“Young adults will see higher health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of a provision that links prices for older and younger patients, according to a new study. Actuaries at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman predicted the law’s age rating restrictions could mean a 42 percent hike in premium costs for people aged 21 to 29 when they buy individual coverage.”

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“After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft stores chain Hobby Lobby said it would defy a federal healthcare mandate requiring employers to provide their workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives. The Oklahoma City-based chain, owned by a conservative Christian family, had applied to the high court to block a part of the federal healthcare law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs, including the so-called morning-after pill.”

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“The fiscal cliff deal that passed in the House on Tuesday struck CLASS from the books for good. Which means that unless Congress passes new legislation, the program isn’t coming back. Given its dormant status, CLASS wasn’t likely to do much damage. But there were those who seemed interested in reviving the program — and attempting to ‘fix’ its problems by making buy-in mandatory. Repeal takes that possibility off the table.”

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“The fiscal cliff deal, approved by Congress on New Year’s Day, eliminates most of the more than $1.4 billion in remaining funding from the federal health law for new nonprofit, customer-owned health plans designed to compete against the major for-profit insurers. That means the Obama administration won’t be able to approve loans to any additional co-ops.”

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“A conservative nonprofit group is putting pressure on the Obama administration to delay major regulations from the healthcare reform law. The Minnesota-based Citizens Council for Health Freedom says the administration is trying to ‘rush ObamaCare’ by providing just 30 days for comment on major pieces of the program. The group has asked supporters to write the Health and Human Services Department and demand that the rule-making process be slowed down.”

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“The fundamental flaws in our system are familiar: perverse incentives that encourage excess treatment, high prices, poor service (even dangerous sloppiness), incomprehensible complexity and a flawed safety net. But to all such problems the new health-care law has the same two answers: more insurance and Medicaid and more top-down cost control.”

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“House Republicans signaled Thursday they will not follow rules in President Obama’s healthcare law that were designed to speed Medicare cuts through Congress. The House is set to vote Thursday afternoon on rules for the 113th Congress. The rules package says the House won’t comply with fast-track procedures for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a controversial cost-cutting board Republicans have long resisted.”

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“Many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law, human resource firms say. Their actions could further dampen job growth, which already is threatened by possible federal budget cutbacks resulting from the tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.”

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“The third wave of ObamaCare taxes began on January 1, the latest blitz before the tsunami of changes from the health overhaul law hit in 2014. These new and higher taxes are being levied to partially pay for ObamaCare’s massive new subsidies for private health insurance and expansion of Medicaid.”

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Eliminate the tax-deduction for employers who receive Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy payments.

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