Affordable Care Act

Texas Considers More Abortion Limits After Clinic Closures

Apr 29, 2015
David Martin Davies / TPR News

AUSTIN — Two years after Texas adopted sweeping abortion restrictions despite Wendy Davis’ star-making filibuster, Republicans are pushing a smaller encore of additional limits for new Gov. Greg Abbott to sign within the next month.

New battlegrounds over abortion access for minors and insurance don’t pack the same impact of a 2013 measure that would leave as few as eight abortion facilities in Texas if a federal appeals court upholds stringent new clinic standards. That decision is potentially still weeks out.

But while other conservative states such as Kansas and Tennessee have moved to the front line of national abortion politics, Texas Republicans are signaling they are far from finished. One bill up for discussion Wednesday would hold doctors or counselors criminally liable if they were found to have coerced a woman into ending a pregnancy. It was proposed by a first-term Republican who says she was pressured into an abortion as a teenager.

Ryan E. Poppe

A Senate committee at the State Capitol has taken up a bill that would allow Texas to opt out of coverage for abortions under insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act, but some members of the Senate State Affairs Committee see the bill as an effort to make abortions uninsurable.

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

Survey: Nearly 9 In 10 US Adults Now Have Health Insurance

Apr 13, 2015
Ryan Poppe

WASHINGTON — Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday. As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage.

Whether the new number from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index turns out to be a high-water mark for President Barack Obama’s health care law, or a milestone on the path toward his goal of getting virtually all U.S. residents covered, remains to be seen.

The law’s future is still up in the air, and will turn on factors ranging from an upcoming Supreme Court decision on consumer subsidies to actions by Republican leaders in states opposed to Medicaid expansion.

The Gallup-Healthways survey found that the share of adults who lack insurance dropped to 11.9 percent for the first three months of this year, the lowest level since that survey began its tracking in 2008.

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

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