Showing posts with label Reuters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reuters. Show all posts

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is Obamacare preventing access to hospitals in conservative states?

Is Obamacare preventing access to hospitals in conservative states?It’s been a year and a half since the Affordable Care Act — also known as “Obamacare” — brought sweeping reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, but the results aren’t all uniformly positive, and can differ greatly depending on which hospital you go to.

In fact, there has been a growing divide nationwide between hospitals that are suddenly making nice profits and those that are desperately turning to public donations to stay open, according to a Reuters report.

As it turns out, some hospitals that are accepting federal money to expand Medicaid are getting paid, allowing patients that were uninsured to get regular care, but in states that didn’t expand Medicaid — most notable, those in conservative areas that opposed Obamacare like Georgia — the Affordable Care Act hasn’t been helping public hospitals at all. So while Obamacare may not be actively preventing access to healthcare in those states, rejecting some of the key aspects of it is indirectly.

The public exchanges the government has established along with 14 other states have allowed previously uninsured people in all parts of the country to start getting health coverage for the first time in a long while, but poor people in many states aren’t seeing any difference.

In fact, nearly four million uninsured Americans with low incomes who live in states that didn’t expand Medicaid would have qualified for coverage had the states not avoid expanding Medicaid, and hospitals in these states often have to rely on bond markets to fund themselves. And they are probably going to feel the financial pain as time goes on, which will limit available health care for people.

The Affordable Care Act has caused the number of Americans with health coverage under Medicaid to increase by 21 percent to 71.1 million, and nonprofit hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid had 13 percent less bad debt on average.

So it appears that ACA appears to be working on a large-scale level. In conservative states that voted against Medicaid, however, not so much.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Housing, jobs data weaken, but overall economic picture still upbeat

An existing single family home which is up for sale is pictured in Burbank, California December 15, 2011. REUTERS-Fred Prouser(Reuters) - U.S. home resales hit a near one-year low in November and new filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, putting a wrinkle in an otherwise brightening economic picture.
The reports on Thursday came a day after the Federal Reserve gave the economy a vote of confidence by announcing that it would reduce its monthly $85 billion bond buying program by $10 billion starting in January.

"Things have not changed. It's still a marginally rosier outlook in the short-term," said Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.
The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously owned homes fell 4.3 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.90 million units. That was the lowest since December last year and the third straight monthly drop.
A rise in interest rates since the spring and fast-rising home prices have shut some potential buyers out of the market, dampening home sales in recent months.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected home resales to fall only to a 5.03 million-unit pace in November.
Housing market fundamentals, however, remain solid. Household formation is rising steadily from multi-decade lows, which in turn is keeping demand for housing supported and encouraging builders to undertake new projects.
Median home prices increased 9.4 percent from a year-ago and the share of distressed properties - foreclosed and short sales - declined over the same period.
The inventory of previously owned homes on the market slipped 0.9 percent to 2.09 million units, representing a 5.1 months' supply at November's sales pace. That compared to 4.9 months' worth in October.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What New Obamacare Problem Got Megyn Kelly So Angry?

Megyn Kelly kicked off her show Tuesday night utterly bewildered at a report she touted as striking another blow for Obamacare, after two whole months of problem after problem plaguing the health care website. This time, it’s about the payment mechanism for the site, and Kelly was astonished to discover that because no one is able to actually pay for plans on the site yet, the plan is to “estimate” the cost of each plan and for the government to just work out that estimate with insurers.
Yep. A program designed to provide affordable health care to millions of people will be temporarily whittling the payment system down to a crap shoot.
Kelly cited a new report from Reuters on a “short-term” fix for the Obamacare site’s payment system as they get the kinks sorted out.
The administration is planning a “workaround” for payments, said Daniel Durham, vice president for policy and regulatory affairs at America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Health plans will estimate how much they are owed, and submit that estimate to the government. Once the system is built, the government and insurers can reconcile the payments made with the plan data to “true up” payments, he said.
“The intent is to make sure plans get paid on time, which is a good thing,” Durham told Reuters.
First of all, the very fact that the payment system isn’t working was too much for Kelly. She cried, “How does the system work without a payment mechanism?! There’s no cash register!”
But for the government to just estimate the cost of health care plans… to say Kelly was flabbergasted would be putting it in the mildest possible terms.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hallmark Cards regrets taking word 'gay' off ornament

