Affordable Care Act | St. Louis Public Radio

Affordable Care Act

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 3, 2013 - After meeting privately with House Republicans, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon indicated that he agreed with some of the GOP's proposed changes in the state’s Medicaid program – provided that they go along with his proposed expansion.

So far, Republicans have been opposed to the expansion requirements in the federal Affordable Care Act, although business groups and the Missouri Hospital Association side with Nixon in favor. Expansion is voluntary, but certain requirements must be met to receive the federal money, which would cover all of the expansion costs for the first three years and then at least 90 percent thereafter.

Ill. Gov. Quinn: Group To Address Health Care Workforce

Mar 23, 2013
Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Gov. Pat Quinn says he is taking steps to ensure Illinois has the workforce it needs to fill thousands of new health care jobs.

Quinn says the jobs will be created as Illinois implements the Affordable Care Act, which will expand health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of people.

In a press release Saturday the governor says he's directed Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck to lead a Health Care Workforce Workgroup. The group will assess and plan for the jobs needed to serve a growing and increasingly aging and diverse population.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 22, 2013 - William Shortall is among 50,000 Missourians who are in a bind because they don't have sufficient insurance to cover treatment for their mental health problems.

“Approximately five years ago, I was diagnosed with a mental illness, bipolar disorder,” he said. Shortal's plight isn’t unusual, pointing to federal data showing that about one in four Americans is coping with some form of mental illness. Most don’t get timely help, he says, because they lack health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: William Shortall is among 50,000 Missourians who are in a bind because they don't have sufficient insurance to cover treatment for their mental health problems.

“Approximately five years ago, I was diagnosed with a mental illness, bipolar disorder,” he said. Shortal's plight isn’t unusual, pointing to federal data showing that about one in four Americans is coping with some form of mental illness. Most don’t get timely help, he says, because they lack health insurance.

Mo. Senate, House Committees Defeat Medicaid Expansion Plans

Mar 13, 2013
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

A Republican-led Missouri Senate committee has defeated a plan to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the legislation on a party-line vote Wednesday, just minutes after hearing testimony from more than two dozen witnesses in favor of the plan.

A Republican-led House committee defeated a similar bill last month in the same fashion.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 2, 2013 - The Obama administration’s proposal to allow women to get free contraceptive services while exempting more church-affiliated groups from the original mandate was warmly praised Friday by a representative of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood office, but the immediate reaction among local church-related groups was more subdued.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 10, 2013 - Buried in the Affordable Care Act is a provision to give individuals and small businesses in all states the option of buying their health insurance from a nonprofit cooperative.

Missouri might have missed the boat because funding for low-interest federal loans to set up co-ops has been eliminated for now as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. The health-reform law provided seed money to add a co-op insurance option to insurance exchanges in all 50 states.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 4, 2013 - A third Missouri firm has obtained a federal judge’s restraining order barring enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s provision requiring that non-church employers provide contraceptive coverage to insured workers.

The three temporary orders, all granted since late November, contrast with the rejections of similar claims in several lawsuits filed in other states, including one sought by the Hobby Lobby retail chain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 5, 2012 - For the Missouri Hospital Association, the key to getting legislators on board with a push to expand Medicaid is making a pitch about the move’s economic opportunity — and the practical consequences of inaction.

"It isn't the matter that 'we should expand Medicaid because it's the right thing to do, although that is certainly still a strong argument,'" said MHA spokesman Dave Dillion. "Not only could we accomplish that, but we could create an economic engine by doing that."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 29, 2012 - U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is lauding a decision by the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis, that is temporarily blocking enforcement of a provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring employer-provided insurance to cover contraception.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 28, 2012 - The battle has been joined in Missouri over Medicaid with publication of a new study that says expansion of the program would bring billions in benefits. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., took a strong stand in favor of the measure Wednesday and Gov. Jay Nixon, as expected, has highlighted his support for Medicaid expansion as well.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 27, 2012 - Last spring, Missouri lawmakers rejected a bill allowing licensed chiropractors to get reimbursed for services provided to Medicaid-eligible patients. By summer, Illinois lawmakers had voted to eliminate adult chiropractic care from Medicaid services to close a state budget deficit.

Chiropractors are hoping the Affordable Care Act will make it easier for them to expand their services through insurance reimbursements.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 26, 2012 - On the surface, President Barack Obama’s re-election seemed to be a death knell to opponents of the Affordable Care Act, and the measure's mandates for health-insurance exchanges.

