“During his first run for the presidency in 2008, President Obama blasted the influence of insurance lobbyists and vowed to take on the industry if elected. Yet as president, he passed a health care law that funnels more than $1 trillion in subsidies to insurers, and fines Americans who do not purchase their products. And on Friday, the Obama administration relented to pressure by the insurance industry, vowing to use additional taxpayer dollars to help bail out insurers from losses racked up as part of his health care law.”
“State officials disclosed a $300 million shortfall in state revenue collections Monday, putting the state’s stellar bond rating in jeopardy — and placing new pressure on lawmakers and Gov. Terry McAuliffe to break their budget deadlock.”
“Lying to the federal health insurance man could cost you dearly.
The Obama administration Friday spelled out civil fines of up to $250,000 for knowingly and willfully providing false information to get taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the new health care law.”
“The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors, according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation.”
“States that experienced severe technical problems in running their ObamaCare exchanges would have to reimburse the federal government for the cost under a Republican bill introduced Wednesday.”
“In his Monday Think Tank post previewing political and policy battles over insurance premium increases, Drew Altman wrote that “85% of those who purchase insurance in the new marketplaces will get a government subsidy in the form of a tax credit to help defray the cost of the premium. That means that most people buying in the exchanges won’t pay much even if their premium cost goes up significantly” in 2015.”
“Last summer, the federal government was greeted with raised eyebrows when it awarded a UK-based firm a contract worth $1.2 billion to process Obamacare applications. At the same time, the company was being investigated for overbilling the British government tens of millions of pounds.
Though it managed to work through a year of Obamacare’s implementation relatively unnoticed, the contractor, Serco Inc., is back in the spotlight—and raising questions over the validity of its work.”
“Senate GOP leaders on Tuesday called for a vote to kill ObamaCare’s tax on medical devices, as part of a broader package to revive tax breaks that expired at the end of last year.
But the tax package is popular with members of both parties, and it’s unclear if Republicans have the leverage to win a vote on the medical device tax.
Republicans stopped short of saying they would oppose the tax package without the medical device vote.”
“Even states that refused Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion are seeing enrollment growth in the health-care program, according to a new analysis.
Medicaid enrollment in 17 of the 26 states that hadn’t expanded Medicaid as of the end of March saw their rolls increase by a combined 550,300 new beneficiaries, reports the Avalere Health consulting firm.”
“Enrollment in California’s healthcare program for the poor has soared as the state implements President Obama’s federal overhaul, pleasing advocates who have sought expanded coverage but also presenting new costs for the state.
Nearly one-third of California’s total population — roughly 11.5 million people — will be enrolled in Medi-Cal next year, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.
Enrollment is expected to exceed previous estimates by 1.4 million, and administration officials said it would cost the state $1.2 billion more than originally thought.”