“For Democratic lawmakers who were hesitant to sign onto the sweeping 2010 health care law, one of the most powerful selling points was that the Affordable Care Act would actually reduce the federal budget deficit, despite the additional costs of extending health insurance coverage to the uninsured.
Four years after enactment of what is widely viewed as President Barack Obama’s key legislative achievement, however, it’s unclear whether the health care law is still on track to reduce the deficit or whether it may actually end up adding to the federal debt. In fact, the answer to that question has become something of a mystery.”

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“One in five Americans now gets their health insurance through the Medicaid program, new data released by the Obama administration Wednesday show.

Enrollment in the program has grown quickly in states expanding the public insurance program as part of Obamacare. Those states had 15.3 percent more enrollees than they did before the Medicaid expansion. Non-expansion states’ Medicaid programs have grown by 3.3 percent over the same time period.”

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“The federal health-care law was intended to create a uniform standard of health coverage across the U.S. But the law also is creating opportunities for states to pursue their own solutions.”

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“Colorado’s exchange managers have triggered confusion among their own finance committee board members on the eve of a critical vote Monday over future spending and revenues.

Health News Colorado on Thursday reported that board members were concerned that exchange managers had spent $10 million over the past year to sign up about 8,000 people through face-to-face enrollment centers.”

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“The board of Connect for Health Colorado will consider Monday whether to begin charging insurance carriers $1.25 a month for each policy on their books to generate more than $13 million for the state health exchange.”

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“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for the repeal of “every blessed word of ObamaCare” in a fiery speech to a crowd of conservatives in Texas on Friday.”

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“While an unprecedented 6 million people have gained Medicaid coverage since September, mostly as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1.7 million more are still waiting for their applications to be processed—with some stuck in limbo for as long as eight months, according to officials in 15 large states.”

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“Colorado health exchange managers spent $10 million over the past year on a statewide assistance network that generated about 8,000 sign-ups for private health insurance.

Board critics pressed managers on the wisdom and sustainability of spending about $1,250 per customer for the face-to-face help centers.”

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“It wasn’t supposed to work this way, but since the Affordable Care Act took effect in January, Norton Hospital has seen its packed emergency room become even more crowded, with about 100 more patients a month.

That 12 percent spike in the number of patients — many of whom aren’t actually facing true emergencies — is spurring the Louisville hospital to convert a waiting room into more exam rooms.”

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“A huge new paperwork headache for the government could also be jeopardizing coverage for some of the millions of people who just got health insurance under President Barack Obama’s law.

A government document provided to The Associated Press indicates that at least 2 million people enrolled for taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance have data discrepancies in their applications that, if unresolved, could affect what they pay for coverage, or even their legal right to benefits.”

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