Affordable Care Act

Under Fire, Feds Add Health Law Privacy Protections

Sep 19, 2013
PATRICIA BORNS / For Miami Herald

In the wake of criticism from Republicans including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the Obama administration is beefing up security measures for data submitted to "navigators" by people seeking insurance under the federal health overhaul.

Sobel, Hudson Debate Obamacare Concerns Before Congress

Sep 19, 2013

Two Florida lawmakers --- one who supports the 2010 federal health-care law and one who opposes it --- testified in a congressional hearing about problems that states are confronting as a Oct. 1 deadline approaches for implementing a key part of the law known as Obamacare.

C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Starting October first, Floridians will be able to buy health insurance through a government-run website—or “health insurance exchange”—where consumers can compare plans and prices.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most uninsured adults who don’t purchase insurance or aren’t covered by employers will have to pay a fine come tax time.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a panel on the Affordable Care Act at Miami-Dade College on Tuesday but getting the word out hasn’t been easy in Florida.

At a community center named for Florida civil rights pioneer Carrie Meek, a few dozen members of Miami's National Church of God gathered over the weekend for a tea party — and to hear from a special guest, Monica Rodriguez of Enroll America.

The organization is working to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that will let people without health insurance shop for coverage starting Oct. 1.

People who lose their jobs and the health insurance tied to them will have new coverage options when the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces open in October.

But consumer advocates are concerned many of these unemployed people may not realize this and lock themselves into pricier coverage than they need.

When the Affordable Care Act was working its way through Congress, Gary Lauer was nervous. Part of the bill sounded grim. It said people could buy required health coverage online, but only through websites run by state and federal governments.

"That was going to pretty much delete us from the landscape," he says.

Thousands of retirees covered by company health insurance plans will soon see their benefits shifted toward private health-insurance exchanges.

IBM and Time Warner announced the change last week. They’ll provide retirees money to buy Medicare Advantage or supplemental Medigap policies instead, part of a push by businesses to move away from the increasingly costly group-coverage model.

American Airlines may follow. Its parent company, AMR Corp., is seeking approval to make the change from a federal bankruptcy court judge.

Why Florida Picks Fights With The U.S.

Sep 6, 2013

Florida’s top prosecutor wants to overturn a federal gun law and allow 18 year-olds to own handguns.  It’s just the latest example of the Sunshine State battling the federal government.  It’s done it over health care, voting rights and now gun control.  

Hear the words health care and Congress, and you think fight, right?

And you'd be forgiven, particularly because the House has now voted some 40 times in the past two years to repeal or otherwise undo portions of the Affordable Care Act.

New Medicaid Managed Care System Expands To South Florida

Aug 30, 2013

Thousands of low-income seniors in Southwest Florida and areas of the East Coast are poised this weekend to become part of the state's long-debated shift to a Medicaid managed-care system.

The change, which will take effect Sunday, will involve an estimated 13,450 people in 12 counties who need long-term care --- most of them seniors. It is part of a gradual move that ultimately will lead to almost all Florida Medicaid beneficiaries enrolling in HMOs or other types of managed-care plans.



A Miami Herald investigation uncovers another 16 children who died in recent months even though their families were involved with the Department of Children and Families.  

"Is anybody here not outraged?" demanded one foster parent at a recent town hall, where a group of lawmakers heard from the public and received blame as well. 

Also, in just two months, Floridians are supposed to be able to shop for health insurance as part of Obamacare. But Florida Governor Rick Scott is now worried about the privacy of patient information.

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

Curtains Open On Medicaid Managed Care In Florida

Jul 31, 2013

More than two years after Florida lawmakers passed a controversial plan to transform the Medicaid system, it's showtime.

As of Thursday, about 9,300 central Florida residents who need long-term care --- the vast majority of them seniors --- will become the first participants in a statewide move to enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries in HMOs and other types of managed-care plans.

A Philadelphia nurse has been charged with assisted suicide for allegedly providing her 93-year-old father with a lethal dose of morphine.

Authorities say Barbara Mancini, 57, told a hospice nurse and a police officer on Feb. 7 that she provided a vial of morphine to her father, Joe Yourshaw, to hasten his death.

Mancini and her attorneys acknowledge she handed the medication to her father, but maintain she never said she intended to help him end his life and was only trying to help her father ease his pain — an act they say is legally protected, even if it causes death.