Affordable Care Act

Essential Pittsburgh
5:24 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Poor Health: As the Region's Healthcare Industry Grows, Charitable Care is Hard to Find

With eleven Pittsburgh hospitals closing in the first decade of the 21st century, it's becoming even more difficult for people to get all healthcare aspects in one place.
Credit Connor Tarter / Flickr

One quarter of Pittsburgh area hospitals closed in the first decade of the 21st Century, drastically reducing the amount of charitable care available to the poor. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Sean Hamill looks at the implications in his two-part series "Poor Health."

Hamill spent a good deal of time speaking to people in clinic waiting rooms, he says while these people know where they can possibly see a doctor, they are only seen for five minutes. Hamill says hospitals were not like this years ago.

“The big advantage to the hospitals that existed before they were torn down…was, once you came in for something more severe than a cold, it might require some specialty care, some diagnostics care, you could get that all within the same hospital. They would keep you there, they would do the triage you required through an emergency room, but they would also make sure you got that next level of care.”

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Religion & Faith
5:01 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Holds Third Annual Fortnight For Freedom

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is holding its third annual Fortnight for Freedom, which promotes religious freedoms for all according to the church. This year the theme is freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable, in accordance with the Catholic teachings.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:29 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Single Payer Health Care... Not Yet for the United States

Credit Andye / Flickr

 

What does Single Payer Health Care look like? How does it work? One need look no further than England, home to the world's largest single-payer health system. Sir David Nicholson, former CEO of England's National Health Service, provided some insight to the single payer health system and how it relates to health care questions posed in our country today.

Money for health care is collected through general taxation in England’s single payer system, which is then given to the department of health, and allocated out to the clinical commission groups. These groups then essentially purchase services from hospitals. The system treats over a million people every 36 hours, according to Sir Nicholson. 

But would this work in the United States? Sir Nicholson doesn’t believe so, but offers this advice for the U.S.-- get more help from medical groups themselves, rather than the government.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:43 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Tips for Individuals and Employers on the Affordable Care Act and Tax Season

Judith Heron, a CPA with Markovitz Dugan & Associates, answered some questions that will help individuals with taxes this year.
Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr

With less than a week until the healthcare enrollment deadline, and tax season underway, Judith Herron, a CPA with Markovitz-Dugan and Associates in Green Tree explains how the Affordable Care Act will impact filing.

How will the Affordable care Act impact individuals?

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Health
7:51 am
Tue March 18, 2014

As Deadline Nears, Allegheny County Makes 'One Last Push' For Health Care Enrollment

Ronald Pederson (left) of North Versailles gets help signing up for health insurance from Christian Fattore, a certified application counselor with the Consumer Health Coalition.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

With just two weeks left to sign up for health insurance through state and federal online exchanges, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has declared March 17-23, 2014 to be Affordable Care Act Week in Allegheny County.

Fitzgerald said county officials are working with nearly three dozen partner organizations on “one last push to encourage residents to get all the information and be able to enroll in the marketplace.”

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Affordable Care Act
12:13 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

PA Voters Less Likely to Vote for Candidates Who Supported Affordable Care Act, Poll Says

A new poll out from the Robert Morris University Polling Institute shows that Pennsylvania voters are more likely than average Americans to oppose the Affordable Care Act in the context of mid-term elections.

RMU asked 1,006 American adults and an additional 501 Pennsylvanians if they knew that a member of Congress had voted for the Affordable Care Act, would it make them more or less likely to vote for that person.

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Affordable Care Act
3:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Map Shows Pittsburgh Neighborhoods Where More Insurance Help Is Needed

Credit Enroll America

As the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act approaches, the activist group Enroll America has released a series of maps it hopes will help administrators better understand where to focus their efforts.

The map of Pittsburgh shows that some of the largest concentrations of uninsured can be found in East End and Hill District.

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Medicaid
3:30 am
Mon February 17, 2014

State to Hire 720 Employees to Expand Medicaid

Pennsylvania is excepting to add 720 new employees to accommodate the influx of new healthcare enrollees if Healthy PA goes into effect. 

According to the Department of Public Welfare, the additional jobs would be permanent and spread across the state. Funding for the new hires would come from the federal government.

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Health
4:07 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

PA Health Insurance Enrollment Numbers Outpace National Average, But Young People Still Missing

The United States Department of Health and Human Services released Monday the latest enrollment data for state and federal health insurance marketplaces.

Nationally, nearly 2.2 million people have signed up for private health insurance plans through the marketplace, with almost 1.8 million people signing up in December alone.

For Pennsylvania, that shakes out out to about 81,000 people who have purchased health insurance through the federal marketplace since its troubled launch in October.

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Health Care Awareness
11:40 am
Mon January 13, 2014

PHAN Holds Health Care Awareness Event

The Affordable Care Act goes into effect October 1st, with the threat of a government shutdown.

The House threatened the shutdown if the Affordable Care Act is not defunded and the Senate does not appear to see that as an option.

With the political tension rising, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) wants to make sure people understand and are educated on the new health care law.

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Government & Politics
1:29 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

PA Insurance Commissioner Tries to Ease Consumer Confusion Surrounding ACA

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been marked with website difficulties and confusion for some consumers. Some of that confusion surrounds whether some people can keep their current health insurance plans.

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine’s office is working with insurance companies asking them to either delay cancelations or help policyholders enroll in ACA compliant plans.

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Government & Politics
6:15 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Arguments Continue Over Church, Health Care Law

Lawyers for the federal government and two Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses say a central question in a lawsuit over Affordable Care Act mandates is how to define a "substantial burden" as it relates to religious beliefs.

The oral arguments took place Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses object to the new federal health care law and are suing the federal government to seek an exemption.

