affordable care act

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

As Congress attempts to change the Affordable Care Act, members are facing questions in their districts about how they come down on the new health care bill being pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Trump administration.  

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) says she hasn’t made a decision yet on the new bill, the American Health Care Act.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A hostile crowd in Ithaca lambasted Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) this weekend over his support for legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. The Republican said his party’s proposal was just the first step in a long process to reform the country’s healthcare system, but the participant’s in Saturday’s town hall said congress is heading in the wrong direction.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health department is analyzing the plan in the Republican Congress to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, and finds it carries a heavy price tag for New York. 

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A provision in the Affordable Care Act replacement plan by Republicans in Congress sets up a potential clash with New York state over abortion coverage. 

The plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by the GOP-led Congress includes tax credits for people to buy insurance policies. The Republican House plan forbids anyone from using the tax credits to buy an insurance plan that covers abortions.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Republican healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will likely change significantly before it comes to the House for a vote, according to Rep. John Katko. The central New York Republican said he has concerns with the legislation, which he has shared with House leadership.

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New York’s health care system is bracing for big changes to the Affordable Care Act. No one knows for certain how it will be altered, but it will almost certainly cost the state a significant amount of money.

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Emergency rooms must care for anyone who shows up, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Amy Pollard, CEO of University of Rochester Medical Center’s Noyes Hospital, in Dansville, knows that federal law well.

“If you had no health insurance, but you felt ill and you presented to an emergency department here we have to take care of you. And we have to take care of you knowing we may not get paid anything for that care,” Pollard said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Supporters of President Donald Trump crashed an Obamacare rally hosted by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner on Tuesday. Protesters worried about losing the Affordable Care Act were met by some who are encouraged by Trump’s actions so far.

nystateofhealth.ny.gov

Today is the open enrollment deadline for anyone who wants to sign up for private health insurance through New York’s marketplace program called the New York State of Health. Navigators with ACR Health in Syracuse continue signing up individuals for health care plans, in the shadow of a potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

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While the New York state health exchange fields its busiest enrollment period yet, uncertainty looms.

A repeal of the Affordable Care Act, without significant replacement, could cost 2.7 million New Yorkers their health insurance, and the state $3.7 billion, according to an estimate released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

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As a first-term Member of Congress, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who represents New York's 24th Congressional District, often distanced himself from his more conservative Republican colleagues. And during his reelection campaign he disavowed Donald Trump.  Those positions will now be tested in a Republican House majority making major legislative changes under a Trump administration.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse has selected a new president and CEO for the health center. It comes at an uncertain time for the healthcare industry.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is due to release his budget Tuesday. Revenues are down, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could cost the state billions of dollars. So what should residents expect?

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Republicans in Congress have been trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, since its inception. Now they have a president intent on doing the same.  But what has the ACA actually accomplished for the nation’s health, and what are the challenges involved in making significant changes to it? 

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In 2017, Republicans will have control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. But one central New York Republican is warning his party not to get too cocky.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says the GOP needs to learn a lesson from the Obama administration.

"I think Obama overreached with a Democratic House, Senate and White House in his first two years in office. And he overreached with Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and some other things,” said Katko, referring to the financial regulation law more commonly known as Dodd-Frank.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The first female representative from the 22nd Congressional District is preparing to assume office. Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) was elected last month to serve the eight counties in the district that stretches from the eastern half of Oswego County to the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s some personnel shuffling going on in the higher echelons of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s lame duck administration.

The new man in city hall will be former Onondaga County Court Judge Joseph Fahey. He’s coming out of retirement to become Miner’s top legal advisor, as corporation counsel, and expects to weigh in on a number of things.

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President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act — also known as Obamacare — and replace it with something else. While no one really knows what that means, one health care analyst with a prominent Albany think tank said New York could be billions of dollars in the hole as a result.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

While New York would not be as greatly affected as other states if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, there could be some changes to the health exchange. Republicans, controlling the House, Senate and soon the presidency, are now positioned to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Regardless of politics, New York state will most likely continue with its New York State of Health official health insurance marketplace, according to Steve Wood, director of insurance programs at ACR Health in Syracuse. He said New York is committed to the program that grew out of the Affordable Care Act.

