health insurance

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

A closely divided Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case testing Trump administration rules that cut back on access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. The difficulty of the issues was illustrated by the fact that the arguments lasted 49 minutes longer than scheduled.

The U.S. Supreme Court has told the federal government that it has to pay $12 billion to insurance companies, money that was promised in the Affordable Care Act as part of the start-up costs of Obamacare in the first three years of its existence.

The law, as enacted, promised to limit profits and losses for insurance companies in the first three years of the Obamacare program. Some companies made more money than allowed by the formula, and had to pay some back to the government, and other companies lost money and were owed money by the government under the formula.

Nashville General Hospital is a safety net facility funded by the city. For a patient without insurance, this is supposed to be the best place to go in a city with many hospitals. But for those who are uninsured, it may have been the worst choice in 2019.

Its emergency room was taking more patients to court for unpaid medical bills than any other hospital or practice in town. A WPLN investigation finds the physician-staffing firm that runs the ER sued 700 patients in Davidson County during 2019.

Glenn Hurst didn't grow up dreaming of becoming a doctor. But eventually, he made his way into health care, taking a job placing doctors in small towns. Traveling farm country, he says, the work moved him in ways he didn't expect.

"To see the physicians in those communities helping those people stay in their fields, helping those people's families be safe ... I decided that I wanted to be part of something rural and I wanted to be part of health care," he says.

Health care has been a leading issue in the presidential campaign over the past year, as Democratic candidates have clashed with each other, and especially with President Trump. But voters, who tell pollsters that health is among their top concerns, also complain that the health debate has been confusing and hard to follow.

With voting about to begin in many states, here's a guide to some key health care terms, issues and policy differences at play.

Universal coverage, "Medicare for All" and single-payer are not the same thing

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

Just hours before President Trump addressed thousands of anti-abortion rights activists at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., his administration has given its attendees reason to cheer.

A doctor's office.
Robyn Wright / Pixabay

In a small house in South Bend, Ind., a family is getting ready for Christmas. The tree is up and everyone is laughing together, drinking something they call “Christmas Punch.”

After months of hearings and negotiations, millions of dollars in attack ads, full-court-press lobbying efforts and countless rounds of negotiations, Congress appears to be moving toward a solution to the nation's surprise medical bill problem. Sort of.

Surprise bills, the often-exorbitant medical bills that come when patients don't realize they've been seen by a provider outside their insurance network, have in recent months been viewed as public enemy No. 1 on Capitol Hill.

Rawpixel / Pexels

new study from Georgetown University Center for Children and Families revealed there are about 10,000 more uninsured 0-to-6 year olds than two years ago.

The James Cancer Hospital at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Ohio State University researchers have found that Americans with health insurance are paying soaring prices for out-of-network care. 

Federal law mandates insurers treat mental health services like they would physical health care. But the sponsors of a new bill in the Ohio Legislature say that’s not happening. 

Ohio lawmakers are proposing a bill that would eliminate an insurance provision known as "step therapy" for people diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.

Valeri Potapova / Shutterstock

The insurance company Ambetter, distributed in Ohio through the Buckeye Health Plan, is facing a lawsuit from four customers. The class-action suit could eventually include hundreds of plaintiffs.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

President Trump has made price transparency a centerpiece of his health care agenda. Friday he announced two regulatory changes in a bid to provide more easy-to-read price information to patients.

Maureen Corcoran is sworn in as Ohio Medicaid director by Gov. Mike DeWine in January.
Ohio Medicaid / Twitter

Ohio residents who will face work requirements to continue receiving Medicaid health care coverage won't lose their benefits until after they have spoken to a caseworker, according to a proposed state plan.

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