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

Birthdays usually represent a time for celebration. But when it comes to Obamacare’s sixth birthday, partying is the last thing on Arizonans’ minds.

Six years after the so-called Affordable Care Act was signed into law, President Obama’s litany of failed promises continue to add up. Despite all his assurances, Americans who liked their health care plans couldn’t keep them, premiums have gone up – not down – and taxes continue to multiply.

That’s why it is no surprise that a February poll by National Public Radio and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found only 15 percent of people say that they have personally benefited from Obamacare, while 25 percent allege they have been personally harmed by the law.

The so-called “Cadillac Tax” is a 40 percent excise tax on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage that exceeds certain benefit thresholds, estimated to be approximately $10,800 for employee-only plans and $29,100 for family plans when the tax takes effect in 2020.

While the name may imply the tax applies to a few individuals with luxury health coverage, the truth is it extends much further. 175 million Americans – including retirees, low- and moderate-income families, public sector employees, small business owners and the selfemployed – currently depend on employer-sponsored health coverage and they are all at risk.

On behalf of the American Benefits Council, Public Opinion Strategies conducted a nationwide online survey of 1,200 registered voters from January 29 to February 3, 2016. These findings indicate that voter support for the “Cadillac Tax” is dwarfed by support for repeal.

Voters are more likely to re-elect their representative if they voted to repeal the “Cadillac” tax, though a majority of voters say it makes no real difference in their vote, a report out today from the American Benefits Council says.

Overall, 37 percent of voters said their congressman voting to repeal the tax would make them more likely to re-elect their representative, while 16 percent said it would make them less likely to do so. Still, 47 percent said the vote made no difference. The report was released by the Alliance to Fight the 40, a coalition of groups advocating to repeal the tax on high-cost health plans.

The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that health care is one of many issues that will be important to voters in the Presidential election, trailing concerns about the economy and jobs and leading concerns about another hot issue, immigration. Health care ranks higher for Democratic voters than for Republican and independent voters and is a higher priority for women than for men.

The Bureau of Insurance hoped to stem Community Health Options’ losses, partly by ending as many as 17,000 policies, but CMS rejected the temporary plan.

Eric Cioppa, the state’s insurance regulator, wrote in the letter to CMS, his bureau “would have acted to reduce membership, increase capital and thereby better protect the remaining (co-op) members and their health care providers from the risk presented by the type of losses experienced in 2015. Because CMS’s decision has precluded my ability to act as proposed, CMS now must share responsibility for the risk of an outcome we all very much hope to avoid.”

President Obama and the Supreme Court have effectively replaced the ACA with something we now call “ObamaCare.”

Unfortunately, ObamaCare doesn’t work much better than the ACA. ObamaCare is still causing Americans to lose their health plans, still driving premiums higher, and still causing their coverage to erode.

Obamacare turns six and Americans are left with broken promises. Millions have lost their healthcare plans, and, for those faced with narrowing provider networks, their choice of doctors is also shrinking.

The president’s broken promises have multiplied over the past six years and now we’re faced with rising costs, bigger middle class tax bills, design flaws and unworkable provisions. In 2017, we can, and must, do better.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the transformation of the nation’s health care system, HHS has gone from a minor regulatory player to the second most-burdensome regulator, measured by the amount of paperwork they pile on Americans, behind only the IRS.

In 2008, HHS imposed roughly 412 million hours of paperwork, up sharply from 152 million hours in 1995. By 2016, however, with the help of hundreds of new ACA regulations, HHS’s paperwork burden has increased to roughly 700 million hours, an increase of more than 300 million hours since President Obama took office.

Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey Wednesday, which revealed among Republicans, 26 percent named Donald Trump as the candidate they most trust to represent their views on the health care, while 21 percent picked Ted Cruz. Fewer registered Republicans named John Kasich. Independents surveyed were more likely to choose either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders than a Republican candidate, the report says.

Overall, the survey shows, health care is an important issue to a majority of registered voters.

Both the percentage of employers who offer insurance and the percentage of people covered will be important to watch as the changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to unfold. New coverage provisions and financial assistance provided in the ACA affect employers’ decision to offer coverage and employees’ decisions to take up any coverage they are offered at work. The employer shared responsibility provision, for example, requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to offer coverage to full-time employees and their dependent children or face a financial penalty.