“The Supreme Court could decide Nov. 10 whether it will review President Barack Obama’s health care reform law this term. The Obama administration and five opponents of the law are asking the court to review whether the law’s requirement that all Americans buy insurance is constitutional. Five of the six pending requests have been sent to the justices ahead of the November conference, at which the justices will decide which cases it will accept.”

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“These cuts are substantial, real, and already enacted into law. If you are a Medicare beneficiary who has chosen a Medicare Advantage plan, you will probably not be able to keep it, no matter how much you like your plan. Even if you can keep your plan in name, the plan you like now will be a shell of its former self.”

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“To bring European healthcare to America, these price differences always had to be sanded away. The only way ObamaCare is going to bring our health benefits and spending to European levels is to also adapt European payment rates. As a result, US doctors will adjust their business models in ways that won’t be good for patients. Some with busy practices in big cities will opt out of the government insurance systems entirely, and go cash-only. Others will retire early.
But most doctors won’t have these opportunities available to them.”

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“Two tiny health insurance companies are exiting Florida’s individual market because of Democrats’ health law, the state’s insurance department announced Thursday in an effort to bolster its request for a waiver. Florida has asked for a waiver from the medical loss ratio requirement that requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care or give customers rebates. Several consumer advocacy groups argued Thursday that the state doesn’t need such a waiver.”

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“Des Moines-based American Enterprise Group announced Thursday that it will exit the individual major medical insurance market, making it the 13th company to pull out of some portion of Iowa’s health insurance business since June 2010. The move means 110 employees will lose their jobs over the next three years — 40 in Des Moines and 70 in Omaha. It also underscores the widespread anxiety among insurance companies over the raft of regulation resulting from the health care overhaul bill.”

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“The law links the tax credit to household income. So two people whose combined income goes above a certain level will not be able to get a tax credit if they are married and file together. But if they get divorced or stay single they might, individually, be eligible for a premium credit. Giving people pause about marriage could be a big ‘unintended consequence’ of the law, the report says. The committee asked the Joint Committee on Taxation to crunch some marriage numbers. The JCT found that 2 million of the nearly 60 million married couples in the U.S. will end up qualifying for the tax credit.”

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“ObamaCare’s rate review regulations are premised on the notion that rising health insurance premiums are somehow caused by excess profits and wasteful spending. But insurer profits are actually quite small. The Congressional Research Service reports that in 2009, health insurers’ average profit margin was just 2.6%. The cost of insurance is rising because the cost of health care has increased dramatically. True health reform would’ve addressed this underlying problem.”

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“Had it not been for CLASS, health care reform would have been scored as a net budget positive in the first five years of the ten-year window and a net negative in the later five years – that is, when it was fully in effect. The Orszag-DeParle claim of a positive long-term impact would have hinged entirely upon unquantifiable savings claims in the second decade and beyond, and on a thin $8 billion (1% of the bill’s 10-yr cost) plus in 2019 alone — after a net minus in each of 2016-2018..”

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“Hard times continue for the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). The administration has scrapped the law’s long-term care insurance program covering nursing homes and home health care. The program was deemed unrealistic. This is a harbinger. As the law is implemented — assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t declare it unconstitutional or Republicans don’t repeal it — disappointments will mount.”

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“CLASS’s enactment was no accident of a chaotic and uncontrolled legislative process. It was a deliberate and cynical ploy to put a phony veneer of fiscal restraint on top of a massive tax-and-spend program. The administration and its allies certainly knew all along that a day of reckoning would come. But they didn’t care; they staked so much on the passage of Obamacare that they had a win-at-any-cost mentality. And now that they have admitted that tens of billions of dollars in deficit reduction that they promised will never materialize, they aren’t the least bit apologetic.”

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