“The current Medicaid program is arguably the worst health insurance plan in the country. It has expanded massively beyond the original intent in 1965 and is now one of the two or three largest budget items for nearly every state. In spite
of massive annual increases in spending, Medicaid chronically experiences budgetbreaking costs. Expanding Medicaid, as the new health care reform law requires,
will only compound these problems.”

“An early feature of the new health-care law that allows people who are already sick to get insurance to cover their medical costs isn’t attracting as many customers as expected. In the meantime, in at least a few states, claims for medical care covered by the “high-risk pools” are proving very costly, and it is an open question whether the $5 billion allotted by Congress to start up the plans will be sufficient.”

“There are a great many things wrong with Obamacare, but the biggest is perhaps one that neither party is paying any attention to: It is one huge entrapment scheme that will turn patients and providers into criminals. The most blatant example of this is in the ‘doc fix’ that Congress passed with major bipartisan support earlier this month, saving doctors from a nearly 23 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement that they would have otherwise faced this year. Congress has been passing this fix every year since 1997, but this time, in an effort to offset its $20 billion price tag, it has included a little twist to squeeze working families called ‘exchange recapture subsidy.’ Under this provision, the government will go after low-wage families to return any excess subsidies they get under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

“One of the few programs already active in Obamacare is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program, a temporary measure that provides money for states to establish high-risk health insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, the program’s results so far leave much to be desired.”

“Individuals seeking maternity coverage in the non-group insurance market are discovering fewer options are available as insurers seek to cut costs to meet the regulatory demands of President Obama’s health care law. Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina dropped the coverage to save costs and keep premiums competitive, and insurers in other states have followed suit.”

“This Essay argues that federal health care reform may induce employers to redesign their health plans to encourage employees who are likely to consume a greater-than-average amount of medical services to opt out of employer-provided coverage and instead acquire coverage on the individual market. Although largely overlooked in public policy debates, this prospect of employer dumping of high-risk employees raises serious concerns about the sustainability of health care reform more generally.”

“In the midst of the legislative debate over
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(PPACA), Speaker Pelosi famously said, “We have to
pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”
Indeed, the 112
th
Congress must find out what is in the
law before irrevocable damage is done to our care
delivery system, private health insurance, and the
federal budget deficit. Oversight hearings should begin
immediately as the Obama Administration has abused
the traditional rulemaking process to limit public
comments from key stakeholders and the American
people. We recommend the following five areas for
oversight hearings in the 112
th
Congress.”

“My conversations lead me to believe that many people are expecting that the plans offered in the exchanges will be Medicare-like in many ways. I feel like many people think they will have choice of doctor, choice of hospital, and the ability to dictate care. I’m not seeing how insurance companies will be able to offer such products at prices people can afford. As I talk to more and more people in the insurance industry, my thoughts seem confirmed. I may be wrong, but I think it’s worth addressing. Mistaken expectations have been, and continue to be, a real problem in health care reform.”

Since the subsidies for the uninsured don’t begin until 2014, ObamaCare creates high-risk pools to help the uninsured get coverage. This program is so poorly designed and ill-conceived that instead of insuring hundreds of thousands of people, as expected, only about 8,000 people have coverage in the program.

“A conservative group of healthcare analysts today welcomed the intention of the new House Republican majority to immediately pass a bill repealing President Obama’s health reform law. After that’s done, though, the analysts suggested the Republican leaders get to work on a more realistic strategy to destroy the president’s signature piece of legislature.”