Momentum is building for a House vote on the rarest of bills: bipartisan legislation to reform President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees, or PACE Act would tweak the employer mandate to shield larger businesses from stricter requirements.

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A year and a half after the Affordable Care Act brought widespread reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, Chicago’s Cook County Health & Hospitals System has made its first profit in 180 years.

Seven hundred miles south, the fortunes of Atlanta’s primary public hospital, Grady Health System, haven’t improved, and it remains as dependent as ever on philanthropy and county funding to stay afloat.

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Last week, Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he will bypass the legislative process and implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion by executive fiat.

Walker’s announcement should be no surprise to Obamacare proponents – after all, President Obama has maltreated his executive authority dozens of times to amend his signature law. But expansion may come as a shock to Alaska’s legislative leadership, who last month brokered an informal arrangement with the governor to put Medicaid expansion on hold until 2016.

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Small-business owners are descending on Washington this week to lobby Congress to roll back an ObamaCare rule that could hit companies with thousands of dollars’ worth of penalties.

About 150 small-business owners, organized by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), will head to Capitol Hill on Thursday to make the case to members from their states on legislation that would change the rule.

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Some analysts who have looked at health insurers’ proposed premiums for next year predict major increases for policies sold on state and federal health exchanges. Others say it’s too soon to tell. One thing is clear: There’s a battle brewing behind the scenes to keep plans affordable for consumers.

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Policymakers in Medicaid expansion states likely will try to wring some cash from hospitals starting in 2017 when the federal government no longer pays the full tab for the coverage expansion, experts say.

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The prime contractor hired to build Maryland’s flawed online health exchange will pay $45 million to the state and federal governments to avoid a lawsuit over its performance, Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Tuesday.

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It’s getting more expensive to be an employer and small business owners say that’s making it harder for them to make money.

The health care law, minimum wage increases and paid sick leave laws in some states and cities are increasing costs. Small companies also face the prospect of higher overtime expenses under a proposed federal regulation.

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At the paper mill in Longview, Wash., Kurt Gallow and his wife, Brenda, are worrying about his company’s proposed new health care plan, which would require workers to pay as much as $6,000 toward their families’ medical bills.

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Everybody knows if you don’t pay to repair your car, you limit its life.
The same is true with people. We need medical care to avoid becoming clunkers.
For a half-century, Medicare has enabled seniors to get that care. But now the Obama administration is pressuring hospitals to skimp.

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