“A coalition of medical specialties said Tuesday that it supports a bill to repeal the controversial cost-control board in President Obama’s signature healthcare law. The Alliance of Specialty Medicine — a coalition of specialty groups including brain surgeons, plastic surgeons and heart doctors — said it wants Congress to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).”

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“The feds may not have provided an estimate of the cost of operating an exchange, but several other experts have. The results are eye-popping. According to Maryland’s Joint Committee on Health Benefit Exchange Financing, administrative costs alone will run the state an astounding $201 per person in 2015. The auditing firm KPMG recently found that Ohio can expect to spend $63 million to set up its exchange and another $43 million each year to run it.”

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“The Obama administration adopted a strict definition of affordable health insurance on Wednesday that will deny federal financial assistance to millions of Americans with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by employers. In deciding whether an employer’s health plan is affordable, the Internal Revenue Service said it would look at the cost of coverage only for an individual employee, not for a family. Family coverage might be prohibitively expensive, but federal subsidies would not be available to help buy insurance for children in the family. The policy decision came in a final regulation interpreting ambiguous language in the 2010 health care law.”

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“We’ve already seen many of America’s biggest companies respond to the new law by laying off employees, putting them on part-time, or raising prices. But those are short-term solutions. Ultimately, these corporations will have to innovate and restructure to thrive in the era of ObamaCare. If small businesses follow their lead, they may even gain an advantage over their big competitors.”

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“The Obama administration is late in implementing several provisions of the federal health overhaul intended to improve access to care and lower costs. The programs, slated to take effect Jan. 1, were supposed to increase fees to primary care doctors who treat Medicaid patients, give states more federal funding if they eliminate Medicaid co-pays for preventive services and experiment with changes to how doctors and hospitals are paid by Medicare.”

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“A core idea at the heart of President Obama’s healthcare reform law is the notion that while expanding coverage is expensive, there are huge offsetting savings to be had from reforming how medicine is practiced by doctors and hospitals. Who knows, maybe a third of the $2.7 trillion spent on healthcare is wasted… And if that research is wrong? Well, then we have a problem. And a paper from a Federal Reserve economist suggests just that.”

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“Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour. Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive.”

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“Beyond these encouraging developments in the states, however, there are two proposals that Republicans should embrace in the early months of 2013 to help destabilize Obamacare and lay the foundation for its eventual replacement. First, congressional Republicans should push for a delay in Obamacare’s implementation. Second, the party should unite behind, and persuasively advance, a credible and practical replacement plan​—​for one cannot replace Obamacare without offering a replacement.”

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“The federal health-care overhaul is prompting some colleges and universities to cut the hours of adjunct professors, renewing a debate about the pay and benefits of these freelance instructors who handle a significant share of teaching at U.S. higher-education institutions.”

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“The American Medical Association praised the reintroduction Wednesday of a bill to repeal the controversial Medicare payments board in President Obama’s healthcare law. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) reintroduced his bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a panel of 15 healthcare experts with the power to cut Medicare payments to doctors if spending grows faster than a prescribed rate.”

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