Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.
“Back when Secretary Sebelius was nominated for her current position, a colleague enthused that, ‘An insurance commissioner is a great choice for Secretary of HHS, because his or her direct contact with consumers provides unique insight into the challenges…..’ Unfortunately, Secretary Sebelius’ current direct contact with the Beltway political class and its ideological agenda obviously have far more significance than her previous direct contact with consumers, whose suffering under ObamaCare has only just begun.”
“The U.S. healthcare reform law will worsen a shortage of physicians as millions of newly insured patients seek care, the Association of American Medical Colleges said on Thursday. The group’s Center for Workforce Studies released new estimates that showed shortages would be 50 percent worse in 2015 than forecast.”
“One of the big ironies of the health care debate was that supporters of the new law were arguing that government intervention was necessary to deal with the problem of consolidation in the insurance industry. ObamaCare was supposed to change all of that by fostering competition. But now we’re starting to get confirmation of one of the arguments that critics of the legislation were making — that ObamaCare’s onerous regulations would drive smaller insurers out of business, thus leading to further consolidation in the industry.”
“Principal said its exit in part is because smaller insurers will have a hard time competing with bigger players under the overhaul. Expenses such as for sales forces are a bigger proportion of costs for smaller insurers, said Mr. Houston, making it harder to meet the new threshold on how much they pay out for care, known as the medical-loss ratio. ‘In the past, scale hasn’t mattered,’ said Mr. Houston. ‘But with administrative costs getting the focus,’ the company would have to grow significantly to stay in the business.”
“The Principal Financial Group announced on Thursday that it planned to stop selling health insurance, another sign of upheaval emerging among insurers as the new federal health law starts to take effect… Principal’s decision closely tracks moves by other insurers that have indicated in recent weeks that they plan to drop out of certain segments of the market, like the business of selling child-only policies. State regulators say some insurance companies are already threatening to leave particular markets because of the new law.”
New insurance exchanges are supposed to make insurance companies more responsive to market forces, but will instead give government control over the market. “In theory, they will expose health insurance customers to greater competition while protecting them through regulation. Insurers participating in the exchanges, for example, will face strict limits on how they can price their premiums according to individual risk factors. In practice, they will likely prove difficult to design and implement, and may ultimately undermine the country’s quality of care. No matter what, there is little doubt that the exchanges will fundamentally alter the health insurance landscape across the states.”
ObamaCare is supposed to save money on Medicare through Accountable Care Organizations where doctors work together to lower costs, but they are unlikely to help. “In most regions, it’s likely that hospitals — particularly, multi-hospital systems with large groups of employed doctors — will form the ACOs. And if that happens, they will run the ACOs to serve their own interests first, and those of physicians and consumers second.”
A new ObamaCare calculator from The Heritage Foundation lets you analyze how the costs of the bill would change if certain assumptions used by the Congressional Budget Office are incorrect.
A Massachusetts insurer is canceling a Medicare Advantage plan because it will no longer viable after ObamaCare’s draconian cuts to the program. Thus 22,000 seniors are going to lose the plan they currently have.
“Two of Minnesota’s biggest health plans said Thursday they have temporarily suspended sales of individual health insurance policies because of uncertainty related to the new federal health reform law… Insurance officials said the industry has been scrambling to figure out the new federal regulations for months.”