A project of the Galen Institute

Commentary

Scott W. Atlas
Real Clear Politics
Tue, 2014-04-22
"Many key provisions of The Affordable Care Act were finally implemented earlier this year, and widespread dismay over the reality of an overreaching government immediately followed. Initially, the predominant focus was on the inept rollout of the Obama administration’s website, a fiasco that cost well over $500 million of American taxpayer money -- more than was spent to develop Facebook and Twitter combined, more than the cost of developing Apple’s iPhone. With more than two dozen executive branch decisions to delay some of the law’s deadlines -- but ignoring fixes more substantive than repairing the basic functions of its website -- the Obama administration cynically pushed forward."
Jay Cost
The Weekly Standard
Mon, 2014-04-21
"Since Obamacare “hit” its “enrollment” “target,” Democrats, liberals, and their friends in the press have enjoyed some old-fashioned taunting of Republicans. This would be justifiable if a.) Republicans had destroyed the website that needed fixing or b.) predicted that nobody would sign up for the program in the first place. Neither condition holds, of course. The website was totally the design of CMS, HHS, and the White House, which are all run by Democrats. Meanwhile, as Michael Cannon argued, it is no big feat to get people to sign up for a heavily subsidized product."
David Hogberg
The Federalist
Fri, 2014-04-18
"President Obama yesterday again claimed his health care law had triumphed as enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges had reached eight million. However, it will prove a Pyrrhic victory."
Josh Archambault
Forbes, The Apothecary
Thu, 2014-04-17
"During the past few months, insurance industry insider Bob Laszewski has chronicled many of the failures of ObamaCare’s launch. He has raised some very important questions and concerns from the insurance industry about future policy and premium bumps that lay ahead under the ACA. Unfortunately, his recent attack on Republican governors and state lawmakers who have rejected ObamaCare’s misguided Medicaid expansion completely misses the mark. He contends that Arkansas’ “Private Option” is really just a block grant for Medicaid. But the truth lies in the fine print, and while there is no question the Private Option puts state taxpayers at risk, it also creates a new entitlement and ceded most of the control for the program to the federal government. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house."
Ross Douthat
The New York Times
Wed, 2014-04-16
"Ezra Klein, in his new capacity as one of the impresarios behind Vox, has written a pair of attention-grabbing posts — here, and then here — defending the proposition that Obamacare has, in some sense, “won,” and that conservatives who can’t come to terms with that victory can’t come to terms with reality itself. Reading them, it struck me that this argument would benefit from laying down some specific markers for the near future, because Klein seems to move back and forth between two definitions of success."
Yevgeniy Feyman
Forbes, The Apothecary
Wed, 2014-04-09
"Some people say that bipartisanship is dead. But if rumblings in the House are to be believed, cooperation on Obamacare may yet be possible. The “Save American Workers Act of 2014,” which passed the House 248-179 (with 18 Democrats voting in favor) amends the ACA to redefine “full-time employees” as being those who work 40 hours, rather than the 30 hour definition in the law. While this would have a relatively marginal effect when all is said and done (criticism of the bill has focused on those who are expected to lose coverage as a result – on net about 1 million people), it does begin to repeal an important budget gimmick in Obamacare – the employer mandate."
Mercatus Center
Tue, 2014-04-08
"Medicaid, originally considered an afterthought to Medicare, is today the largest health insurance provider in the United States. Under the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office projects Medicaid enrollment to increase nearly 30 percent by 2024, and federal spending on the program to double over the next decade. For the states, Medicaid is already the largest single budget item, and its rapid growth threatens to further crowd out other spending priorities. In this collection of essays, nine experts discuss the escalating costs and consequences of a program that provides second-class health care at first-class costs. The authors begin with an explanation of Medicaid’s complex federal-state funding structure. Next, they examine how the system’s conflicting incentives discourage both cost savings and efficient care. The final chapters address the pros and cons of the most mainstream Medicaid reform proposals and offer alternative solutions.
Grace-Marie Turner
Forbes
Fri, 2014-04-04
"President Obama is bragging that the administration has surpassed its target of 7 million people enrolled in the ObamaCare exchanges, but he isn’t talking about the millions of people who are being harmed so the insurance-salesman-in-chief could make his numbers."
Yuval Levin
National Review Online
Thu, 2014-04-03
"It has been interesting watching the Democrats in recent days try very hard not to learn any lessons from the rollout of Obamacare. "
Bernie Marcus
Wall Street Journal
Tue, 2014-04-01
"President Obama's promise that Americans could keep their health insurance if they liked it was the most infamous of the Affordable Care Act's sketchy sales pitches. But many of the law's most damaging aspects are less known, buried in thousands of pages of regulations. Consider the "fee"—really a hidden sales tax—that all health-insurance companies have been forced to pay since the first of this year on premiums for policies sold to individuals and small and medium-size businesses. The health-insurance tax—known as HIT in business circles—is expected to generate revenues of about $8 billion this year and as much as $14.3 billion by 2018, according to the legislation."

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