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U.S. database for tracking Medicaid frauds falls short, auditor says

By M.B. Pell (Reuters) - A federal data-sharing system meant to prevent healthcare providers banned from one state's Medicaid program from billing another state's program isn't working as intended, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

U.S. extends Obamacare sign-up deadline in case of tech troubles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans in most states who tried to apply for medical coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law by a March 31 deadline but met with technical difficulties will get an automatic extension to enroll, officials said on Wednesday. The new federal guidelines apply to consumers in the 36 states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and its website, Monday is the cut-off date for choosing a health plan in 2014.

Virginia lawmakers recess without Medicaid, budget deal

By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Virginia's legislature has recessed without reaching agreement with Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe over a budget or Medicaid expansion. McAuliffe, a former Democratic Party fundraiser, and the Republican-dominated House of Delegates are deadlocked over a two-year pilot expansion of Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor the governor has proposed.

Virginia governor, lawmakers fail to reach Medicaid deal

By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Virginia's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, and the state's Republican-dominated House of Delegates on Monday failed to reach an agreement over Medicaid expansion during the first day of a special session called in hopes of reaching a budget deal.

Health care Q&A: Jobless and unable to afford health insurance, will I be fined?

WASHINGTON - The new health care law helps some people, hurts others and confuses almost everyone. Hoping to simplify things a bit, The Associated Press asked its Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus followers for their real-life questions about the program and the problems they're running into as the March 31 deadline approaches to sign up for coverage in new insurance markets. Two of their questions and our answers: CAN THEY FINE ME?

Arkansas Supreme Court overturns $1.2B judgment against Johnson & Johnson over drug marketing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Supreme Court tossed out a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson The high court ruled the state's Medicaid fraud law, which formed the basis of Arkansas' lawsuit, regulates health care facilities and that drug manufacturers, including Johnson The state alleged that the companies didn't properly communicate Risperdal's risks and marketed it for off-label use, calling the practices fraudulent. Johnson

U.S. administration says Obamacare enrollment tops 5 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. administration said on Monday that more than 5 million people have now enrolled in private health insurance under the program known as Obamacare, since open enrollment began on October 1. The tally is an increase of at least 800,000 enrollees since March 1, with volume rising as the six-month enrollment period approaches its deadline on March 31. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that enrollment could total 6 million, but private estimates have suggested a lower turnout.

U.S. says Obamacare covers married gay couples under family plan

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Married gay couples will be eligible for a family health policy under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, beginning in 2015, the U.S. government said on Friday, encouraging insurers to begin offering coverage this year.

Insurers must accept funds from U.S. program that helps HIV-AIDs patients

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - The lead agency for President Barack Obama's healthcare reform announced on Friday that it would require, rather than merely encourage, insurers that sell Obamacare policies to accept funds from a federal program that helps people with HIV-AIDS pay health insurance premiums.

GOP hits hard on Obamacare after House election, with sometimes suspect claims

WASHINGTON - Congressional Republicans attacked Obamacare with new ferocity but sometimes questionable veracity Thursday, energized by a campaign triumph in Florida that gave health care issues their first airing of the election year. "We're reminded this week that the American people are still concerned about the president's health care law," House Speaker John Boehner said at a news conference where he also challenged Obama to roll back pending cuts for private Medicare coverage plans.
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