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Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare

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

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Obamacare Nears Major Goal With One Month To Go

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

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More Proof That American Health Care Prices Are Sky-High

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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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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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