A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds a strong majority of the public continues to prefer that Congress work on improving the Affordable Care Act (60 percent) rather than working to repeal and replace it with something else (35 percent), shares that have been consistent over the last several months.
“A $15 billion VA health care deal has been reached after a weekend of negotiating to resolve differences between the House and Senate,” Roll Call reports.
“According to a summary of the agreement… the negotiators agreed to $15 billion in emergency mandatory spending — $10 billion for a new private care option for veterans and another $5 billion for improvements within the VA, like hiring doctors and nurses and upgrading facilities.”
Wall Street Journal: “The agreement is a bright spot for a Congress that has been legislatively impotent recently, unable to reach agreement on bills or even bring much substantive legislation to the floor for a vote, causing even congressmen to criticize the acrid environment in the Capitol.”
“A new study estimates that more than 10 million adults gained health insurance by midyear as the coverage expansion under President Barack Obama’s law took hold in much of the country,” the AP reports.
A new CNN/ORC poll finds that more than half of Americans say Obamacare “has helped either their families or others across the country, although less than one in five Americans say they have personally benefited from the health care law.”
The survey “also indicates that a majority of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act, but that some of that opposition is from people who don’t think the measure goes far enough.”
First Read: “Make no mistake: The conservative legal strategy against the law (whether it was targeting the Commerce Clause or now this wording of the subsidies) has been very clever and almost effective. Politically, it’s also been VERY effective. But this legal strategy also creates a difficult longer-term political strategy for Republicans: Do they end up paying a price for wanting to take away benefits Americans are getting under the law? Yesterday, we saw Republican after Republican praise the D.C. Circuit ruling (even after the the 4th Circuit ruling came out), but it also raised a tricky follow-up question. Does that mean they support these Americans having to pay MORE for health care? All along, Republicans have charged that the law will hurt Americans’ pocketbooks. But then how do you cheer for a court ruling that would effectively increase health costs for Americans living in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges?”
Tom Goldstein: “The Affordable Care Act took a potentially serious hit today when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a rule that extended the law’s health-care subsidies to residents of the three-dozen states where the federal government runs a health insurance exchange. But the fact that another court of appeals upheld the same rule on the same day shows that the legal issue is very thorny and will very likely be ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court. And the administration probably will come out ahead in the end.”
“The issue is so close and contentious that it is basically inevitable that the Supreme Court will have to resolve it. If case goes straight to the Supreme Court, we will get a final decision within a year; otherwise, it will probably be two. My best guess is that a majority of the Justices will cite the limited role of the courts and rule for the administration and uphold the rule by the same5-to-4 majority that rejected the major constitutional challenge to the law two years ago.”
New York Times: “Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The decisions are the latest in a series of legal challenges to central components of President Obama’s health care law.”
“The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, upheld the subsidies, saying that a rule issued by the Internal Revenue Service was ‘a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion.'”
“The ruling came within hours of a 2-to-1 ruling by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said that the government could not subsidize insurance for people in states that use the federal exchange.”
A federal appeals court ruled that the government “could not subsidize health care premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange, a ruling that could upend President Obama’s health care law,” the New York Times reports.
“The 2-to-1 ruling could cut potentially off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace.”
Wonk Wire has a map of where subsidies might not be allowed.
Politico: “North Carolinians came out in droves for Obamacare enrollment, signing up at a rate that beat nearly every other red state. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to come out for the law — or the Democratic senator who supported it — at the voting booth in November.”
“More than any other state, North Carolina may represent the huge disconnect between Obamacare’s success in getting people health insurance and its failure to help the Democratic politicians who voted for the law.”
“The evidence is piling up now: Obamacare really does seem to be helping the uninsured,” Politico reports.
“Survey after survey is showing that the number of uninsured people has been going down since the start of enrollment last fall. The numbers don’t all match, and health care experts say they’re not precise enough to give more than a general idea of the trend. But by now, the trend is unmistakable: Millions of people who didn’t have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act have gained it since last fall. The law is not just covering people who already had health coverage, but adding new people to the ranks of the insured — which was the point of the law all along.”
Wonk Wire: New study confims deep drop in uninsured
Wonk Wire: Uninsured rate plunges to 13.4%
Wonk Wire: Why Obamacare might not survive another court challenge
A new Commonwealth Fund survey finds that people who signed up to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges are pleased with their purchases.
New York Times: “It found that about 15 percent of adults younger than 65 now lack health insurance, down from 20 percent before the Affordable Care Act rolled out in January. What was more surprising is that people who got the new coverage were generally happy with the product. Overall, 73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance. Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans liked their plans. Even 77 percent of people who had insurance before — including members of the much-publicized group whose plans got canceled last year — were happy with their new coverage.”
Wonk Wire: Uninsured rate plunges to 13.4%
“Republican party officials are putting together a new election year messaging campaign to reach women voters on issues including Obamacare, jobs and education as they seek to gain an advantage in the Nov. 4 congressional elections,” Reuters reports.
“The research identified the phrase ‘start over’ as a message that resonated with many women on Obamacare. The Republicans have been seeking to bridge the gap between loyal voters who want the healthcare law thrown out and those who favor retaining its consumer protections as part of a different reform environment.”
Wonk Wire: Insurers scramble to join Obamacare
A new Bloomberg National Poll finds 53% of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act.
Nonetheless, 56% favor keeping the law with perhaps “small modifications,” while 10% would leave it as is. That’s the highest level of acceptance yet.
Wonk Wire: Obamacare war ends with a whimper
Wonk Wire notes that doctors have shifted their campaign contributions to Democrats.
A new Kaiser Health tracking poll finds the Affordable Care Act is still viewed unfavorably by Americans, 45% to 38%.
Sharp political polarization continues to exist, with 64% of Democrats having a favorable opinion of the law and 75% of Republicans expressing an unfavorable view.
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