The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
Now that Paul Ryan is the presumptive new leader of the House of Representatives, what happens next? The single biggest domestic policy issue the country faces is Obamacare. So far, Republicans in Congress haven’t done anything very useful in addressing it. The House has voted 54 times to repeal some or all of Obamacare – knowing all the while that none of these votes would go anywhere. Yet neither the House nor the Senate has held a single serious hearing on the worse defects in the health reform law.
The House on Friday passed a budget bill that would dismantle key parts of Obamacare and strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood for a year. House members voted 240-189 to pass the bill, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for all Americans to obtain health insurance and for employers to offer it to their workers. It also would end a tax on medical devices.
You must have heard the scary scenarios. I have repeated some of them myself. Obamacare threatens to impose a burden on the workplace that is the equivalent of a $6.00 an hour health minimum wage. Employers will lay off workers. Employees will lose their jobs. Failure to provide health insurance will result in a $2,000 or $3,000 fine for every employee affected. The survival of entire industries – fast food restaurants and hotels in particular – will hang in the balance.
Wyoming’s second largest health insurance company is closing down.
The state Department of Insurance announced Wednesday that WINhealth will shut down Dec. 31 because of financial problems. The company has been in business since 1996.
State Insurance Commissioner Tom Glause says the state will help some 13,800 people covered by WINhealth plans to find new insurance.
Morning Consult conducted a national survey of 1,543 registered voters on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable from September 24-27, 2015. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ±2.5% (Charts/Toplines/Crosstabs).
Top Republicans on Capitol Hill’s health committees are asking the Obama administration to lower payment rates for insurers who benefit from a controversial “reinsurance” program in the Affordable Care Act.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and House Education and Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) sent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a letter Tuesday, obtained by Morning Consult, calling for reduced reimbursement and to allow certain plans to not participate.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.” This bill would gut the major provisions of Obamacare and essentially make it unworkable. It’s a bill that conservative House Members should support. H.R. 3762 is a net spending cut, a net tax cut, and would reduce the national debt.
While most of the media have tuned out and the chattering class has mostly moved on, a recent article by Megan McArdle in Bloomberg View, “Obamacare delivers. Just not very much,” reminded me that the calamity that is Obamacare can’t be swept under the rug. It is clear nothing will keep President Obama from declaring victory on every front, but the fact is, Obamacare is a bust. As a result, the next president will be confronted with the reality that at the end of the day, all Obamacare amounts to is a convoluted expansion of Medicaid that we can’t afford.
The catastrophic failure of Obamacare’s launch is now far in the past. But the public’s acquiescence to a law that keeps creating new problems should not be taken as a sign of enthusiastic acceptance, much less as a sign that Obamacare is working.
The important thing is how each of Obamacare’s current problems — skyrocketing premiums, lower than expected enrollment, and the collapse of several cooperative plans — is related to the others.
After five years, two midterm disasters, and a rollout that reminded Americans why they fell out of love with big government in the 1970s, reality has finally begun to dawn on some Democrats about Obamacare. With open enrollment about to start and a third straight round of premium spikes about to hit voters’ pockets, the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate has offered a “major break” with the Obama administration on its signature domestic policy achievement.