“This afternoon, the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania became the latest court to strike down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare) individual mandate, holding that ‘[t]he power to regulate interstate commerce does not subsume the power to dictate a lifetime financial commitment to health insurance coverage.’ The challenge was brought by a Barbara Goudy-Bachman and Gregory Bachman, who are both self-employed and have chosen to drop their health insurance because it exceeded their monthly mortgage payments. Instead, Bachmans opted to pay for health care out of pocket. The Administration, unless it wants to concede that Obamacare is unconstitutional, will have to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.”

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“The report Doyle ordered before leaving office certainly reveals something about how the law will affect hundreds of thousands of individuals in the state he used to govern, it’s not all flattering. Indeed, it’s telling that despite bring ordered and authored by true-blue ObamaCare backers, a big part of what this report suggests is that the law will ultimately raise the health insurance costs for large numbers of the state’s residents.”

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“The latest rulings focused only on judicial procedure and not on the merits of the law, leaving a split decision between the Sixth and Eleventh circuits on the actual constitutionality of the individual mandate. (The Sixth Circuit in Michigan said the individual mandate can stand because it is important to the overall working of the law. The Eleventh Circuit — in which 26 states are challenging the law – disagreed and said the individual mandate is not only unconstitutional but ‘is breathtaking in its expansive scope.’)”

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“Because of a quirk in ObamaCare, people who buy health insurance through a federally run exchange may not be eligible for premium subsidies… Section 1311 of ObamaCare instructs state governments to set up an exchange. If a state refuses, Section 1321 lets the federal government establish an exchange in the state. Yet ObamaCare states that the tax credit is available to people who are enrolled in an ‘an exchange established by the state under (Section) 1311.’ It makes no mention of people enrolled in federal exchanges being eligible for the tax credit.”

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“One provision of the new healthcare law is a 2.3% excise tax on the medical device industry which will take effect in 2013. This study estimates the potential effect of the device tax on employment in the medical device industry. The study finds that the tax could reduce employment in the industry by cutting back on the demand for medical devices and by encouraging American firms to shift production overseas.”

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“The percentage of American adults who lack health insurance coverage has not only increased during the presidency of Barack Obama, but it has continued to increase since Obama signed his signature piece of legislation last year mandating that by 2014 every American carry health insurance, according to a Gallup survey released today.”

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The Obama White House is grappling with an unusual reality as next year’s election looms: the signature domestic achievement of the president’s first term seems, at best, as much of a liability as an asset… Friday’s news that the economy added zero jobs for the month of August only deepens Obama’s problem.
Republicans, who opposed healthcare reform from the beginning, are bullish on the issue.”

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“The health insurance rate-review regulation included in last year’s health care overhaul goes into effect this week… So how will it be determined if insurers are engaged in a ‘pattern or practice’ of ‘excessive or unjustified’ increases? However the authorities want. As CRS notes, ‘the terms “pattern” and “practice” are not defined by law.’ If those recommendations are anything like previous state-based efforts to regulate health insurance, they’ll probably be inconsistent and inscrutable.”

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“President Obama also promised that premiums wouldn’t rise under Obamacare. The law, we were told, was going to lower premiums for families by as much as $2,500. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality analyzed the ten largest states’ average premiums in 2010. On average, the premiums for a family plan rose 6.5 percent. Here in Texas, the average premium for a family plan jumped by more than $1,000.”

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“Expensive technologies like proton beam therapy and hot chemo baths are among the reasons America’s health care spending is rising at an unsustainable clip and making the federal deficit so hard to tame.
But two of the nation’s top health care economists are expressing doubts that accountable care organizations — one of Obama administration’s most-hyped mechanisms to save money — will be able to overcome the medical system’s lust for the new new thing.”

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