“Teams of technology experts are racing to finish building government websites that will allow people to shop and sign up for health insurance this October. People involved in the effort say to expect some problems, at least initially. The functioning of the websites—which will enable people without health insurance to enroll in plans offered through a federal or state insurance exchange—will play a major role in determining whether the Affordable Care Act is deemed a success or failure, since the 2010 law’s prime objective was to bring coverage to those who lack it.”

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“A closer examination of these health plans reveals a less rosy picture. Although the premiums are lower than some anticipated, this has been achieved by designing the plans around much more limited provider networks and including greater cost-sharing than the typical commercial health-insurance plan. The premiums for the policies that will be offered on the states’ exchanges are much higher than analogous plans being sold today.”

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“The Affordable Care Act was sold as a tool to lower health costs. In case you missed it, the claim is right there in the law’s title. The new Democratic position is that the entitlement will do the opposite but never mind, which is at least more honest. But we wonder how long this new candor will last. If the public reacts badly to these higher premiums, the authors of ObamaCare will soon be back to blaming insurance companies and Republicans.”

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“The health law’s supporters are now admitting that premiums will go up for some young and health individuals buying health insurance through the exchange. But they say it’s not entirely fair to make a comparison between individual plans bought on an exchange and today’s plans, because exchange plans offer a far richer set of benefits. Nor should this really come as a shock to anyone, because this is what people were told to expect.”

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“The IRS has put a top official in charge of implementing Obamacare on administrative leave after it was discovered he had accepted $1,162 in free food and other items during a 2010 conference. In a statement, the IRS confirmed that two employees have been placed on administrative leave — which is paid — and have begun the process of removing them.”

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“Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) on Wednesday said he was poised to unveil a wide-ranging replacement plan for the president’s healthcare reform law… The bill will not require individuals to buy insurance, something called for under the president’s healthcare reforms. Instead, the bill will offer tax deductions and advanced tax credits to purchase insurance.”

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“Nearly two-thirds of Americans who currently lack health insurance don’t know yet if they will purchase that coverage by the Jan. 1 deadline set by the ACA, a new survey revealed Monday. And less than half of those in the survey released by InsuranceQuotes.com think they’ll get better health care after Obamacare takes full effect. Nearly 50 percent believe the ACA will make it more difficult for them to get tests and procedures done in a timely manner, according to the phone survey of 1,001 adult Americans conducted in early May.”

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“President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law remains unpopular with the American public just months before it fully goes into effect, according to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The poll shows 49 percent of Americans say they believe the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea. That’s the highest number recorded on this question since the poll began measuring it in 2009. Just 37 percent say the plan is a good idea.”

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“Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told a House committee yesterday that she did nothing wrong by suggesting to companies she regulates that they support a group publicizing the Affordable Care Act. Let’s consider the absurdity of that position by looking at the arguments behind it.”

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“Under ObamaCare, modest-wage earners face a choice: Pay premiums they probably can’t afford or pay a bit less for policies with deductibles so high it makes them queasy. The good news is that the initial ObamaCare premiums for the California market, heralded by state officials last week as ‘a home run for consumers,’ do appear to be somewhat lower than outside actuaries had warned. The bad news is that the design of ObamaCare’s subsidies still threatens to keep the young and healthy uninsured, driving up premiums for everybody else.”

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