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

For the first time, the Obama administration has deployed an important new power it has under the Affordable Care Act: proposing to pay doctors and hospitals based on the quality of care they provide, regardless of whether they want to be paid that way.

Millions of Americans have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, but there’s one area where enrollment has significantly dragged. Few small businesses are getting coverage through the law’s online insurance exchange.

The Affordable Care Act has survived another Supreme Court challenge. While the political debate over the future of the ACA is far from over, especially with a presidential campaign underway, key questions about its constitutionality and core coverage provisions have been resolved. So now what?

Democratic lawmakers are questioning whether they should heed constituent concerns or remain loyal to their party as they decide the fate of the medical device tax outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

Constituents argue the tax kills jobs and stalls innovation while Democratic strategists say the tax is a proverbial thread that, if pulled, could ultimately unravel the entire law.

July was supposed to be the big month for Obamacare repeal in Congress.
But Senate Republicans are downplaying expectations that they’ll use a powerful budget tool called reconciliation to undo Obamacare through a simple majority vote this summer — and conservatives are none too pleased.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/senate-obamacare-repeal-no-deadline-119872.html#ixzz3fUfhoDew

House Republicans are threatening to subpoena documents related to an ObamaCare program at the center of their lawsuit against President Obama.

The Republican chairmen of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees on Wednesday released a letter to the administration reiterating a request made in February for documents related to the program.

A federal district court judge recently held that the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) large employer mandate to provide minimum essential coverage does, in fact, apply to Indian tribes.

The Affordable Care Act lives to see another day. Late last month, the Supreme Court upheld the distribution of subsidies, as well as the mandates and penalties attached to them, in the 34 states that use the law’s federal healthcare exchange.

Yet despite this decision, one thing remains painfully clear: The Affordable Care Act isn’t working for millions of Americans. No ruling from the Supreme Court can change that fact.

Congressional Republicans see a repeal of a tax on medical devices as their best opportunity to chip away at the Affordable Care Act after the Supreme Court’s recent decision turning away a challenge to a key component of the law.
The House has already voted to repeal the tax, and Senate Republicans are weighing the best timing for a vote to undo the levy, which helps underwrite the health law.

The urge to merge is sweeping managed health care. Aetna announced Friday a $37 billion deal to acquire Humana. Anthem and Cigna are in merger talks and could be next. The national for-profit insurers are on an anxious mission to consolidate. These combinations will sharply reduce competition and consumer choice, as five big insurers shrink, probably, to three.