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Posted inHealth

Medicare Savings Program cuts delayed by two months

Updated at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday
Lowered eligibility limits for the Medicare Savings Program, which uses Medicaid money to help low-income residents pay medical costs Medicare doesn’t cover, were supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, but the Department of Social Services said Wednesday it will slow down implementation of the changes in response to concerns raised by the enrollees, advocates and legislators.

Posted inHealth, Politics

Senate fails to repeal Obamacare

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans failed early Friday to win approval of a “skinny” bill they hoped would grow into a full-fledged repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, putting an end to efforts to eliminate Obamacare, at least for now. The dramatic vote in the middle of the night is a boost to Connecticut Democrats who fought the GOP campaign to repeal the ACA.

Posted inPolitics

DeLauro fights political winds with book making case for social safety net

WASHINGTON — Three years ago, veteran Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro felt compelled to do one of the few things she had never done before – write a book. The result is “The Least Among Us: Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable,” a smooth read about her fight to protect the social safety net and her battles with both Republicans and Democrats who disagreed with her position or her approach. We talk to her about it in this week’s Sunday conversation.

Posted inHealth, Politics

Trump pick to run Medicare, Medicaid has red-state policy chops

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Seema Verma, a health care consultant, to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and has a budget of just under a trillion dollars in 2016.

Posted inHealth, Politics

Insurers uncertain as Congress looks to repeal Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON– Caught off guard by the political changes that make possible the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s insurers are hoping Congress will replace the health care law with something that allows them to stay in business – and even thrive. “The discussion right now about repeal and replacement is making the (insurance) market very, very nervous,” Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, said.

Posted inHealth, Politics

Medicare fees to drop sharply as Senate falters on ‘doc fix’ bill opposed by CT senators

Updated at 10:43 a.m. Friday
WASHINGTON – The Senate’s failure to act on a bill, opposed by Connecticut’s senators, means fees paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients will drop sharply at the end of the month. If Congress, which left on a two-week Easter recess, acts as soon as it returns, the government says it may be able to avoid the fee cuts.

Posted inPolitics

Courtney took a moderate path in 113th Congress

WASHINGTON – When Congress considered legislation that would give President Obama authority to train and arm Syrian rebels last summer, Rep. Joe Courtney was the only member of the Connecticut delegation to support it. The vote was one of several instances in which the lawmaker split with his colleagues in the 113th Congress. (This is the second in a series of stories on the role each member of the Connecticut congressional delegation played in the 113th Congress.)