“CMS’ goal here is to cut down on the number of procedures. The same device has been approved in Europe for almost 5 years and has gained widespread use by patients who want to forgo very invasive open-heart surgeries—for good reason. The minimally invasive approach poses a lot less hardship on patients. This ruling will force people to get open-heart surgeries that might have been avoidable. These decisions used to be left to patients and doctors. Now it’s clear that for costly procedures, Washington will be making more of these choices for us.”

Details

“House Republicans attacked the 2010 healthcare law Wednesday for expanding a preventive care grant program that allegedly funded pet spaying and neutering in Tennessee. A statement from Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans also blasted grants they said paid for urban farming initiatives and the improvement of city bike lanes.”

Details

“Quinnipiac University is out with a new poll of voters in three key swing states—Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The headline is that Romney slightly leads Obama in Florida and Ohio, whereas Obama is winning Pennsylvania. But the poll also asked voters if they wanted the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare, and in all three states, voters said ‘yes.'”

Details

“The Alabama Legislature is trying to get ahead of the federal Affordable Care Act. The House passed a bill establishing the framework for health insurance exchanges in Alabama. But the Governor said the legislation is premature.”

Details

“One of the enduring mysteries of President Obama’s health law is how its spending constraints and payroll tax hikes on high earners can be used to shore up Medicare finances and at the same time pay for a massive new entitlement program. Isn’t this double counting? The short answer is: Yes, it is. You can’t spend the same money twice. And so, thanks to the new health law, federal deficits and debt will be hundreds of billions of dollars higher in the next decade alone.”

Details

“As you may know, the Affordable Care Act raises taxes on pretty much everyone, directly or indirectly, in order to fund its expansion of coverage for the uninsured. Most of these new taxes are unwise policy. But one Obamacare tax increase stands out for sheer boneheadedness: the law’s tax on insurance premiums, a provision that will raise taxes paid by the government itself, and make insurance less affordable.”

Details

“The mandate, they say, is necessary to rein in the cost-shifting to the insured caused by uninsured individuals who receive free or ‘uncompensated’ care when they visit emergency rooms and fail to pay. Will the justices buy Team Obama’s reasoning? They shouldn’t. The Administration’s argument for the mandate has it all backwards. In fact, the individual mandate will increase the amount of cost-shifting resulting from uncompensated care.”

Details

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) – regardless of the view one has of the legislation – has created enormous disruption. And with disruption comes enormous opportunity, as well as risk. Many provider organizations (e.g. hospitals and physician groups) have responded to the changing healthcare delivery environment by safety in size through merger and acquisition. Payers are also buying or creating partnerships with hospitals, and hospitals are acquiring other hospitals and physician practices to become gigantic systems.”

Details

“New estimates suggest that health insurers will pay out more than $1 billion in rebates this year due to a provision in the 2010 health care overhaul.
A success for ObamaCare? Maybe not. The rebates don’t account for premium increases we’ve already seen during the administration’s time in office. And pressure created by the provision, which caps the percentage of each premium dollar that can be spent on profit, marketing, and administrative costs, is likely to contribute to rising premiums rather than control them. “

Details

“In February, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a ‘guidance bulletin’ regarding the compatibility of health savings accounts with Obamacare’s insurance regulations. According to HSA expert Roy Ramthun, the news isn’t good. ‘HSA plans will not be as affordable as they are today,’ says Ramthun.”

Details