Avik Roy, who serves as GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s health care advisor, suspects United may just be the first domino to fall. Other commercial insurers, such as Aetna, Anthem, and Cigna, have raised premiums by double digits and still say they can’t make the numbers work in their favor. Hence, they have withdrawn from counties where their losses were particularly acute.

The annual rate of healthcare inflation is at a 6 decade low. At the end of the day, reasonable people will disagree about the exact proportion of credit ObamaCare deserves and neither side has (or will have) conclusive empirical evidence to prove their view beyond a shadow of a doubt. In reality, parsing out credit for the slowdown in health inflation is less relevant than the far more important question to average Americans (and policymakers): will this slowdown continue?

Starting in January, the Affordable Care Act will require businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer workers health insurance or face penalties that can exceed $2,000 per employee. The health care law’s employer mandate, a provision that business groups fought against fiercely, is intended to make affordable health insurance available to more people by requiring employers to bear some of the cost of providing it. For some business owners on the edge of the cutoff, the mandate is forcing them to weigh very carefully the price of growing bigger.

Proponents of more than doubling the current minimum wage of $7.25 appeared to have overlooked a simple fact. Thanks to government mandates such as Obamacare, today’s minimum wage already effectively amounts to $10.46 an hour. If we more than double the nominal minimum wage to $15, we actually will be requiring employers to pay $18.31 an hour.

Yesterday’s post discussed what we know about Obamacare as its third open enrollment season commences. Here are four major questions about the future of Obamacare that remain unanswered.

Obamacare’s third open enrollment season kicked off yesterday, beginning the next chapter in its turbulent history. Today’s post discusses what we know about Obamacare. Tomorrow’s will discuss what we don’t yet know.

Longtime opponents of the ObamaCare “Cadillac tax” met with lawmakers this week with a new message: We’re willing to compromise. In a fly-in visit with key members and committee staff, employer benefits lobbyists went in seeking a more politically viable solution than full repeal. Rather than eliminating the tax entirely, they pitched exempting the contributions that are made to employers’ health savings accounts, which could otherwise be subject to the 40 percent excise tax.

The Affordable Care Act includes trillions of dollars in new spending on healthcare subsidies and programs. This new spending is financed by new taxes, tax increases, and reductions to Medicare’s budget. The creators of the ACA (ObamaCare) understood that the law’s benefits (subsidies, expansions of existing programs, and new programs) would be more popular with the public than its tax increases, so many of the tax increases did not take immediate effect. The implementation of the more than 20 tax increases in the law was spread out over several years. The latest of the taxes is scheduled to come into effect in 2018. – See more at: http://iwf.org/publications/2798527/Policy-Focus:-Tax-Burden-of-the-Affordable-Care-Act#sthash.JhlJkjzM.dpuf

It’s crunch time for thousands of small business owners who must comply with requirements of the health care law for the first time.

Companies with 50 to 99 full-time employees must offer affordable insurance to employees and their dependents starting Jan. 1. They must also file tax forms with the government by Jan. 31 detailing the cost of their coverage and the names and Social Security numbers of employees and their dependents. While companies of all sizes are subject to the law must file the forms, smaller businesses without big staffs to handle the paperwork may have to hire someone to do it — at a cost of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The catastrophic failure of Obamacare’s launch is now far in the past. But the public’s acquiescence to a law that keeps creating new problems should not be taken as a sign of enthusiastic acceptance, much less as a sign that Obamacare is working.

The important thing is how each of Obamacare’s current problems — skyrocketing premiums, lower than expected enrollment, and the collapse of several cooperative plans — is related to the others.