It’s not a government takeover.
The new health law hands over to the federal government immense new powers, powers that will, over time, mean all important decisions about the organization and financing of American health care will need to meet the approval of federal agencies and bureaucrats.
Among the new federal powers created in the health law are the following:
The power to establish standardized insurance benefit packages from which all Americans must choose their coverage (see section XXXX). This means that everyone must conform with federal requirements regarding what is and is not covered by health insurance.
The power to include or exclude insurers from the marketplace based on any criteria the Secretary of HHS considers appropriate (see section XXXX). This means the federal government will have the power to pick winners and losers in the insurance marketplace.
The establishment of a new unelected and unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board with the power to unilaterally cut payment Medicare rates to providers of medical services (see section 3403).
“The rising cost of insurance affects people whether they purchase insurance through their employers or an exchange, since both depend on private insurers. If insurance costs go up, taxpayers also may end up paying more to foot the bill for the higher cost of subsidized insurance. This is particularly concerning since the administration has announced that it will be unable to verify whether applicants for subsidies actually qualify for them. The subsidies are likely to be very popular.”
“Health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross said it won’t participate in California’s new insurance market for small businesses. Anthem, a unit of WellPoint Inc., is California’s largest insurer for small employers. This surprising move could hamper the state’s ability to enroll businesses in its new exchange called Covered California that opens Jan. 1 as part of the federal healthcare law.”
“Despite a temporary reprieve from some of the new rules under the health care law, business owners are growing increasing anxious about its looming implementation at the end of the year, according to a pair of recent surveys. “
“The entertainment industry is already having difficulty determining whether employees can be considered full-time or part-time and is fearful of the fines it will face if it chooses incorrectly. Another issue the health law creates is the outsourcing of productions to foreign countries, since Obamacare’s regulations and fines don’t apply to US citizens abroad. Studios may find it much cheaper to film in another country and avoid the burden of Obamacare.”
“Obamacare may cost more than experts previously thought, according to a survey of 900 employers released Wednesday. As companies scramble to prepare for a wave of new health care rules that go into effect next year, an increasing number have become pessimistic about the cost, according to Mercer, a benefits consulting firm. Roughly one in five employers (19 percent) now expect that health care costs will rise by more than 5 percent as the result of the law.”
“It’s called the Affordable Care Act, but President Barack Obama’s health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels. That might seem strange since the law requires medium-sized and large employers to offer ‘affordable’ coverage or face fines.”
“You’ve heard of the ‘fog of war.’ Well, now we’ve got the fog of Obamacare. The controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) has so many moving parts that it’s hard to know how its implementation is proceeding.”
“Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans that can lack key benefits such as hospital coverage. Benefits advisers and insurance brokers—bucking a commonly held expectation that the law would broadly enrich benefits—are pitching these low-benefit plans around the country. They cover minimal requirements such as preventive services, but often little more.”
“Forty-eight percent of U.S. small-business owners say the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) is going to be bad for their business, compared with 9% who say it is going to be good, and 39% who expect no impact… Similarly, 52% of owners say the ACA is going to reduce the quality of healthcare they and their employees receive. This contrasts with 13% who feel it will improve the quality of care their employees get, and 30% who see no impact.”