Among presidents in modern times, Barack Obama stands apart in the intensity of his remarks on Supreme Court cases, a soon-to-be published article in Presidential Studies Quarterly concluded.

Mr. Obama added a new data point on Monday, saying at a news conference that “under well-established precedent, there is no reason” the administration should lose a challenge to the Affordable Care Act pending before the court.

Details

The Obama administration is doubling down on the Affordable Care Act this week, as a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could dismantle the plan looms in the near future.

In a contentious House Committee on Ways and Means, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said President Barack Obama will not consider any GOP proposals to strike down the law’s insurance mandates.

Burwell acknowledged, however, that the administration would rely on Congress for a fix.

Details

The Obama administration is announcing Thursday a new preventive health campaign, aimed at helping people who are newly insured under ObamaCare as well as others, better understand and use their coverage.

The public awareness initiative, called “Healthy Self,” is intended to help people know about and use the preventive services that are available for free under the Affordable Care Act. It also encourages healthy decisions outside of the doctor’s office, like a good diet and quitting smoking.

The idea is that gaining coverage is not the end of the line.

Details

House Republicans sent a clear signal Wednesday that they wouldn’t preserve the health law in its current form if the Supreme Court guts a key provision, and the Obama administration responded with equal clarity that the states and Congress would be the ones responsible for resolving any fallout.

GOP legislators and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell set out their messages at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday, during a week in which both sides are fine-tuning their strategies on the case.

Details

A key goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help people get health insurance who may have not been able to pay for it before. But the most popular plans – those with low monthly premiums – also have high deductibles and copays. And that can leave medical care still out of reach for some.

Renee Mitchell of Stone Mountain, Georgia is one of those people. She previously put off a medical procedure because of the expense. But as the threat of losing part of her vision became a real possibility, she sought an eye specialist at Emory University, who told her she needed surgery to correct an earlier cataract procedure gone wrong.

Details

If House Republicans can make it over the first hurdle in their lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, their arguments might pose a serious threat to the healthcare law, some legal experts say.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer is now considering whether to allow the lawsuit to proceed or dismiss it for lack of standing on the House’s part. Collyer’s questions during oral arguments in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, along with her subsequent requests, have led some to speculate that she will grant the House standing and let the lawsuit move forward.

Details

The Obama administration’s top health care official said Wednesday that if the Supreme Court stopped the payment of health insurance subsidies to millions of Americans, it would be up to Congress and state officials to devise a solution.

“The critical decisions will sit with Congress and states and governors,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, said at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Details

This week, Hawaii pulled the plug on its state-created Obamacare exchange. Gov. David Ige (D) declared that the Hawaii Health Connector has been “unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.” The decision to kill the exchange will cost taxpayers $200 million, a relative bargain compared to the political-inspired fiasco that happened with the Oregon version of the Obamacare exchange — Cover Oregon.

Details

The Affordable Care Act has proved the need for health reform, but it also has proved the need for significant changes to the law to reflect Americans’ demand for more choices of more affordable health coverage. Despite the president’s claims, most Americans are seeing much higher costs for health insurance. They want secure coverage and access to care that meets their needs and the needs of their families, but they want the law to live up to its name of “affordability.”

Details

Understanding exchange populations — their demographics, biometrics, health risks, and chronic conditions — is at the core of health insurance management. Government, health plan, employer, and provider leaders know that to create product strategies and plan designs without this information is not just futile, it’s bad business.

Details