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

The financial failure of more than half the nonprofit health insurance companies created under the Affordable Care Act has handed Republicans a new weapon in their campaign against the health law, thrown the Obama administration on the defensive once again and left more than a half-million consumers in the cold.

Some observers might question the usefulness of ongoing policy discussion about health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. After all, as of January 2014, insurers are barred from excluding such conditions from their policies, even for short periods, by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Moreover, insurers are no longer allowed to charge higher-than-average premiums to consumers with higher-than-average expected health costs. In short, many would say the ACA has solved the problem, so there’s nothing more that needs to be discussed.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin is the president of the American Action Forum and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. He also served on President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. With the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces beginning their third open enrollment this week, Real Clear Health talked to Holtz-Eakin about what’s working, what’s not working, what can be done today to address problems with the law, and what should be on the agenda of a new administration in 2017.

Yesterday’s post discussed what we know about Obamacare as its third open enrollment season commences. Here are four major questions about the future of Obamacare that remain unanswered.

For the press, the debate over ObamaCare is over. There may be a few proverbial Japanese soldiers wandering on isolated islands yammering on about the failure of ObamaCare, but word will eventually filter down to them, too. This assumption is so deeply embedded that it is impervious to new evidence that ObamaCare is an unwieldy contraption that is sputtering badly. Yes, ObamaCare has covered more people and has especially benefited those with pre-existing conditions (to be credible, Republican replacement plans have to do these things, as well), but the program is so poorly designed that, surely, even a new Democratic president will want to revisit it to try to make it more workable.

Obamacare’s third open enrollment season kicked off yesterday, beginning the next chapter in its turbulent history. Today’s post discusses what we know about Obamacare. Tomorrow’s will discuss what we don’t yet know.

In a report on Sunday’s edition of “Full Measure,” Sharyl Attkisson and Scott Thuman examine the growing number of Obamacare co-op failures. With 11 of the 23 co-ops now collapsing, the story examines the real-life consequences for those who counted on them for health insurance.

For the press, the debate over ObamaCare is over. There may be a few proverbial Japanese soldiers wandering on isolated islands yammering on about the failure of ObamaCare, but word will eventually filter down to them, too. This assumption is so deeply embedded that it is impervious to new evidence that ObamaCare is an unwieldy contraption that is sputtering badly. Yes, ObamaCare has covered more people and has especially benefited those with pre-existing conditions (to be credible, Republican replacement plans have to do these things, as well), but the program is so poorly designed that, surely, even a new Democratic president will want to revisit it to try to make it more workable.

Obamacare’s third open enrollment season kicked off yesterday, beginning the next chapter in its turbulent history. Today’s post discusses what we know about Obamacare. Tomorrow’s will discuss what we don’t yet know.

Longtime opponents of the ObamaCare “Cadillac tax” met with lawmakers this week with a new message: We’re willing to compromise. In a fly-in visit with key members and committee staff, employer benefits lobbyists went in seeking a more politically viable solution than full repeal. Rather than eliminating the tax entirely, they pitched exempting the contributions that are made to employers’ health savings accounts, which could otherwise be subject to the 40 percent excise tax.