(Reuters) - Hallmark Cards has apologized for changing a word in a well-known Christmas carol from "gay" to "fun" on a holiday ornament.
The Kansas City-based company created an ornament for its Keepsake line depicting a miniature sweater bearing the words "Don we now our fun apparel," instead of the lyric "Don we now our gay apparel" from the Christmas carol "Deck the Halls."
"We've been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we're sorry to have caused so much concern," Hallmark said in a Twitter posting on its website on Thursday.
"We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products, and in hindsight we realize we shouldn't have changed the lyrics on the ornament," it said.

Hallmark did not say where negative reaction to the ornament came from, but a leader of one Kansas City gay rights organization said on Friday that the company went overboard in using the word "fun" on the ornament.
"The whole thing seems silly to us," said Mitch Levine, community ambassador of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City. "No one was offended by that in the song and the change was not necessary."
Levine said he had received nine media calls about the ornament and wishes so much attention was given to more serious affronts to gays and lesbians, such as homophobic lyrics in some new songs.
In an earlier statement about the ornament, Hallmark said that when the lyrics to "Deck the Halls" were converted from Gaelic to English in the 1800s, the word gay meant festive or merry.
"Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation," Hallmark said.
It then explained its selection of the word "fun":
"The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: 'fun.' That's the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it."

Monday, October 28, 2013


Dr. Michael Minor, pastor of Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church became an Obamacare navigator this year, attempting to get people to enroll in the Obama health insurance exchanges. But long before that, he was fighting obesity in his community bybanning fried chicken. “You can see the difference,” he told Reuters. “People are much better sized, way better. And once they get it off, they want to keep it off.”

Minor explained how he won a major grant – some $317,742 -- from the federal government, despite the fact that his church is small. “I applied for it.” His church has approximately 100 members. The church kitchen carries a sign reading, “No Fry Zone.” Minor said, “It’s a symbol, especially with people of color. You’ve got to rally around symbols.”

Minor says he has built a network of 75 to 100 navigators and counselors to work the Obamacare system. “We feel like once you get people in churches and families, they will become de facto navigators,” Minor explained.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Americans voting with their 'feet' on Obamacare

This Reuters headline is not good news for the administration:
Frustrated by, some consumers buy off exchange
Americans are abandoning the site and buying insurance the old fashioned way; calling the companies directly.
Since its launch on October 1, technical problems have stalled, the website meant to help millions of uninsured Americans sign up for coverage as part of the biggest U.S. social program since Medicare plans for the elderly launched in the 1960s.
Nearly a dozen insurance companies offering plans on the exchange who were interviewed by Reuters say they have received at most a trickle of enrollments through the federal marketplace serving 36 states, some of them with errors that require the insurers to separately verify information about applicants.
At the same time, consumer inquiries at insurance company call centers and websites are up, in some case even double the amount of normal traffic. When they hear from potential customers who appear to qualify for government subsidized plans, they take phone numbers, create shopping baskets for the plans they like and send them to to verify eligibility.
But if the shoppers do not qualify for a subsidy, insurers say they sell them a plan directly. More often than not, those plans are individual policies that are not available on the government-run exchange.

