A project of the Galen Institute

Commentary

Casey Mulligan
Wall Street Journal
Tue, 2014-09-09
"The Affordable Care Act attempts to help low- and middle-income families avoid some of the tough sacrifices that would be necessary to purchase health insurance without assistance. But no program can change the fundamental reality that society itself has to make sacrifices in order to deliver health care to more people. Workers and therefore production have to be taken away from other industries to beef up health care, or the workforce itself has to get bigger, or somehow people have to work more productively. Although the ACA helps specific populations by giving them a bigger slice of the economic pie, the law diminishes the pie itself. It reduces the amount that Americans work, and it makes their work less productive. This slows growth in both personal income and gross domestic product."
Grace-Marie Turner
Heritage Insider
Tue, 2014-09-09
OBAMACARE DOESN’T AND CAN’T WORK. It is a rolling disaster that is wreaking havoc on the American economy and health care sector. Americans are experiencing first-hand the damage the law is doing. It is making their health insurance more expensive, driving doctors out of practice, and undermining the goal of improved health care. And the law doesn’t even come close to universal coverage—leaving at least 31 million uninsured, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. So what should we do to fix the mess? Some conservatives want Republicans to rally around one bill to replace ObamaCare and then take that plan to the voters for the November elections. That approach, however, entails both political and policy risks that can be mitigated with a different strategy.
Jason Millman
Washington Post
Mon, 2014-09-08
"Allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health plans is one of the most popular elements of the president's health-care law, but a pair of new studies out today raises questions about the overall impact of the coverage expansion to an estimated 3 million people. The provision, which allows young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until their 26th birthday, was one of the earliest parts of the law to take effect, in 2010, and researchers are now starting to report on the effects of that expansion. As expected, it increased the rate of health insurance among young adults, who historically had the highest uninsured rates of any age group. But the provision didn't change whether the age group perceived themselves as healthier or whether they thought health care was any more affordable, according to a new study in JAMA Pediatrics."
Shefali Luthra
Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-09-08
"Americans living in rural areas will be a key target as states and nonprofit groups strategize how to enroll more people in health law insurance plans this fall. Though millions of people signed up for private insurance or Medicaid in the first year of the Affordable Care Act, millions of others did not. Many live in rural areas where people “face more barriers,” said Laurie Martin, a RAND Corp. senior policy researcher. Brock Slabach, a senior vice president at the National Rural Health Association, said “the feds are particularly concerned about this.” Distance is one problem: Residents have to travel farther to get face-to-face assistance from the so-called navigators and assisters hired to help consumers figure out the process.
Elise Viebeck
The Hill
Mon, 2014-09-08
"Congress is returning to Washington with just two months left before ObamaCare's second enrollment period. For most of the lawmakers’ August recess, news on the Affordable Care Act and other healthcare debates was fairly quiet. But that ended for Republicans with the Sept.
Meghan McCarthy
Morning Consult
Mon, 2014-09-08
"When Congress returns this week, action in both chambers will mostly be a show for the voters back home ahead of the midterm election. In the House, that will include a vote on a bill to allow insurance companies to continue offering any plan that was sold in the group market in 2013. Noticeably absent from congressional politicking in the next few weeks is the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridor program, which was, as recently as a few months ago, a major Republican criticism of the law. But that doesn’t mean the “insurer bailout” fight is dead. Republicans in both chambers are quietly working to challenge the legality and projected cost of the program.
Scott Bauer
The Associated Press
Sat, 2014-09-06
"MADISON, Wis. -- Nearly 26,000 adults who lost Medicaid coverage through Wisconsin's BadgerCare Plus program after being kicked off earlier this year will have more time to sign up for private subsidized insurance, the federal government announced Thursday. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it was establishing a special enrollment period through Nov. 2 for those people to sign up under the federal exchange created under the health overhaul law. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services estimates that about 25,800 out of 63,000 adults who lost that coverage had yet to sign up for subsidized insurance plans under the federal law. They lost coverage after Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature tightened income eligibility for the state's Medicaid coverage from 200 percent of poverty to 100 percent. That made the income cutoff for coverage $11,670 for an individual and $23,850 for a family of four."
Hot Air
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/04/so-healthcare-gov-was-hacked/
Sat, 2014-09-06
"Well, who could have seen this coming? Thankfully, at this point, the reports say there has been no release of personal information. I can’t say I’m terribly heartened:"
Rasmussen Reports
Rasmussen Polling
Sat, 2014-09-06
"Voters are more skeptical than ever that Obamacare can be fixed any time soon but remain almost evenly divided on the impact the health care law will have on their voting decisions this November. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Likely U.S. Voters say they are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports the law, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Slightly more (38%) say they are less likely to vote for an Obamacare supporter. Nineteen percent (19%) say a Congress member’s position on the law will have no impact on their voting decision. (To see survey question wording, click here.) "
Larry Levitt
Journal of the American Medical Association
Fri, 2014-09-05
"Last week, the Obama Administration announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer (CEO) for the federal health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Kevin Counihan—who headed up Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, which worked quite well—will fill the newly created position. Calling this position a CEO represents semantic gymnastics of a sort. That’s because CEOs generally have near-total autonomy to manage an organization, reporting only to a board of directors. Nothing like that really exists in government, short of the president. In this case, the new CEO reports to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, so he is firmly ensconced in the normal federal agency bureaucracy. That may be a positive, because it respects the traditional lines of authority and accountability that help the government function."

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