“For years, we’ve heard Republicans claim that they want to “repeal and replace” Obamacare with a better set of reforms. (What those reforms would exactly be, nobody can say for sure.) But there was always one critical problem with the “repeal and replace” plan: it stands no chance of passage until at least 2017. By then, as many as 35 million people could be on Obamacare-sponsored coverage. A few Republican leaders have had the temerity to acknowledge this fact—and that’s a good thing.”Details
“Thus spoke King John of England before he was forced at the point of a sword on June 15, 1215 A.D. to eat his words by signing the Magna Carta, the first in a series of documents that established rule of law in England – versus rule by whatever the king says. It was a signal moment in the history of civilization, and the foundation of the United States’ great experiment in government of the people, by the people and for the people.”Details
“The day that many health policy wonks have been waiting for has come: Obamacare’s first open–enrollment period has officially ended on April 15, 2014. Wasting little time, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the last of its first–year enrollment reports. The update from HHS contains some good news, and some not–so–good news. Overall, it appears highly unlikely that the healthcare law will collapse.”Details
“The race for people to #GetCovered through Obamacare’s state and federal health insurance exchanges has officially crossed the wire. In its sixth and final enrollment report released late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services disclosed that a total of 8 million individuals have signed up for an Obamacare compliant plan within the individual health insurance market.”Details
“Yesterday Massachusetts officials announced plans to default to Healthcare.gov, but also announced a quixotic sprint to try first try to rebuild the entire site in five months with a brand new, no-bid taxpayer-paid contract to health care software developer hCentive. This move comes eight months into open enrollment, after launching the worst performing exchange in the country, spending most of the $180 million from Washington and announcing that original contractor CGI would be fired—even though it is still working on the project. The announcement should leave taxpayers and policymakers scratching their heads and wondering about the lack of accountability, government management and procurement.”Details
“Health care costs are too damn high—and they’re only getting worse. Last week, researchers at Harvard and Dartmouth released a report estimating that health care costs will continue to grow faster than the economy for at least the next two decades. This is a tremendous burden on average Americans, who already spend nearly a fifth of their average annual pre-tax income on health care.”Details
“Remember Cash for Clunkers? That program gave car buyers rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in less fuel-efficient vehicles for new vehicles with better gas mileage. But because most of the vehicles garnering such rebates would have sold anyway, taxpayers ended up paying about $24,000 per additional car sale these incentives produced. Obamacare appears to be in a fierce race to beat Cash for Clunkers to become the poster child for mismanagement of federal taxpayer resources.”Details
“A new investor report predicts that Standard & Poor’s 500 companies could shift 90 percent of their workforce from job-based health coverage to individual insurance sold on the nation’s marketplaces by 2020.”Details
“Republicans are redoubling their effort to halt future cuts to private Medicare plans under the Affordable Care Act, arguing the reductions would harm vulnerable seniors.
In a letter Monday, GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urged the Obama administration not to implement further Medicare Advantage cuts ordered by the healthcare law.”Details
“Despite Obamacare’s strong national enrollment numbers, several states are at risk for big premium hikes.
Each state is its own insurance market, and they had wildly different experiences during Obamacare’s first open-enrollment window. So although nationwide statistics are important for judging the law’s political success, the substantive tests for the law’s future mostly lie with the states—and some of them aren’t looking so hot.”Details