President Obama says he will veto any legislation that amends or repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), his signature legislative achievement, either in whole or in part. But GOP congressional leaders in both House and Senate promised their colleagues that they would use a special parliamentary procedure called “reconciliation” to bypass a certain filibuster by Senate Democrats to put a full repeal bill on the president’s desk anyway.Details
Between the end of March and the end of June, 29 states plus the District of Columbia lost Obamacare enrollees, based on an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of recently released data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In total, Obamacare exchanges had a net loss of 238,119 enrollees in the three-month period.Details
Ike Brannon is offering a full-throated defense of the Cadillac tax over at The Weekly Standard. He fully concedes that Obamacare is “replete with bad policies.” But he would have us believe “the so-called Cadillac tax is not one of them.”Details
Section 9001 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), set to take effect in 2018, imposes what it calls an “Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage”, which has come to be known as the “Cadillac Tax.” This is a 40 percent tax on employer-sponsored health benefits that are defined as “excess benefits.” That means anything in excess of $10,200 (employee only) or $27,500 (family) coverage for 2018, with adjustments for subsequent years. The “excess benefit” includes 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).Details
Iowa’s experience with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has been turbulent. In 2014, state officials agreed to expand Medicaid, despite the fact that the Obama administration denied virtually all of their requests for flexibility.
Iowa’s expansion was loosely modeled after Arkansas’ Obamacare expansion. Under Iowa’s “Marketplace Choice” waiver, able-bodied adults above the poverty line would receive Medicaid benefits through Obamacare exchange plans.Details
Congress has less than a month to make a small fix to Obamacare that could have a big impact on small businesses.
A bill that has been introduced would enable a state to decide whether to expand the definition of a small group health insurance market. It may not seem like a big deal, but lawmakers say the slight change could have a big impact on premiums for more than 3 million employees.Details
The White House is calling for a “more aggressive strategy” to reduce improper payments made by Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a letter made public to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Center for Public Integrity obtained the February letter — written by Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan and addressed to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell — after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.Details
Joel C. White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, and Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, have written to members of Congress seeking oversight of the co-op program. All but one of the 22 co-op created under the ACA have produced negative net income, despite $2.4 billion in federal taxpayer funding. This is a misuse of taxpayer money and a disservice to patients who have lost health insurance coverage due to co-op failure.Details
When the House of Representatives filed a lawsuit last year contesting President Obama’s implementation of ObamaCare, critics variously labeled it as “ridiculous,” “frivolous” and certain to be dismissed. Federal District Judge Rosemary Collyer apparently doesn’t agree. On Wednesday she ruled against the Obama administration, concluding that the House has standing to assert an injury to its institutional power, and that its lawsuit doesn’t involve—as the administration had asserted—a “political question” incapable of judicial resolution.Details
The federal court ruling Wednesday that Congress can sue the President may eventually be seen as the beginning of an historic constitutional watershed. Now that we’ve had the chance to digest the opinion, we’d say it has the chance to restore the separation of powers that President Obama has so often subverted.Details