BRIEFING: HEALTH CARE
A look at the issues that President Barack Obama faces in his second term. Up now: health care.
Aside from the fact that Mitt Romney isn't taking the presidential oath today, the biggest disappointment for many Republicans is their inability to overturn "Obamacare."
Ever since the president's health care overhaul was enacted in 2010 — without a single GOP vote in Congress — Republicans vowed to kill it. Their hopes were wounded when the Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012, and then dashed when Obama won re-election in November.
Republican leaders in some states are trying to limit the law's reach, while others are yielding.
States must decide whether to set up online insurance markets for individuals and small businesses to shop for subsidized private coverage, or let the federal government handle the task. States also must decide whether to expand Medicaid, the health program for low-income people
The federal government will pay the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years, gradually phasing down to 90 percent of the cost after that. Even at those generous rates, however, some GOP governors and state legislatures say they fear being stuck with long-term costs.
—Charles Babington — Twitter: http://twitter.com/cbabington
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