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Affordable Care Act
8:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Sen. Casey To Help Grill Sebelius Over Affordable Care Act Launch

U.S. Bob Casey (D-PA) will be among those grilling HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius at today's committee meeting
Credit HHS.gov & casey.senate.gov

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be back on Capitol Hill Wednesday. This time she will be fielding questions from members of the Senate Finance Committee about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the failure of the launch of the website HealthCare.gov.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is a member of the committee. He thinks the session will start with a look at why the website used to sign up for new healthcare insurance collapsed on the first day and has never fully recovered. However, he hopes it will not end there.

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Nurses on Affordable Care Act
4:57 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Nurses to Educate Pittsburghers on Affordable Care Act

About 400 nurses will descend on Market Square downtown Thursday afternoon to educate people about the Affordable Care Act - each with their own story.

Michelle Boyle, a nurse at Allegheny General, believes her mother-in-law would still be alive if the Affordable Care Act had been enacted sooner.

“My mother-in-law, she was 58, and she lost her job, she lost her health insurance, and a year later, she lost her life because she kept on being denied because she had pre-existing conditions,” Boyle said.

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Government & Politics
6:39 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Pennsylvanians Turn to Pen and Paper to Enroll in New Health Care Exchanges

More than a week after the federal health care exchange opened in Pennsylvania, people are turning to pen and paper to begin shopping for insurance plans under the federal health care law.

Organizations around the commonwealth say website glitches caused by high traffic have kept anyone from successfully enrolling in a plan on the Pennsylvania exchange.

Kate Kozeniewski works with Resources for Human Development, which received a federal grant to be a designated “navigator” for people using the exchange.

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Religion
2:56 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Pittsburgh Diocese Suing U.S. Over Birth Control Mandate

Bishop David Zubik and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh are suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after being forced to cover the cost of birth control methods that contradict the beliefs of the church.

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Health
11:25 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Confusion Over Health Care Exchanges Lingers for Patients and Physicians

Patients and those seeking health insurance under the Affordable Care Act aren’t the only ones fighting confusion. Physicians also have a lot of new things to deal with. Representatives with the Pennsylvania Medical Society say there are many confusing points, including understanding how people will be enrolled in the insurance exchanges that opened Monday.

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Health
3:59 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

PA Health Access Network to Host ACA Awareness Event

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins Tuesday, and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) wants to make sure people understand what that means to them.

PHAN is hosting a community awareness event Tuesday at the Hill House in Pittsburgh with the goal of educating Pennsylvanians on the new health care law.

Erin Ninehouser, PHAN education and outreach director, said they plan to talk about the new choices, protections and benefits that come with the law.

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Government Shutdown
3:14 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Sen. Casey Says Shutdown is 'More Likely Than Not'

As a possible government shutdown inches closer to reality, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is hoping a last-minute resolution can avert the crisis.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:05 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Public Forum: Addressing Your Questions On the Affordable Care Act

From left to right: Rachel Dingfelder, Dr. Christopher Hughes, Erin Gill-Ninehouser, Titus North
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

On Tuesday October 1st the health insurance exchange, a key part of the Affordable Care Act, opens for enrollment. While the various insurance plans and stipulations can be confusing, there are many resources available to offer assistance.

On Thursday September 26th, representatives from various health access groups came together at the Community Broadcast Center to talk about how the new healthcare & insurance plans will affect individuals and businesses. Listen to an edited broadcast of the forum on Tuesday October 1 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA.

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Government & Politics
9:35 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Sen. Casey: Government Shutdown Would Affect PA

Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. Senator is warning the threatened federal government shutdown would be felt in Pennsylvania.

Sen. Bob Casey is denouncing the move by House Republicans to send to the Senate a resolution that would fund the federal government past October first, but only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded.

The stakes: a federal government shutdown beginning next month.

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Health
4:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Options Aplenty, Lower-Than-Expected Premiums for Pittsburghers in Health Insurance Marketplace

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that people will have more options in the health insurance marketplace and premiums will not be as high as originally thought. 

Premiums nationwide will be about 16 percent lower than originally expected.

“In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable,” Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. 

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Health
2:13 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

What to Know: Affordable Care Act Resources and Information

Credit Flickr user vitualis

On Oct. 1, the health insurance exchanges that are a key part of the Affordable Care Act open. It can be confusing, however, so here is some basic information and resources to help with understanding Obamacare. You may also want to read a Q&A from NPR's Morning Edition about the ACA. 90.5 WESA's daily magazine program Essential Pittsburgh will host public forum on the topic Thursday.

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Health
7:21 am
Fri September 20, 2013

As Obamacare Takes Effect, Getting Health Care to the Amish

On Oct. 1, the health insurance exchanges that are a key part of the Affordable Care Act open. The landmark federal legislation is making health insurance mandatory for Americans — most of them anyway. The Amish will be exempt from buying insurance on the health exchanges.
Credit Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

In Clarion County’s Licking Township there are vibrant green hills, windy narrow roads and traffic signs posted just as much for the trucks and tractors as for the horses and buggies.

It's a small, rural farming community north of Pittsburgh.

When you pull up to Emmanuel Schmidt’s home, you see acres of land, his woodworking shop and carriages. The 49-year-old Amish farmer knows Obamacare is coming, but he doesn’t quite know what that means.

"I’ve wondered, I’ve really wondered what’s going to happen with the health care, I don’t know," he said. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:05 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Concerns in Governor Corbett’s Medicaid Expansion

Is Gov. Corbett's plan for medicaid expansion in PA a step in the right direction?
Credit 90.5 WESA

Governor Tom Corbett’s medicaid expansion plan sounds like “a step in the right direction” according to Erin Ninehouser, the Education and Outreach Director for Pennsylvania Health Access Network, but she does have some reservations.

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