“An annual fee to raise money for President Obama’s healthcare law will increase insurance premiums by billions of dollars on the whole, according to a new report by a conservative think tank. The American Action Forum, led by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, argued that the annual fee from insurers starting in 2014 amounts to a tax on the middle class.”

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“IPAB’s unelected members will have effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not. In some circumstances, just one political party or even one individual would have full command of IPAB’s lawmaking powers. IPAB truly is independent, but in the worst sense of the word. It wields power independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.”

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“This year the biggest looming question has been whether fledging payment revisions in Obama’s law, also mirrored by private insurance plans, are succeeding in holding costs down. The rate of growth the past three years has hovered under 4 percent, historically low. That’s coincided with a shift to paying hospitals and doctors for better quality, not just their sheer volume of tests and procedures. Obama has argued that his overhaul would begin to ‘bend the cost curve’ to more affordable levels. The analysts remained skeptical.”

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“On Friday House Republicans released more documents that expose the collusion between the health-care industry and the White House that produced ObamaCare, and what a story of crony capitalism it is. If the trove of emails proves anything, it’s that the Tea Party isn’t angry enough.”

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“The House passed legislation Thursday that would repeal the healthcare reform law’s tax on medical device manufacturers. The measure won the support of 37 Democrats despite a veto threat from the Obama administration. The bill was approved 270-146 after a debate in which Republicans said members of both parties support repeal of the 2.3 percent tax, which was created by the 2010 healthcare law.”

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“The House voted Thursday to advance legislation that would repeal the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax imposed by the Democratic healthcare law in 2010, which would raise an anticipated $29 billion over the next decade. Members approved the rule for the legislation, H.R. 436, in a mostly partisan 241-173 vote, although eight Democrats joined Republicans in support of the rule.”

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“Most American employers believe that a Supreme Court decision rejecting the entire healthcare law would be the best option for their finances, a new poll finds. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed believe a ruling voiding the law would best bolster their bottom line.”

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“Reviewing peer-reviewed literature on the relationship between medical technology and improvements in life expectancies, Zycher estimates that the knock-on effect of the tax will be about one million life-years lost annually. (Due to limitations in applying the literature, it not possible to tell the degree to which this tilts towards one million people dying one year earlier, or a smaller number of people dying many years earlier. My own interpretation leans towards the latter.)”

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“States and the federal government will have to work hard to make sure that new insurance exchanges in President Obama’s healthcare law actually create more competition, a new study says… The Health Affairs study says people in those areas generally pay higher out-of-pocket costs than people in more populated areas with greater competition. ‘If experience with the federal benefits program is an indication of how much competition can be expected in the exchanges, then people obtaining coverage from exchanges will not benefit much from competition unless the exchanges are at least modestly assertive in setting conditions of participation for qualifying health plans,’ the authors wrote.”

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“The Health and Human Services Department has missed nearly half of its legal deadlines while implementing President Obama’s healthcare law, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum. HHS has faced 42 statutory deadlines in the roughly two years since the Affordable Care Act became law — and it missed 20 of them, according to the AAF’s count.”

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