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

“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.”

“President Obama’s health care law requires employers to offer health benefits to full-time employees. This employer mandate will price many unskilled workers out of full-time employment. After paying the new health premiums, the minimum wage, payroll taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes, hiring a full-time worker will cost employers at least $10.03 per hour. Full-time workers with family health plans will cost $13.75 per hour. Employers who hire workers with productivity below these rates will lose money. Businesses employing less skilled workers will probably respond by dumping their employees onto the federally subsidized health care exchanges and replacing full-time positions with part-time jobs.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Tuesday that it has awarded $28.8 million to 67 community health centers with funds from the Obamacare health reform law. Of that $28.8 million, ‘approximately $8.5 million will be used by 25 New Access Point awardees to target services to migrant and seasonal farm workers,’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Spokeswoman Judy Andrews told CNSNews.com. HRSA is a part of HHS. Andrews said that grant recipients will not check the immigration status of people seeking services.”

“While everyone was watching the debt-ceiling debate, the Department of Health and Human Services announced mandatory coverage of contraceptives (including ones that may act as abortifacients) and sterilization in new insurance plans, with the narrowest of conscience protection.”

“One proposed departmental rule deals with what may become a centralized database containing patient medical records and pharmaceutical claim information. It’s an extremely technical issue but Section 153.340 of a new HHS proposed rule dealing with Obamacare mandates that individual states (or the department) collect ‘raw claims data sets’ from all insurers on all people with private coverage purchased either individually or through small employers, which includes that obtained from the new state exchanges the law requires be created.”

“In a truly market-based insurance exchange, women would be able to choose a health plan that met their needs and was consistent with their values, and those who wished to forgo certain benefits would have the freedom to do so. If any attempt at health reform is to succeed at reducing costs and tailoring coverage to the specific needs of each individual, it must ensure that consumers are able to choose the plan and benefits that work best for them, rather than submitting to the decisions of a bureaucratic board.”

“Another unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care law has emerged: Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories could pay widely different amounts for private health insurance due to a quirk of the complex legislation. Those differences could be substantial. A 62-year-old could end up paying $1,200 a year more than his neighbor, in one example. And experts say the disparities among married couples would be much larger.”

“A new article in Health Affairs brings attention to the problem of ‘churning’ in the eligibility requirements for subsidized ObamaCare. The study by Benjamin Sommers and Sara Rosenbaum looks at how often people will fall in and out of eligibility for, on one hand, Medicaid for people up to 133% of the poverty level, and on the other hand, subsidized coverage for those up to 400% of poverty in the Exchange.”