Affordable Care Act

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Doug Jones is calling President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee a “torpedo” aimed at destroying the Affordable Care Act. 

In a Facebook campaign event Wednesday, Alabama’s Democratic senator said he is very concerned about the potential loss of the Affordable Care Act as it faces a Supreme Court test.

PBS

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Health and advocacy groups are urging  Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and legislators to expand the state’s Medicaid program as the coronavirus outbreak strains health care systems and takes its deadliest toll on people with underlying medical problems.

A group of more than 60 organizations announced a renewed push to try to convince Alabama politicians to expand the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

The cost versus benefit of Medicaid expansion in Alabama

Apr 9, 2020
Pixabay

An APR News Feature --Part of an innovative collaboration between Alabama Public Radio, the commercial newsroom at WVUA23-TV, and the University of Alabama's Center for Public Television.

Alabama lawmakers are looking at short-term and long-term plans on how to keep Alabamians safe as Coronavirus plagues the state. Some now say expanding Medicaid is one option that needs to be considered. 

“I think that it’s time that people really speak up and demand that the state of Alabama invest in people’s healthcare coverage,” Alabama Democratic senator Doug Jones said.

www.highlandhosp.com

 

An APR News Feature --Part of an innovative collaboration between Alabama Public Radio, the commercial newsroom at WVUA23-TV, and the University of Alabama's Center for Public Television.

State leaders are doing what they can to keep Alabamians safe as coronavirus cases and deaths climb in Alabama, but some say there’s more lawmakers can be doing right now, like expanding Medicaid.   

Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana defend their proposal to replace Obamacare today before the Senate Finance Committee. Click title to view live coverage...

APR

Advocates working to fix problems with rural health care say Alabama is ground zero nationally. Studies say Alabama has the highest infant mortality rate in the U.S. The state also leads the nation for diabetes. Alabama is also home to Gadsden which had the lowest life expectancy in the nation in 2016. Despite all this, rural hospitals in the state receive among the lowest reimbursements nationally from Medicare. That’s blamed for eighty percent of Alabama’s hospitals that are operating in the red.

Protestors Want Accountability in Healthcare Vote

Jun 27, 2017
healthcare protest
Lawrence Specker / al.com

Protestors gathered in multiple Alabama cities yesterday to voice their opposition to a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

In Mobile, Al.com reports around 100 people gathered in front of the federal courthouse yesterday evening. The event was in part to promote organizers’ demand for Alabama U.S. Senators Richard Shelby and Luther Strange to actually meet with their constituents ahead of a healthcare vote in the Senate.

Healthcare Advocates Warn of Medicare Cuts

Apr 28, 2017

Those receiving Medicare coverage in Alabama could see their benefits cut soon.

A federally-appointed oversight committee called the Independent Payment Advisory Board is tasked with reducing Medicare spending. The board is due to release a report, possibly by April 30, that could result in over $1 billion in Medicare cuts nationally.

Mary Grealy is the President and CEO of the Healthcare Leadership Council. She says there are over a million Medicare beneficiaries at risk in Alabama, but the biggest impact could be on the state’s doctors.

APR News Director Pat Duggins shot this video as demonstrators marched up and down the sidewalk past Tuscaloosa's Federal Courthouse. They want a town hall meeting with Senator Richard Shelby on questions ranging from Donald Trump to the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Richard Streiffer
UA

The Affordable Care Act is seen as one of the defining pieces of President Obama’s legacy – and the new Republican majority has targeted it for repeal.

Leading lawmakers in both houses of Congress have begun work dismantling Obamacare – despite not having any plan in place for a replacement, and despite polling that suggests an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose its repeal without a replacement ready.

Dr. Richard Streiffer is the dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama. He joins us to explain the current state of the health insurance marketplace in Alabama, what the Affordable Care Act has done for Alabama's citizens, and what it might mean for the state if the act is repealed.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley visited two Tuscaloosa mental health facilities yesterday. He wants to stress the need for Medicaid funding in the state.

The Governor visited the Arc of Tuscaloosa County and Indian Rivers Mental Health Clinic. Both facilities help individuals with mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities. And both organizations depend heavily on Medicaid funding in order to provide services. Bentley is advocating for an increase of at least $85 million in Medicaid funding to stave off cuts.

If any Alabamians missed out on signing up for coverage associated with the Affordable Care Act, there is still time to do so. APR’s MacKenzie Bates explains.

HealthCare.gov says it will be extending Tuesday’s deadline to sign up for health insurance to tonight. The reason is high demand among health care consumers who wanted coverage starting January 1. The new cutoff point is tonight at midnight PST.

Officials say the surge in consumer demand caused some applicants to wait at the call center or while trying to log into HealthCare.gov.

Alabama death row
EJI

The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to stop an execution scheduled for next month.

In a unanimous decision yesterday, justices refused inmate Christopher Brooks' request to stop his execution. A federal judge is expected to rule soon on Brooks' request for a stay.

Brooks is scheduled to be put to death Jan. 21 for the rape and murder of Deann Campbell more than 20 years ago. The execution would be Alabama's first in more than two years.

Sureshbhai Patel
Brynn Anderson / AP

The state of Alabama’s effort to cut off Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood facilities was shut down in federal court yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson is ordering the state of Alabama to restore funding to Planned Parenthood. He says the state had no legal reason to cancel the agreement between those facilities and Medicaid providers.

Susan Watson is the Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama. She says the judge’s ruling should be the end of this funding discussion.

Eric Parker
Brynn Anderson / AP

Federal prosecutors are trying for a second time to convict former Madison police officer Eric Parker of using unreasonable force when questioning an Indian man in February.

