“Tax credits in President Obama’s healthcare law aren’t big enough to prompt small businesses to start offering healthcare benefits, the Government Accountability Office said Monday. The small-business tax credit has not lived up to expectations. The Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the credits would total $2 billion in 2010, but the real cost that year only came to $468 million, GAO said.”

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“For a law that supposedly sticks it to big business, President Obama’s health care overhaul sure has a lot of industries counting on it for profits. In recent weeks, plenty of new evidence suggests Obamacare was a boondoggle for special interests. Hedge fund honcho Larry Robbins told the crowd at the prominent Sohn Investment Conference last week to buy hospital stocks. Obamacare, Robbins argued, would boost profits for the industry.”

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“Politico is reporting that House Republicans are preparing for the possibility that the Supreme Court upholds the law by drafting new legislation. ‘When the court rules, we’ll be ready,’ House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told the House Republican Conference on Wednesday. But what’s surprising about alleged GOP plans is that they involve preserving significant—and damaging—aspects of the Affordable Care Act, for what appear to be political reasons. I’m not convinced that the story is accurate.”

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“At issue is a new payment scheme that pays renal doctors a lump sum, or ‘bundled payment,’ for taking care of dialysis patients. Under the program, the doctors mostly get one fixed payment regardless of how much time they spend with patients, or how many drugs and procedures they use in caring for these folks. These ‘bundled payments’ are a key feature of the Obama health plan. That legislation uses various forms of capitation to shift financial risk onto providers in a bid to cut down on the use of costly, and some argue wasteful, medical services.”

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“Franciscan University appears to be the first casualty of the new Obama HHS mandate that requires Catholic colleges, groups and businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions and birth control for their employees. Although President Barack Obama declared ‘If you like your health care coverage you can keep it,’ when it came to passing Obamacare, a Catholic college in Ohio has determined it will no longer offer a student health insurance plan.”

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“If you’re getting a rebate check from your health insurer, the Obama administration wants to make sure you know where it really came from. Lest no one be confused about the political purpose of the mandatory rebates… Here’s what the notices won’t tell you: Despite the rebates, the existence of the health care overhaul isn’t necessarily ensuring that health insurance customers get a better deal.”

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“The rebates that will go to four-star and higher plans are to be used to provide additional benefits, such as lowering beneficiary premiums or reducing co-pays for doctor visits. Lower-income seniors are, arguably, more in need of those benefits. But not all plans are available in all counties. The report notes that four-star plans are offered in less than 14% of the counties where at least 25% of residents are below the federal poverty level. Thus, poorer Medicare beneficiaries are less likely to have access to the plans that receive the rebates and have better benefits.”

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“President Obama promised that the brunt of any financial reckoning will fall mostly only on those making more than $250,000 annually. Under his healthcare plan, the economic agony starts at income levels that fall much lower than that.
Middle class families take note. A family of four with an aggregate income of more than $88,000 annually or an individual earning around $44,000 could find themselves badly strained by healthcare costs under the Obama plan.”

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“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation on Thursday that would have created a statewide health-care exchange, as allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act. In a message accompanying the expected veto, The Republican governor said he had concerns about a pending U.S. Supreme Court Case against the federal health-care law and how its decision would impact funding for New Jersey.”

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“In 2008, the average regulation received 56 days of OMB review. In 2009, the average regulation received 27 days of review. In 2010, the average ObamaCare regulation received 5 days of review. “

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