Affordable Care Act | St. Louis Public Radio

Affordable Care Act

This article fist appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 22, 2009 - As expected, in Saturday night's first test vote on the Democratic health care bill, Missouri's two U.S. senators -- Republican Christopher "Kit" Bond and Democrat Claire McCaskill -- split on partisan grounds.

She was among 60 senators -- all Democrats and independents -- who voted in favor of bringing the bill to the floor, for debate that is slated to begin after Thanksgiving. That group included Illinois two Democratic senators, Richard Durbin and Roland Burris.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 17, 2009 - Ask small business owners about the U.S. House's health-reform legislation, and some will say it will take them a while to wade through the proposal. That's understandable because the bill is 2,000 pages long and filled with lots of jargon, such as "health-insurance exchange" and "bundling."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 13, 2009 - In response to movement in Congress on health-care legislation, I wrote several weeks ago about how various proposals would affect people in their 20s, about 30 percent of whom don’t have health insurance, research shows. 

The focus was on measures in the House and Senate that would require insurers to allow many young people – including those who are no longer in school -- to remain on their parents’ health-care policies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 13, 2009 -  On Saturday morning, activists with the St. Louis Tea Party coalition plan to drive around south and west St. Louis in a "Rolling Tea Party'' organized to protest various federal programs and proposals that conservatives assert will bankrupt the country.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 9, 2011 - Missouri's nine members of Congress split along partisan lines -- with one exception -- in Saturday's late-night vote that saw the U.S. House pass a health-care bill that includes a public option.

Three Democrats voted for the bill, and Missouri's five GOP members of the U.S. House voted against it.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 9, 2009 - At Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri we believe strongly in the need for responsible health-care reform. And we're working very hard in a challenging environment to make sure that happens.

Our industry has come forward in an unprecedented way to support a number of proposals. Unfortunately, many are not receiving the attention that they should in the current debate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 3, 2009 - After months of attacking the Democratic health care proposals, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield and a candidate for the U.S. Senate, now has outlined the types of changes tha he would support in the nation's health care system.

In fact, Blunt ;launched on Monday his plan to daily spotlight over the next two weeks a different health care proposal that he supports.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 3, 2009 - President Barack Obama not only inherited the greatest assortment of messes of any president other than Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, he also assumed the presidency at a time when our system of government had become increasingly dysfunctional. We might expect people to differ regarding how they would solve the domestic and global crises President George W. Bush left behind. But what's more surprising is the criticism Obama has received regarding his approach to governing.

What to do about health care? Make it affordable

Nov 1, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 1, 2009 - Every year, America's employers and employees pay millions of dollars to insurance companies, and patients incur significant out of pocket health-care costs. Yet, despite this significant cost, and even with a wealth of medical providers and technology, millions of Americans and more than 746,000 Missourians remain uninsured. Even more are unable to pay for needed medical care. And everyday this costly system excludes even more individuals.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 30, 2009 - It’s hardly making headlines in reports about the health care bills making their way through Congress, but people in their early 20s could soon find it much easier to retain coverage.

That’s because measures in the House and Senate would require insurers to allow young people to stay on their parents’ health care policies. Legislation approved by the Senate health committee this summer included a provision that all group and individual coverage policies must continue dependent coverage for children through age 25. A plan introduced by House leaders on Thursday also included that guarantee for children under 27.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 21, 2009 - A key reason Lisa Hill of Webster Groves supported Barack Obama for president was his campaign promise to change the nation's health care system.

On Tuesday night, Hill sought to help the president fulfill that pledge by hosting one of hundreds of phone-bank events held in Missouri and across the country. Their purpose: To encourage rank-and-file Democrats and independents to press Congress to pass Democratic-backed health-care proposals, including a public health-insurance option.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 16, 2009 - For all the sound and fury about President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul health care, one curious fact stands out:

Obama has no plan of his own. The White House was wary of repeating the blunder of President Bill Clinton. In 1993, Clinton dumped a detailed health-care bill onto Congress -- and watched in dismay as his 1,342-page plan sank of its own weight.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 10, 2009 - Throughout the presidential campaign, Barack Obama relied on his oratorical flair to excite a crowd (take his acceptance speech from the Democratic National Convention) or rescue himself from a politically damaging situation (see his speech on race in the midst of the controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.)

In his televised address Wednesday to the joint session of Congress, President Obama waxed poetic about lessons in bipartisanship learned from the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. But for the most part, the president concentrated on the latter objective: taking charge of the health-care conversation that had largely spun out of his control this summer.

