Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Obama: Change Health Conversation      07/01 06:09

   President Barack Obama is aiming to use the momentum from a recent Supreme 
Court victory for his health care law to change the conversation from talk 
about undoing his signature domestic achievement to talk about how to improve 
it.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is aiming to use the momentum from 
a recent Supreme Court victory for his health care law to change the 
conversation from talk about undoing his signature domestic achievement to talk 
about how to improve it.

   Obama was headed to the Nashville, Tennessee-area on Wednesday to discuss 
ways to improve the Affordable Care Act, including by extending Medicaid 
coverage to more low-income people. Tennessee is one of the few states where a 
Republican governor has tried to expand coverage for the poor.

   Obama wants to change the conversation after the U.S. Supreme Court last 
week turned away a major challenge to the law that would have endangered health 
insurance for millions of Americans. In a 6-3 decision, the justices upheld 
federal financial aid to millions of low- and middle-income Americans to help 
pay for insurance premiums regardless of where they live.

   Obama declared after the ruling that the law is "here to stay." He cited 
progress under its provisions, but said "we've still got work to do to make 
health care in America even better," including by helping consumers make 
informed choices about their medical care, increasing the use of preventive 
care, improving the quality of hospital care and reducing costs.

   Just over 80 percent of people under age 65 had health insurance when Obama 
enacted the law in 2010. Since then, the share has risen to about 90 percent.

   The administration would like to boost health care enrollment even further 
by helping the remaining uninsured get coverage. But achieving the goal largely 
depends on roughly 20 states, most led by Republican governors and including 
some heavily populated states like Florida and Texas, that have refused Obama's 
offer of billions of dollars in federal money to pay to expand their Medicaid 
programs.

   Obama has said in recent days that convincing these holdout governors will 
be important.

   "If we can get some governors that have been holding out and resisting 
expanding Medicaid primarily for political reasons to think about what they can 
do for their citizens who don't have health insurance but could get it very 
easily if state governments acted, then we could see even more improvement over 
time," Obama said at the White House on Tuesday.

   Next year is the final year that Washington will offer full funding to 
states to pay for the expansion. After 2016, the federal share will begin to 
gradually decline, and that will leave states with expanded Medicaid programs 
responsible for picking up more of the costs.

   Republican lawmakers said the Supreme Court decision doesn't change the fact 
that the law is flawed and should be repealed. No Republicans voted for the law 
in 2010.

   "We will continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it," House 
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said last week.

   Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, has proposed extending Medicaid 
coverage to 280,000 low-income state residents, but the plan failed during a 
special session of the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this year. It 
was revived during the subsequent regular session, but failed in committee.

   Tennessee U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat, is among state officials calling 
on state lawmakers to reconsider Haslam's plan in light of the U.S. Supreme 
Court ruling.


(KA)


 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN