Policy and Politics

House Speaker Paul Ryan
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

With eight months left in President Obama's term, House Republicans may have finally struck a blow against his signature health care law. 

At issue are the subsidies that the federal government pays to insurance companies to bring down out-of-pocket costs for individuals and families who earn between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level. House Republicans filed the suit, contending that the subsidies are unconstitutional because the President authorized the spending without the approval of Congress. Over $175 billion has been spent so far. 

Is Indiana’s Alternative Medicaid Expansion Working?

Mar 25, 2016
Reginald Rogers in a dental office
Phil Galewitz / KHN

Reginald Rogers of Gary, Indiana owes his dentist a debt of gratitude for his new dentures, but no money.

Indiana’s Medicaid program has them covered, a godsend for the almost toothless former steelworker who hasn’t held a steady job for years and lives in his daughter’s basement. “I just need to get my smile back,” Rogers, 59, told his dentist at a clinic here recently. “I can’t get a job unless I can smile.”

Rebecca Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

With just a little over a month left in the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, some people may need a little additional help getting insurance through the ACA.

Health insurance can be a confusing topic, with its array of terminology and choices to puzzle through, from premiums and co-pays, to deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

A national survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that more than 70 percent of people surveyed after the last open enrollment period said they wanted one-on-one assistance enrolling in insurance coverage.

And people can find the help they seek in an unexpected place: their public library. While libraries are better known for books, story time and due dates – since the launch of the ACA, many libraries across the United States have embraced a new role as a go-to community resource for information on health insurance.


Rebecca Smith / Side Effects Public Media

When the University of Missouri temporarily canceled graduate student health insurance subsidies earlier this month, it highlighted a troublesome unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act that may affect universities around the country.


Mark Fisher/CC

The Affordable Care Act passed its second major test before the Supreme Court Thursday. In King v. Burwell the Supreme Court upheld a key measure of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that federal health insurance subsidies should be allowed in all states,  regardless of whether the state has created its own insurance exchange or relies on the federal governments'.

Medicaid's Western Push Hits Montana

Jan 6, 2015

The Affordable Care Act is on the move in Western states, with the governors of Utah, Wyoming and Montana all working on deals with the Obama administration to expand Medicaid in ways tailored to each state.

But getting the federal stamp of approval is just the first hurdle. The governors also have to sell the change to their state legislators, who have their own ideas of how expansion should go.

The latest example is Montana, where the governor and the legislature have competing proposals about how much federal Medicaid expansion cash the state should try to bring in.

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