(Photo: Charles Dharapak AP) Battle over funding of the health care law is expected next month. Oct. 1 is the deadline for establishing health care exchanges in all 50 states. SHARECONNECT TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE WASHINGTON President Obama on Friday called a GOP effort to repeal his signature health care law an “ideological fixation” but stopped short of saying how he would react to Republican threats to shut down the government over the issue. The comments, which he delivered at a news conference where he touched on a broad range of issues, come ahead of what is expected to be a difficult budget battle with Congress and a possible government shutdown as Republicans again attempt to repeal Obama’s health care law by defunding it. The battle over funding will kick into high gear next month when Congress returns from recess and will have about four weeks to come to terms on a budget or face a government shutdown. The Obama administration is also facing an Oct. 1 deadline to establish health care exchanges in all 50 states, a key facet of the law. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has led the defunding call, which has support from Sens.
UPDATE 1-U.S. Congress wins relief on Obamacare health plan subsidies
The amendment’s author, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, argued that if Obamacare plans were good enough for the American public, they were good enough for Congress. Democrats, eager to pass the reforms, went along with it. But it soon became apparent the provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs. This caused fears that staff would suddenly face sharply higher healthcare costs and leave federal service, causing a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill. But Wednesday’s proposed rule from the OPM, the federal government’s human resources agency, means that Congress will escape the most onerous impact of law as it was written. The OPM said the federal contributions will be allowed to continue for exchange-purchased plans for lawmakers and their staffs, ensuring that those working on Capitol Hill will effectively get the same health contributions as millions of other federal workers who keep their current plan. The problem surrounding the Obamacare language for Capitol Hill staff was the subject of intense negotiations in recent weeks between House and Senate leaders and the Obama administration. Some Republicans immediately slammed the OPM decision, using it as fuel for their campaign to turn public opinion against Obamacare just as its core provisions are due to go into effect. “While the administration has handed out waiver after waiver and exemption after exemption for the well-connected in Washington, they have done nothing to lower health care costs for families in Michigan,” said Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
Mercy Health System of Maine selects Allscripts for outsourced revenue cycle management
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