care center and additional investment are portions of a $4.6 billion all-Missouri health care investment initiative from Mercy, designed to distribute the investments over the next eight years.

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Peter Kinder / Health Care Lawsuit
3:51 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Hearing set on Kinder's health care lawsuit

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

A federal appeals court will hear arguments this fall on a lawsuit by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder challenging the new federal health care law.

Kinder filed suit as a private individual challenging the federal law on several points. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in April, ruling that Kinder did not have legal standing to bring many of the claims and that others were not ripe for judicial review.

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Missouri Senate / Health Exchange
10:36 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Mo. Senate committee holds public hearing on possible state health exchange

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

An interim state senate committee is trying to figure out whether, and, if so, how Missouri should create a state health exchange. 

During the their first public hearing on the issue yesterday, Mark Sergener, an insurance agent from St. Joseph, testified against creating such an exchange, siting concerns over how insurance carriers and coverage options would be affected.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Mon July 25, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, July 25, 2011

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, November 2009. Amish country.
Flickr/Tony the Misfit

Missouri's Amish population on the rise

Missouri has the fourth-highest Amish population growth rate in the country. Between 2009 and 2011, the Amish population grew by 15 percent, according to Donald Kraybill at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

Kraybill says that the population boom is fueled by large family size, high retention rates and immigration.

Missouri is attractive to Amish settlers for a number of reasons, Kraybill says.

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MO Statehouse
2:46 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

21 states backing health care suit by Mo. Lt. Gov. Kinder

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Officials from 21 states have filed a court document supporting a lawsuit by Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder challenging the new federal health care law.

A federal judge previously dismissed Kinder's lawsuit, and that decision is on appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.  Kinder says eight of those 21 states are within the 8th Circuit.

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Illinois / Health Care
11:24 am
Fri July 15, 2011

Ill. budget cuts reduce drug benefits for seniors, people with disabilities

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

About 20 percent of seniors and people with disabilities will lose prescription drug coverage because of cuts in the Illinois state budget.

State officials are sending letters to 43,000 participants saying they won't qualify for "Illinois Cares Rx" as of Sept. 1. Those who are still enrolled will pay more out of pocket for their prescriptions.

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MO Statehouse / health care
4:37 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

Mo. enacts states' health care compact

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Missouri now has a law on its books allowing it to join with other states in ignoring requirements of the new federal health care law. But the Missouri statute may never have much of an effect, because it requires Congress to first sign off the creation of the multistate health care compact.

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday allowed the Missouri legislation to become law without his signature.

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Children's Health
5:19 pm
Tue July 5, 2011

Ill. state-backed health coverage for kids now has income cap

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Illinois had offered health insurance coverage to all children. But now there's an income cap to get the state-backed coverage - critics call it shortsighted.

As the name "All Kids" suggests, all children were eligible, but as of July 1, only families within 300 percent of the poverty level can apply.

That's an income cap of $67,000 for a family of four.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Wed April 27, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Young boys attempt to push a car from flood waters in downtown Poplar Bluff, Missouri on April 26, 2011. A levee on the Black River protecting the area from major flooding has breached in several places, forcing authorities to evacuate residents.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Flooded Poplar Bluff Hit with More Rain

The southern Missouri town of Poplar Bluff endured another night of torrential rain, this time dropping another two inches of water onto already saturated ground.

 The Black River levee that protects the town's low-lying neighborhoods survived Tuesday night. The earthen wall was breached yesterday south of town, which flooded farmland, but released pressure within city limits.

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