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

A few months ago, Tracy Raymond, a first-grade teacher in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, discovered that she was too fat for her school. A 50-year-old mother of two, Ms. Raymond has always carried around extra padding, but it never bothered her. “I know I’m heavier than I should be for my height, but I’m not obese,” she says. “I really don’t care.”

If the diet police has its way, she might have to start caring. Because according to her employer, her weight is a big problem—so much so that she was warned that if she didn’t lose weight and lower her cholesterol, either by participating in a wellness program or fixing the problems on her own, her insurance premiums would increase by $50 a month.

In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be read to authorize tax credits for the purchase of health insurance in exchanges established by the federal government lest the ACA’s other reforms destabilize the individual health insurance market in states served by federal exchanges. In “King v. Burwell and the Triumph of Selective Constitutionalism,” Michael Cannon and I dissect the court’s reasoning in King, highlighting the court’s abandonment of textualist principles (as others have noted) and the court’s reliance on a highly selective use of context to support its ultimate conclusion.

CBO and JCT have completed a preliminary estimate of the net budgetary effect of eliminating the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance and associated penalties established by the Affordable Care Act. We estimate that eliminating that requirement and the associated penalties would reduce the deficit by about $305 billion over the 2015-2025 period. That total consists of a $311 billion decrease in direct spending partially offset by a $6 billion decrease in revenues. Please see the attached table for year-by-year budgetary effects and a summary of the effects on health insurance coverage.

Repealing ObamaCare’s individual mandate would save about $300 billion over the next decade while driving the nation’s uninsured rate back up to 2013 levels, according to new federal budget estimates.

Government health departments would save about $311 billion over 10 years if Republicans successfully repealed the mandate, which requires nearly all adults to purchase healthcare or pay a penalty.

An ObamaCare program could be penalizing certain hospitals for serving more poor patients, according to a study released Monday.

The study focuses on an ObamaCare program that docks a hospital’s Medicare payments if its readmission rate is above a certain level. The program is meant to provide a financial incentive for hospitals to improve the quality of care and cut down on costly readmissions, in which a patient must return to the hospital after a procedure.

A Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) is a calculation used to loosely gauge the efficiency and profitability of a health insurance plan. The measurement determines what portion of the money consumers pay in premiums is spent on providing health care services or improving the quality of care delivery. A higher MLR is thought to indicate a higher quality insurer because a larger portion of the company’s funds are spent on providing care. However, this is not necessarily the case if an insurer succeeds in keeping a healthier-than-expected risk pool.

Unsurprisingly there are more problems with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that await members of Congress coming back from their August recess.

Topping the list of issues is a provision in Obamacare that changes the definition of “small employer” from “50 or fewer employees” to “100 or fewer employees,” starting January 1, 2016.

The healthcare sector is undergoing a secular consolidation as payers and providers assume a historic level of mergers and acquisitions. These trends were underway prior to implementing the Affordable Care Act. But there’s little question that ACA hastened them.

President Obama says he will veto any legislation that amends or repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), his signature legislative achievement, either in whole or in part. But GOP congressional leaders in both House and Senate promised their colleagues that they would use a special parliamentary procedure called “reconciliation” to bypass a certain filibuster by Senate Democrats to put a full repeal bill on the president’s desk anyway.

Joel C. White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, and Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, have written to members of Congress seeking oversight of the co-op program. All but one of the 22 co-op created under the ACA have produced negative net income, despite $2.4 billion in federal taxpayer funding. This is a misuse of taxpayer money and a disservice to patients who have lost health insurance coverage due to co-op failure.