Commentary: A proposal to restart the discussion on health-care reform

Sep 9, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 9, 2009 - HR 3200 - the health-care proposal that has been voted out of a House committee - will not fix health care in the United States. It tries to do too much, too quickly. It has become a huge unwieldy piece of legislation that will cost an enormous amount of money. It will lead to escalating costs. The belief that it will fix the problem while saving money is based on inaccurate assumptions.

The Republican Party has as yet not presented a workable alternative plan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 9, 2009 - President Barack Obama ignited lots of passions - on both sides of the region’s political aisle - with Wednesday’s address in which he laid out his views on many aspects of the health-care debate that has consumed Congress and much of the country over the summer.

But judging from the initial reaction, Obama’s call for changing the nation’s current health-care system appeared to change few partisan minds. Democrats generally lauded his speech, while Republicans appeared to loathe much of his message.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 20, 2009 - August is traditionally a slow news month. In the United States, Congress is normally in recess and our liberties are thus momentarily secure. In France, the whole country goes on vacation. The lethargy of the Dog Days allows a thoughtful soul the chance to savor the dwindling glow of summer before taking up the quotidian tasks that September inevitably brings.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2009 - Pam Fichter, president of Missouri Right to Life, today took issue with Sen. Claire McCaskill's comments at Tuesday's town-hall forum in which she said that none of the Senate health-care bills would allow federal money to be used for abortions.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton has become the next target of opponents of the Democratic proposals to revamp health care, because the congressman has opted against holding a town hall meeting on the topic.

Missouri leaders with Americans for Prosperity and with the Adam Smith Foundation held a mock forum  at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday outside Skelton's district office in Jefferson City, at 1401 Southwest Boulevard. Photos indicate that at least dozens attended. Organizers put the number of attendees at 100.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 6, 2009 - Conservatives and legal scholars lately have been debating the constitutionality of the health-care mandate in President Barack Obama's health-care legislation. The stronger argument appears to be that the mandate would be constitutional.

Slate has a piece summarizing some of the legal objections to taxing people who fail to buy health insurance for themselves or their family.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 6, 2009 - It is tempting to argue that the  quote — "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session," Gideon J. Tucker, originally penned in 1866 — was actually made in anticipation of the current session of Congress. It seems that our elected representatives have been unusually busy of late, causing freedom-loving people everywhere to tremble in dread apprehension.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 4, 2009 - Right now, health-care reform is right at the top of the national agenda. Local, state and national politicians are setting up camp around issues important to them. They hold press conferences and release numbers. Interest groups -- ranging from business to drug companies -- are lobbying Congress.

But what about the people who work in the trenches of health care? The emergency room doctor, the hospital administrator, the home health care nurse, the physical therapist, the family doctor, the specialist?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 3, 2009 - The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's approval Friday of a bill overhauling the nation's health-care system reinforced the hopes and fears of Missouri's political players on both sides of the debate.

The action also highlights the differences between states like Missouri, which have low eligibility limits for low-income people seeking health-care assistance, and more generous states like Illinois.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 30, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Strafford, won one and lost one Thursday night in his amendment battle to alter a House plan that he calls "government-takeover of health care."

Blunt, chairman of the House GOP's Health Care Solutions Group, succeeded in winning committee approval of his amendment that blocks federal funding for abortions in the Democratic-driven proposal to change the nation's health care system.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 23, 2009 - Local members of MoveOn.org gathered outside U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's St. Louis office today as part of the trickle-down effort to promote President Barack Obama's plan to change the nation's health-care system.

McCaskill's staff reported that about 40 members of MoveOn showed up, with several then relaying personal health-care stories. A McCaskill spokeswoman emphasized that the senator supports a public option for health-care coverage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2009 - When it comes to the national debate over health care, everyone in Washington is a player: Whether they're a member of Congress, a lobbyist or a leader of a special-interest group.

But some are bigger players than others. And some wield their influence at different stages of what's already shaping up to be a lengthy process.

Commentary: Who will lead on health-care reform?

Feb 17, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 17, 2009 - The complexity and effectiveness of medicine has increased exponentially from the time, not too long ago, when many illnesses were untreatable and medicine's role was to support the patient as life slipped away. The stunning advances in our ability to diagnose, treat and cure disease, however, have been costly, and those costs have made access to services more and more difficult for more and more people.

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