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

“President Obama says that his health plan’s popularity will grow once its provisions start being implemented. But peculiar rules tucked into the legislation are likely to make the entire scheme even more disliked as its implementation approaches… The problem is that the actual insurance that health plans offer may be fairly lousy — perhaps just a little better than the typical managed care plan offered under Medicaid. That’s because of the way these insurance products are going to be regulated, and the way they will be priced under the federal scheme.”

“Most American workers value their employer-provided health insurance. It gives them the security of knowing they can get the care they need, from the doctor they want, at a price they can afford.
All that will change drastically if the president’s health care law remains on the books. That’s not just a warning from a conservative Republican – the administration’s own chief actuary of Medicare estimated that more than 14 million people would lose their employer coverage over the next eight years.”

“The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was created based on the premise that decisions about the pricing of health benefits offered by Medicare are simply too contentious to be adequately handled by our present political system. But these decisions are precisely the kinds of consequential choices that should be subject to close public scrutiny and an open, rigorous, and transparent decision-making process that engages with Medicare’s stakeholders. Changes to the way Medicare pays for and covers medical services affect too many people in significant ways to be made behind the closed doors of an insulated committee.”

“Democrats don’t use such hyperbole, but more than half a dozen have signed on as cosponsors of a bill that would repeal the board. And many more, particularly Democrats in the House, never supported creating the board in the first place… [I]t could end up driving Medicare payments so low that providers will simply leave the program, or else go bankrupt if they can’t.”

“IPAB is fatally flawed, structured to punish innovative health care providers and threaten seniors’ access to care — while leaving the largest sources of Medicare spending untouched. It continues Washington’s obsession with price-fixing in Medicare’s separate ‘silos’ rather than changing the incentives that have led to rampant overspending, fraud and uneven care quality.”

“Clearly, the IPAB is unprecedented in the
power given to unelected officials to direct
hundreds of billions of dollars in federal
spending. The IPAB will give unelected,
unaccountable government appointees the
power to make decisions about payment
policy in Medicare that will ultimately
determine whether millions of seniors have
access to the care they need.”

“No one wants to be ‘average,’ but when it comes to medicine, being treated as an individual takes on a whole different meaning. Every patient’s treatment should be informed by the best evidence and the best science we have, but at the end of the day the best outcomes depend on a doctor using his or her best medical judgment to help the patient sitting in their office — not an abstract ‘average’ patient as defined by large studies that are more designed to cut costs than optimize outcomes.”

“ObamaCare creates incentives for state and federal politicians and bureaucrats to exert direct control over the premiums of health plans. However, because health plans largely pass through costs from medical providers, artificially limiting increases in premiums cannot actually result in lower health costs. Instead, it results in reduced access to care and threatens the solvency of health plans. ObamaCare also introduces at least five critical uncertainties that make it difficult to estimate future medical costs accurately, and suggest that Obamacare will be much more disruptive to health insurance than the Administration has advertised.”

“Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) measures the effects of different drugs or other treatments on a population, with the goal of finding out which ones produce the greatest benefits for the most patients… The 2009 federal stimulus law allocated $1 billion for CER programs, and the 2010 health-care overhaul created an institute to promote CER and disseminate the results of this research to doctors and payers… Our results suggest that CER will not fulfill its promise unless it is implemented differently by researchers and understood differently by policymakers. Simply put, seeking the treatment that is most effective on average will not improve health or save money.”

“Amidst Washington’s bruising battles over Medicare and Medicaid reform, one of the few ideas that still enjoys broad bipartisan support is comparative effectiveness research. CER is designed to compare drugs, medical devices or surgeries and determine which treatment offers the best outcome for the greatest number of patients… CER should remain a critical component of health care reform efforts. Paradoxically, however, it can go astray easily and result in greater health care spending and worse health care outcomes unless policymakers and researchers revisit some of its key assumptions.”