“An insurer in Washington state selling plans under the Affordable Care Act is proposing to lower customers’ health premiums next year in what appears to be one of the first such decreases proposed for 2015.”
“In the midst of all the turmoil in health care these days, one thing is becoming clear: No matter what kind of health plan consumers choose, they will find fewer doctors and hospitals in their network — or pay much more for the privilege of going to any provider they want.”
“Whenever somebody says that an argument is settled, you can be sure that it is not. If it were settled, there would be no need to say so. No president will hold a press conference to announce that the argument over the prohibition of alcohol is settled, precisely because it truly is settled. So when President Obama declared the debate over his health-care law “settled” and “over,” as he did at an April 17 press conference, his performance was self-refuting.”
“Back in November, Republicans honed in on a new line of attack on the Affordable Care Act.
In the midst of the disastrous rollout of the health insurance exchange websites, the GOP not only got to frame Obamacare as broken and impossible to implement, but also leapt at the chance to paint it as a corrupt handout for one of the least popular parts of the health sector – insurance companies.”
“In the first look at how insurers plan to adjust prices in the second year under the federal health-care law, filings from Virginia carriers show they are opting for premium increases in 2015 that will pinch consumers’ pocketbooks but fall short of some bigger rate predictions.
The new premium proposals, detailed in official filings to the state’s insurance regulator, show health plans all opting for some increases.”
“A left-leaning think tank whose research is often taken seriously by backers of the health-care overhaul has published a paper suggesting the administration should scrap the health law’s requirement that employers offer coverage or pay a penalty.”
“Insurers who are not selling their wares on Washington, D.C.’s exchange have signaled they may sue to block a D.C. council plan to charge them a 1 percent annual tax on all health-related plans sold in the city. The revenue would pay for the continuing operation of online marketplace.”
The federal government will bear a disproportionate burden of premium increases in states with high rates of subsidized enrollees. Double digit premium increases are likely in many markets in 2014. Age distribution among enrollees varies by state, which may influence plans’ interest in each market.
“With enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges now closed, Democrats and their friends in the media are ebullient. Obamacare is an enormous success, they say, and conservatives have been humiliated. On closer inspection, however, things seem decidedly less bullish for President Obama’s signature achievement. “
“Our analyses as well as that of others find that eliminating the employer mandate will not reduce insurance coverage significantly,
contrary to its supporters’ expectations. Eliminating it will remove labor market distortions that have troubled employer groups
and which would harm some workers. However, new revenue sources will be required to replace that anticipated to be raised
by the employer mandate.”