“In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.”

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“President Obama’s healthcare law won’t erode employer-based health insurance — but it will raise some companies’ costs by nearly 10 percent, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. Although the law’s critics usually focus on small businesses, the new paper says medium-sized firms will see the biggest cost increase.”

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“The District’s small businesses may have to buy their employee health insurance through a city-run exchange come 2014, following a controversial vote by a city board. The D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority, charged with implementing the federal health-care overhaul law, voted Wednesday to accept a recommendation that all health-insurance plans sold in the city for 50 members or fewer must be purchased through the exchange.”

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“The experts believed states would want to tailor the exchanges to their own populations. But the task has proved exceedingly complicated. Participating states must set up a call center as well as a Web site that allows people to easily find and understand health plans, in much the way that Orbitz and Travelocity help people find airline flights.”

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“The fundamental struggle in American health care is over how to allocate resources. Or, put differently, who should be in charge of allocating scarce health-care resources? The government, or consumers in a functioning marketplace?”

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“But the President goes even further, by claiming that his signature health law actually expands benefits for seniors, because the law slightly increases Medicare spending on preventive services and prescription drugs. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, for every $500 the law spends on preventive services and prescription drugs, it cuts the rest of Medicare by $7,385. That’s a cut-to-spending ratio of nearly 15 to 1.”

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“Screening colonoscopies under Medicare are cheap but usually not free. And President Obama didn’t craft the policy that first extended coverage for the colonoscopies and lowered their cost, either. President Bush did it.”

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“At the inception of ObamaCare, then Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress had to ‘pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.’ And now we have found out. Filled with new entitlements and symbolic hand-outs, the true impact of this extraordinarily damaging law has only just surfaced in advance of its most destructive effects to come. Only the voters can stop it.”

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“A D.C. board has voted to require individuals and small-business owners in the District to purchase their health insurance through the newly minted health exchange it oversees. The D.C. Health Benefit Exchange board approved the regulations late Wednesday, with just one modification to shrink the size of businesses that would come under the regulation.”

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“Obama’s plan makes tax credits available to people who get health insurance from exchanges set up by state governments. If states don’t establish those exchanges, the federal government will do so for them. The federal exchanges, however, don’t come with tax credits: The law authorizes credits only for people who get insurance from state-established exchanges. And that creates some problems the administration didn’t foresee, and now hopes to wish away.”

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