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

“In the blink of an eye, Obamacare enrollment numbers through August fell from 7.3 million to just under 7 million — a level that dips overall enrollment under 2013 enrollment projections from the Congressional Budget Office. How’d it happen? In short, the administration combined Obamacare medical plan enrollment with dental plan enrollment for those August numbers — while previous reports had kept the two numbers distinct.
Here’s how the Department of Health and Human Services reported enrollments in a report last April. This shows only the last line of enrollments, but the number of plans with data on “metal level” (that is, the quality of the plan), is fairly close to the overall number of enrollments. Underneath, the number of people who got standalone dental coverage. 8 million; 1.1 million.”

“Of all the taxes in ObamaCare, none is more onerous than the whopping 40 percent Cadillac tax on the more generous employer-provided health care plans, which often are union plans.
The now-famous former outside adviser on ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber of MIT, spoke about the Cadillac tax before an audience at the Pioneer Institute in 2011, saying, “It turns out politically, it’s really hard to get rid of. And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it’s a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.””

“The White House continued to distance itself from a controversial adviser Tuesday, suggesting that Jonathan Gruber had a narrow role focused on economic issues when he worked on the development of the Affordable Care Act.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Gruber, who received about $400,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services for his work, advised the administration on the economics of health care – not on the logistics of getting the law passed.”

“Retired Dallas police Sgt. Tom Wafer recently received a call from a commander that “shocked the fool” out of him: The city can’t let him or any of his fellow retirees watch police surveillance camera feeds anymore when the year is over because of an obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act.
City officials say they had to cut Wafer, 74, along with two dozen other retired officers because the health care law put them in a costly bind. The layoffs also affect a few other city agencies but hit the Dallas Police Department hardest.”

“Any plan Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration presents for expanding Medicaid would have a tough time getting through the state legislature.
A key House member said Tuesday it would probably be premature to consider expanding Medicaid next year with the future of the federal health care law uncertain.”

“Jonathan Gruber set off a firestorm of controversy, at least in the conservative media, with the recent revelation of his comments about the “stupidity of the American people,” which allowed the Affordable Care Act to be passed. In essence, he admitted that the bill was written in a way that would allow its purveyors to characterize it as the cure-all and salvation for a health care system that was in trouble, with no danger of their deception being discovered by a populace that is trusting and naive. He obviously never intended for his comments to make it into the public sphere and did not consider the fact that someone is always recording on their smartphone.”

“Guy and Katie have been covering the fiasco regarding MIT professor Jonathan Gruber who said repeatedly that Obamacare’s passage relied on “the stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” to get it through Congress.
As the firestorm grew, Democrats began to distance themselves, or outright deny ever knowing Gruber, like Nancy Pelosi did, in order to prevent what’s quickly becoming a public relations nightmare.”

“Jonathan Gruber strikes again. NRO’s Jim Geragthy digs up yet another video of the increasingly infamous MIT economist sounding off on the law he helped design, and assassinating the character of its critics. In this episode, recorded in April 2014, Gruber rips into Republican opponents of Medicaid expansion, calling some governors’ and legislators’ efforts to reject the federal strings “almost awesome in its evilness.” Note how the interview subject grins as he’s introduced as “the architect” of Obamacare — a reality some people are rather eager to deny these days:”

“The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear King v. Burwell, an important case about Obamacare’s subsidies (tax credits) to health insurers. Plaintiffs argue that in the 36 states with federal Obamacare exchanges, subsidies cannot be paid legally. If no subsidies can be paid, neither the individual mandate to buy health insurance nor the employer mandate to offer insurance can be enforced.
Few people would voluntarily buy health insurance from an Obamacare exchange if health insurers on the exchanges did not receive subsidies to enroll people. The premiums would be too high otherwise. Experts expect that the Supreme Court might decide on King v. Burwell in July, in which case Obamacare will end with a bang.”

“Democrats took a serious one-two punch last week. First, they suffered their second consecutive mid-term “wave” election on Tuesday, losing the Senate in the process. Then on Friday, the Supreme Court announced it would review yet another Obamacare case that Obamacare champion Ron Pollack of Families USA said represented “the most serious existential threat” of the moment to the president’s signature piece of domestic policy legislation.
Consequently, conservative health reformers now have a platinum opportunity [1] to drastically overhaul or perhaps even replace the most misguided law enacted in recent memory. But taking advantage of this historic opportunity will require an exquisite balancing of speed and shrewdness.”