“With enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges now closed, Democrats and their friends in the media are ebullient. Obamacare is an enormous success, they say, and conservatives have been humiliated. On closer inspection, however, things seem decidedly less bullish for President Obama’s signature achievement. “

“Our analyses as well as that of others find that eliminating the employer mandate will not reduce insurance coverage significantly,
contrary to its supporters’ expectations. Eliminating it will remove labor market distortions that have troubled employer groups
and which would harm some workers. However, new revenue sources will be required to replace that anticipated to be raised
by the employer mandate.”

“One of the principal flaws in the coverage of Obamacare’s exchange enrollment numbers to date has been that the press has not made distinctions between those who have “signed up” for Obamacare-based plans, and those who have actually paid for those plans and thereby achieved enrollment in health insurance. A new survey from McKinsey indicates that a large majority of people signing up are now paying for their coverage. This is progress for the health law. But the survey still indicates that three-fourths of enrollees were previously insured.”

“Scrapping the ObamaCare mandate for employers to provide insurance would have little impact on the number of people with coverage, according to a new study.

The nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which conducts health policy research, found eliminating the controversial requirement would result in about 200,000 fewer people having health insurance in 2016.”

“Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree universal health insurance is the central goal of successful healthcare reform. The left sold the Affordable Care Act on this promise; the right hopes to do the same with an alternative plan set to be unveiled later this year.

Both sides are trying to fix the wrong problem. Universal health insurance is profoundly different from better healthcare, and so long as reformers focus on the former, the latter will continue to deteriorate.”

“The most important, and uncertain, provision of Obamacare remains the individual mandate.

Obamacare’s authors believed it was crucial to the viability of the law to impose a new obligation on U.S. citizens and legal residents to enroll in government-approved health insurance. This new obligation was to be enforced by a penalty on the non-compliant, collected through the income tax.”

“Don Berwick – who, as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, oversaw large chunks of the early implementation of the Affordable Care Act – is trying to shake up the health policy world again. He ran CMS from July 2010 to December 2011, and left because Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation to lead the agency permanently. Now, more than two years later, he is a long-shot Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts and the heart of his platform is a single-payer health plan.”

“Two of the most controversial questions in health care reform are whether government-sponsored expansions of health insurance coverage like ObamaCare and RomneyCare save lives, and if so whether other policies could save more lives per dollar spent. “Changes in Mortality After Massachusetts Health Care Reform,” published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, presents evidence suggesting RomneyCare may have saved lives, but at a very high cost.”

“In recent opeds for the Los Angeles Register and the Orange County Register, I explain how ObamaCare’s requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions at the same price as healthy people dramatically reduces the risks associated with not having health insurance, and therefore creates a perverse incentive for people to drop their coverage and wait until they get sick to re-enroll.”

“Even if Obamacare really has enrolled 8 million Americans through its health insurance exchanges, that’s not good enough. For the exchanges to work, people must enroll and stay enrolled.
If too many enrollees drop out, premiums will climb until the exchanges collapse.”