“House GOP leaders asked President Obama Tuesday to make funds available in support of a temporary insurance plan for people with pre-existing conditions. The plan, known as PCIP, has struggled to get off the ground since it was enacted as part of the healthcare law. Last month, the Obama administration announced that it would close enrollment due to concerns that the program would be too costly.”

“Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low. Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based ‘high-risk pools’ set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.”

“Universal Orlando plans to stop offering medical insurance to part-time employees beginning next year, a move the resort says has been forced by the federal government’s health-care overhaul. The giant theme-park resort, which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, began informing employees this month that it will offer health-insurance to part-timers ‘only until December 31, 2013.'”

“The fundamental flaws in our system are familiar: perverse incentives that encourage excess treatment, high prices, poor service (even dangerous sloppiness), incomprehensible complexity and a flawed safety net. But to all such problems the new health-care law has the same two answers: more insurance and Medicaid and more top-down cost control.”

“As we have seen, the same bill that insures 32 million new people also will force middle- and upper-middle-income families to have more generous coverage than they now have. As these more generously insured people attempt to acquire more medical services they will almost certainly out-bid people paying Medicaid rates for doctor services and hospital beds. To make matters worse, the health reform bill did nothing to increase the supply side of the market to meet the increased demand.”

“Obviously not everyone will make the choice to go uninsured. People who are risk-adverse, or who have ongoing medical needs, or who have small children, will continue to be covered. But every year, every person will have to decide how best to spend their money. A very large number will decide they have better things to do with that money than spend it on insurance coverage they don’t want and never use. The odds are that after all the trauma and expense of enacting and implementing ObamaCare, we will have fewer people insured than we did before it was enacted.”

“The vast majority of Americans with “pre-existing conditions” already have insurance. Why? Age is strongly correlated with developing a chronic illness – and seniors are covered by Medicare. If you’re disabled and poor, and can’t work, you’re eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The low-income poor (healthy or not) are already eligible for Medicaid. In between, the majority of Americans have employer-provided insurance, and are also already protected from pre-existing insurance exclusions or rate hikes due to illness, through HIPAA. Who’s left then? Not that many people.”

“U.S. health care suffers from three major problems: millions of people go without insurance, health care costs are rising at unaffordable rates, and the quality of care is not what it should be. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) primarily addresses the first — and easiest — of these problems by expanding coverage to a substantial number of the uninsured. Solutions to the other two remain aspirations and promises.”

“We are about to spend $1.8 trillion over the next ten years insuring about 32 million people. About half of the newly insured will go into Medicaid and half will get private insurance. If the above chart is to be believed, which half you’re in makes a real difference. That tiny little sliver of difference between the green line and the red line is the differential survival between those who are uninsured and those who are in Medicaid. Even after five years, the differential survival is a little more than 1%.”

“As the state’s largest safety net hospital, Hennepin treats a disproportionately large number of patients who cannot pay for some or all of their care. For more than 20 years, hospitals have relied on subsidies provided by the federal government to help defray those costs. But that funding is set to decline starting in 2014 with the full implementation of the federal health law.”