Want to know how many people have signed up for private insurance under Obamacare? Like the health care law itself, the answer is complicated.
The Obama administration is tracking the number of plans purchased on HealthCare.gov and on the state exchanges, and this month reported that it had exceeded expectations by signing up 7.5 million people. In addition, federal officials have said that 3 million people have enrolled in Medicaid this year.
Medicare's release Wednesday of records of millions of payments made to the nation's doctors comes as the government is looking to find more cost-efficient ways to pay physicians, particularly specialists.
The federal government published data tracing the $77 billion that Medicare paid to physicians, drug-testing companies and other medical practitioners throughout 2012, and the services they were being reimbursed for.
Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.
If you're uninsured, you may haverun out of time. Monday was the official deadline to sign up for health insurance on the marketplaces or face a penalty, unless you were already in line for enrollment.
Still, people who missed the cutoff have options to get the health care services they need, though they may not be simple or assured.
With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.
But experts say the national numbers actually don't mean very much.
If you want to trace Americans' fear of fat, the place to start is the U.S. Senate, during the steamy days of July 1976.
That's when Sen. George McGovern called a hearing to raise attention to the links between diet and disease.
And what was the urgency? The economy was booming, and many Americans were living high on the hog. A 1954 Capitol Hill restaurant menu offers a glimpse of what lunch looked like then: steak with claret sauce, buttered succotash and pineapple cheesecake. But soon, that prosperity began to cast a dark shadow within the halls of Congress.
We're just five days away from the March 31 deadline to sign up for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. For weeks, administration officials, including the president, have insisted that there would be no extensions to the scheduled end of the six-month open enrollment period.
But now there's some wiggle room. Let's review, shall we?
Start with the key question: Is Monday still the deadline?