Via: American Thinker

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Monday, October 21, 2013

POLL: Majority believe healthcare website problems indicate broader issue with law

Most Americans say the rocky start for is a harbinger of bigger problems for the Affordable Care Act, according to results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration. The federal government's portal logged over 2.8 million visitors by afternoon October 2, largely in an attempt to sign up for Obamacare.  REUTERS/Mike Segar  (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY POLITICS)
A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Fifty-six percent of Americans say the website problems are part of a broader problem with the law’s implementation while just 40 percent see the website problems as an isolated incident. Reaction to federal insurance exchange website are deeply rooted in partisanship. More than eight in 10 Republicans say website troubles are a sign of broader implementation problems, while most Democrats call it an isolated incident. Independents resemble the public overall, with 55 percent seeing broader problems with implementation.

President Obama is clearly aware of that conflation and the dangers it presents for the law. “We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website,” he said at a speech Monday at the White House.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

As Obamacare Tech Woes Mounted, Contractor Payments Soared

As U.S. officials warned that the technology behind Obamacare might not be ready to launch on Oct. 1, the administration was pouring tens of millions of dollars more than it had planned into the federal website meant to enroll Americans in the biggest new social program since the 1960s.

A Reuters review of government documents shows that the contract to build the federal online insurance website - key to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform - tripled in potential total value to nearly $292 million as new money was assigned to the work beginning in April this year.

The increase coincided with warnings from federal and state officials that the information technology underlying the online marketplaces, or exchanges, where people could buy Obamacare health insurance was in trouble.

In March, Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the lead Obamacare agency, said at an insurance-industry meeting that he was "pretty nervous" about the exchanges being ready by Oct. 1, adding, "let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience." 

At the same event, his colleague Gary Cohen said, "Everyone recognizes that day one will not be perfect."

The contract to build, issued to the CGI Federal unit of Montreal-based CGI Group, has come under scrutiny after the site, offering new subsidized health insurance in 36 states, stalled within minutes of its Oct. 1 launch, leaving millions of Americans unable to create accounts or shop for plans.

In its third week of operations, the website continues to experience problems, which government officials say they are working day and night to repair. Even allies of the Obama administration have been highly critical, with former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs calling it "excruciatingly embarrassing" and calling for "some people" to be fired.

Via: Newsmax

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Friday, October 4, 2013

[VIDEO] Healthy Young, Key To ObamaCare, Aren’t Buying It

Obamacare “only works … if young people show up.”
That’s from former President Bill Clinton in a recent MSNBC interview.
It’s why Obamacare supporters and government agencies are trying everything fromsports advertising to video contests to get young people in the game.
But will those millions of Millennials show up and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act?
A recent Reuters poll found Obamacare may not attract enough young people to keep costs low for others. And according to our small sampling, the answer would be no.
“An entire generation is being turned into a part-time workforce” because of Obamacare, said 22-year-old Patrick Richardson, a senior at the University of Toledo in Ohio who considers himself fortunate to have health insurance through his employer.
“When you do the math, it’s cheaper to pay the penalty, but that’s not the way the system was designed. It counts on young people enrolling, but young people don’t want any part of it,” he said.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New York newspaper to list more gun permit holders after uproar

A small portion of guns that were turned in by their owners are stacked inside a truck at a gun buyback held by the Los Angeles Police Department in Los Angeles, California, December 26, 2012 REUTERS/David McNew
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A suburban New York newspaper that sparked an uproar among gun enthusiasts by publishing names and addresses of residents holding pistol permits is now planning to publish even more identities of permit-toting locals.
Further names and addresses will be added as they become available to a map originally published on December 24 in the White Plains, New York-based Journal News, the newspaper said.
The original map listed thousands of pistol permit holders in suburban Westchester and Rockland counties just north of New York City.
Along with an article entitled "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood," the map was compiled in response to the December 14 shooting deaths of 26 children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut, editors of the Gannett Corp.-owned newspaper said.
The next batch of names will be permit holders in suburban Putnam County, New York, where the county clerk told the newspaper it is still compiling information.
Some 44,000 people are licensed to own pistols in the three counties, the newspaper said. Owners of rifles and shotguns do not need permits, the newspaper said.
The publication prompted outrage, particularly on social media sites, among gun owners.
"Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves?" Rob Seubert of Silver Spring, Maryland, posted on the newspaper's web site. "What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are."
Republican state Senator Greg Ball of Patterson, New York, said he planned to introduce legislation to keep permit information private except to prosecutors and police.
A similar bill that he introduced earlier as an Assemblyman failed in the state Assembly.
"The asinine editors at the Journal News have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law abiding firearm owners throughout the region," Ball wrote on his Senate web site.
The newspaper's editor and vice president of news, CynDee Royle, earlier in the week defended the decision to list the permit holders.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mitt's Royal Slam

