Affordable Care Act

News and updates about the Affordable Care act.

Rebecca Smith / Side Effects Public Media

When the University of Missouri temporarily canceled graduate student health insurance subsidies earlier this month, it highlighted a troublesome unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act that may affect universities around the country.

Agrilife Today via Flickr/

Time is running out for late taxpayers who want to keep their subsidies next year. 

Technically, the health insurance subsidies available to most Americans who aren't offered plans by their employers are tax credits. If you enter your income into, it spits out an amount that you can chose to apply to a monthly premium, or deduct from your taxes when you file.  Either way,  you must file an income tax return, including a new form detailing your monthly premium and subsidy.

Employers and Republicans Counter New Rules On Families’ Healthcare Payments

Aug 14, 2015

One of the Affordable Care Act’s key protections was to cap how much consumers can be required to pay out of pocket for medical care each year. Now some employers say the administration is unfairly changing the rules that determine how those limits are applied, and they’re worried it will cost them more.

In addition, they, along with some Republicans on Capitol Hill, are questioning whether federal officials have the authority to make those changes.

Hospitals Seeking An Edge Turn To Unlikely Adviser: Toyota

Aug 7, 2015
Susan Black, chief kaizen promotion officer at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, reviews the quality and safety board in the ophthalmology clinic on June 9, 2015.
Anna Gorman / KHN

TORRANCE, Calif. – The equipment closet for the operating rooms at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Hospital was a mess. Nurses had to maneuver through a maze of wheelchairs, beds, boxes and lights to find the necessary surgical supplies.

“It looked kind of like a dog pile of equipment,” said Dawna Willsey, a clinical director at the hospital. “It was every man for themselves trying to find anything.”

About 7.5 million Americans paid an average penalty of $200 for not having health insurance in 2014 — the first year most Americans were required to have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday.

By contrast, taxpayers filing three-quarters of the 102 million returns received by the IRS so far this year checked a box indicating they had qualifying insurance coverage all year.

More Health Plan Choices At Work: What's The Catch?

Jul 21, 2015

Until recently, John Henry Foster, an equipment distribution firm based in Eagan, Minn., offered its employees only a couple of health plans to choose from. That's common in companies across the United States.

"They just presented what we got," says Steve Heller, a forklift operator who has worked at John Henry Foster for 15 years.

eyeliam via Flickr/

Public health news that caught our eye this week.

Bram Sable-Smith/Side Effects

When Darvin Bentlage needed colon surgery in 2007, he had an expensive stay at the hospital.

“The room alone for a week was $25,000,” Bentlage says. Add in the cost of the procedure and, “it added up to about $60,000 or $70,000.”

Mark Fisher/CC

The Affordable Care Act passed its second major test before the Supreme Court Thursday. In King v. Burwell the Supreme Court upheld a key measure of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that federal health insurance subsidies should be allowed in all states,  regardless of whether the state has created its own insurance exchange or relies on the federal governments'.

Obamacare’s Next 5 Hurdles to Clear

Jun 26, 2015
nd White House Staff react to the House of Representatives passing the bill on March 21, 2010.
Pete Souza / White house

In its first five years, the Affordable Care Act has survived technical meltdowns, a presidential election, two Supreme Court challenges -- including one resolved Thursday -- and dozens of repeal efforts in Congress. But its long-term future still isn’t ensured. Here are five of the biggest hurdles left for the law.