In some other states, some prominent GOP officials – such as Florida Gov. Rick Scott – seem to see the writing on the wall and have been softening their opposition to certain provisions of the ACA, more commonly known as "Obamacare."

(Judy Schmidt, James Gathany / CDC)

On November 6, 2012, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition E, which prohibited the Governor or any state agency from establishing or operating a state-based health insurance exchange without legislative or citizen approval.

The Affordable Care Act, however, moves on toward full implementation in 2014.

Host Don Marsh talked with Sidney Watson, Professor of Law at Saint Louis University’s Health Law Policy Center, and Ryan Barker, Director of Health Policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2012 - Today marked the first major deadline for states planning to set up their own health-insurance exchanges as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. And Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon followed through with a letter Friday to the federal government stipulating that the state will be unable to meet the deadline, and won't be setting up a state exchange.

This rtic;e first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 8, 2012 - Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri effectively ran out of time to implement a state-based health insurance exchange, adding that the federal government would soon step in to design the program.

Fresh off his decisive re-election victory, Nixon told reporters Thursday at his office in Jefferson City that Missouri had run out of options to implement a health-care exchange, one of the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act. The law encourages states to set up  exchanges to help provide affordable health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 12, 2012 - Physicians today face very uncertain times.

Reimbursements from insurance companies and Medicare fail to keep pace with rising costs of practice. We are converting from paper charts to electronic health records — at a burdensome cost of over $90,000 per physician, no matter what practice size. Looming on the horizon is performance-based medicine in place of the traditional fee-for-service model.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 4, 2012 - The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision to dismiss Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican officeholder, who is seeking re-election Nov. 6, filed a federal suit against President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement in 2010, taking particular aim at the mandate requiring most Americans to buy health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 3, 2012 - Angela Pace gave up on getting $1,600 worth of medicine to shrink a tumor after she discovered that her insurer required her to cover 75 percent of the cost.

Her problem isn’t as costly as Mark Hoggard’s. He’s uninsured and is trying to figure out how he will ever cover the $85,000 bill for his open-heart surgery last fall.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 2, 2012 - -To hear political experts talk, the nationally watched contest for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat boils down to a remarkable matchup between the Democratic incumbent who had no chance of being re-elected versus the Republican challenger who had no chance of winning the Aug. 7 primary.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 1, 2012 - Arthur Visor was just over age 30 when Medicare began in 1965. He never expected to benefit from the program because he had assumed, sadly, that his life would be cut short by high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease.

Visor, who lives in Florissant, is now an energetic 78, feeling so fit that he devotes plenty of his free time to volunteer work. He's thankful that a combination of Medicare and private health insurance has given him resources to fight his ailments. 

This article first appeared in th St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 9, 2012 - The Affordable Care Act remains a contentious political issue in Missouri, but St. Louis is already a leader in demonstrating one positive effect of the reform law, according to speaker at a forum Saturday.

Jennifer Boriss / Flickr

A panel of healthcare experts gathered at Washington Tabernacle today to field questions from members of the community on how the Affordable Care Act would impact their lives.

Topics ranged from small businesses to Medicaid expansion in Missouri, and a large part of the discussion focused on a ballot initiative regarding health insurance exchanges in Missouri.

(Go here for in-depth coverage on Medicaid expansion and the working poor.)

Health-care law may leave many families uninsured

Aug 23, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 23, 2012 - Among the many aspects of the Affordable Care Act that legislators, government agencies and health professionals are continuing to parse is the definition of “affordable” when it comes to employer-offered health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 23, 2012 - Over his years in public office, Todd Akin, the embattled Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, has taken strong positions on a variety of issues. Here is some of what he has had to say, compiled from his own website, his statements and news stories.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 3, 2012 - The federal health-care law may not seem to have much to do with a statewide office with the responsibility for running elections and registering businesses.

But the Affordable Care Act has emerged as a bludgeon for state Sens. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, and Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, against House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard. It's also becoming a regular bogeyman in Republican primaries for other statewide offices.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 1, 2012 - As a conservative who tends to favor Republicans and limited government, Gene Hutchins of Affton wouldn't be expected to be a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act. But he has warmed up to a few of its provisions. He backs the rule forbidding insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. He also likes ACA's plans for states to set up insurance exchanges to help buyers compare prices and benefits to get the most value for their money.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 16, 2012 - Dr. Donald Palmisano, a former president of the American Medical Association, was passing the Peabody Opera House downtown on Friday morning when a quote engraved on the building's facade caught his attention.

The quote warned that the greatest threat to democratic institutions comes from influences that "stifle or demoralize discussion."

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