The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and will likely continue to be for some time, despite opponents’ best efforts to get it thrown out in court.
But what the law will look like a few years down the line is anybody’s guess. In fact, the landmark legislation has already been changed significantly since it was originally enacted more than five years ago.
Mercy will be the 58th rural hospital to close in the United States since 2010, according to one research program, and many more could soon join the list because of declining reimbursements, growing regulatory burdens and shrinking rural populations that result in an older, sicker pool of patients. The closings have accelerated over the last few years and have hit more midsize hospitals like Mercy, which was licensed for 75 beds, than smaller “critical access” hospitals, which are reimbursed at a higher rate by Medicare.
In 2009 and 2010 President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius designed and championed the largest expansion of the welfare state since the New Deal with little more than political force and broken promises. While the American people are forced to accept Obamacare until it can be repealed, the Supreme Court empowered states to accept or reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. So far 20 states have said no.
A Daily Caller News Foundation analysis found multiple factors contributed to the Nevada co-op’s termination, including political cronyism, insider dealing and the lavish lifestyles of key executives. The Las Vegas Review-Journal called it a “toxic mix.”
One of the least-reported substantial policy victories in recent years was stopping Obamacare’s insurer bailout through last fall’s CRomnibus bill. Now we can attach a price-tag to that victory: $2.5 billion. That’s how much taxpayers would have been funneling to President Obama’s insurance-company allies if the bailout hadn’t been thwarted, according to Obama administration officials. Insurers were hoping for $2.87 billion but, thanks to the anti-bailout legislation, which required Obamacare’s risk-corridor program to operate in a revenue-neutral manner, rather than as a bailout, they will be getting only $362 million—the same amount that other insurers paid in.
Hillary Clinton has officially joined the hue and cry for repealing the “Cadillac tax,” a controversial but important Obamacare provision slated to take effect in 2018.
Despite the cutesy vehicular nickname, this tax is actually on high-cost health insurance plans (those costing at least $10,200 for a single person and $27,500 for families). It’s no wonder that Clinton, like other poll-sensitive or perhaps misguided politicians, has come out against it: This tax, like so many other taxes, has proved hugely unpopular, repelling an unholy alliance of unions, businesses and the public at large.
Health insurers will lose about $2.5 billion because patients covered through President Barack Obama’s health law last year were sicker than expected, according to government figures released late Thursday.
The Department of Health and Human Services released updated numbers for a program that helps stabilize premiums in the health care law’s insurance markets, which offer taxpayer-subsidized private plans. Under that program, insurers whose medical claims costs were lower than expected pay in money to help insurers whose costs were higher.
On the same day Hillary Clinton backed killing ObamaCare’s “Cadillac tax” on high-cost plans, Paul Ryan’s House Ways and Means Committee voted to kill it too.
The real news will be if a politician not named Obama comes out in favor of it. It’s so unpopular among unions that even Vice President Joe Biden, if he enters the race, will likely run from it.
Now that the effects of Obamacare have begun to sink in, we’ve seen rapid consolidation among health-care providers and insurance companies. Out-of-pocket health-care costs have skyrocketed. Medicaid patients are having much more trouble finding doctors. And millions have been kicked off their health-insurance plans or had their health care disrupted. Given the disastrous consequences of this deeply flawed law, we believe the American people deserve to have Congress employ budget reconciliation yet again, this time to repeal Obamacare.
The similarities between the original Hillarycare and Obamacare are striking. Both plans were built around the concept of “exchanges” — originally called “Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperatives” in Hillarycare. Both plans relied on an employer mandate. Both had minimum federal benefit requirements, and federal preemption of the traditional state role in the regulation of health insurance. Both saw an extensive role for federal agencies in establishing the health benefits that a consumer must have access to, and those services that wouldn’t be available.