Articles on the implementation of ObamaCare.
““This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”
– MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, captured on videotape
What did Gruber mean when he uttered this words in a now-infamous video that has inflamed hostility to the Affordable Care Act?
“MONTPELIER, Vt. An economist who said “the stupidity of the American voter” helped pass the complex federal health care law has agreed to finish his work on Vermont’s health insurance systems for free, a top state official said Wednesday.
But the state will continue to pay assistants working with Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised the Obama administration as it crafted the Affordable Care Act.”
“The mainstream press – a term which is rapidly losing all meaning as Fox News has begun to not only dominate cable news but the networks as well, but what was once understood to include big city newspapers and the three broadcast networks – has largely ignored the scandal surrounding Jonathan Gruber’s many impolitic comments.
“The pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare coupled with a small provision buried in the law could give Republicans in the new Congress the opportunity to power-boost free-market health reform.
The high court will hear arguments, likely in March, on whether the Obama administration had legal authority to allow tax subsidies to flow through the health insurance exchange established by the federal government.”
“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.”
“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.”
“State lawmakers on Tuesday voiced their continued frustration with the technical problems still afflicting the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange.
On Saturday, the first day of enrollment for the second round of insurance signups on the exchange, the site was live for only a couple of hours before a technical error was discovered and the exchange was taken offline for repairs. Meanwhile, first-round problems involving the transfer of payment information from the exchange to insurance companies have not been corrected, despite assurances they would be fixed by now.”
“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  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.”