The public could soon get a look at confidential reports about errors, mishaps and mix-ups in the nation’s hospitals that put patients’ health and safety at risk, under a groundbreaking proposal from federal health officials. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to require that private health care accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the steps being taken to fix them.
Though Republicans control both houses of Congress, many have stayed silent, at least on their websites. Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, put out a press release last week about a study of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, but nothing on health care. (You can see all of the statements in ProPublica’s Represent news app, which tracks votes and statements by members of Congress.)
Among members of the House, where the action is now focused, about 46 percent of Republicans have issued statements about health care reform from the start of the Trump administration to this week. Among Democrats, 67 percent.
As the debate to repeal the law heats up in Congress, constituents are flooding their representatives with notes of support or concern, and the lawmakers are responding, sometimes with form letters that are misleading. A review of more than 200 such letters by ProPublica and its partners at Kaiser Health News, Stat and Vox, found dozens of errors and mischaracterizations about the ACA and its proposed replacement. The legislators have cited wrong statistics, conflated health care terms and made statements that don’t stand up to verification.
ProPublica is working with other news organizations to collect and analyze letters and emails from elected officials to constituents on the Affordable Care Act, beginning with a misleading missive by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).
Abushamma was forced to make a choice by Customs and Border Protection agents: She could leave the country voluntarily and withdraw her visa — or she could be forcibly deported, which would have prevented her from coming back to the U.S. for at least five years. The latter also would have resulted in a permanent black mark on her immigration record.
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica This story was co-published with NPR’s “Shots” blog. For months, journalists and politicians fixated on the number of people signing up for health insurance through the federal exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act. It turned out that more than 5 million people signed up using HealthCare.gov by April […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Medicare spent $6.7 billion too much for office visits and other patient evaluations in 2010, according to a new report from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But in its reply to the findings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare, said […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Last week, federal health officials celebrated two milestones related to the Affordable Care Act. The first, which got considerable attention, was that more than 7 million people selected private health plans in state and federal health insurance exchanges. The second, which got less attention, was that some 3 million additional enrollees […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. One day very soon, the focus on Obamacare will turn from signing up new enrollees to quantifying the law’s success — or failure. The six-month open enrollment period, during which consumers sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act, is supposed to end today. But the U.S. Department of […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Much has been written (and will continue to be written) about the spectacular failure of health insurance exchanges in Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oregon and Maryland — all blue states that support the Affordable Care Act. All were woefully unprepared for their Oct. 1 launch, and unlike HealthCare.gov, the federal marketplace, they are […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. The first half of the Obamacare open enrollment period is over, and yesterday, federal health officials announced signup figures from the first three months. After a disastrous start, HealthCare.gov (which handles enrollment for 36 states) began functioning properly. It, along with state-run insurance exchanges, netted more than 2.1 million signups between […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. You aren’t alone if you’re confused about the deadline to sign up for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces. The deadline is — and has been — in flux. When the process began in October, consumers using HealthCare.gov, the federal marketplace for 36 states, had until Dec. 15 to pick a […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. The statistics released yesterday from Covered California could bode well for health insurance exchanges that have their act together. Although the California exchange enrolled 109,000 in October and November combined, the tally from the first seven days in December — 49,708 — is nearly three times the pace from a month earlier. Even […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. After a glowing news conference yesterday citing “night and day” progress on HealthCare.gov, I decided to log in this morning and take the website for a test drive, as I’m sure many others are doing. Early reports had been promising. What I found was hardly encouraging — long delays on loading […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. There’s good news flowing from the Golden State — and Peter Lee has a lot to do with it. Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, signed up more people in October than Healthcare.gov, the federal website handling enrollment for 36 states. During that month, 30,830 people enrolled in Covered California. By comparison, in […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Media reports about the Affordable Care Act have been dominated by two themes lately: The ongoing glitches with Healthcare.gov and the “rate shock” that some consumers now face after insurance companies canceled their policies. But come January, a second rate shock may hit and could produce more bad news for Obamacare. That’s when […]
by Charles Ornstein ProPublica. Less than a month after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he nominated Dr. Donald Berwick to lead its implementation as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Months later, when Congress failed to act on the nomination, the president used a recess appointment to install […]
A map of states with high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions that deem them medically uninsurable. Similar federally funded plans under the Affordable Care Act may not be shown here. (Source: National Association of State Comprehensive Insurance Plans) by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. “This is what keeps me up at night,” Tanya Case told me […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Today marks one month since the disastrous start of Healthcare.gov, the seriously impaired federal health insurance marketplace. And what a month it’s been. For the first 16 days, a federal government shutdown largely deflected attention from the website’s problems. But since then, three congressional hearings have been held — and more […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Many people have asked when we’ll know if the Affordable Care Act is a success or failure. Was it October 1, the date of the federal health insurance marketplace’s problem-filled launch? Or will it be the end of November, when Healthcare.gov is supposed to be fixed? Is it December 15, the last […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began unveiling its effort to fix Healthcare.gov, the home for the federal insurance marketplace. Part of that was a blog post soliciting comments from folks who have tried the site. “Most importantly, we want to hear from you, and make sure […]
by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. For many people without insurance, a key question raised by the Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act is whether states will decline to participate in the law’s big Medicaid expansion. Although the court upheld the law’s individual mandate to buy insurance, it found that the act could […]