Health Care

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is reacting largely along party lines to the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care.

President Obama will talk about the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act at 12:15 p.m. Listen to live coverage on NHPR, watch the address below, or here on WhiteHouse.gov.

View the live video stream here if you are experiencing difficulties.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/momentsnotice/3494085120/">massmatt</a> / Flickr

A look at the statements made by N.H.'s congressional delegation, state lawmakers and state politicians.

In one of the most widely anticipated decisions in recent history, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the sweeping federal law overhauling the nation's health care system is constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule today in the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Today is the last day of the Court's current term, and the ruling is expected to be released not long after 10 a.m. NHPR will bring you coverage through the day and the days ahead of what this highly-anticipated decision will mean. Join us today at 2:00 p.m. for a special edition of Talk of the Nation and check back at NHPR.org for updates.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fischerfotos/7432022562/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Mark Fischer</a> / Flickr

Updated at 10:41 a.m. The Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act. NHPR continues to bring you coverage throughout the day, and reports tonight on All Things Considered.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule today in the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Today is the last day of the Court's current term, and the ruling is expected to be released not long after 10 a.m. 

NHPR will bring you coverage through the day and the days ahead of what this highly-anticipated decision will mean.

While the future of the Affordable Care Act is unclear, some of the changes may be here to stay. President of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Jim Weinstein is focusing on the improvement of patient care over providing more care. NHPR's Dan Gorenstein reporting for Marketplace has more.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39794839@N03/5086437626/">HealthHomeHappy.com</a> / Flickr

Although Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) undergo virtually the same training as medical doctors, their services have hitherto not been covered by insurance companies in the state of New Hampshire. Two and a half years ago ND Bert Mathieson, frustrated by what struck him as “discrimination flat out,” got a sponsor for a bill that would change N.H. law. HB351 would require insurers in the state to reimburse naturopathic doctors, who emphasize illness prevention and lifestyle guidance rather than pharmaceutical or surgical procedures in their practice.

To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.

NH Senate Approves Reimbursements for Naturopaths

May 16, 2012

Doctors of naturopathic medicine would be reimbursed by health insurance companies under a bill passed by the New Hampshire Senate.

The Senate voted 16-8 Wednesday in favor of the bill. Opponents argued that the bill amounted to a mandate for insurers that would lead to increased premiums. Supporters argued it was a matter of fairness because insurers already reimburse other health care providers for providing the same services.

Christiana Care / Flickr/Creative Commons

The long projected shortage of nurses in the state has been temporarily resolved in recent years. Hospitals that used to be beggars have become choosers, by seeking to hire more nurses with bachelor degrees or even master’s degrees. While many in the field are eager to adapt and pursue higher education, others fear academic achievement is being favored over years of experience.  We look at this development and the broad challenges facing the field of nursing.

Guests:

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News Update at 2:54 p.m. Wed. May 9:  The Executive Council has passed a $2.3 billion contract that will overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid Managed care could significantly shake up service for some 140,000 N.H. residents. HHS officials believe this reform is critical. More details to follow on this evening's All Things Considered.

 

State and Managed Care company officials met today with the executive council to discuss the contract that would change the state’s Medicaid Program. The councilors have serious concerns, and many questions.

The $2.2 billion dollar proposed contract is the biggest in the history of the state. Supporters say Managed Medicaid would streamline services for the some 130,000 people in the program. Health-care providers worry the new contract may hurt their patients and their business.

US Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was in New Hampshire Tuesday to visit the site of the new Veterans Center in Hooksett. The new center, which will be completed in August, is part of an effort by the VA to help Vets gain better access to medical care and mental health counseling.

With its two-year anniversary passed, President Obama’s law is still finding its way.  Some parts are in place, but others are very much in play, especially with the challenge to it heard by the U. S. Supreme Court, and some states, including New Hampshire, resisting elements of the law.  We’ll talk with Granite Staters involved in this and see how they are adapting to this new law.

Guests

The historic legal arguments on the Obama health care overhaul came to a close at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, with key justices suggesting the court may be prepared to strike down not just the individual mandate but the whole law.