57 year old Sureshbhai Patel appears to have been slammed to the ground by Parker in a police dash camera video.

Robert Posey is the first assistant U.S. attorney for the northern district. He says the prosecution has good evidence on their side.

The United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling yesterday declaring that tax subsidies for health care from the federal government are constitutional.

In Alabama, that’s good news for more than 130,000 people that purchased insurance through the Affordable Care Act. In most cases, the federal tax breaks on those plans were what made them affordable enough to purchase.

Alabama on SCOTUS's ACA Ruling, Coosa River Fish Survery

Jun 25, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court says federal tax subsidies for health care should stay. That's been perceived as good news for more than one hundred and thirty thousand Alabamians. That's how many people in our state afford insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Ron Pollack is the Executive Director of Families USA, a national advocacy organization for health care consumers. He says today’s Supreme Court decision may encourage Alabama and other states to expand Medicaid…

www.eurweb.com

The Obama administration is touting the apparent success of the Affordable Care Act in Alabama on its fifth anniversary.

It was on this date in 2010 when the President signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says one hundred and seventy one thousand Alabamians were enrolled during the most recent sign-up period.

HHS Regional Director Pamela Roshell** says there’s wellness care available through the act along with insurance coverage…

Joyce Hardin Garrard
Eric T. Wright, AP

A jury will debate whether to recommend the death penalty today after convicting the woman accused of running her granddaughter to death of capital murder.

The panel will hear additional evidence for sentencing today as they decide between execution or life in prison without parole for 49 year old grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard. The judge has the final say.

The prosecution is seeking the death penalty. They argue Garrard brutally forced the girl to run for hours as punishment until she collapsed into seizures.

irs.gov

    

 April fifteenth is a long way away. But, if you want to get a head start on filing your income taxes, the Internal Revenue Service will start accepting your paperwork today. The IRS is also pushing a new on-line service called free file. It’s the same thing as the internet tax program called e-file. But, the free file program is free of charge if you earn less than sixty thousand dollars a year. IRS spokeswoman Alejandra Castro-Nunez** says it’s a good way to go because the system keeps track of your information as you put it in…

The phrases "Internal Revenue Service" and "free of charge" may not seem to go together. But the people who collect your income taxes every year are offering a new system that’s available at no cost.

The FreeFile internet program is free for taxpayers who earn less than $60,000 per year. The system keeps track of your information and calculations as you fill out your tax forms and tells you if you make a mistake.

Girl Scout Cookies, Obamacare, Hospital Shutdown

Jan 16, 2015

If you’ve been craving your girl scout cookie fix, then today is your day. Girl scouts start taking orders today for the annual fundraising drive by the Girl Scouts of America.

Familiar flavors like thin mints, Savannahs, and Do-See-Does will be joined by gluten free varieties. Those new products are called Toffee-Tastics and Trios.

Hannah Wallace is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama. She says customers can send cookies to U.S. soldiers overseas with a program called Operation Cookie Drop.

jurist.org

    

Florida became the latest state to legalize same sex marriage this week. APR student reporter Kristen Feyt says supporters are speaking out in favor of the decision…

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Alabama consumers will see more competition when the health insurance marketplace opens Nov. 15 for its second year.

United Healthcare has signed up to offer individual policies in all 67 counties. UHC did not participate the first year. Regulators say Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will be back in all counties. Humana will again offer policies in Jefferson, Shelby and Madison counties.

Alabama Arise spokesman Jim Carnes says increased competition should be good for consumers.

The enrollment period is Nov. 15 through Feb. 15.

arisecitizens.org

A new report details who exactly would benefit from expanded Medicaid in Alabama.  The advocacy group Alabama Arise and the national Families USA are highlighting the professions of the people who are being caught in the so-called “Medicaid Gap.”  Those are people who make too little to qualify for subsidies under the healthcare law but too much to qualify for Medicaid.  Authors of the Affordable Care Act had planned for states to expand Medicaid but many Republican-leanin

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he goes to work every day and thinks of a way to sue the Obama administration.

Al.com reports that Strange made the comment in a speech to the Republican Women of Huntsville. He told the group Tuesday that part of his oath of office compelled him in that pursuit. He described it as a full-time job that's the best job in Alabama politics. Strange has sued over the Affordable Care Act, opposed the Obama administration on environmental regulations and filed court briefs in several cases involving federal policy.

en.wikipedia.org

  A Catholic broadcaster is asking for a Supreme Court injunction as it pursues a lawsuit against requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage.

A federal judge dismissed the suit filed by the Eternal Word Television Network on June 18. The network is planning an appeal, but says it needs a Supreme Court injunction before a July 1 deadline for complying with the national health care law.

iStockphoto

All year long, Alabama Public Radio is collaborating with A-L-dot-com on the Affordable Care Act. The federal deadline to sign-up for health insurance is now well in the rear view mirror and you find yourself without health care. You don’t receive insurance from your employer. You don’t qualify for Medicaid, and you didn’t sign up in the federal marketplace during the open-enrollment. The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate says that Americans have to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.

en.wikipedia.org

A federal judge in Mobile is dismissing key legal claims made by an Alabama-based Catholic broadcaster that sued to block the federal government's rules on contraception for employees.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade issued the order Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by the Eternal Word Television Network, which is based in the Birmingham suburb of Irondale.

The broadcasting group says it will appeal. The state of Alabama is siding with the media organization.

kyenroll.ky.gov

All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’re collaborating with AL.com to examine the Affordable Care Act.  When it comes to healthcare, Alabama has its problems. So does the commonwealth of Kentucky.  The difference is, the Bluegrass state is going about it differently and they seem to be getting results. 

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