“The problem is that the benefits in question are neither ‘free’ nor likely to produce valuable savings. ObamaCare’s rules eliminated individual cost-sharing for a number of preventive services, but, as the administration admitted a few months after the law passed, at the cost of higher insurance premiums on average. It’s like a gym that suddenly makes all the drinks and snacks at its café ‘free’—but raises the price of membership.”

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“State officials say they need 20,000 people for the job of signing up millions of Californians for health insurance in the coming months, but a battle is brewing over whether these workers should undergo background checks and fingerprinting. At issue is the level of screening these ‘assisters’ should receive before they handle confidential information about the people they are enrolling this year in the state’s new health insurance exchange, called Covered California.”

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“The IRS said it did not need to go through that assessment because only large employers — defined as businesses that employ 50 or more people — are required under the healthcare law to either provide workers with health insurance or pay a fine. But Sargeant and his assistant chief counsel, Dillon Taylor, said the act of a small business assessing whether or not it should comply with the regulation — and the paperwork it must keep in case it does — impose a heavy burden.”

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“President Obama often claims he wants to cut the budget smartly, using a “scalpel”—not a meat axe, machete, cleaver or chainsaw, to list a few of his favorite metaphors. He’ll need a more inspired term to describe what he’s now doing to Medicare Advantage, perhaps napalm or WMD. The Affordable Care Act drained $306 billion from this growing version of Medicare that 29% of seniors use to escape the traditional entitlement and obtain modern private insurance, but the Administration is imposing the cuts in ways that are even more harmful than the law requires.”

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“Big government likes big providers. That’s why ObamaCare is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic. In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain. Why? Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington to regulate what they do.”

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“House Republicans told the Obama administration on Thursday that it needs to get moving on a study of how the Affordable Care Act will affect wages. The healthcare law requires the Labor Department to study whether new regulations under the law will lead to a reduction in workers’ pay.”

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“Despite surviving a number of threats, President Obama’s health care law remains harmful, unstable, and unpopular. It also remains vulnerable to repeal, largely because Congress and the Supreme Court have granted each state the power to veto major provisions of the law before they take effect in 2014.”

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“Jody Manor has run a small cafe and catering company for nearly three decades in Old Town Alexandria, only a few blocks from where he was born. Six years ago he purchased an adjoining building, and more recently he started searching for a second location. Whether he moves forward with expansion depends on the price tag of the requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health-care initiative.”

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“Rachel Shein and Steve Pilarski, the married owners of the bakery, which employs 95 people, estimate this could cost their business up to $108,000, and they are weighing their options as the date approaches. ‘Our revenues are about $8 million, but the food business is a low-margin industry so cutting $108,000 out of our profits, which are just over $200,000, is a big deal,’ said Ms. Shein, who is the chief executive.”

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“A new GOP bill would require health insurance companies to describe their tax burden under healthcare reform to consumers in annual statements. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), a critic of the Affordable Care Act, said the measure would inform patients about the law’s “nearly trillion dollars in taxes” and how they might affect premiums. ‘If the federal government is going to play such a big role in our healthcare going forward, we have the right to know just how much it costs us,’ Walden said in a statement.”

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