The major arguments of the day were premised on a supposition. Suppose, asked the court, we do strike down the individual mandate — what other parts of the law, if any, should be allowed to stand?

With the fate of the health law's insurance mandate in doubt, the last day of arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court became even more crucial to the future of the Obama administration's central legislative achievement.

After Tuesday's judicial fireworks, the Supreme Court wraps up arguments on the new health care law Wednesday by focusing on two questions. The first involves what would happen if the "individual mandate" — the core of the law that requires most people to have health insurance — is struck down. Would the rest of the law fall, too, or could some provisions stay?

Texas, Feds Face Off Over Planned Parenthood

Mar 28, 2012

Texas and the federal government are going at each other again, this time over Planned Parenthood.

The Texas Legislature cut off all Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood because of its involvement in abortions; in response, the federal government has suspended funding for the state's reproductive health program.

Now, Texas is suing the Obama administration.

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At the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, hostile questioning from key justices seemed to imperil the individual mandate, the central provision of the Obama health care overhaul.

The mandate requires virtually all Americans to have health insurance — through Medicare, Medicaid or employer-provided insurance, or, if you are not covered by any of those, through individual insurance that you pay for.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli seemed unusually nervous at first, asking for a moment to sip water to clear his throat. He had good reason for his nerves.

The U.S. Supreme Court signaled Monday that it likely will resolve the constitutional challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, sidestepping the procedural issues that could derail the case until 2015.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court hears its second day of testimony about the Affordable Care Act. At issue is a central tenet of that law: whether it's legal to require individuals to purchase health care.

But apart from the legal debate, there are questions about the economics of the mandate. Some — like Peggy Bodner of Portland, Ore. — worry it may be difficult to find the money to pay for health insurance, even with government subsidies.

The U.S. Supreme Court gets to the heart of the health care arguments Tuesday. Almost exactly two years after Congress passed the Obama health care overhaul, the justices are hearing legal arguments testing the constitutionality of the so-called health care mandate — so-called because those words actually do not appear in the law.

It's the hottest ticket in Washington, D.C. Even the flossiest lawyers in town can't get a seat. Senators, congressmen, Cabinet and White House officials are all vying for a place.

At the U.S. Supreme Court, people have been lining up for days, waiting to hear this week's historic oral arguments on President Obama's health care law. The arguments will last for six hours over a three-day period, the longest argument in more than 40 years.

When the U.S. Supreme Court hears challenges to the Obama administration's health care law this week, the arguments will be complex, with questions about states' rights, mandatory insurance, and Medicaid.

To introduce those concepts — and to give the rest of us something to do while the court hears six hours of arguments — we offer a word search game. The grid below features many words you'll likely hear this week, as NPR's Nina Totenberg reports from the court.

Free health clinics have long been places people turn to when they don't have health insurance or any money to pay for care. But the health law's expansion of coverage puts free clinics in uncharted territory.

While the law goes before the Supreme Court this week, health providers are already gearing up for a surge in patients with insurance.

Around the country, hundreds of free clinics have been established over the past 50 years to treat patients like Patsy Duarte.

 

An official with Obama administration came to Manchester today to tout the achievements of the Affordable Care Act.

At an event organized by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, New Hampshire residents told their stories of how the health-care law had improved their lives.

Specialty Hospitals Pass House

Mar 21, 2012

In a 198 to 161 vote, house members passed a bill that would allow for-profit specialty hospitals to avoid going through the certificate of need regulatory process. The bill also exempts these hospitals, most of which do not take Medicaid patients, from paying the state's Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

Opponents say the bill gives an unfair advantage to these for-profit specialty hospitals. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is eyeing New Hampshire as a location for a facility in the Northeast.

The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law.

Most of the president's speeches these days focus on jobs or gas prices. But the health care law is his signature achievement, and it always gets a mention at political events.

"Change is health care reform that we passed after a century of trying," President Obama said to cheers and applause from the audience at a recent fundraiser in New York.

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