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CBS News
Thu, 2014-12-18
Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus: Fifty-two percent of Americans say they find basic medical care affordable, but that's down from 61 percent last December. Today, for 46 percent of Americans, paying for medical care is a hardship, up 10 points. Similarly, just over half of Americans are at least somewhat satisfied with their health care costs, while 43 percent are dissatisfied. Americans are feeling the cost of their health care. Fifty-two percent say the amount of money they pay for out-of-pocket health care costs -- those not covered by insurance -- has gone up over the past few years, including a third who say those costs have gone up a lot. Most attribute the rise of out-of-pocket costs to more expensive medical treatment, rather than an increase in the amount of treatment they are receiving. Even though a majority of Americans are able to keep up with their medical costs, some cannot.
Fox News
Thu, 2014-12-18
WASHINGTON – Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Obama's health care law, the insurance industry says it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January. America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade group, says the voluntary steps include a commitment to promptly refund any overpayments by consumers who switched plans and may have gotten double-billed by mistake. Though the HealthCare.gov website is working far better this year, the industry announcement highlights behind-the-scenes technical issues between the government and insurers that have proven difficult to resolve. Last year's enrollment files were riddled with errors, and fixing those has been a painstaking process.
Investors' Business Daily
Tue, 2014-12-16
Over the past year, the ranks of people working part-time jobs by choice — as opposed to business-driven factors — has grown by more than one million, the fastest pace in at least two decades. The timing with ObamaCare's first year of subsidies to buy health insurance is likely more than coincidental. While analysts on the left and right have sparred over whether businesses have shifted to part-time jobs to limit liability under ObamaCare, no one disputes that the law will lead more people to choose to work part-time. Any disagreement is over whether the law should get credit for making less work possible or blame for making work less financially rewarding. The number of people working part-time for noneconomic reasons in November was up 1.15 million, or 6.1%, from a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Vermont Watchdog
Tue, 2014-12-16
By Bruce Parker | Vermont Watchdog Jonathan Gruber’s health care forecasting is failing in Colorado as Vermont’s Gov. Peter Shumlin prepares to use the economist’s math for single-payer health care. As Vermonters anxiously await a Gruber-modeled financing plan for Green Mountain Care, modeling done for Colorado’s health exchange by Jonathan Gruber Associates has proven wildly erroneous. In 2011, following Colorado’s decision to set up a state health exchange for Obamacare, the state hired Gruber to forecast enrollment trends from which the state and federal government could estimate costs. According to a presentation delivered to the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Board on Sept.
The Wall Street Journal
Mon, 2014-12-15
By Stephanie Armour: Some free health clinics serving the uninsured are shutting their doors because of funding shortfalls and low demand they attribute to the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion. Nearly a dozen clinics that have closed in the past two years cited the federal health law as a major reason. The closings have occurred largely in 28 states and Washington, D.C., which all expanded Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for low-income people, and are being heralded by some clinic officials as a sign the health law is reducing the number of uninsured. Continued at... http://www.wsj.com/articles/health-law-hurts-some-free-clinics-1418429551
Lesley Clark, McClatchey
Sun, 2014-11-16
"The White House looked to distance itself Thursday from critical remarks made by one of the architects of President Barack Obama’s health care law, who suggested the law benefited from a lack of transparency and the ignorance of the American voter. In videos that have surfaced, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber has been quoted as saying the “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage," in seeing the complicated law passed. "Call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever,” he said in the video from a conference in 2013. “But basically, that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. I wish we could make it all transparent. But I'd rather have this law than not.""
The Daily Signal
Thu, 2014-11-06
"Fox News’ Megyn Kelly grilled House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., about whether a Republican-controlled Congress would seek to repeal Obamacare. After repeated questions from Kelly, McCarthy said, “I would press for [a vote to repeal Obamacare] when we have ability to replace it at the same time.”"
Lisa Schenker, Modern Healthcare
Tue, 2014-11-04
"Healthcare stakeholders and the public likely will have to wait at least another week—if not longer—to find out whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear King v. Burwell, a case with the potential to severely disrupt implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The justices were scheduled last Friday to discuss whether to hear the case, but on Monday morning it was announced that they took no action. Shortly after that announcement, the court's website showed that the justices had scheduled another private discussion about the case, which is called relisting."
Julian Hattem, The Hill
Thu, 2014-10-30
"The House Science Committee has issued a subpoena for former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park over his role in developing HealthCare.gov. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the subpoena for the Obama administration’s former top tech advisor, demanding that he testify about his oversight of the ObamaCare website, including its security protocols. The subpoena comes after Park’s previous refusals to testify and his recent cancellation of a meeting with House lawmakers after it became clear that the briefing would be public, the committee said."
Jessica Chasmar, Washington Times
Thu, 2014-10-16
"The producer of a new movie that criticizes Obamacare has reportedly become the latest prominent conservative slapped with an IRS audit. Logan Clements, producer of “Sick and Sicker: ObamaCare Canadian Style,” announced via press release Tuesday that he is being audited for the first time ever."
