“On Friday, HHS all but admitted that at least one element of the exchanges won’t be entirely ready on time: the Small business Health Options Program (SHOP) — the health insurance exchanges ObamaCare set up to serve small employers. The SHOP exchanges were supposed to be fully in place by January 1, 2014. But newly released regulations propose delaying a key part of the small business exchanges for a year: the employee choice provisions that were arguably the most significant feature of the program.”

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“When Obamacare was being debated 2009, proponents banked heavily on its transformative potential. When skeptics caviled about the costs, the reformers pointed out that there were all sorts of pilots, and delivery system reforms like these ACO demonstration projects, that hadn’t gotten scored as cost-saving by the Congressional Budget Office… So far, pretty much every one of those promised improvements has underwhelmed, and the skeptics have been vindicated.”

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“In some cases we’ve heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King BKW -2.82% or Wendy’s to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts. Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare.”

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“The GAO has been issuing warnings about ObamaCare’s shaky budget assumptions for a while now, but this is the first time it’s put a concrete number against it. Still, bad as this $6.2 trillion deficit boost is, the real figure is likely to be much higher, since the GAO is still being far too optimistic about the rest of ObamaCare. Here are five big assumptions the GAO makes that aren’t likely to hold true.”

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“House Republican doctors released a ‘healthcare state of the union’ video Wednesday that criticizes President Obama’s signature healthcare law but does not mention repealing it. The video shows floor speeches from frequent critics of the healthcare law, including Reps. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.). It shows lawmakers arguing that the Affordable Care Act will raise costs and criticizing its taxes on medical devices.”

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“A GOP subcommittee chairman railed against the medical-loss ratio (MLR) in President Obama’s healthcare law Wednesday for increasing fraud in the private sector. In committee, Rep. Joe Pitts (Pa.) said that most anti-fraud efforts are categorized as ‘administrative’ expenses and thus limited to 20 percent of a plan’s spending under the MLR.”

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“Under a different set of assumptions, the law has the opposite effect over time, the GAO said — the deficit will increase by 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) if the law’s cost-containment measures are phased out. The report attributed this potential increase in part to the law’s most expensive features — the Medicaid expansion and the provision of insurance subsidies.”

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“Democratic support for President Obama’s healthcare law has dropped 15 points since November, contributing to a rise in negative attitudes toward the reform, according to a new poll.”

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“No one really knows how much Obamacare is going to cost the American government or the American people. All we really know for certain, something that a number of public and private econometric studies have backed up, is that it will be more expensive than the president led us to believe it would be.”

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“In short, Obamacare has made it so challenging for doctors to operate private practices that many have decided not to do so anymore. And as doctors become salaried workers, their allegiances will shift. The interests of their employers will supplant those of their patients.”

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