Affordable Care Act

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

A proposal in the Senate to help stabilize Affordable Care Act marketplaces would ensure that subsidies paid to insurance companies benefit consumers rather than padding the companies' profits.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Less than a week after President Trump said he is cutting off subsidies to health insurance companies, lawmakers announced Tuesday that they had a deal to restore the money and take other actions that could stabilize insurance markets for next year.

The Trump administration has made a number of changes to health policy in the past two weeks, raising questions about how consumers will be affected. Will the new rules for birth control coverage affect access to an intrauterine device? Might an association health plan help bring down costs for workers at small businesses? And if you're healthy, doesn't a short-term health plan that is cheaper than marketplace coverage make sense? Here are some answers to those questions.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The Trump administration said Thursday that it would end the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments designed to help low-income Americans get health care. Not paying the subsidies, health care experts have warned, could send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.

National Public Radio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he may have to call a special session in December to deal with potential funding cuts from Washington that he calls part of a “federal assault” on New York.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is blasting the Trump Administration's federal tax proposal, saying it will cost New Yorkers more than $17 billion.

The latest version of a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is now dead in Congress, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains worried about another potential cut in federal funds to hospitals that he said would blow a hole in the state budget.


Republicans officially pulled the plug on their last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday.

"We don't have the votes," said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., after a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans. "And since we don't have the votes, we've made the decision to postpone the vote." Cassidy, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., put together the proposal they hoped could pass the Senate.

The proposal the Senate is considering that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would result in millions losing health insurance and a $133 billion reduction in the deficit by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office's report on the Graham-Cassidy legislation.

Chris Caya

A small protest was staged Friday in downtown Buffalo where protestors rallied against a plan to abolish the Affordable Care Act.

The event took place outside the Federal Building at 130 South Elmwood.

Protestors expressed concern about the impact that a Republican-sponsored plan in the U.S. Senate would have on low-income families and workers. The warned that proposed changes could put about 20 million Americans in danger.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain may, once again, be the savior of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The Arizona Republican announced in a statement on Friday that he opposes the latest GOP legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

New York State Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is again wading into national issues this week. He’s had a press conference against the latest attempt in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. And he met with the governors of California and Washington to discuss steps to slow climate change.


It wasn't that long ago that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act died once and for all in the Senate.

New York State

The Trump Administration is cutting funding to programs that promote the Affordable Care Act – by a lot. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a statement detailing major changes to budgets for advertising and grants to nonprofits that employ navigators to help people sign up for plans.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Around 600 people turned out on Thursday evening for a town hall meeting with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Buffalo State's Rockwell Hall. The large audience appeared to agree with her on most issues.


NY State of Health

New York State has announced health insurance rates for individuals and small groups in 2018. The result is a premium hike, but not as high as insurers had requested. However, the state said rates will actually decrease after adjusting for inflation and federal tax credits.

National Public Radio

Experts are warning that the President's threats to "hurt" health insurance companies by withholding federal Cost Sharing Reduction payments could destabilize the marketplace and cause premiums to spike.

File Photo

Republican Congressman Tom Reed is bucking his GOP President, calling on the Trump Administration to continue making what are known as Cost Sharing Reduction payments, to prevent destabilizing the health insurance marketplace.

In a moment of unexpected high drama, Republicans were stymied once again in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and they have John McCain to thank for it.

In the early morning hours Friday, the senator showed why he earned the nickname "Maverick" over his long tenure.

Jim Salter/AP / National Public Radio

Planned Parenthood leaders in New York are anxiously monitoring the actions in the Republican-led Congress to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and they say in all versions, their health care centers face big reductions.


Flickr

The Senate is moving ahead on the repeal and possibly the replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and policy makers in New York are bracing for the worst.


The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to advance health care legislation to the Senate floor. That would open up debate on an Obamacare repeal and/or replacement plan.

The importance of the vote was highlighted by Sen. John McCain's decision to return to Washington to take part. He announced last week that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

New York State Governor's Office

The future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain in Washington, and there are several scenarios under consideration. The latest possible changes could affect New York’s relatively healthy health care system.


Rally calls on Congress to protect healthcare system

Jul 21, 2017
Michael Mroziak?WBFO News

Nurses, union leaders, elected officials and community advocates gathered at Erie County Medical Center's Long-Term Care facility to blast the Trump Administration and Senate Republican leadership. They say the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with no replacement, will leave many of their patients unable to afford insurance and access to care.

andrewcuomo.com

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, but first, he may be facing some obstacles to win a third term as governor in 2018.


Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

The defeat of the GOP Senate health care bill is a major blow to all Republicans involved.

President Trump, whose approval rating is lower than any recent president this early in his term, is now staring at an agenda imperiled. Despite his boasts, he has achieved little of significance through Congress. That failure is compounded by the fact that his party controls both chambers.

WBFO File Photo

New York’s top elected Democrats rallied against the Republican Congress’ proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, saying they will take legal action, if necessary, to stop it.


National Publiuc Radio

Both Republicans and Democrats are saying the Senate health care bill will not pass, even if an actual vote is delayed longer. WBFO talked with Congressman Brian Higgins, who said it is time to look beyond the plan for something new.

The GOP's latest proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act hews closely to the earlier bill that didn't win enough support among lawmakers to bring to a vote.

Perhaps the biggest change in the document released Thursday is that it leaves in place the Affordable Care Act taxes on wealthy individuals. It uses that money to reduce the number of people left without insurance coverage by the law's changes. This latest version adds $70 billion to a fund for states — bringing the total to $132 billion — to help support coverage of low-income people.

It was about a year ago that Ornella Mouketou walked into the emergency room at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and told them she wanted to end her life.

She was in her early 20s, unemployed and depressed.

"I was just walking around endlessly. I was walking around parks, and I was just crying all the time," she says. "It was like an empty black hole."

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