Affordable Care Act | St. Louis Public Radio

Affordable Care Act

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 6, 2011 - A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., denied Thursday that the senator is shifting her stance on the new federal health-care law's provision requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014.

McCaskill voted for the law last year. The web on the left and right has been abuzz over the senator's comments Wednesday on MSNBC, which has been interpreted by some national publications -- notably Politico -- as the senator moving away from the mandate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 4, 2011 - U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned on Tuesday that repeal of the health-care overhaul law would add to the federal deficit and bring back the "worst abuses of the insurance industry."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 26, 2010 - Whether the event is a panel discussion on health reform or the opening of a community clinic, one familiar face in the audience or on the stage is likely to be Dr. James R. Kimmey.

A witty speaker with extensive knowledge on a range of health-care issues, Kimmey is the founding president and CEO of the Missouri Foundation for Health. He previously was dean of the School of Public Health at St. Louis University and is also emeritus professor of health administration and policy at the school. He regards the work of the foundation as helping policymakers, health-care professionals and community groups to understand and address the issues affecting the health of Missourians.

111th Congress: Reviled but productive

Dec 23, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 23, 2010 - WASHINGTON - It's been rebuked by public opinion polls and stung by November election results, but the 111th Congress that adjourned this week ended up with a surprisingly long list of legislative achievements -- an array of new laws that some historians compared to the Great Society years under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 13, 2010 - A leading constitutional law expert at Washington University called Monday's court decision striking down a key provision of the health-care law "embarrassing" and "anachronistic." But a libertarian lawyer said it was a refreshing reminder that congressional power has limits.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that Congress did not have the power to require people to buy health insurance, a requirement of the Affordable Care Act considered essential to its workability.

Commentary: Deja vu -- the sequel

Nov 4, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 4, 2010 - When I was a kid, theaters ran double features -- two movies for the price of one. Typically, a first-run film was paired with a "B" movie, which was a low budget production selected to complete the bill of fare. If John Wayne starred in the main attraction, John Payne might play the lead in the second film.

The movies ran continuously throughout the day and each showing was preceded by cartoons, public service announcements and previews of coming attractions. Once you paid to get in, you could stay as long as you liked; so people tended to be fairly casual about starting times, coming and going throughout the production.

Fighting the myths about health-care reform with facts

Oct 28, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 28, 2010 - A federal official says the new health-reform law has become "a political football," but the Obama administration is making progress in carrying out all provisions of the legislation.

"We're going to continue implementing the law," said Judy Baker, regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services in Kansas City. "The states are at the table. All 50 of them are working to be prepared for implementation."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 18, 2010 - Some candidates may be distancing themselves from the new health reform law because they're reflecting the views of many, perhaps most, Missouri voters.

The Missouri Foundation for Health released a poll this month showing that Missourians who are likely to vote Nov. 2 are concerned about rising health-care costs, and they have misgivings about making too many changes in the existing system.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 14, 2010 - The federal government has taken another step toward health reform. It has awarded $727 million to 143 community health centers across the country to build capacity as the nation moves toward providing medical care for most Americans.

Judging the health-care law

Oct 13, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 13, 2010 - The new health-care law was ruled constitutional for the first time last week by a federal judge in Detroit.

The law has been the subject of much debate and has attracted challenges across the country. The ruling by U.S. District Judge George Steeh in the case of Thomas More Law Center, et al., v. Obama, et al. is the first on substantive provisions of the law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 5, 2010 - Republican and Democratic candidates in Missouri say doing something about health care is part of their pledge to Missouri voters.

The GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, of Springfield, says he will work to repeal it if he wins the election. His Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, says she wants to improve it should she win. Just as Blunt has embraced his party's repeal and replace slogan, Carnahan has talked about the issue on the campaign trail in the context of her battle against breast cancer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 17, 2010 - Jeff Goldsmith, head of Virginia-based Health Futures, Inc., is one of the nation's foremost health-industry analysts. Goldsmith was in town to take part in a client roundtable at Advanced ICU Care on Thursday morning at the company's headquarters in Creve Coeur. He serves on the advisory board of the St. Louis firm, which allows critical-care doctors and nurses to monitor hospital ICU patients from a central location through telemedicine technology.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2010 - Nearly a month ago, a clear message was sent to Washington, D.C., when 71 percent of Missouri voters supported Proposition C and rejected "Obamacare."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2010 - As a progressive Democrat, I have a very different view of health-care reform than that of conservative Republicans. The dividing point is this: Do we, as a people, care enough about providing effective, affordable health care for everyone to put citizens' needs ahead of the financial interests of the health care industry?

Commentary: Oh, 'C,' what we have done

Aug 12, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2010 - On a brutally hot Tuesday in early August, about 22.9 percent of Missouri's registered voters went to the polls to deliver their verdict on ObamaCare. For the Democrats on Capitol Hill who'd struggled so valiantly to reform health care, the results were less than encouraging.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 9, 2010 - A new early intervention program, financed with $88 million in federal health-reform money, has the potential of breaking the poverty cycle that afflicts generation after generation of at-risk families. The idea is to give a needy kid a healthy start in life through a home-visit  program that addresses child protection, health, early education and social service issues through age 8.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 4, 2010 - In a political showdown that Republicans favored and Democrats wanted to avoid, Missouri voters gave strong approval to Proposition C, the state referendum that calls for Missouri to opt out of the federal health care reform law that was passed four months ago. More than 72 percent of Missouri voters supported the measure.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 4, 2010 - It was not as dramatic as Confederate forces firing on the Union troops at Fort Sumter in April 1861, but Missouri's passage of Proposition C is certainly a notable skirmish in the 2010 reappearance of the states' right struggle. Channeling their inner John Calhouns, State Sens. Jane Cunningham and Jim Lembke have emerged as the new preachers of the nullification doctrine.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 31, 2010 - Missouri's major candidates for the U.S. Senate are no longer ignoring Proposition C, with the Republicans in particular seeing the health-care measure as a way to attract last-minute support among conservatives in next Tuesday's primary.

U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, has announced his campaign website now features a petition in favor of Proposition C -- dubbed by supporters as the Health Care Freedom Act. The proposal seeks to exempt Missouri from some of the mandates in the new federal health-care law, particularly the 2014 requirement that all Americans must be insured.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 20, 2010 - The Missouri Libertarian Party is joining the state GOP in supporting Proposition C (officially known as the "Healthcare Freedom Act"), a proposal on the Aug. 3 ballot that calls for Missouri to opt out of some of the new federal health-care mandates.

The state Democratic Party is officially taking no position on Proposition C, although some of its activists oppose the measure. Most Democrats and other critics say the proposition is not enforceable because federal law pre-empts state law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 28, 2010 -  The federal health-reform train began rolling across America this summer, dropping off benefits at every stop along the way, offering coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, giving added protection to young people about to be removed from their parents' health plans, and setting up temporary high-risk pools for some unable to buy affordable insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 27, 2010 - Proposition C, which is on Missouri's Aug. 3 primary ballot, asks voters whether Missouri should be able to opt out of federal health-care reform, specifically the mandate for individuals to buy health insurance. The Beacon, through our Public Insight Network, asked readers how they are likely to vote on this measure. Here are excerpts from some of their responses.

Commentary: Vote Yes on Proposition C

Jul 25, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 25, 2010 - On Aug. 3, all eyes in the nation will turn toward Missouri, as voters in the Show-Me State become the first anywhere to cast a ballot concerning the federal health-care plan foisted upon them. A "yes" vote on Proposition C -- the Health Care Freedom Act -- will tell the nation that Missourians have looked at this expensive, ill-conceived and unhealthy measure and rejected it.

Commentary: Vote No on Proposition C

Jul 25, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 25, 2010 -  In 1789, the people of the United States of America proclaimed:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2010 - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who almost three years ago converted from a Republican to a Democrat, is finding himself at odds with his former party and its leaders.

The Missouri Republican Party zeroed in on Koster on Monday as it became aware of the briefs he'd filed in court late Friday in opposition to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's lawsuit challenging the new federal health-care provisions.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2010 - Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder faces a tall legal hurdle before he can persuade a court even to hear his legal challenge to the federal health-care law. He will have trouble showing that he had the legal standing even to get inside the courthouse door, legal experts say.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 8, 2010 - Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder followed through with his promise late Thursday when he released the list of donors who have contributed to the fund set up to pay the legal costs of the suit he filed Wednesday against the federal government, claiming that its health-care changes violate states' rights.

The six-page list of donors shows that, all told, they gave just under $5,000. Most gave small amounts of $25 or $50. A majority hail from the St. Louis region, although there are a few out-of-state contributors.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2010 - State Sen. Jane Cunningham expects to be quite busy over the next five weeks promoting the Aug. 3 passage of what started out as her bill, the Health Care Freedom Act (Proposition C), which would allow Missouri to reject parts of the federal health-care changes that Congress and President Barack Obama recently approved.

Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, said Monday night that she already has been speaking to various groups, and helped set up the campaign committee, Missourians for Health Care Freedom. Patrick Tuohey, founder of the Missouri Record -- a conservative blog and aggregate site -- is to be the campaign manager.

Health literacy helps people stay healthy

Jun 3, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 3, 2010 - Now that the new health-reform law is beginning to take effect, proponents are turning their attention to boosting health literacy. Their targets are the estimated 90 million Americans, including 1.6 million in Missouri, who have difficulty understanding and making effective use of health information that could improve or save their lives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 26, 2010 - In a timely addition to Missouri's debate over the new health-reform law, a new Kaiser Family Foundation study projects a sharp rise in the number of Missourians eligible for Medicaid under the new law, with the federal government picking up a large share of the cost of covering them.

The study, released Wednesday by the foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, offered one of the few state-by-state reviews of the law's Medicaid reforms -- showing what they might cost each state and how many residents might be helped.

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