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

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the House had the right to sue the Obama administration over billions of dollars in health care spending, a decision that poses a new legal threat to the health care law and gave congressional Republicans a victory in their claims of executive overreach by the White House.

Small businesses are the engines of the American economy, but it’s getting to the point where it is almost impossible for them to get ahead.

Soaring health costs are negatively impacting their ability to compete and still offer affordable health coverage for their employees. Since 2004, the average annual family premium in small firms increased 69 percent. Family insurance premiums for small firms increased from $9,950 in 2003 to $16,834 in 2014, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The problem is the economy rose at just a fraction of premium increases, creating an affordability gap many find too difficult to surmount.

According to a Sept. 3 report by Anna Wilde Mathews of the Wall Street Journal, Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health announced it will cut back its range of plans offered through the ObamaCare marketplaces.

Obama-era boondoggles operate on a far grander scale. Consider the massive 2009 “Stimulus” package and all those “shovel-ready” jobs that never materialized. Or the $536-million loan guarantee for Solyndra, shortly before the solar power company went belly up.

The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) is replete with bad policies. The so-called Cadillac tax is not one of them.

The tax, which would impose a 40% charge on the value of any employer-provided health insurance above $27,500 for a family, is set to be imposed in 2018. Politicians on both the left and the right have set their sights on repealing the provision. Several Republicans recently announced they would be introducing a bill to repeal it shortly after Congress is back in session, and they hope to bring it to a vote by year’s end.

Highmark Health said it would reduce its range of offerings on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, becoming the latest insurer to retrench amid steep financial losses.

The big Pittsburgh-based nonprofit company said it would continue to sell plans related to the federal health overhaul in all of the areas it currently serves, which span Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. But “we will have less products in the market overall,” said David L. Holmberg, the company’s chief executive, who said Highmark had lost $318 million on its individual health-law plans in the first six months of 2015, after rolling out a very broad array of options that had attracted many consumers with chronic conditions who required costly care.

The Obama administration will give three Planned Parenthood chapters a combined $1 million in grants to help sign up people for Obamacare.

The grants come as Republican lawmakers want to defund the women’s health organization due to a series of undercover videos detailing the donation of and compensation for aborted fetal parts.

Most of the 275 million Americans with health benefits probably see the logo on the corner of their insurance card and think that’s who has them covered. But for almost 100 million of them—the majority of Americans who get coverage through work—the true insurer is noted somewhere else: on their business card. It’s called self-insurance, and the Obama administration seems interested in curtailing the practice to shore up the Affordable Care Act’s health-insurance exchanges.

With the end of the Obama administration on the horizon, Republican presidential candidates—and members of Congress—are proposing ways to replace or repair the Affordable Care Act. Undoing the damage of ObamaCare may finally become a realistic possibility.

One of the strangest things about Obamacare is that it is trying to force millions of families to obtain the wrong kind of insurance. When they turn it down, these families often end up with no insurance at all.

As an alternative we propose to allow people to obtain a more limited type of insurance – one that better meets individual and family needs. This insurance would be less costly than ObamaCare insurance; it would pay the vast majority of medical bills the family is likely to incur; and it would at the same time protect the family’s income and assets.