The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
HealthCare.gov, the federal ObamaCare exchange, has just released 2016 ObamaCare plans, and there’s little doubt about which insurer is the most aggressive on premiums to win customers. Centene (NYSE:CNC) will offer the cheapest bronze plan and the two cheapest silver plans in many of the big markets where its Ambetter Health plans compete, trumping Blue Cross, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Cigna (NYSE:CI).
Opponents of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul are taking yet another challenge to the law to the Supreme Court, and say they will be back with more if this one fails. A new appeal being filed Monday by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends the law violates the provision of the Constitution that requires tax-raising bills to originate in the House of Representatives.
They are the 10.5 million people eligible for Obamacare coverage who, two years since enrollment began, still haven’t signed up through the insurance marketplaces created for Obamacare. Experts agree that these will be the hardest people to convince to buy healthcare coverage. They’ve remained uninsured through two signup seasons, because they don’t believe they can afford it, don’t think they need it, or haven’t heard about it.
ObamaCare’s image of invincibility is increasingly being exposed as a political illusion, at least for those with permission to be honest about the evidence. Witness the heretofore unknown phenomenon of a “free” entitlement that its beneficiaries can’t afford or don’t want.
Tens of thousands of people with modest incomes are at risk of losing health insurance subsidies in January because they did not file income tax returns, federal officials and consumer advocates say. Under federal rules, anyone who receives an insurance subsidy must file a tax return to verify that the person was eligible and received the proper amount of financial assistance based on household income.
Jeb Bush has lately been defending his brother George — the former president — against Donald Trump’s criticism, and George is raising funds for Jeb’s presidential campaign. What all this fraternal support obscures is the extent of the policy differences between the two. Despite his reputation for moderation, on issue after issue Jeb has taken positions that are significantly to the right of his brother’s — and of every other president in recent memory.
Three states are firing the latest volley in the court battles over ObamaCare with a new lawsuit filed Thursday over the law’s fee on health insurers.
Texas, joined by Kansas and Louisiana, is suing the Obama administration over the alleged “unconstitutional Obamacare tax.”
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are vowing to oppose any fast-track bill repealing only parts of ObamaCare, narrowing the path for the legislation to pass the Senate.
The House is set to vote on Friday on a bill under a fast-track process known as reconciliation that would repeal several parts of ObamaCare. The reconciliation process allows a measure to pass the Senate with 51 votes, instead of the usual 60, and get through to President Obama’s desk, where it would face a veto.
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.