The U.S. Census Bureau has published new estimates of health spending based on their somewhat obscure but important Quarterly Services Survey. Analysis of the survey data shows that health spending was 7.3% higher in the first quarter of 2015 than in the first quarter of last year. Hospital spending increased 9.2%.Details
Maybe the pending King v. Burwell decision will finally put Obamacare out of its misery. No matter what President Obama or Health and Human Services secretary Sylvia Burwell say, the truth is Obamacare is just limping along as another misguided, over-priced and underperforming government program.Details
Many consumers with health coverage through the Affordable Care Act are facing unexpected medical bills that in some cases greatly exceed the law’s caps on out-of-pocket expenses.
The law’s limits don’t apply to charges from out-of-network providers, and many insurance plans sold on ACA exchanges have limited networks—amplifying the risk of surprise bills.Details
Leading Republicans are charging that the Obama administration is illegally funding yet another part of Obamacare, in addition to the part of the healthcare law over which House Republicans are already suing.
Their latest criticism centers on the Affordable Care Act’s basic health program, an optional program for states that started this year, in which low-income residents can get subsidized, state-contracted health plans instead of buying them through the new online marketplaces.Details
New figures indicate that about 11 million people have signed up for health insurance during this latest sign-up period of Obamacare, of which about half will be from the uninsured population, based on previous estimates. Once again, the supporters of the law celebrate with proclamations that “it’s working.” One could say that assessment is true, if the definition of “working” means enrolling people into anything called health insurance.
To be sure, the law’s implementation is progressing, but there is no cause for celebration. It is indeed true that millions of Americans are now newly enrolled into health insurance, but it is disingenuous to tout this as a great success. An estimated 71% of the new insurance arises through Medicaid, using 2014 calculations based on analysis by Haislmaier and Gonshorowski of data from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.Details
Among presidents in modern times, Barack Obama stands apart in the intensity of his remarks on Supreme Court cases, a soon-to-be published article in Presidential Studies Quarterly concluded.
Mr. Obama added a new data point on Monday, saying at a news conference that “under well-established precedent, there is no reason” the administration should lose a challenge to the Affordable Care Act pending before the court.Details
The Obama administration is doubling down on the Affordable Care Act this week, as a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could dismantle the plan looms in the near future.
In a contentious House Committee on Ways and Means, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said President Barack Obama will not consider any GOP proposals to strike down the law’s insurance mandates.
Burwell acknowledged, however, that the administration would rely on Congress for a fix.Details
The Obama administration is announcing Thursday a new preventive health campaign, aimed at helping people who are newly insured under ObamaCare as well as others, better understand and use their coverage.
The public awareness initiative, called “Healthy Self,” is intended to help people know about and use the preventive services that are available for free under the Affordable Care Act. It also encourages healthy decisions outside of the doctor’s office, like a good diet and quitting smoking.
The idea is that gaining coverage is not the end of the line.Details
House Republicans sent a clear signal Wednesday that they wouldn’t preserve the health law in its current form if the Supreme Court guts a key provision, and the Obama administration responded with equal clarity that the states and Congress would be the ones responsible for resolving any fallout.
GOP legislators and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell set out their messages at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday, during a week in which both sides are fine-tuning their strategies on the case.Details
A key goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help people get health insurance who may have not been able to pay for it before. But the most popular plans – those with low monthly premiums – also have high deductibles and copays. And that can leave medical care still out of reach for some.
Renee Mitchell of Stone Mountain, Georgia is one of those people. She previously put off a medical procedure because of the expense. But as the threat of losing part of her vision became a real possibility, she sought an eye specialist at Emory University, who told her she needed surgery to correct an earlier cataract procedure gone wrong.Details