“You’ve already heard that the White House let employers off the hook for a year on their Obamacare duties. They won’t have to offer coverage or pay a penalty in 2014. But if you don’t have insurance you will still have to get it by next year or pay a fine, in most cases, under the law. Republicans are pushing the White House to stall enforcement of the individual insurance mandate, just as the White House did for business. Don’t force people to buy it. Don’t fine scofflaws.”

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“This week’s stunning delay in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate was hardly the first time that ObamaCare’s implementation effort has stumbled, as the president’s signature domestic policy initiative has suffered several self-inflicted wounds on the path toward full implementation.”

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“Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are raising doubts about the ObamaCare data hub designed to power real-time eligibility determinations for the new insurance exchanges. On Friday, 16 GOP lawmakers asked Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a briefing on how the hub will protect sensitive information and when it will be complete.”

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“Obamacare continues to fall short of the lofty predictions about it — and here are two new charts to prove it. The charts, included as part of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) presentation over the weekend, summarize the CBO’s cost estimates of the law in the three years since its passage. The charts show that in every instance, the CBO’s estimate of the number of uninsured has risen, as has the number of workers who will lose coverage under their existing employer plans:”

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“The entertainment industry is already having difficulty determining whether employees can be considered full-time or part-time and is fearful of the fines it will face if it chooses incorrectly. Another issue the health law creates is the outsourcing of productions to foreign countries, since Obamacare’s regulations and fines don’t apply to US citizens abroad. Studios may find it much cheaper to film in another country and avoid the burden of Obamacare.”

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“In recent weeks, I’ve talked to a handful of large healthcare firms and medical practices that offer specialty medical services. I asked them what kinds of prices they’re soliciting from the new health plans now taking shape under Obamacare. These providers said that they’re demanding, and in some cases securing, pretty rich reimbursement rates from the new, Obamacare health plans.”

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“Congressional Democrats told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday that Americans are still very confused about the health care law — including older people who worry that Obamacare will change their Medicare. Sebelius went to the Hill for another update with Democrats on Obamacare rollout.”

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“The main focus of our analysis is assessing access to primary-care physicians under the health-care law. The reason for this focus is twofold: first, we already know that we will be facing a primary-care shortage in the coming years, so understanding the role that Obamacare plays in affecting the shortage is important; second, much of the law was motivated by the argument that expanding access to inexpensive (or free) preventive care and primary care physicians would ultimately bend the curve of health-care spending.”

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“The High Cost Plan Excise Tax, which is often referred to as the ‘Cadillac Tax’ is one of the revenue raising provisions in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The excise tax is calculated by comparing the cost of an employer-sponsored plan (which includes premiums paid by the employer and/or employee as well as any contributions into
health accounts such as health savings accounts of flex savings accounts) to a benchmark, which will be adjusted every year based on the Consumer Product Index (CPI). Any amount above the benchmark is taxed at 40 percent; this tax is levied on the health insurance company but is generally understood to be passed onto the consumer, or firm purchasing that plan.”

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“For Obamacare to succeed, American doctors need to earn less money. Last week, Washington took a step in that direction. One of Medicare’s influential advisory boards recommended that payment rates to providers be sanded down.”

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