health care

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.

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.

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.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in on the Senate health care bill on Monday, saying that 22 million people would lose health coverage in the next 10 years under the Senate's plan. Of those, 15 million would lose Medicaid coverage. It's projected to lower the deficit by billions over 10 years, and also cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step toward achieving one of the Republican Party's major goals.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will release a discussion draft of their version of the health care bill on Thursday, with a vote likely next week.

Private health care talks have been underway in the Senate for weeks. McConnell tapped a 13-member working group last month to hash out senators' differences over the House-passed American Health Care Act. McConnell's office has since taken the lead drafting the Senate version of the party's long-promised legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Two Toronto law firms have launched a Canada-wide class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers of implantable defibrillators that can fail with little or no warning because of potentially defective batteries.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

For many people, the term “population health” may be new and undefined concept. What do you know about it, and does it involve you? Find out.


Almost 100 hospitals reported suspicious data on dangerous infections to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials, but the agency did not follow up or examine any of the cases in depth, according to a report by the Health and Human Services inspector general's office.

Most hospitals report how many infections strike patients during treatment, meaning the infections are likely contracted inside the facility. Each year, Medicare is supposed to review up to 200 cases in which hospitals report suspicious infection-tracking results.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

House Republicans approved their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.

Here's a rundown of key provisions in the American Health Care Act and what would happen if the Senate approves them and the bill becomes law.

Buying insurance

WBFO's Mike Desmond

The Trump Administration's budget proposal is a threat to many programs important to Erie County's residents. What's in and what's out of the budget was the theme for a meeting Tuesday night in Hamburg High School.


Updated at 9:48 p.m. ET

The White House issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday: Vote for the current GOP health care replacement plan or leave the Affordable Care Act in place and suffer the political consequences.

A new report finds that the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade but would also leave 24 million more Americans uninsured during that same period.

Many people are worried about how potential changes to the federal health law might affect them. But few are as concerned as those with pre-existing health conditions.

Medical, Hospital Groups Oppose GOP Health Care Plan

Mar 10, 2017

The Republican health care overhaul working its way through the House is opposed by Democrats and by many Republican conservatives. It's none too popular with the people on the front lines of health care, either — including doctors, nurses and hospitals.

The chief medical officer of Medicaid, Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, tweeted out his opposition on Wednesday. "Despite political messaging from others at HHS, I align with the experts ... in opposition to #AHCA," the career staffer said.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

International Women's Day protestors marched from Buffalo City Hall to Tupper Street Wednesday, seeking a variety of legal changes and more equality in hiring and promotions.

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

Doctor on Demand / National Public Radio

A new benchmark survey finds the use of telemedicine across Upstate New York very low, but the vast majority of those who have used it say they liked it.

Hundreds of health care providers are asking state authorities for increased support for community-based services to help uninsured patients.

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, health care under the Affordable Care Act is going to change in the next few years. The Republican-led Congress has vowed to "repeal and replace" the health law known as Obamacare.

That has left many people anxious and confused about what will happen and when. So NPR's Morning Edition asked listeners to post questions on Twitter and Facebook, and we will be answering some of them here and on the radio in the weeks ahead.

New step therapy law called step in right direction

Feb 1, 2017
National Public Radio

Advocates are applauding Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signing of new step therapy legislation for 2017. However, health insurers are projecting an additional half-billion dollars in drug costs because of the law.

A partial repeal of Obamacare could leave 18 million people who have insurance today with no coverage one year later, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The report estimates that 32 million people would lose their insurance over 10 years.

With little power left in Washington, Democrats set out on Sunday to make a big statement against GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with rallies in dozens of cities.

It's also a step for the party toward regaining its footing after grassroots efforts in 2016 failed to keep the White House in Democrats' hands.

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were both on Capitol Hill Wednesday, making competing cases for and against Obama's signature health care law. Republicans have promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act their first order of business, once they control both Congress and the White House.

Health advocacy group explores disparities in care

Jun 4, 2016
Photo courtesy of Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo

More than 100 guests gathered in the Canisius College Science Hall on Friday to discuss health disparities in the Western New York community.

The Chautauqua Institution is in the midst of a three-year series that is exploring health care issues.  This week, Chautauqua examines health care from the "bench to bedside."  And as WBFO's Mark Scott reports in our last Chautauqua Preview of the year, this week will also feature a wide variety of music from classical and folk to rock and jazz.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

One of the world's experts on delivering health care says we could learn a lot from what is being done in poor countries to deliver better health care in the United States.

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