ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

Some analysts who have looked at health insurers’ proposed premiums for next year predict major increases for policies sold on state and federal health exchanges. Others say it’s too soon to tell. One thing is clear: There’s a battle brewing behind the scenes to keep plans affordable for consumers.

It’s getting more expensive to be an employer and small business owners say that’s making it harder for them to make money.

The health care law, minimum wage increases and paid sick leave laws in some states and cities are increasing costs. Small companies also face the prospect of higher overtime expenses under a proposed federal regulation.

Everybody knows if you don’t pay to repair your car, you limit its life.
The same is true with people. We need medical care to avoid becoming clunkers.
For a half-century, Medicare has enabled seniors to get that care. But now the Obama administration is pressuring hospitals to skimp.

Americans who purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges should buckle up. Within the month, state regulators will begin approving premium hikes for plans sold in every state. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already released the premium increases that health insurers have requested for their 2016 plans. By law, insurers must receive regulatory approval for any increase more than 10%—and more than 10% is what many of them want.

About 6.6 million U.S. taxpayers paid a penalty imposed for the first time this year for not having health insurance, about 10 percent more than the Obama administration had estimated — though a portion didn’t need to.
The penalty of as much as 1 percent of income was implemented under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and was meant to encourage people to sign up for health insurance. The Treasury Department had said in January that as many as 6 million taxpayers would pay the fine.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), became law in 2010. It was designed to slow rapidly rising health care costs and to provide affordable health insurance to every legal resident in the United States.

Health Savings Accounts make a lot of sense–at least, on paper.

For account holders, they provide a triple tax advantage. Money set aside, earned or withdrawn from the accounts to pay for medical expenses is all held out of Uncle Sam’s reach. Also, any untapped money can be used to supplement retirement savings and pay Medicare costs after age 65. Plus, there is the added benefit that the accounts encourage consumers to sift through their health care options for the most cost-effective options, since any savings go directly to their bottom lines.

A coalition of K Street health giants are teaming up to fight the ObamaCare tax on high-cost insurance plans known as the “Cadillac tax.”

The newly launched campaign, called the Alliance to Fight the Forty, includes more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, insurance plans and unions including Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Laborers International Union.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make insurance, well, more affordable. But now hard results are starting to emerge: premium surges that often average 10% to 20% and spikes that sometimes run as high as 50% or 60% or more from coast to coast. Welcome to the new abnormal of ObamaCare.

Consumers with health insurance shouldered more of the expense for their medical care in 2014, but Florida and nearly every other state did little to require that prices for hospitals and doctors be made public — hindering comparison shopping and allowing dominant hospital systems and insurers to drive up costs overall, according to a report released Wednesday.

Florida was among 45 states that received a failing grade for neglecting to adopt laws that give patients the data they need to plan for their healthcare expenses, according to the report produced by two nonprofit groups, Catalyst for Payment Reform in California and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute in Connecticut.