A project of the Galen Institute

Commentary

Jennifer Kerns
The Daily Signal
Thu, 2014-11-06
"Even before voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had begun to downplay the midterm elections. “Nothing to see here” no doubt has begun to be scribbled into the talking points regarding every hard-fought blue-state campaign. Despite the political spin, you can bet your bottom dollar—nearly $4 billion of which have been spent in this election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org—the Democrats are hurting."
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute
American Spectator
Thu, 2014-11-06
"President Reagan gauged the success of a welfare program by how quickly people were able to move off government assistance and into remunerative work. Yet President Obama, the White House, and their allies are measuring the success of Obamacare by how many people can be enrolled in their new government entitlement programs. The president celebrated the law’s “success” in getting seven million people enrolled in Medicaid and eight million (or so) people enrolled in exchange coverage, 87 percent of whom are receiving government subsidies for their insurance. And he hopes to lure another five million people onto Obamacare programs starting with the November 15 enrollment period. There is no expectation that participation in these government programs will be a temporary boost but rather that they will become a permanent fixture in people’s lives."
Thomas Miller and James Capretta
Health Affairs Blog
Thu, 2014-11-06
"Since enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, much of the attention in the policy community has been on modernizing Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service (FFS) program. Through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), larger “bundles” of payments to fee-for-service providers for episodes of care, and tests of pay-for-performance models, the hope is that the traditional Medicare model can be remade through sheer force of bureaucratic will. The stated intent is to find a way to pay for value, not volume. These efforts may or may not bear much fruit, but, over the longer term, it’s not likely to matter much. That’s because a more important transformation of Medicare is already well underway and is occurring despite more resistance than assistance from the program’s bureaucracy. According to the 2014 Medicare Trustees’ report, enrollment in Medicare Advantage – the private plan option in Medicare — has been surging for a decade.
Katie Pavlich
Townhall
Thu, 2014-11-06
"During his post-midterm press conference yesterday, President Obama falsely claimed that Obamacare is working for Americans all over the country. Based on his rhetoric, he also seemed to fail at understanding the damage votes for his signature piece of legislation did to his former Democrat majority in the Senate. According to Tuesday's results and elections over the past few years, 28 Senators who voted for Obamacare will no longer be holding seats on Capitol Hill when January rolls around."
Philip Klein
The Examiner
Wed, 2014-11-05
"On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into Tuesday’s elections, 24 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in on January. To be sure, it isn’t fair to attribute all of the turnover in the chamber to Obamacare. Many senators voted for Obamacare and lost re-election battles in which they were hit hard for their support for the law, and other Democrats were forced to retire because they had no hope of getting re-elected given their support for the law. But in some cases — such as John Kerry leaving his seat to become secretary of state, or Robert Byrd passing away — Obamacare clearly had nothing to do with it."
Avik Roy
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-05
"Republicans have retaken the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. As of this writing, Republicans will gain somewhere between 7 and 9 seats—depending on what happens in Louisiana and Alaska—for a total of 52 to 54. The new Republican majority will doubtless hold a symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare. But more importantly, Republicans will now be able make smaller changes to the health law that President Obama might actually sign into law. Here are some of the possibilities that have been talked about in the press, but also many that have not."
John R. Graham
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-05
"Republican candidates won a decisive victory at the voting booth on Tuesday, in all races: House, Senate, governorships, and state legislatures. The future of Obamacare has never looked more bleak. The next battle is more daunting: the Republican Party needs to avoid shooting itself in the foot, govern in a way that achieves results rather than perpetuates partisan bickering, and continue to develop patient-centered health reform for the post-Obamacare future. Although Obamacare itself will not be repealed until January 2017, Republican success yesterday gives depth, resilience, and energy to the post-Obamacare health reform movement."
Wayne Oliver and Jeffrey Segal
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-05
"There is nothing more time consuming and expensive for a patient than undergoing extra tests or procedures during a trip to the emergency room, doctor’s office or urgent care center. Often a physician will know exactly what a patient’s diagnosis is but will order an x-ray, CT scan, blood work or MRI to reaffirm his clinical judgment. The common rationale is to back up his opinion in case there is a lawsuit."
Jeffrey Anderson
The Weekly Standard
Tue, 2014-11-04
"Anti-Obamacare ads are dominating the airwaves in the election’s stretch run. According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, Republicans ran nearly 13,000 anti-Obamacare ads in Senate races during the week of October 20-26. That’s after they ran nearly 12,000 anti-Obamacare ads during the week of October 13-19 and over 11,000 during the week of October 6-12. In each of those three weeks, Republicans ran far more ads against Obamacare than they — or the Democrats — ran‎ on any other issue.‎ Judging by both parties’ ads in Senate races from October 20-26, the issues favoring Republicans the most seem to be #1 Obamacare, #2 spending, and #3 immigration. Over that span, Republicans ran nearly 13,000 more anti-Obamacare ads than Democrats did (although Democrats did run a few). In addition, Republicans ran nearly 10,000 more ads on budget/government spending and nearly 5,000 more on immigration.
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute
Forbes
Tue, 2014-11-04
"If Republicans take control of the Senate on Tuesday, the new Congress will need a three-part strategy on ObamaCare – the one they follow after they take the repeal “show” vote. President Obama still retains veto power, and no one believes that there will be two-thirds majorities in both houses to override his certain veto of any full repeal bill."

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