“Democrats may be on the offensive against the Republican Medicare plan, but they’re not finished playing defense on their health care law. That’s the lesson from the latest series of PR crises on the law they’ve had to deal with, including a survey that suggested many employers would stop offering health coverage and a widely circulated news story that reported 3 million middle-class people could qualify for Medicaid because of the law.”

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“[D]ue to a glitch in Obamacare, married couples of early retirees making around $64,000 a year will become eligible for Medicaid. That’s more than four times the federal poverty level of $14,710… If we do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the average annual Medicaid expenditure per early retiree is $15,000 per year, the ten-year cost of this glitch could be as high as $450 billion. Even if only half of those eligible opt to take advantage of the loophole, we’re talking at least $250-300 billion, as the sickest patients are the ones most likely to enroll.”

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“ObamaCare’s defenders have worked themselves into a tizzy, attacking the recent study published by McKinsey & Co., the world’s leading management consulting firm. The study indicated that 30 percent of surveyed employers were ‘definitely or probably’ planning on discontinuing employer-sponsored health insurance after 2014… Well, lo and behold, McKinsey decided to release the details: the full questionnaire used in their survey, along with a 206-page report detailing the survey’s complete results.”

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“If this issue is any indiction, we have a clue as to how Obamacare got so screwed up. Those who drafted and now tout it have a shaky understanding of how markets operate and a built-in preference for top-down management. But it turns out that millions of people making individual health-care decisions are a lot smarter than the bureaucrats who constructed such a massive structure that no one can be expected to understand it and its consequences. Who knew?”

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“McKinsey met the criticism with the facts. It released the survey questions, methodology, and data, putting to rest questions about the objectivity. The survey was paid for by McKinsey and not any of its clients; it was administered by an internationally-recognized survey firm; the survey’s descriptions were largely fact-based and generic in nature; and it surveyed a large, representative sample of the nation’s employers.”

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“The furor says less about McKinsey than about the politically damaging reality of the new law. As the McKinsey survey shows in detail, many businesses may be better off if they drop coverage and pay workers slightly more to compensate for fewer benefits, along with paying the new penalty for not providing insurance. Many workers earning up to $102,000 may also be better off because the ObamaCare subsidies are so much larger than the current tax break for employer coverage.”

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“President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed… Up to 3 million people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility.”

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“The Obama Administration is handing out waivers far and wide for its health-care bill, but behind the scenes the bureaucracy is grinding ahead writing new regulations. The latest example is the rule for Accountable Care Organizations that are supposed to be the crown jewel of cost-saving reform. One problem: The draft rule is so awful that even the models for it say they won’t participate.”

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“Obamacare poses two great dangers to our nation: lower quality of care and runaway costs. It will stifle innovation and lead to rationing. But the overwhelming cost and the damage it will do to our nation’s finances at a pivotal moment in our history deserve greater scrutiny.”

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“Children with Medicaid are far more likely than those with private insurance to be turned away by medical specialists or be made to wait more than a month for an appointment, even for serious medical problems, a new study finds. Lower payments by Medicaid, delays in paying and red tape are largely to blame, researchers say.
The study, with findings that match anecdotal reports from other parts of the country, is one of only a few efforts to measure access to health care among people with Medicaid. Nationwide, those patients are caught between states’ threats to cut Medicaid payments and the Obama administration’s plans to use the program to cover more and more people as part of its health care law.”

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