Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.
“Despite all the uncertainty, private insurers aren’t taking any chances. They’re in the midst of adjusting to the law’s requirement that they spend a certain percentage of their revenues on medical claims. ObamaCare’s advocates hope the provision will ensure consumers get good value for their premium dollars. And if the rule makes life harder for insurers, so much the better.
Unfortunately this ‘minimum medical loss ratio’ regulation will harm not just insurers but workers and employers too, as they’ll face higher prices and fewer choices for insurance.”
“The most significant change is a wave of frantic consolidation in the health industry. Because the law mandates that insurers accept all patients regardless of pre-existing conditions, insurers will not make money with their current premium and provider-payment structures. As a result, they have already started to raise premiums and cut payments to doctors and hospitals. Smaller and weaker insurers are being forced to sell themselves to larger entities.”
“The Obama administration envisions accountable care organizations (ACOs) as the drivers of health care innovation, but such innovation has historically come from entrepreneurs in the private sector.
ACOs offer financial incentives to cut costs, but this means restricting patient choice and limiting the use of some expensive care.
The ACO concept is not new. Similar ideas have been tried before, but they failed because they were unable to control costs or manage medical risk.”
“The Obama Administration’s healthcare proposals continue to rob Peter to pay Paul with dangerous
consequences for the America’s healthcare system. First, the President failed to address the Medicare
physician reimbursement problem with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Now the
President is proposing a two year doc fix that shifts care access problems from the elderly to the poor,
undermines drug innovation, and further relies on unproven cost savings that will likely just add to the
federal budget deficit.”
“Beginning in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, is expected to significantly extend health-insurance coverage in New York by increasing Medicaid enrollment and offering federal subsidies for the purchase of private health insurance. However, there is no guarantee that the newly insured will be able to access the health-care system in a timely fashion as new demand for services outstrips physician supply.”
“One way to think about all this is to see the ACA as a sham of sorts. Long before the passage of the bill public opinion polls consistently showed over many years that the average voter was willing to pay only $100 or so to insure the uninsured. If you think about it, everything that has come out of the White House and other administration officials is consistent with that finding. ObamaCare, we are being told, is one big free lunch. No one’s premium will be higher. No one’s wage will be lower. Millions of people are supposed to benefit and no one is acknowledged to be the slightest bit worse off because of it.”
“GOP committee members repeated their warnings that the law will drive doctors away from treating older Americans, ruin people’s ability to keep their current health care, undermine the free enterprise system and place health care in the hands of what one called ‘unelected bureaucracies.’ These were arguments they and GOP House colleagues made last month when the chamber voted to repeal the entire law – a step the Senate has refused to take.”
“If waivers are necessary to keep 733 insurance plans in place now, think of what will be necessary in 2013, when the amount policies must cover in a year will be nearly three times that cost, or in 2014, when full-blown PPACA kicks in and insurers are prohibited from offering a policy without unlimited coverage. The waiver option will be gone: nothing in PPACA gives HHS the authority to waive the statutory ban on annual limits. At the same time, other parts of PPACA will require Americans to have more comprehensive insurance than what they have now. Ineluctably, the result will be to require Americans to purchase insurance packages far more comprehensive and far more costly than what HHS has already determined in 733 cases is too expensive to buy.”
“First, ObamaCare’s restraints amount to nothing more than ratcheting down the price controls that traditional Medicare uses to pay health care providers. Structuring Medicare subsidies in this way — setting the prices that Medicare pays specific providers — makes it very difficult to lower those prices, because the system itself creates huge incentives for providers to organize and lobby to undo those restraints. As I explain more fully in this op-ed from September 2010, Medicare vouchers would change that lobbying game by reducing the incentives for provider groups to expend resources in the pursuit of higher Medicare spending. That gives the Ryan-Rivlin restraints a much better shot at surviving.”
“Bending the cost curve is not a matter of simply paying less for a service. What’s needed is real and continuous productivity improvement in the health sector. Doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, labs, clinics and others finding better ways to deliver higher quality care at less cost. Because if productivity in the health sector does not rise, then payment-rate reductions will simply drive willing suppliers of services out of the marketplace.”