Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.

The Affordable Care Act continues to provide an opportunity for religious zealots to complain that someone, somewhere, might be doing something of which they disapprove. Another such case advancing through the courts is that of Missouri State Rep. Paul Wieland and his wife, Teresa, who assert that Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate tramples on their family’s religious rights even if they don’t make use of it.

St. Louis Federal Judge Jean Constance Hamilton thinks they may have a point. On Thursday she denied the government’s motion to throw out the case on summary judgment. Merely requiring individuals to buy an insurance policy that provides contraception could infringe on their religious conscience, she ruled in clearing the case for trial.

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Progressive supporters of health reform wanted a public plan option to compete with private insurers offering insurance in the state and federal health exchanges. To draw support from progressives, proponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a type of nonprofit health insurance cooperative that would compete with established health insurers. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or health insurance COOPs, as they are commonly known, were a political compromise for those who supported allowing non-seniors to buy their way into Medicare or a similar public program.

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The man selected by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as her vice presidential running mate is a strong ally of Clinton’s in her push for improving the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid to more states.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, whom Clinton named Friday as her running mate, has sponsored several bills to fix gaps and glitches in the ACA and to encourage more states to extend Medicaid to low-income adults. None have won Republican support and passed. He also has strongly backed Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s unsuccessful efforts up to now to expand Medicaid in his own state.

As governor in 2009, Kaine signed a letter with 21 other governors to congressional leaders urging them to enact federal healthcare reform legislation.

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The Obama administration cannot force a Missouri lawmaker and his family to carry health insurance that includes contraception coverage despite the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers cover birth control, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton said Thursday that HHS may not compel Republican state lawmaker Paul Joseph Wieland, his wife Teresa Jane Wieland or their insurer to include contraception coverage in their health plan. The ACA’s contraception mandate otherwise requires group health plans and insurers to cover contraceptives and sterilization procedures.

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Humana will exit eight of the 19 individual health insurance markets where it has sold Obamacare plans this year, the insurer announced Thursday.

The company is still struggling to make a profit on the exchanges, according to its second quarter earnings guidance released Thursday. The company expects to offer individual plans in 156 counties across 11 states compared to the 1,351 counties in 19 states it has offered plans in the year, according to a release.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says he has heard personally from actuaries for a major health insurer that Obamacare is “failing.” Speaking at a Wednesday breakfast for Ohio delegates to the Republican National Convention, Ryan said that actuaries for Blue Cross Blue Shield have told him the Affordable Care Act is going downhill faster than they expected.

“As I said in the beginning, this healthcare law is going to collapse under its own weight,” Ryan said. “I met with all these actuaries from Blue Cross Blue Shield a little while ago, and they said ‘Well, congressman, the law is failing two years ahead of schedule,'” he added. “Meaning, basically, they saw it coming, but they didn’t think it would be this bad so fast.”

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State and federal officials have negotiated a deal to delay a federal policy that threatened to destabilize health insurance rates at small businesses across Massachusetts.

Governor Charlie Baker’s administration said Tuesday that the agreement will postpone for one year a piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires a change in the way small businesses’ insurance rates are calculated. Massachusetts will have to phase out its current rules and switch to the federal formula by 2019.

The rules apply to businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

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Fifteen of the health insurance cooperatives started with federal dollars through the Affordable Care Act have failed — four of them just this month — saddling taxpayers with an estimated $1.7 billion in bad loans.

Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is one of seven still standing.

But the next few months will determine whether Common Ground, which insures about 20,000 in 19 counties in eastern Wisconsin, manages to survive.

“I’m confident we’ll make it through this year,” said Cathy Mahaffey, its chief executive officer since 2014.

Beyond that, though, Common Ground faces an uncertain future.

The cooperative has lost $84.8 million from its inception in 2012 through the end of last year and owes the federal government $107.7 million.

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The percentage of Hispanics in Texas without health insurance has dropped by 30 percent since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, but almost one-third of Hispanic Texans ages 18 to 64 remain uninsured.

That’s one of the conclusions of a new report released today by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation.

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President Obama recently published an overview of the results of ObamaCare in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It’s a pretty extraordinary article, because in important ways it acknowledges that ObamaCare has basically failed—and it lays the cards on the table for what we always knew was going to be his next step.

Remember that the whole point of ObamaCare was to make health care affordable. Its official name, after all, proclaims it is the Affordable Care Act. But Obama acknowledges that health insurance premiums have turned out to be much higher than the law’s advocates promised us.

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