ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“The people who signed up for health coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina through the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace are older and sicker than expected, which could mean higher premiums in the future, the insurer said Thursday.”

“When the president said in his first inaugural address that middle-income Americans “will not see your taxes increased a single dime,” most still believed in his supreme powers to solve the nation’s toughest problems, including health reform, that had so thwarted his predecessors.”

“The most important, and uncertain, provision of Obamacare remains the individual mandate.

Obamacare’s authors believed it was crucial to the viability of the law to impose a new obligation on U.S. citizens and legal residents to enroll in government-approved health insurance. This new obligation was to be enforced by a penalty on the non-compliant, collected through the income tax.”

“Enrollees in some of the health law’s most popular plans will face high cost-sharing requirements that the pharmaceutical industry says could keep patients from getting the drugs they need.

Most silver plans in the online marketplaces, or exchanges, require patients to pay for prescription drugs as part of the plan’s deductible, while nearly all bronze plans do, according to a report from Breakaway Health prepared for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry’s trade group.”

“Two of the most controversial questions in health care reform are whether government-sponsored expansions of health insurance coverage like ObamaCare and RomneyCare save lives, and if so whether other policies could save more lives per dollar spent. “Changes in Mortality After Massachusetts Health Care Reform,” published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, presents evidence suggesting RomneyCare may have saved lives, but at a very high cost.”

“A new study gives ammunition to what health economists and health insurers have argued for years: When hospitals buy physician practices, the result is usually higher hospital prices and increased spending by privately insured patients.”

“The city council of Washington, D.C., voted Tuesday to allow a tax on all health insurers selling inside the district to fund its Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace.”

“The D.C. Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a broad tax on all health-related insurance products sold in the nation’s capital to solve a big money problem faced by its online health insurance exchange.”

“In recent opeds for the Los Angeles Register and the Orange County Register, I explain how ObamaCare’s requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions at the same price as healthy people dramatically reduces the risks associated with not having health insurance, and therefore creates a perverse incentive for people to drop their coverage and wait until they get sick to re-enroll.”

“The District’s health exchange has a problem — a big money problem.

Like the 14 states that started online marketplaces, the District faces a year-end deadline to prove its Web site can move past technology glitches to meet the next looming challenge in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act: financial self-sufficiency.”