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

The number of individuals on Medicaid, the joint state-federal health care program for low-income families and individuals, is projected to increase by about 14 million as a result of expanded eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the inception of the Medicaid program, each state has covered roughly one-quarter to half of the cost of its own Medicaid enrollees. Under the ACA, the federal government will bear 100 percent of the cost of expansion through 2016, working down to 90% by 2020 and thereafter. But in reality, a loophole known as the Medicaid provider tax, which allows states to artificially inflate Medicaid costs, will let states milk the federal government for up to 106 percent of the cost of new enrollees. This tax gimmick should be repealed.

Republican officials, after battling for years with Washington over ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, are testing a middle ground that could reshape the program – by making recipients pay for part of their health care.

Indiana has gone the furthest with this plan, but other states are enacting or debating similar measures.

Companies are shifting their attention to health coverage for their pre-65 retiree population and exploring the opportunities public exchanges provide this population, now that the Supreme Court has upheld subsides on the federally-facilitated health insurance marketplace.

Marilyn B. Tavenner, the former Obama administration official in charge of the rollout of, was chosen on Wednesday to be the top lobbyist for the nation’s health insurance industry.

Ms. Tavenner, who stepped down from her federal job in February, will become president and chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade group whose members include Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and many Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Customer service at the IRS hit new lows this year, just as taxpayers were grappling with a wave of identity theft and new requirements under President Barack Obama’s health law.

A report issued Wednesday by the National Taxpayer Advocate says the Internal Revenue Service has been hampered by years of budget cuts, which have diminished customer service and hobbled enforcement.

The federal exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act allowed fictitious applicants to maintain coverage and re-enroll this year, according to a report by a congressional watchdog group that raises questions about the marketplace’s ability to detect fraud.

New analysis from Avalere finds that the average provider networks for plans offered on the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) include 34 percent fewer providers than the average commercial plan offered outside the exchange. The new data quantifies anecdotal reports that exchange networks contain fewer providers than traditional commercial plans.

Consumers who bought insurance on the health exchanges last year had access to one-third fewer doctors and hospitals, on average, than people with traditional employer-provided coverage, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

Tax season is a pain in the neck for millions of people, but many Americans this year may be getting a pass from unpleasant questions—or even an audit—from the Internal Revenue Service about their compliance with Obamacare.

A leading tax audit defense company said its clients so far are seeing a surprisingly low rate of queries tied to the Affordable Care Act this year—the first in which Americans were asked to disclose their health insurance status.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the Senate will consider using a fast-track budget procedure to repeal some of Obamacare but declined to say when that may take place.