health care

It wasn't that long ago that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act died once and for all in the Senate.

Mitch Teich

Despite the politically polarized climate, the U.S. Senate this week held bipartisan hearings on proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act.  The hearings come in the wake of a failed effort by the White House and GOP Congressional leaders to repeal and replace the law known as Obamacare over the summer.

The bipartisanship has been greeted by many as a welcome change, and some analysts are optimistic that it could lead to legislation that would make the AC work more smoothly.

In a moment of unexpected high drama, Republicans were stymied once again in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and they have John McCain to thank for it.

In the early morning hours Friday, the senator showed why he earned the nickname "Maverick" over his long tenure.

Jeramey Jannene / Flickr

Milwaukee’s place as a hub for human trafficking has attracted media attention both locally and internationally. The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirms that the city has a significant problem, especially when it comes to adolescents being trafficked.

But a number of organizations are undertaking efforts to alleviate the problem. Among them is Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, which is working to better educate medical providers in identifying and helping children who may be the victim of exploitation.

Washington State House Republicans / Flickr

Until a few days ago, Senate Republican leaders had been saying they hoped to vote on their version of the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act before the July 4 holiday.  That plan went by the wayside amid opposition to the secretly drafted legislation from Democrats and some Republicans, as well.

The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect. Even proponents of the law would agree with that.

In many parts of the country, there is only one insurer in the individual markets — and in a few, there are zero. Premiums have spiked, sending some people on the insurance exchanges hunting for new plans.

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

With their health care bill facing a perilous path, Senate Republican leaders have decided to push off a vote until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess, GOP aides confirm to NPR's Susan Davis.

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Updated at 6 p.m. ET June 23

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Friday became the latest GOP lawmaker to voice concerns about the Senate health care bill — a development that further complicates Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans," Heller said at a news conference back in Nevada.

Althouse

State lawmakers on the budget writing committee Thursday rejected Gov. Walker’s proposed switch to a self-insurance model for state employees. Instead, the panel came up with other ways to save money. One of those methods likely would lead to an increase in health care premiums for state workers.

It's morning meeting time at Our Place Day Services, a day center for adults with disabilities, housed in a small concrete and glass building on Lovers Lane in Slinger, Wis.

About 30 people are gathered here, around a long table, reciting the pledge of allegiance. One man paces alongside the table, another sits in a wheelchair a few feet away. There's a woman holding a baby in her lap and a friendly dog — a goldendoodle — wandering around greeting people with a sniff and a lick.

Nancy and Dan Gapinski of Glendale, Wis., remember a time when they couldn't really communicate with their own son.

"He used to not really have any kinds of conversations with us. He did a lot of echoing things that we said, and scripting from movies," Nancy Gapinski says as she and her husband wait for their son Ben's school bus to arrive. "A lot of times kids didn't know how to respond to him then, and didn't know what he was trying to say and conversations wouldn't really go anywhere."

Republicans are running way behind schedule.

In the dream scenario outlined by party leaders back in January, President Trump would have signed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, months ago. By early June, Republicans were supposed to be in the thick of overhauling the tax code.

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Last month, the House passed legislation intended to repeal and replace one of the Obama Administration's signature legacies: the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. Most analysts believe the bill, called the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, faces a very uncertain future in the Senate, which hasn't formally begun debate on the bill. 

As Congress moves forward with efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, some people in Wisconsin are holding their breath. They're uncertain -- or fearful -- about what to expect next.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, appeared confident last week. He said Congress would end former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"There is a fundamental and urgent choice at the heart of this debate," Ryan said, as the Wisconsin Republican persuaded colleagues before Thursday's vote.

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