America's Safety Net

By Direct Relief | A look at issues facing America's healthcare safety net.

MedStar faces tensions with community clinics over primary-care expansion in District

Officials at local community health clinics such as Mary’s Center in Adams Morgan are concerned as MedStar Health, a $4.2 billion nonprofit health-care system, expands into the areas they serve. Those clinics are worried they’ll lose their best-paying patients and be left with more uninsured …

Health Care

California struggling to enroll African Americans in Obamacare

Latinos aren't the only sore spot for Covered California heading into Monday's enrollment deadline for Obamacare coverage.<p>Very few African Americans have signed up statewide, and there's not much time to address the lackluster turnout. Wednesday, state officials reiterated that Monday remains the …

Doctors Say Obamacare Rule Will Stick Them With Unpaid Bills

Doctors worry they won't get paid by some patients because of an unusual 90-day grace period for government-subsidized health plans.<p>So several professional groups for doctors are urging their members to check patients' insurance status before every visit. Consumer advocates say these checks could …

Obamacare Enrollment Surges Past 5 Million

The Obama administration said 5 million Americans have now signed up for health insurance through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, the president signature legislation.<p>As we reported, the Congressional Budget Office had projected 6 million Americans would sign up for health care by …

Bloomberg.com

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Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries

American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following.<p>Last year, 64 percent of job offers filled through Merritt Hawkins, one …

3.3 Million Enrolled on Health Marketplaces, Including More Young People, Government Says

WASHINGTON — Nearly 3.3 million people have signed up for health insurance through the marketplaces established by President Obama’s health care law, and about one-fourth of them are young adults, the administration said Wednesday.<p>The administration reported a modest uptick in the enrollment of …

In Arkansas, ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Plan Could Be Derailed

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Last year, the Republicans who control this state’s Legislature devised a politically palatable way to expand Medicaid under President Obama’s health care law. They won permission to use federal expansion funds to buy private insurance for as many as 250,000 poor people instead …

Millions Trapped in Health-Law Coverage Gap

Earning Too Little for Health-Law Subsidies but Ineligible for Benefits Under Existing Medicaid Programs<p>BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Ernest Maiden was …

Insurance

Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?

The poor pay more.<p>According to a report put out this week by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service, about 68 million Americans -- more than a quarter of all households -- have no checking or savings account and are underserved by the banking system. Collectively, …

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“I feel like I was set up to fail”: Inside a for-profit college nightmare

Some schools feast on federal aid and don't care if the student can repay it. Here's one woman's tragic story<p>Jaqueta Cherry did not have a glittering GPA or a résumé loaded with internships and varsity letters. She dropped out of high school at age 17. But last fall, right after she received a …

Lead Generation

Percentage of Americans lacking insurance drops in January

The percentage of Americans who say they lack health insurance ticked down slightly in January, according to new data that appear to reflect the first effects of President Obama’s health law.<p>Gallup, which has regularly tracked Americans’ insurance status, reported Thursday that the share without …

LA Times

Which Fields Hold Jobs of the Future? Low-Paying Ones, Mostly

Elder care and other low-wage jobs will be among the fastest growing career fields over the next decade. Postal carriers and journalists might have a harder time finding work.<p>Personal-care aide will be the fastest growing job from 2012 to 2022, among categories with more than 25,000 positions, the …

Employment

The Female Face of Poverty

Fifty years after the War on Poverty began, millions of women are still struggling to get by.<p>Let me state the obvious: I have never lived on the brink. I’ve never been in foreclosure, never applied for food stamps, never had to choose between feeding my children or paying the rent, and never feared …

Women's News

Health Law Inspires Hope But Also Worry Among Those With HIV

Matt Sharphad high hopes for the nation’s health law. The self-employed health consultant is HIV positive and has been denied insurance in the past …

Health

LA Times

Thinking Outside the (Big) Box

When my wife and I first visited the supersize Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in 2008, we didn’t take time to stop for the lingonberry jam or meatballs. Soon after we walked in, we just wanted to leave. We realized that the place was a crowded, labyrinthine mess lacking the adequate amount of staff to …

IKEA

Medi-Cal braces for New Year's jolt as Obamacare kicks in

It's one of the next big hurdles for the Obamacare rollout: What will happen when hundreds of thousands of low-income Californians shift from county health plans to the state's huge Medi-Cal system on Jan. 1?<p>Judging from a similar surge in 2011, patients and physicians could see plenty of …

Beneath health law’s botched rollout is basic benefit for millions of uninsured Americans

Adam Peterson’s life is about to change. For the first time in years, he is planning to do things he could not have imagined. He intends to have surgery to remove his gallbladder, an operation he needs to avoid another trip to the emergency room. And he’s looking forward to running a marathon in …

Insurance

Obama administration relaxes rules of health-care law four days before deadline

The Obama administration on Thursday night significantly relaxed the rules of the federal health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they can buy bare-bones plans or entirely avoid a requirement that most Americans have health …

Insurance

LA Times

A Gap in the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act mandated that insurers cover dental care for children. Indeed, it was one of the 10 essential health benefits meant to set the bar for adequate health insurance.<p>But pediatric dental care is handled differently from coverage of other essential benefits on federal and state …

Errors Continue to Plague Government Health Site

Flaws Include Missing Customers and Inaccurate Eligibility Determinations<p>Insurers and federal officials sifting through insurance applications under …

Government

LA Times