“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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“By denying coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums, but also the new fees that went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This year, companies have to pay $1 or $2 “per life” covered on their plans, a sum that jumps to $65 in 2014. And health law guidelines proposed recently mandate coverage of employees’ dependent children (up to age 26), but husbands and wives are optional.”

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“Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low. Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based ‘high-risk pools’ set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.”

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“Though Democrats denied it during the 2012 campaign, Obamacare cut Medicare by $716 billion in order to partially fund $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years. A big chunk of those Medicare cuts came from the market-oriented Medicare Advantage program. Cleverly, the Obama administration postponed the Medicare Advantage cuts until after the election, so as to persuade seniors that everything would be just fine. But the election is over.”

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“Universal Orlando plans to stop offering medical insurance to part-time employees beginning next year, a move the resort says has been forced by the federal government’s health-care overhaul. The giant theme-park resort, which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue, began informing employees this month that it will offer health-insurance to part-timers ‘only until December 31, 2013.'”

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“During last week’s State of the Union address, one item curiously went almost unmentioned. We heard all about President Obama’s past triumphs and future plans, but his health-care-reform law was strangely missing. Sure, there was one throwaway line about how Obamacare was reducing health-care costs, but the seminal achievement of the president’s first term was almost ignored. Perhaps that is because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has brought little good news of late.”

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