A project of the Galen Institute

Commentary

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."
Ben Domenech
The Federalist
Tue, 2014-04-01
"Have you heard? Obamacare survived! It got to that magic number it was looking for to make everything right! Or rather, it got to half the number the Congressional Budget Office predicted it would get to after the Supreme Court ruling."
Kathie Platt
Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-03-31
"On Monday, the first open enrollment period for the new Affordable Care Act will close, and the opportunity to sign up for health insurance will not reopen again until November. For our family, President Barack Obama’s promise to make health insurance "affordable and available to every single American" has not come true. "
John E. Sununu
The Boston Globe
Mon, 2014-03-31
"The law clearly states that today is the final day to sign up for Obamacare. Only it isn’t. The extension announced last week covers anyone who merely claims they intend to apply. Allowing such a frivolous and unverifiable gesture to circumvent the law neatly captures the paternalistic arrogance of the White House and its signature legislation — only the intent matters. Pay no attention to the cavalcade of undesirable consequences; if we mean well, we can do whatever we want."
Avik Roy
Forbes, The Apothecary
Mon, 2014-03-31
"Today is March 31, 2014: in theory, the last day you can sign up for coverage under the subsidized Obamacare insurance exchanges. If you’ve been a regular reader of this space, you know that the numbers routinely paraded by the Obama administration regarding Obamacare website sign-ups don’t tell us much about the actual number of uninsured individuals who have gained coverage. A new study from the RAND Corporation indicates that only one-third of exchange sign-ups were previously uninsured."

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