What's the explanation for Mitt Romney's unparalleled breakout?  A few weeks ago, the Romney campaign was regarded as dead in the water.  The polls (with the exception of Rasmussen) had the campaign uniformly down, giving Obama up to half a dozen points.  Voter interest was phlegmatic at best.  A combined Chicago-media offensive appeared to have put Romney on the ropes.  The consensus was that Obama would cruise to another victory, one paralleling and perhaps even exceeding his triumph over John McCain four years ago.
Today, little more than an electoral-cycle heartbeat later, the situation is utterly reversed.  The big mo belongs to Romney.  The polls, excepting a few weird left-wing holdouts of the Reuters variety, show Romney with comfortable leads ranging from 2% to 5%.  The swing states are trending in his direction.  The expectations of the GOP are those of the 3rd Army roaring into the Reich.  As for Obama, he has displayed every sign of a man on the run -- desperation moves, incipient hysteria, vast and expensive efforts to magnify minor Romney gaffes, appeals to Big Bird and Gloria Allred.  His expression in the debates was that of a man facing his karma, more haggard and haunted with each appearance.  At least one person in the campaign knows full well that the game is up.
This remarkable turnaround is unmatched in recent American political history, and as such, it requires an explanation.  Not many have been floated as of yet.  The most popular so far holds that Anne and Tagg Romney, acting as Mitt's consiglieres, pushed aside most the campaign's professional political operatives in a successful effort to encourage "Mitt to be Mitt."
Everyone involved denies that anything of the sort occurred, and that may well be the truth.  Occam's razor applies to politics as much as any other field, and the simplest and best explanation in this case is that no large-scale change occurred within the campaign or without -- that in fact, things are unfolding pretty much as they were planned to.  That it's happening this way because it was meant to.

Via: American Thinker

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chavez's socialist rule at risk as Venezuelans vote

(Reuters) - Hugo Chavez loyalists blew bugles in a wake up call for voters on Sunday as the Venezuelan leader faced the biggest electoral challenge yet to his socialist rule from a young rival tapping into discontent over crime and cronyism.
Henrique Capriles, a centrist state governor, edged toward the still-popular Chavez in final polls thanks to a vigorous campaign that united the opposition and made him its best chance of ending the president's 14-year tenure.
Chavez has used record oil revenue to support ideological allies around the world while preaching a fiercely anti-American line, so the election is being watched eagerly from the United States to Belarus and Iran.
Queues formed at some polling centers long before they opened, and despite a few delays voting was going smoothly.
"The battle has started!" the flamboyant former soldier wrote in an early morning rallying cry on Twitter. "Today we will write another chapter in history."
Chavez loyalists in poor neighborhoods, where he draws his most fervent following, blew bugles and trumpets in the predawn wake-up call. In the center of Caracas, some red-clad fans shouted "Long live Chavez!" from the back of trucks.
Chavez, 58, staged a remarkable comeback from cancer this year. But he could not match the energy of past campaigns - or the pace set by his 40-year-old basketball-loving opponent.
"Today we decide the future of our Venezuela," Capriles said on Twitter. "Today we are millions of Davids! God will be our guide," he added, referring to his depiction of the vote as the biblical underdog's battle against Goliath.
Capriles had prepared for the election by hiking a mountain trail on the edge of Caracas on Saturday, donning sports gear and mirrored sunglasses and posing for pictures with supporters.

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