Edmund F. Haislmaier, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Nina Owcharenko and Alyene Senger, The Heritage Foundation
Mon, 2014-11-10
"The need for health care reform has never been questioned by health care policy analysts on either side of the political spectrum. Furthermore, the broad goals of controlling costs, improving quality, and expanding access are widely shared. Yet, while both sides agree that reform is necessary, the policy solutions differ dramatically, most importantly on the question of who controls the key decisions in health care. During the public campaign in support of President Obama’s health plan, the President made numerous promises to the American people about the law’s effect on everyday Americans. Four years into its implementation, it is growing ever apparent that these promises have all but vanished. Four Heritage Foundation health policy experts detail the five main promises that President Obama broke, and present a fresh way for sustainable and patient-centered, market-based health care reform."
Bianca DiJulio, Mira Norton, Mollyann Brodie, Elizabeth Wilner and Mitchell West, Kaiser Family Foundation
Fri, 2014-10-31
"Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the law has been an often potent and divisive political issue, and has sparked an unprecedented amount of political and campaign advertising, particularly from candidates and groups that oppose the law. According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), no other federal program or policy has resulted in the kind of advertising the ACA has caused, namely the combination of new insurance “product” advertising and sustained political advertising across multiple election cycles."
Caroline F. Pearson, Avalere Health
Wed, 2014-06-04
"A new analysis from Avalere Health finds that consumers in exchanges receiving federal assistance to reduce their out-of-pocket costs may experience inconsistent reductions in spending depending on the plan they choose."
Caroline F. Pearson, Avalere
Thu, 2014-05-22
"A new analysis from Avalere Health finds that individuals choosing an exchange plan based on premiums are most likely to consider plans from Coventry (acquired by Aetna in 2013), Humana, and WellPoint in regions where they participate."
Matthew Eyles, Avalere
Wed, 2014-05-14
"According to a new Avalere Health analysis, 17 of the 26 states that did not expand Medicaid in the first three months of 2014 still reported growth in Medicaid enrollment, ranging from 0.1 percent in Texas to 10.1 percent in Montana. Since these states had decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility levels under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these numbers show the impact of the “woodwork effect,” which is when individuals who were previously eligible, but not enrolled in Medicaid, newly sign up as a result of increased outreach and awareness. These enrollees may place a strain on state budgets, since states are required to contribute to the cost of their coverage based on traditional Medicaid matching rates."
Alexander Bolton
The Hill
Wed, 2014-12-03
Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the coauthors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill. The Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, laments the complexity of legislation the Senate passed five years ago. He wonders in hindsight whether the law was made overly complicated to satisfy the political concerns of a few Democratic centrists who have since left Congress. “We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill.
James C. Capretta
National Review
Tue, 2014-12-02
In the 2014 midterm elections, opposition to the Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare — was a clear political winner. That’s obvious from the election results themselves but also from polling that consistently finds that far more of the electorate disapproves of the law than approves of it. It is therefore to be expected that the incoming Congress, fully under the control of the GOP, will vote on a straight repeal bill, probably very early in next session. In the House, such a bill will pass easily. But in the Senate, Democrats will control at least 46 seats in the new Congress, giving them plenty of votes to filibuster most legislation they oppose. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that the repeal legislation will die in the Senate and therefore never get sent to the president for a certain veto. Perhaps that’s just as well, because repeal without a replacement plan is not the best long-term position for ACA opponents anyway.
Bruce Parker
Vermont Watchdog
Mon, 2014-12-01
Vermont lawmakers say they’re skeptical of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s forthcoming single-payer financing plan because it relies on economic modeling provided by Jonathan Gruber. As Shumlin gets ready to present a health-care financing plan to the Legislature in January, key lawmakers who will decide its fate are saying Gruber’s explosive video confessions severely damage the proposal. “How could anyone trust this man who has said with arrogance that the lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American people is why Obamacare and related individual state health-care reform has passed?” state Rep. Mary Morrissey, R-Bennington, told Vermont Watchdog. Morrissey, a member of the House Committee on Health Care, said the issue was too important to keep Gruber on as a consultant in Vermont, even if he’s no longer being paid. “How could anyone put a person like Mr.
Noah Rothman
Hot Air
Sat, 2014-11-29
"There are certain laws of political physics that just cannot be ignored for long. All the bravado about minuscule midterm turnout or audacious executive actions out of the White House cannot forever mask the fact that two disastrous midterm election cycles have sapped the Democratic Party of authority. In 2015, the party will be in one of the weakest positions it has been in nearly a century. As Democrats begin to internalize that suboptimal reality, the effects are spectacular beyond Republicans’ wildest imaginings. On Tuesday, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said aloud what many Democrats had been thinking privately for years when he observed that the party “blew the opportunity the American people gave them” by focusing on passing health care reform amid a recession in 2009 and 2010. Schumer admonished Democrats for being myopically consumed with addressing “the wrong problem” at the time.
Christine Rousselle
Townhall
Sat, 2014-11-29
"The holiday shopping season kicks off tomorrow with Black Friday, the annual mad-dash for good deals and early-morning sales. This year, shoppers in a few states will see something new this year at shopping malls--and its not exactly a hot new store. It's...Obamacare. In an effort to boost floundering enrollment numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken to partnering with retail stores, pharmacies and websites to promote the open enrollment period, which lasts until Feb. 15. Enrollment workers will be present on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to tell shoppers about how to sign up for a plan on the exchange."

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