The Supreme Court of the United States will soon decide the case of King v. Burwell. The legal question there is simple: Can the president wave his magic wand and rewrite Obamacare to mean whatever he wants it to mean? The correct answer is obviously no. The legal upshot is equally obvious: If King is correctly decided, the president will be barred from doling out Obamacare subsidies in Texas and the dozens of other states that refused to be lured into his eponymous welfare program.Details
The House voted Tuesday to abolish a cost-cutting board under ObamaCare that has drawn criticism from members of both parties.
Lawmakers voted 244-154 to abolish what is known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The board is tasked with coming up with Medicare cuts if spending rises above a certain threshold, but has been criticized as outsourcing the work of Congress to unelected bureaucrats.
Repeal of the board has split Democrats, 20 of whom cosponsored the repeal bill. Eleven voted with Republicans on Tuesday to kill it.Details
In the next few days, the Supreme Court will issue a decision in King v. Burwell, the most contentious case of the year. (I’m not counting same-sex marriage because everyone thinks it’s a foregone conclusion.) For those still unfamiliar with what is probably the last existential legal challenge to Obamacare, King asks whether the text of the Affordable Care Act, which provides for subsidies for people who buy health insurance from exchanges “established by the state,” also allows the IRS to give these tax credits to those buying from the federal healthcare.gov.Details
Jonathan Gruber, the embattled Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist whose comments about President Barack Obama’s health law touched off a political furor, worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape and influence the law, according to previously unreleased emails.Details
Long before there was the Affordable Care Act, presidential candidate and Democratic front-runner Secretary Hillary Clinton was advocating for her own version of health care reform, popularly known as “Hillarycare.” While the Clintons failed to successfully implement Hillarycare, a little over a decade later, President Barack Obama passed “Obamacare,” which effectively overhauled the United States health care system. While the general refrain in the media touted that Obamacare was different than Hillarycare, the two are actually very similar in structure and regulation.Details
The Affordable Care Act created a new kind of “cooperative” heralded by supporters of health reform. These Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, chartered and regulated by the states, would compete with for-profit health-insurance companies and were meant to appease disgruntled advocates of a single-payer and “public option” model for the nation’s health-care system.Details
The Supreme Court will soon decide King v. Burwell, the case that will determine whether tax credits being paid in at least 34 states without their own exchanges are legal. If the Supreme Court makes the administration follow the letter of the law, billions of dollars of federal tax credits will continue to flow to 16 states, but not the rest. This will result in a political crisis giving Congress and President Obama the opportunity to fix the worst aspects of Obamacare.Details
Most of the 13 state-run public health insurance have collectively spent $4.8 billion in federal funding during their first 17 months of operations and face serious cash-flow problems, according to a website named after the late conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart.
And with major insurance carriers seeking HIX premium increases of up to 51% in some states, the report suggested marketplace mergers as one political solution. It noted that both Covered California and Vermont Health Connect significantly overestimated enrollment and now must slash advertising, outreach and technology services.Details
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has just released a report on the budgetary and economic effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Press reports reflect what CBO has reported pursuant to its scoring instructions – specifically, that relative to its scorekeeping baseline, repeal of the ACA would worsen the federal deficit but bolster the economy. CBO’s new inclusion of economic feedback with the score – finding that the ACA’s adverse economic effects make the deficit $216 billion worse over the next decade than it otherwise would be – is naturally fostering additional attention. Less noted, however, is the important fact that CBO’s analysis actually indicates that repealing the ACA would lower, not increase, federal deficits.Details