“ObamaCare drives up the cost of insurance by piling mandates and required coverage benefits onto every single policy.
Consider the so-called “slacker mandate,” which requires all family policies to cover adult children until they turn 26. According to a recent federal report, nearly 1 million young adults gained health coverage this year thanks to the mandate.
Of course, adding them to their parents’ policies isn’t free. Towers Watson found that the rise in young-adult enrollment was responsible for premium increases of as much as 3% at many firms.”

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“Revenue from a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services mandated by the 2010 health-care overhaul law is falling short of projections, a government watchdog reported Thursday. The tax brought in $17.8 million in the last quarter of the 2010 fiscal year and $36.6 million in the first half of fiscal 2011, according to the report by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration. The tanning levy was projected to generate $2.7 billion over 10 years, including $200 million for fiscal 2011, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.”

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“Since the federal government is mandating that people purchase health insurance and will spend trillions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, it therefore must define what qualifies as an acceptable policy. Deciding what will be in this ‘essential benefits package’ is going to be a long, painful process that the political system is ill-equipped to handle.”

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“In other words, Sebelius’ dilemma is whether or not to take away a perfectly good option—catastrophic coverage—that the market currently offers patients. And the expert advice is that she should not. I’m not sure whether to applaud this dawn of wisdom or weep that the Obama administration needed a panel to tell it the obvious. What’s next? An expert panel advising the administration that GM should, after all, keep its wheels round?”

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“President Obama’s health care law requires employers to offer health benefits to full-time employees. This employer mandate will price many unskilled workers out of full-time employment. After paying the new health premiums, the minimum wage, payroll taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes, hiring a full-time worker will cost employers at least $10.03 per hour. Full-time workers with family health plans will cost $13.75 per hour. Employers who hire workers with productivity below these rates will lose money. Businesses employing less skilled workers will probably respond by dumping their employees onto the federally subsidized health care exchanges and replacing full-time positions with part-time jobs.”

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“About a dozen Congressional Republicans gathered Wednesday morning to pressure Democrats to repeal the president’s health care law and to receive 1.6 million hand-signed petitions demanding that Congress overturn the law before it can be fully implemented.”

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“The Obama health-care plan passed 18 months ago, and its cynicism still manages to astonish. Witness the spectacle surrounding one of its flagship new entitlements, which is eliciting some remarkable concessions from its drafters. The Health and Human Services Department recently shut down a government insurance program for long-term care, known by the acronym Class. HHS also released a statement claiming that reports that HHS is shutting down Class are ‘not accurate.’ All HHS did was suspend Class policy planning, told Senate Democrats to zero out Class funding for 2012, reassigned Class’s career staffers to other projects and pink-slipped the program’s chief actuary. Other than that, it’s full-speed ahead.”

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“Overall, PPACA is anticipated to increase costs by an average of 1.5% in 2011 across the surveyed health plans. Other surveys have offered similar cost estimates. However, it is important to understand that these averages cannot be easily extrapolated to any particular health insurance policy or across different lines of business… Overall, for 2011 health plans reported estimated increases due to PPACA of 4.7% for individual policies, 1.5% for small group plans, and 0.8% for large group plans on a weighted average basis. These impacts are additive to the other trend components discussed previously.”

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“Staffing firms urged Congress Thursday to repeal the healthcare law’s requirement that employers provide insurance for their workers — even as they continue working with federal regulators to tweak the law.”

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“Prudent insurers, employers and benefits advisors should take the same ‘better safe than sorry approach to planning for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that they’d take to planning for computer problems, or a major hurricane.”

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