Affordable Care Act | St. Louis Public Radio

Affordable Care Act

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 6, 2012 - Two high-ranking Republicans in the Missouri House are throwing cold water on state Sen. Brad Lager’s proposal for a special session in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health-care law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2012 - Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says he plans to raise private money – and won’t use any public funds – to pay the legal expenses for his planned lawsuit challenging the ballot wording for a measure on a proposed state insurance exchange.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2012 -  Many consumers will get rebates on their health insurance premiums now that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court. The law says consumers must get any rebates by Aug. 1 of each year in cases where insurers failed to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical services.

Morning headlines- Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jul 5, 2012
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Federal government will not fund reservoir repairs

The federal government has rejected a request from Ameren Missouri to receive stimulus funds for rebuilding the Taum Sauk reservoir that ruptured in 2005.

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.

Health care has dogged Missouri pols since Truman

Jul 3, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 3, 2012 - WASHINGTON - When Congress passed the Medicare bill in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson flew with a passle of supportive lawmakers to Missouri so he could sign the bill at a table with former president Harry S Truman.

"It all started really with the man from Independence," Johnson said at the Truman Library ceremony, recalling the Missourian's spirited but unsuccessful effort two decades earlier to convince Congress to pass a national health-insurance plan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Critics of the Supreme Court -- liberal and conservative -- often say the court should leave more room for elected bodies and the voters to decide important issues. That's exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court did when it upheld the Affordable Care Act last week.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Chief Justice John G. Roberts' opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act is an act of crafty judicial statesmanship that recalls important strategic Supreme Court decisions as far back as Marbury vs. Madison, the 1803 case that established the court's power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2012 - Surprise. If there is a single theme to the story of “Obamacare,” it is that surprises have lain in wait at every turn.

The biggest surprise may have been Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Most of America expected the court to toss out the law after it had spent three days roughing up Solicitor General Donald Verrilli last spring.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2012 - Top Missouri Republicans swiftly swallowed their shock over losing their Supreme Court fight to kill the Affordable Care Act and have reframed their renewed battle as an attack on a “massive tax increase.”

And the battlefield will be this November’s general election.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2012 - Lisa Hill of Wildwood has a 17-year-old son with more health conditions than most people struggle with in a life time. He has coped with autism, epilepsy and leukemia. Hill says she has had no good place to turn for health insurance. But she felt hopeful on Thursday morning upon hearing that the Supreme Court had upheld the Affordable Care Act.

"The Supreme Court decided to allow my son to live," she said. "If his leukemia were to ever come back, it can be treated. That's what (the decision) means."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health-care law in a narrow 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the deciding vote. At the same time, the court put limits on some of Congress' most potent powers — its power to regulate commerce and to attach conditions to federal funding.

Morning headlines- Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jun 28, 2012
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Nixon defends, clarifies comments on health insurance mandate

Elana Gordon contributed reporting from Kansas City, Mo.

With a decision on the federal health law nearing, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon further defended his position yesterday regarding a federal health insurance mandate. 

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.

Morning headlines - Monday, June 25, 2012

Jun 25, 2012
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Mo. Supreme Court to decide fate of November ballot initiatives

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning to determine the fate of several ballot initiatives.

Election officials still have yet to determine if supporters of increasing the minimum wage and tobacco tax, and capping the rate of payday loans, have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Thousands email Nixon about Mo. contraception bill

Jun 16, 2012

Thousands of emails and letters are flooding the Missouri governor's office as he decides whether to sign health insurance legislation.

The Republican-led Legislature approved a measure stating no employer or health plan provider can be compelled to provide coverage for abortion, contraception or sterilization if those items run contrary to their religious or moral convictions.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has until mid-July to veto the bill, or it will take effect.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 13, 2012 - The head of a leading insurance industry trade association tried to reassure consumers on Tuesday that many of its member companies would keep certain provisions in the Affordable Care Act in place even if the law is voided by the Supreme Court.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Around 200 people rallied at the Missouri Capitol today against President Obama’s mandate that employers provide coverage for contraceptive services.

Churches are exempt from the mandate, but religious non-profit organizations, such as schools and hospitals, are not.  John Gaydos is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City.

“Religious freedom is not merely about our ability to attend church on Sunday," Gaydos said.  "It is impossible to exercise that religious freedom and at the same time compromise the faith that inspires us to action.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 21, 2012 - In a solemn voice, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson announced Monday afternoon that the St. Louis Archdiocese and Catholic Charities of St. Louis had jointly filed a law suit challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 7, 2012 - No matter how expert the lawyer or the health professional or the political analyst, no one knows how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act or what impact the ruling will have on health care or the presidential race.

When the law passed, almost all constitutional experts said it was clearly constitutional.  Certainly, they said, Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce includes health care, which is one-sixth of the economy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 3, 2012 - Missouri is receiving an additional $10.3 million in federal funding for community health centers, but none of the money is targeted for facilities on the Missouri side of the St. Louis area. The new funding is expected to bring services to an additional 17,500 patients in Columbia, Kansas City, Kirksville and Springfield, federal officials said this week.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 28, 2012 - Though efforts to set up a health insurance exchange in Missouri have failed so far, the concept is regarded nationally as one of the many measures connected to the Affordable Care Act that will take root and thrive no matter what the Supreme Court says about the overall law. The court will soon decide whether Congress went too far in mandating that most people buy health insurance or pay a penalty, and in expanding Medicaid to cover more of the uninsured.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 16, 2012 - As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), it may be useful to review some of its more positive features.

Conservatives have called it an attack on freedom, and its detractors often say the system that we have is fine, calling the changes socialism.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 30, 2012 - At times, the six hours of oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on the national health care law seemed like theater of the absurd.

During a very difficult day on Tuesday defending the individual mandate, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli almost seemed to muse aloud about the absurdity of his situation. He called it an irony that the opponents of the law said it was such a novel use of government power and an abuse of power.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 30, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court meets Friday to take its first vote on whether to strike down one of the most important pieces of social and economic legislation passed by Congress in the past half century — the Affordable Care Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 28, 2012 - When the third and final day of U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the federal health care law had ended on Wednesday, at least one thing seemed certain: All four justices appointed by Democratic presidents would vote to uphold the law, and all five justices appointed by Republican presidents had serious questions about both the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance and its expansion of Medicaid.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 27, 2012 - President Barack Obama's health-care law ran into a barrage of skeptical questions on Tuesday from conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. They challenged Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to define an outer limit for congressional power if Congress can force people to enter commerce to buy health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2012 - President Barack Obama's lawyer began his historic Supreme Court argument Monday with a flourish, saying the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is an issue of "great moment."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2012 - On the eve of arguments before the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, local faith-based and community groups urged the state legislature to end "partisan sparring and gridlock" that is stalling key parts of the health-reform law in Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2012 - The federal health-insurance law, dubbed by both sides as "Obamacare," already has become the top issue in Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest – a fact that only heightens the impact of this week’s hearings in Washington before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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