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Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare

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Huffpost Politics

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Obamacare faces its strangest challenge yet when the Supreme Court takes up the law for the third time Wednesday, but the oddity of the lawsuit shouldn’t obscure the cataclysm that a loss for President Barack Obama would provoke.

The Supreme Court case is the latest legal effort by political opponents of the Affordable Care Act to ruin Obama’s signature domestic achievement. If successful, the suit would tarnish Obama’s legacy, foment infighting among Republicans, aggravate bitter partisanship between the GOP Congress and the White House, and threaten chaos in the health insurance market. But the worst consequences would fall on the estimated 9.6 million people who would lose their health insurance.

The lawsuit, King v. Burwell, isn’t like the previous two Obamacare cases that came before the Supreme Court. Three years ago, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that most Americans obtain health insurance. The Supreme Court last year weakened Obamacare’s birth-control coverage rule in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, a case with religious-freedom implications.

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!!!!!BNSupremeCourtOcare2!!!!!BNSupremeCourtOcare1.

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Click link below for story, video and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/03/obamacare-supreme-court-argument_n_6793228.html

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Obamacare Is Barely Denting Corporate Profits

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~~~~BloombergBusiness1

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The biggest entitlement legislation in a generation is causing barely a ripple in corporate America.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — is putting such a small dent in the profits of U.S. companies that many refer to its impact as “not material” or “not significant,” according to a Bloomberg review of conference-call transcripts and interviews with major U.S. employers.

That’s even after a provision went into effect this year requiring companies with 50 or more full-time workers to provide coverage, and after more workers are choosing to enroll in existing company coverage because of another requirement that all Americans get insured.

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Click link below for article (Obamacare Barely Affecting Corporate Profits…):

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-19/obamacare-proving-not-a-burden-to-u-s-from-chipotle-to-wal-mart

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~~~~Vox1

Click link below for article (8 Ways The Law Has Proven Its Critics Wrong…):

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/19/8069117/obamacare-critics-wrong

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Obamacare Nears Major Goal With One Month To Go

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FROM

Huffpost Politics

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More than 9.5 million people have signed up for private health insurance coverage this year using the Obamacare exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services disclosed Tuesday, putting the program within striking distance of meeting its enrollment targets.

The deadline to choose a health insurance plan on the Affordable Care Act’s exchange marketplaces like HealthCare.gov and Covered California is Feb. 15. Federal officials projected at least 10.3 million would be enrolled by that date, and that at least 9 million would have this form of health coverage by the end of the year. The new figures do not reflect how many enrollees have paid for their insurance, which is the final step to securing coverage.

With the technical failings of HealthCare.gov and several state-run health insurance exchange websites behind them, the marketplaces mostly are managing this year’s sign-up period smoothly. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 42 percent of enrollees through mid-January — 3 million people — are new to the exchanges, while most others are renewing coverage. Enrollment for 2015 insurance plans began Nov. 15.

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OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT 2015

With one month remaining in this year’s Obamacare sign-up period, 9.5 million people have enrolled, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday. | AP Photo/Mandel Ngan

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Click link below for story

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/27/obamacare-enrollment-2015_n_6556952.html?ir=Politics&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000016

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CVS Stops Tobacco Sales Sooner Than Planned, Changes Name

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~~~~NBCNews1
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As CVS sharpens its focus on customer health, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain will tweak its corporate name and stop the sale of tobacco nearly a month sooner than planned. CVS Caremark will now be known as CVS Health. The signs on its roughly 7,700 drugstores won’t change, so the tweak may not register with shoppers.

However, those customers will see a big change when they check out. The cigars and cigarettes that used to fill the shelves behind store cash registers have been replaced with nicotine gum and other products that help people kick the tobacco habit. CVS said earlier this year that it would stop selling tobacco products on Oct. 1. CVS and other drugstores have delved deeper into customer health care in recent years.

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More Proof That American Health Care Prices Are Sky-High

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FROM

Huffpost Business

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As anyone who’s ever paid a health insurance premium or a hospital bill knows, medical care is expensive. What Americans may not know is that residents of other countries don’t pay nearly as much for the same things.

The latest data from the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry group representing health insurers from 28 countries including the United States, once again illustrates that American patients pay the highest prices in the world for a variety of prescription drugs and common procedures like childbirth and hospital stays.

