The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
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.
When the House of Representatives filed a lawsuit last year contesting President Obama’s implementation of ObamaCare, critics variously labeled it as “ridiculous,” “frivolous” and certain to be dismissed. Federal District Judge Rosemary Collyer apparently doesn’t agree. On Wednesday she ruled against the Obama administration, concluding that the House has standing to assert an injury to its institutional power, and that its lawsuit doesn’t involve—as the administration had asserted—a “political question” incapable of judicial resolution.
The federal court ruling Wednesday that Congress can sue the President may eventually be seen as the beginning of an historic constitutional watershed. Now that we’ve had the chance to digest the opinion, we’d say it has the chance to restore the separation of powers that President Obama has so often subverted.
The White House isn’t likely to wait long to challenge Wednesday’s ruling allowing House Republicans to sue the Obama administration for spending federal funds on the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing assistance.
The administration is expected to seek what’s called an interlocutory appeal, which would allow a higher court to consider the issue of whether the House has standing to sue before the lower court addresses the merits of the case.
Just when you thought that any further Obamacare lawsuits involved things like contraceptive mandates rather than anything at the law’s core, today a federal judge ruled that Speaker of the House John Boehner’s case against the HHS and Treasury secretaries can proceed. In a highly technical 43-page opinion, Judge Rosemary Collyer found that the House of Representatives has standing to sue these officials and their agencies for spending money on ACA implementation that Congress didn’t authorize.