Upstate Medical University Hospital

Students at Upstate Medical University’s College of Nursing and other health profession programs have a new home in a brand new state-of-the-art building in Syracuse.

The $40.5 million, five-story academic building is tucked behind Weiskotten Hall and Silverman Hall just off South Crouse Avenue. Interim Nursing School Dean Don Simpson says it will offer opportunities for programs to grow in an already burgeoning field.

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To many adults, having health insurance is a no-brainer. It’s something you just have to have. And now under the Affordable Care Act, it’s required to have medical insurance, or pay a penalty. Even under the new law, the age group that’s the least likely to get insurance, is the healthiest.

This week on “Take Care,” Kevin Counihan, the CEO of healthcare.gov explains all the various options young people have to get insured. Healthcare.gov is the federal government’s marketplace exchange to buy health insurance.

Insuring young adults

May 13, 2016
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More young adults go without health insurance than any other age group. The Affordable Care Act made it possible for anyone up to age 26 to stay on his or her parent’s medical insurance. But how exactly does that work? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Kevin Counihan, the CEO of healthcare.gov, the federal government's health care exchange.

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The Affordable Care Act marketplaces have led to a bunch of new research. One study out this month looked at concentration of hospitals and insurance plans in New York and California.

The research on hospitals is pretty clear: fewer hospitals in a region means higher premiums.

But on a different metric, results varied state to state: the concentration of insurance plans available in a region didn’t have the same impact on insurance prices.

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Tens of millions of Americans have problems paying their medical bills. A quarter of Americans adults report that someone in their household had trouble budgeting medical expenses in the past year this includes people with insurance.

How to be a smart health insurance consumer

Jan 9, 2016
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It might seem like there’s nothing more confusing than choosing a health insurance plan. Insurance and health terms alike can seem like a foreign language. And all most consumers want is a plan that’s going to help keep them healthy without breaking the bank.

This week on “Take Care,” Erin Singleton helps translate the complicated world of health insurance. Singleton is chief of mission delivery at the Patient Advocate Foundation, a national non-profit that helps individuals resolve issues related to their medical diagnosis.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) thinks a major overhaul of the Affordable Care Act could be on the horizon. 

Katko says recent developments in Washington are not good news for the federal health insurance program. For example, the two-year moratorium on some of the taxes in place in conjunction with the program, like the Medical Device Tax. Katko says that along with failing state exchanges, and not enough younger people signing on to pay for the coverage older people use, all add up to change.

New York chooses not to adopt Obamacare change

Oct 23, 2015
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New York will not be one of the states to adopt a new rule change to Obamacare.

A law adopted by the feds early this month would allow states to redefine what constitutes a small and large business for health insurance requirements.

Originally, the Affordable Care Act allowed states to expand the definition of a small business to up to 100 workers.

But now federal officials are allowing states to keep that small business definition the way it is currently, up to 50 workers. And some business leaders support that decision.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A low-cost, low-co-pay health insurance plan is now available for low income earners in New York state. The Essential Plan offers ten health benefits for less than $20 a month for anyone making less than $24,000. Steve Wood of ACR Health said the plan is very affordable.

"No deductible. Very low co-pays," Wood said. "I think the highest co-pay is about $150 for a hospital stay. Prescriptions: very, very low cost. Everything else is very inexpensive."

An aging population and the Affordable Care Act help ensure the demand for physician assistants, physical therapists and other health care providers will continue, says Hugh Bonner, the former dean of Upstate Medical University’s College of Health Professions.

“Between 2000 and 2030, we will double the population of those 65 and older. We’ll go from essentially 35 million to 70 million people. That population also has a large number of individuals with chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes,” Bonner says.

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