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Americans pay higher prices for many prescription drugs and medical treatments than citizens of other nations, a new report shows.

Americans pay higher prices for many prescription drugs and medical treatments than citizens of other nations, a new report shows.
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Obamacare’s Benefits Become Real On New Year’s Day

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politics

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When the clock strikes midnight for the new year Wednesday, it also will ring in a new day for the American health care system.

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law nearly four years ago, and Jan. 1, 2014, culminates a lot of work, strife and anxiety. It also represents the birth of a new health insurance market for individuals who aren’t covered by their employers or government programs like Medicare, especially for low-income and uninsured people receiving unprecedented help paying for coverage.

Starting on Wednesday, health insurance companies can’t turn away anyone because of their medical histories or pre-existing conditions. Prices can’t be higher for people with chronic ailments, or for women, and older individuals can’t be charged more than three times what younger customers pay. Basic benefits like hospitalizations, prescription drugs and mental health care must be covered. Annual and lifetime limits to essential coverage are gone. And nearly everyone must obtain health coverage or face a tax penalty under the law’s individual mandate.

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Trader Joe’s Invites Part-Timers Losing Company Coverage To Seek Additional Obamacare Subsidy

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business

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Faced with employees upset by its decision to drop health insurance for part-timers, grocer Trader Joe’s has invited workers who may face higher premiums on the Obamacare insurance exchanges to apply for additional subsidies from the company, according to a memo obtained by HuffPost.

Late last month, Trader Joe’s informed part-time employees that as of next year, they would no longer be eligible for company-sponsored health plans. Although employees averaging 18 hours a week had traditionally qualified for the plan, workers with less than 30 hours a week learned they would be given a check for $500 and nudged into state-run insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.

The health care reform law mandates that companies with 50 or more full-time employees offer coverage to workers logging at least 30 hours a week or face penalties, though the Obama administration has chosen to delay that rule for a year.

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Wesley Warren Jr., ‘The Man With The 132-Lb. Scrotum,’ Blames Healthcare System

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FROM

weird-news

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Wesley Warren Jr., better known as “The Man With The 132-Lb. Scrotum,” has two objectives right now: He wants to make money and speak the truth.

In May of 2008, in a household mishap, the Las Vegas man took a blow to his right testicle. “I woke up the next day, and my scrotum was the size of a honeydew melon,” he tells Marc Lamont Hill on HuffPost Live. “My personal hell was just beginning.”

With every passing month, Warren’s scrotum grew 3 pounds or more. And with no health insurance, he had little opportunity to seek help, until he became internationally known for his freakish bulge.

To cradle his watermelon-sized sex organ, he wore a hooded sweatshirt as pants, using the hood as a makeshift scrotum sling.

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Robots with your face want to invade workplaces and hospitals

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~~~~CNNMoney1

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Robotic telepresence remains one of those technologies that is always lingering just on the horizon; it’s going to change everything, the futurists say, just as soon as it gets here. But while several clever telerobotics solutions have come to market in recent years (Vgo and Double Robotics for instance), no solution has yet been both sophisticated and user-friendly enough for the mainstream. These robots — designed to give a remote human operator control of a mobile surrogate robot so that, for instance, a company manager in Chicago can virtually tour a factory floor in Topeka — allow users to move around an environment and interact with people and objects on the other side of the city, country, or planet. But for the most part, telerobots remain high-priced toys.

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!!RobotsYourFace1

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http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/10/robots-with-your-face-want-to-invade-workplaces-and-hospitals/#tech?hpt=tech_zite1_featured

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Small Businesses Opt To Pay Obamacare Penalty Instead Of Offering Health Insurance

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small-business

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Since the Affordable Care Act passed into law, companies have been vocal about the drastic measures they’ll take to avoid paying for basic health care coverage for their employees, including cutting hours and firing workers.

An increasing number of companies now say paying the government’s penalty to break the law will be cheaper than following it, The Wall Street Journal reports.

An Obamacare provision that goes into effect next year requires businesses with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health care coverage for employees. For businesses that don’t, there is a $2,000 penalty for each full-time worker above the 30-employee threshold. (Full-time workers are defined as anyone who works more than 30 hours a week in a given month.)

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!SmallBusiness1

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/small-business-obamacare-penalty_n_3037749.html?icid=maing-grid7|myaol|dl3|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D295389

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