Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.

Medicaid expansion is a poor use of taxpayer dollars. Blase rebuts Dr. Aaron Carroll, a long-time supporter of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion, writing in The New York Times to encourage further expansion.  Carroll doesn’t not address new data showing government spending on Medicaid expansion enrollees is nearly 50% higher than the government projected, nor that Medicaid enrollees obtain only 20 to 40 cents of value for each dollar the government spends on their behalf.

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The House on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow people who enrolled in failed health insurance “co-ops” under the Affordable Care Act to skip this year’s penalty for not having coverage. The Republican-backed bill passed on a mostly party-line vote of 258-165, but 16 Democrats broke with their party to support the measure. “It’s just wrong, it’s wrong, to hold these working families financially responsible for a co-op’s failure because it went under due to factors beyond their control,” said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-LA).  President Obama says he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

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The Obama administration will use targeted, digital messages and online networks such as Twitter in a sweeping campaign to get young adults to sign up for health insurance during the Affordable Care Act’s fall open enrollment, appealing to a group seen as critical to the law’s success.

The administration, which announced the new push on Tuesday, is betting the aggressive campaign will resonate with uninsured consumers age 35 and under. But some Republicans are already opposing some of the outreach efforts and health analysts warn lackluster sign-ups would drive more insurers to abandon the exchanges.

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About 27,000 Hoosiers will lose their Obamacare plans next year after Indiana University Health Plans announced it is withdrawing from the Indiana marketplace, citing big losses from the new enrollees. It had covered 15% of marketplace enrollees last year. Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, a Republican, said the announcement from IU Health Plans is evidence the healthcare law is “collapsing before our eyes.”  “Because of the broken Obamacare system, Hoosiers continue to face rising premiums and limited choices rather than reliable, affordable healthcare,” Coats said.

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In yet another sign of instability in Obamacare’s health-insurance Exchanges, BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska has announced it will leave that state’s Exchange entirely, while BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will exit the Exchange in all three of that state’s major metropolitan areas. The moves will leave 112,000 Tennesseans and tens of thousands of Nebraskans scrambling to find new coverage for 2017 from a dwindling number of carriers.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announced Friday that is pulling out of the ObamaCare marketplace in the state, becoming the latest insurer to cite financial losses when reducing participation in the healthcare law.

The move is especially significant given that it is a Blue Cross plan, which form the backbone of the ObamaCare marketplaces. In a few states, the Blue Cross plan will be the only one available on the marketplace next year.

Nebraska, though, will still have two insurers, Aetna and Medica, on its marketplace next year.

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Failing insurers. Rising premiums. Financial losses. The deteriorating Obamacare market that the health insurance industry feared is here.

As concerns about the survival of the Affordable Care Act’s markets intensify, the role of nonprofit “co-op” health insurers — meant to broaden choices under the law — has gained prominence. Most of the original 23 co-ops have failed, dumping more than 800,000 members back onto the ACA markets over the last two years.

Many of those thousands of people were sicker and more expensive than the remaining insurers expected — and they’re hurting results.

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Congressional Republicans are warning the Obama administration not to settle with insurers that have sued the government over an Affordable Care Act program to compensate them for losses under the law, saying such a move would bypass spending limits set by Congress.

Forty-six House Republicans signed a letter sent Thursday to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell saying they oppose any settlements and could sue the administration to block them.

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With major insurers retreating from the federal health law’s marketplaces, California’s insurance commissioner said he supports a public option at the state level that could bolster competition and potentially serve as a test for the controversial idea nationwide.

“I think we should strongly consider a public option in California,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a recent interview with California Healthline. “It will require a lot of careful thought and work, but I think it’s something that ought to be on the table because we continue to see this consolidation in an already consolidated health insurance market.”

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Hillary Clinton surely is hoping health reform remains a side issue the presidential campaign as bleak news of its failures have propelled Obamacare back into the spotlight.  Clinton owns Obamacare after telling Iowa voters: “I will defend the Affordable Care Act, but as president I want to go further.”  She actually wants to double down, even after seeing public support for the health law tumble. She wants to create another big government “public option” that would have unlimited calls on taxpayer dollars and government force and would quickly drive remaining private insurers out of the market, leaving people with only the “choice” of a government-run health plan.  We can and must do better than Obamacare, and the voters know it.

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