health care

LaToya Dennis

President Obama came to Milwaukee Thursday to congratulate the city on beating out 19 others when it came to registering uninsured residents for health insurance.

The President championed his Affordable Care Act saying it has lowered the number of uninsured Americans to below 10 percent.

    

President Obama will visit Milwaukee Thursday to celebrate the city’s victory in the Healthy Communities Challenge.

The White House unveiled the challenge in November. Cities competed to sign up the greatest number of residents for the Affordable Care Act during the open enrollment period. Milwaukee generated the most impressive numbers, yet concerns persist.

guynamedjames, fotolia

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to get newly insured patients out of emergency rooms and into primary care doctors’ offices. But since the ACA went into effect, ER visits have spiked, and Wisconsin is leading the nation in non-emergency visits to the emergency room.

Why are so many patients who now have insurance still taking their aches a sprains to the ER?

Michael Coghlan / Flickr

The Zika virus outbreak has been at the forefront of health coverage recently, as Ebola, AIDS and influenza have been in the past. But controlling infectious disease isn’t the only global health concern. Inequality of access to health care is a prevailing problem in many parts of the world, and setting up the legal structures needed for countries to create equitable public health policies can be complicated.

The non-profit health system Ascension announced Thursday that it has signed a letter of intent with the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters. It proposes the transfer of all southeastern Wisconsin operations of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare to Ascension Wisconsin.

Ascension Wisconsin includes Columbia St. Mary's and Ministry Health Care in Milwaukee.

Wheaton Franciscan's operations in southeastern Wisconsin include the following hospitals:

A Milwaukee hospital is trying a new approach to get newly insured residents to stop using emergency rooms as their main source of medical care and develop relationships with doctors instead.

The pilot project at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, the only hospital left in a mostly poor, black area of downtown Milwaukee, is labor intensive. But it's showing promise in getting patients connected with primary care doctors and in cutting ER costs.

Steven Depolo / Flickr

The Wisconsin healthcare landscape is a crowded one.  A number of mergers and alliances have formed over recent years, with several major systems now dominating patient care in the Milwaukee area.

Gov. Scott Walker has long been an opponent of the Affordable Care Act. Now, he’s announced a plan to repeal and replace president Obama’s signature legislation, if elected president.

Walker calls the Affordable Care Act “a disaster,” and argues Americans don’t support it.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A few weeks have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act. The court’s decision affirmed the legality of subsidies the government provides to make health insurance more affordable.

It’s the latest legal hurdle the five-year-old law has cleared, however, questions still remain about how the latest ruling will be felt in places like Wisconsin, and about what the future holds for the healthcare landscape.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

    

The U. S. Supreme Court could rule soon on whether the Affordable Care Act can provide subsidies for millions of Americans.

The decision could affect Wisconsin and more than 30 other states that did not set up their own marketplaces. Their residents have had to buy plans on the federal exchange.

Fotolia, anyaberkut

Before the U.S. Supreme Court ends its session, it will rule on a case that could have a significant impact on health care in this country.

Aurora Health Care, Facebook

The health care environment in southeastern Wisconsin is a competitive one, with several major players vying for dominance. One of those players got a big dose of good financial news late last week.

Erin Toner

This year marks notable anniversaries for the country’s entitlement programs for seniors. Medicare turns 50 and Social Security turns 80. 

Federal leaders continue talking about ways to sustain benefits for older Americans because their numbers are growing.

Milwaukee area seniors offered ideas Monday at the Washington Park Senior Center.

Harold Omeig, who’s 70, says his monthly Social Security check from the federal government is all he has.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Monday marks the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s passage. Experts and politicians continue assessing the law’s impacts. WUWM’s Erin Toner caught up with UWM Prof. Owen Thompson, who studies the economics of health care. Thompson says some dire predictions, such as insurance premiums would skyrocket, have not come to pass.

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