The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers

“Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, says that a new health-care regulation ‘strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.’
That’s what she said when announcing that religious non- profit groups would have one year to start offering what she called ‘recommended contraceptive services’ in their employees’ insurance plans. Only churches, narrowly defined, are exempt: Religious hospitals and universities are not.”

“A handful of Senate Democrats have split with President Obama’s controversial birth-control mandate and slammed the administration’s requirement that church-affiliated employers cover contraceptives.
The five Democrats in the Senate expressing concern about some parts of the administration’s policy include, most recently, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bill Nelson of Florida, who have spoken publicly about their unhappiness with the mandate.”

“The political furor over President Obama’s birth-control mandate continues to grow, even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms, and one needn’t be a theologian to understand why. The country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the Obama health-care plan, and Americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty.”

“The hard truth is that the federal government cannot be trusted today with these kinds of decisions, and there’s no prospect of that changing anytime soon. That’s a big reason why Obamacare should never have been allowed to pass in the first place. Just the sight of Catholic leaders’ being forced to go begging before federal officials ought to be enough to convince most Americans that handing over so much power over such sensitive matters to the federal government was a terrible, terrible mistake.”

“As a result, all but a few employers will be forced to purchase coverage for contraception, abortion drugs and sterilization services even when they seriously object to them. All who share the cost of health plans that include such services will be forced to pay for them as well. Surely it violates freedom of religion to force religious ministries and citizens to buy health coverage to which they object as a matter of conscience and religious principle.”

“We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but the Obama administration has decided to move forward with its mandate that private insurance companies must provide ‘free’ coverage of contraception and sterilization procedures, as well as an abortion pill called ‘ella’–which is much friendlier sounding than its ‘close chemical relative’ RU-486.”

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the new health reform law — contains financial incentives for the states to establish health insurance exchanges where qualifying individuals and small businesses can purchase subsidized, individual health insurance, starting in 2014.
The structure of the exchange subsidies will encourage low-income workers to congregate in companies that do not provide insurance and high-income employees to work for firms that do provide it.”

“A new technical analysis by Oliver Wyman estimates that the new health insurance tax in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ‘will increase premiums in the insured market on average by 1.9% to 2.3% in 2014,’ and by 2023 ‘will increase premiums 2.8% to 3.7%.'”

“Marriage penalties from taxes in general and from the new healthcare law in
particular fall into two categories, disincentives to marry and disincentives to
work. Lower-income individuals will be primarily affected by the interaction
between government-provided health insurance credits and the poverty line, and
upper-income married taxpayers will face earnings losses due to increases in the
Medicare tax on earned and unearned income.”

“The law links the tax credit to household income. So two people whose combined income goes above a certain level will not be able to get a tax credit if they are married and file together. But if they get divorced or stay single they might, individually, be eligible for a premium credit. Giving people pause about marriage could be a big ‘unintended consequence’ of the law, the report says. The committee asked the Joint Committee on Taxation to crunch some marriage numbers. The JCT found that 2 million of the nearly 60 million married couples in the U.S. will end up qualifying for the tax credit.”