“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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“The fact that the Administration is pulling back incentives to enroll in its high-risk pool may signify its acceptance that the pre-existing condition problem is nowhere near as big as it was portrayed during the health care debate. This is yet another reminder that Obamacare isn’t just terrible health policy with disastrous consequences; it’s overreaching, taxpayer-funded programs that our country didn’t need.”

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“In 2010, however, Congress, ravenous for revenue to fund Obamacare, included in the legislation a 2.3 percent tax on gross revenue — which generally amounts to about a 15 percent tax on most manufacturers’ profits — from U.S. sales of medical devices beginning in 2013. This will be piled on top of the 35 percent federal corporate tax, and state and local taxes. The 2.3 percent tax will be a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs more than 400,000, and $20 billion is almost double the industry’s annual investment in research and development.”

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“No doubt Obamacare’s apologists will try to seize on the Fidelity finding from last year and claim the law is actually good for seniors. It won’t work. America’s seniors already understand that cutting Medicare’s reimbursement rates by $450 billion over a decade isn’t going to be good for their health care. No amount of spin is going to change their minds on that.”

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“There is an absurd report out today from Families USA which breathlessly states that, ‘3.2 million small businesses, employing 19.3 million workers across the nation, will be eligible for [a small business tax credit under Obamacare].’
Note the word, ‘eligible.’ Meaning, that this many businesses can claim this tax credit. Whether many actually will is another question. The credit in question is a byzantine and confusing provision which most small employers won’t try to use.”

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“The health reform law changes that: It raises Medicaid rates for primary care to match those of Medicare for 2013 and 2014. That, the Obama administration hopes, will lure doctors to accept Medicaid patients — and also prevent some costly emergency room visits down the line. But there’s a problem: The payment boost runs out at the end of 2014. While the federal government estimates that it will spend $11 billion raising provider rates for 2013 and 2014, no additional federal funds are appropriated beyond that. There’s already some thinking, among the health-care provider community, that a fierce lobbying battle could play out as doctors look to turn a short-term pay boost into a permanent one.”

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“The federal website Regulations.gov released the first round of public comments on the administration’s proposed anti-conscience mandate on Wednesday. The comments were overwhelmingly opposed to the measure: out of 211 comments submitted, only six, less than 3%, offered support for the mandate… The vast majority of the comments submitted focus on the mandate’s violation of Americans’ right of conscience, while a few discuss the health hazards of the medical procedures the mandate covers, and some call for full Obamacare repeal.”

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