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Commentary

Forbes
08/31/15
Section 9001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), set to take effect in 2018, imposes an “Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage”, which has come to be known as the “Cadillac Tax” (not due to a corporate sponsorship from GM, however). This is a 40 percent tax on employer-sponsored health benefits that are defined as “excess benefits,” which is defined as anything in excess of $10,200 (employee only) or $27,500 (family) coverage for 2018, with adjustments for subsequent years. The “excess benefits” include not only benefits provided by the employer, but also the portion of premium paid by the employee, as well as any money the employee chooses to set aside out of salary to pay for health expenses via a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
The Motley Fool
08/30/15
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, may have gone into effect with the flip of the calendar on Jan. 1, 2014, but it remains a work in progress for much of America, which is still acquainting itself with the new health law.
CNBC
08/28/15
Bigger might be better, but it can also be pricier—at least when it comes to Obamacare. A new analysis found that the largest insurer in each of the states served by HealthCare.gov raised their prices in 2015 much more sharply—by an average of 10 full percentage points—than smaller competitors on that federal Obamacare marketplace.
Forbes
08/27/15
Big business is against it. So is big labor. Ditto for K Street. What do they want? The repeal of Obamacare’s tax on high cost health care plans. A growing number of Republicans and Democrats in Congress are lining up to agree with them.
Investor's Business Daily
08/27/15
Health Care: When insurers requested huge rate hikes for their 2016 ObamaCare plans, we were told not to worry because state regulators would force them down. But that's not happening. Death spiral, anyone?
Forbes
08/26/15
Back in 2009, President Obama spoke to the American Medical Association and said, “We need to bundle payments so you aren’t paid for every single treatment you offer a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes, but instead paid well for how you treat the overall disease.” That’s a great idea, and it could really improve health care. Unfortunately, the president’s signature reform did nothing to move in that direction. Now, as before, almost no one in the health care fields is actually paid to keep people healthy.
The Wall Street Journal
08/26/15
At a July town hall in Nashville, Tenn., President Barack Obama played down fears of a spike in health insurance premiums in his signature health law’s third year. “My expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested,” he said, saying Tennesseans had to work to ensure the state’s insurance commissioner “does their job in not just passively reviewing the rates, but really asking, ‘OK, what is it that you are looking for here? Why would you need very high premiums?’” That commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, answered on Friday by greenlighting the full 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.
Bloomberg View
08/25/15
After talking about it endlessly, Republican presidential candidates are finally starting to get specific about how they intend to replace the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released his plan last week. As the reaction to it shows, Republicans have to be ready with answers to a lot of hard questions.
The Kaiser Family Foundation
08/25/15
As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high-cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax, is affecting employer decisions about their health benefits. The tax takes effect in 2018.
CNBC
08/25/15
If you like your flexible spending account ... you might not be able to keep your flexible spending account. Obamacare's looming "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health plans threatens to hit 1 in 4 U.S. employers when it takes effect in 2018—and will impact 42 percent of all employers by a decade later, according to a new analysis.

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