“Republicans never got their chance to chop down President Barack Obama’s health care law, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe from the clippers as Congress looks for solutions for tough fiscal times. The Affordable Care Act brings in a lot of new taxes and savings, but it also dishes out as much as $1.7 trillion in new spending over the next decade — money that looks awfully tempting to lawmakers scrounging around for ways to fund other projects or pay down the deficit.”

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“‘Even though’? In fact, Obamacare is simply doing what a lot of people predicted it would. Critics of ObamaCare warned that it would produce precisely the kind of premium increases we are now seeing, for precisely the reasons that new reports are now citing. I was one of those critics, and I take no joy in pointing out that we told you so.”

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“This note analyzes the ACA through the use of a large-scale microsimulation model of insurance markets. We
find a rich array of impacts across a variety of insurance products. As shown in the table below, on balance the ACA will raise the costs of exchange-based insurance products (and, accordingly, raise the cost of government subsidies). In particular, consumers may be expected to suffer sharp ‘sticker shock’ upon full implementation of the ACA in 2014 as premiums will at best remain unchanged, and for others may rise as much 13 percent.”

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“Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits. They’re privately briefing politicians in Washington on what’s in store. Those briefings are leaving a lot of folks up and down Pennsylvania Avenue jumpy.”

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“Ninety-four years ago today, the 18th Amendment was added to the Constitution. It prohibited ‘the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes.’ The 18th Amendment was enacted with far more support than Obamacare.”

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“Okay, I admit it. I am completely baffled. Maybe one of you smart folks can help me out here. I am reading a new Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief on “Implementing New Private Health Insurance Market Rules,” and scratching my head.”

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“A major criticism of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is its attempt to impose “one size fits all” health policy on states with
different populations and markets. Whereas health insurance was historically regulated by the states, the ACA and
accompanying regulation imposes numerous new rules onto health insurers and employer-provided plans. Millions of
Americans will be eligible for subsidized health insurance coverage in 2014, and supposedly able to enroll in said
coverage by October.”

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“Months since the Supreme Court ruling that made the Obamacare Medicaid expansion optional, the state costs associated with expansion still remain highly uncertain—making expansion a dicey course for states and their budgets.
Indeed, states should not lose sight of the fact that the original Medicaid expansion was coercive for a reason.”

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“Unfortunately, Obama is pushing the code in the opposite direction. Not only has he managed to get rates increased as part of his “fiscal cliff” deal, his health reform law will add vast new layers of tax complexity. For example, ObamaCare adds a new refundable tax credit to offset the cost of insurance that will not only be a nightmare to administer, but will also narrow the tax base still further by kicking 8 million off the tax rolls. The law gums up the code with new breaks for small businesses, health care investments, adoptions and so on. And it forces the IRS to figure out who gets penalized for not buying insurance and how much they owe.”

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“Health-insurance premiums have been rising—and consumers will experience another series of price shocks later this year when some see their premiums skyrocket thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare. The reason: The congressional Democrats who crafted the legislation ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing. Premiums will soon reflect that disregard—indeed, premiums are already reflecting it.”

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