“If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan,” President Barack Obama said repeatedly during the debate over his healthcare reform bill, hoping to allay fears that the bill, if passed, would force individuals into different health insurance plans or force those plans to change.
The Catholic Church has launched a crusade to take America "back to the Dark Ages" by way of a "ruthless political Inquisition," according to a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The organization, whose legal status is that of a tax-exempt educational charity, ran a full page ad in the New York Times on Friday, March 9, urging Catholics to leave the church over the effort by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops to gain an exemption for religious-affiliated institutions from the government mandate for coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization as part of any employee healthcare plan.
While fielding questions from the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health regarding President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius alleged that a reduction in U.S. pregnancies will offset the costs for employers and insurers to comply with a new mandate requiring all healthcare plans to cover sterilizations, contraception, and abortifacient drugs. "The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception," Sebelius stated, and the estimated cost will go "down not up."
On Thursday the U.S. Senate rejected a measure that would have provided conscience protections for individuals and institutions opposed to President Obama’s mandate requiring employers to provide free access to contraception in their health insurance coverage — including abortion-inducing drugs.
A Texas doctor was arrested Tuesday for allegedly "selling his signature" to process nearly $375 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims in a scheme that was carried on for half a decade; $350 million was improperly billed for Medicare and $24 million for Medicaid. In what is being characterized as one of the largest healthcare scams organized by a single doctor, critics are suggesting that the development only solidifies the fact that the government’s Medicare and Medicaid fraud detection system is gravely flawed.