Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.

“If you want to get an understanding of how the health reform law works, both in theory and practice, it would be a good idea to take a look at the process called ‘rate review.’ The idea is that health insurance premiums can be restrained by forcing health insurance companies to explain ‘unreasonable’ premium increases to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the state authorities, and on their web sites.”

“Doctors’ feelings about the health-care overhaul law passed last year are about as mixed as their patients’, research released today shows…
Many of the 501 physicians surveyed indicated that they had sour feelings about specific aspects of the law.
Around three-fourths of the doctors worried about physician shortages and longer wait times as more people get health coverage, and also that emergency rooms would become overwhelmed. And 90% thought they would be paid less by insurance companies as a result of the law.”

“However, the bottom line is that Obamacare’s MLR regulations won’t deliver us a utopia of government-run single-payer health care. Instead, they will usher in a new era of private insurance monopolies and significantly drive up the cost of health insurance, things that neither liberals nor conservatives should cheer.”

“New Hampshire has a high percentage of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Last month, 7,600 of them received notices that their coverage was being cancelled. Obamacare and another federal law passed in 2008, the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act, are killing Medicare Advantage to steer senior citizens back into regular Medicare, which offers fewer choices and is more heavily controlled from Washington.
As a result, thousands of Granite State seniors are being forced to switch doctors because they have to switch coverage.”

“So clearly President Obama’s key promise will
be broken after the law fully takes effect. But the
deterioration in coverage already has begun as
many people already are losing the coverage they have now as health insurers are dropping out
of markets in many states. Some of the carriers
are exiting because of onerous state regulations,
others are victims of a faltering economy, but
the cascade has been accelerated by the rules that
already have taken effect and the many more that
are to come as a result of PPACA.”

“A loophole in the federal health care overhaul would allow many employers to game the system by dumping their sicker employees onto public health insurance exchanges, according to two University of Minnesota law professors. They say the loophole could have dire consequences for the financial health of the exchanges, which are a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The online marketplaces are intended to make it easier to comparison shop for health plans and also to expand access to coverage for the uninsured.”

“The work reported here confirms earlier
studies showing that hospitals are able to
extract higher private payments when they
hold more market power. Public policy has
been ambivalent with respect to the ongoing
consolidation within hospital markets. While
antitrust regulatory agencies have challenged
a number of hospital mergers in the past few
decades, these challenges rarely culminated in
decisions to disallow a merger. Now provisions
of the ACA are encouraging further consolidation
of hospitals and physicians, and the final antitrust review regulations from the Department
of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission
have eliminated the proposed mandatory
review of certain prospective ACOs.”

“The healthcare reform law could threaten farmers’ insurance coverage, a group of Senate Democrats said. The law could undermine farmers’ cooperatives, which provide coverage for thousands of farmers and their families. That threat is an ‘unintended, and unwanted’ side effect of the law’s tax credits, Democrats said.”

“As demand outstrips supply we can expect large increases in waiting time for services and a price war for providers between Medicaid and commercial insurers. Regardless of the administration’s arguments, little in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses this dynamic. Increases in primary care physician fees, funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers, and national health services corps slots don’t build any new physician capacity; they only drive more competition for limited physicians and fuel a price war. It is likely the administration is relying on the Independent Payment Advisory Board and their new premium rate review power over private insurance to try to control prices, but waiting lines and an increased reliance on the emergency room will be a new fact of life.”

“Under President Obama’s health care plan, the United States Preventive Services Task Force now wields great power to decide which health services (like mammograms) doctors should provide, yet it has few checks on its sweeping authority.
Its mandates are likely to raise health insurance costs and premiums, while reducing the number of covered preventive services.
To improve accountability for an agency that is both out of date with the medical community and out of touch with the public, Congress should closely monitor the impact new mandates have on patient care.”