“The stench of Chicago cronyism over the White House just got fouler. Inhale this: A shadowy $10 billion Obamacare agency with zero oversight just awarded first lady Michelle Obama’s pet patient-dumping scheme at the University of Chicago Medical Center a $5.9 million taxpayer-funded grant. It will enable Mrs. Obama’s cronies to build a government-sponsored electronic medical record-sharing system.”

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“More than a dozen Catholic bishops — including Washington’s — sued the Obama administration on Monday, ratcheting up the standoff between church officials and the White House over a government mandate requiring employers to provide contraception coverage. Catholic bishops were already leading the fight against the mandate, which requires most religious organizations to provide the coverage, although houses of worship are exempt.”

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“The PR push is part of a sustained effort to try to sell the unpopular Obamacare law to the American public. Last year, HHS asked Congress to quadruple the budget for its public affairs office – to nearly $20 million – and nearly double the size of the office’s staff. The department insisted the changes were necessary to ‘help Americans understand and access their benefits and information under the law.'”

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“Some consumers and businesses might see a little extra cash this summer as a result of the 2010 health care law. The Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported an estimated $1.3 billion in rebates will be delivered from health insurers who spent more than the law allotted on administrative expenses and profits. What people don’t realize is that there’s a catch to this ‘free’ money. The rebates are required by an obscure regulation in the health care law, called the ‘minimum loss ratio,’ which also contains longer-term incentives for health insurers to increase costs that will be passed along to all of us. Instead of rushing to spend these extra dollars, rebate recipients are better off pocketing it to pay for higher premiums in the future.”

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“Tax credits in President Obama’s healthcare law aren’t big enough to prompt small businesses to start offering healthcare benefits, the Government Accountability Office said Monday. The small-business tax credit has not lived up to expectations. The Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the credits would total $2 billion in 2010, but the real cost that year only came to $468 million, GAO said.”

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“For a law that supposedly sticks it to big business, President Obama’s health care overhaul sure has a lot of industries counting on it for profits. In recent weeks, plenty of new evidence suggests Obamacare was a boondoggle for special interests. Hedge fund honcho Larry Robbins told the crowd at the prominent Sohn Investment Conference last week to buy hospital stocks. Obamacare, Robbins argued, would boost profits for the industry.”

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“Politico is reporting that House Republicans are preparing for the possibility that the Supreme Court upholds the law by drafting new legislation. ‘When the court rules, we’ll be ready,’ House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told the House Republican Conference on Wednesday. But what’s surprising about alleged GOP plans is that they involve preserving significant—and damaging—aspects of the Affordable Care Act, for what appear to be political reasons. I’m not convinced that the story is accurate.”

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“At issue is a new payment scheme that pays renal doctors a lump sum, or ‘bundled payment,’ for taking care of dialysis patients. Under the program, the doctors mostly get one fixed payment regardless of how much time they spend with patients, or how many drugs and procedures they use in caring for these folks. These ‘bundled payments’ are a key feature of the Obama health plan. That legislation uses various forms of capitation to shift financial risk onto providers in a bid to cut down on the use of costly, and some argue wasteful, medical services.”

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“Franciscan University appears to be the first casualty of the new Obama HHS mandate that requires Catholic colleges, groups and businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions and birth control for their employees. Although President Barack Obama declared ‘If you like your health care coverage you can keep it,’ when it came to passing Obamacare, a Catholic college in Ohio has determined it will no longer offer a student health insurance plan.”

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“If you’re getting a rebate check from your health insurer, the Obama administration wants to make sure you know where it really came from. Lest no one be confused about the political purpose of the mandatory rebates… Here’s what the notices won’t tell you: Despite the rebates, the existence of the health care overhaul isn’t necessarily ensuring that health insurance customers get a better deal.”

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