“Hard times continue for the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). The administration has scrapped the law’s long-term care insurance program covering nursing homes and home health care. The program was deemed unrealistic. This is a harbinger. As the law is implemented — assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t declare it unconstitutional or Republicans don’t repeal it — disappointments will mount.”

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“CLASS’s enactment was no accident of a chaotic and uncontrolled legislative process. It was a deliberate and cynical ploy to put a phony veneer of fiscal restraint on top of a massive tax-and-spend program. The administration and its allies certainly knew all along that a day of reckoning would come. But they didn’t care; they staked so much on the passage of Obamacare that they had a win-at-any-cost mentality. And now that they have admitted that tens of billions of dollars in deficit reduction that they promised will never materialize, they aren’t the least bit apologetic.”

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“So what goes around, comes around. ObamaCare is in law — with all of its trillion-dollar spending and taxes now part of CBO’s ‘baseline’ budget projections. Reconciliation was created for the express purpose of giving Congress an expedited process for making changes to just this kind of spending and tax policy. Obamacare is thus a very ripe target for budget cutting, and that means reconciliation.”

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“The Obama administration is giving up on a controversial piece of the healthcare reform law.
Officials from the Health and Human Services Department said Friday they will not keep trying to implement the CLASS program, which had long faced criticism from Republicans and skepticism within HHS.
‘We won’t be working further to implement the CLASS Act … We don’t see a path forward to be able to do that,’ Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee told reporters.”

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“Malcolm Muggeridge once said, ‘People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.’ It was in this spirit that Democrats wanted to believe in Obamacare. The CLASS Act is the first, but surely not the last, rude collision between their wishfulness and reality.”

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“Republican activists, increasingly optimistic they can win the White House and Senate next year, are beginning to lay the groundwork for a multi-pronged campaign in 2013 to roll back President Obama’s sweeping healthcare overhaul.”

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“The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president’s signature health overhaul law – a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency. Targeted by congressional Republicans for repeal, the program became the first casualty in the political and policy wars over the health care law. It had been expected to launch in 2013.”

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“‘Who is in charge: the government or the patient?’ U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan asked during a memorable speech about health care last month at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. For most of us, the answer is clear. The patient, in consultation with his or her doctor, should be in charge. But the new health care law’s attempt to contain out-of-control costs would give the government that role.”

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“Last Thursday, the Institute of Medicine finally released its long-awaited set of recommendations for how the Secretary of Health and Human Services should accomplish the impossible–determining the ‘essential health benefits’ for tens of millions of Americans under the to-be-implemented Affordable Care Act. Early reviews indicate that, not surprisingly, there is no way to please everyone, or perhaps even anyone, in this highly political exercise. The countervailing pressures ‘essentially’ are that one side wants to ensure that benefits are more comprehensive and generous to ensure that everyone either gets what they want, or what other interests and experts think they must get anyway. “

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“There is growing concern that the substantial infrastructure necessary for successful implementation of the
PPACA’s primary provisions will not be ready by 2014. Moreover, there are serious legal challenges to the law still
pending. Finally, significant political disagreements exist over the merits of many PPACA provisions; these are likely
to be debated extensively in the 2012 election season. Consequently, there is growing interest in delaying further implementation of the law until the operational, legal, and political concerns can be settled. In this short note, we explore the budgetary implications of delaying the implementation of the PPACA for 2, 3, and 4 years.”

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