“The law links the tax credit to household income. So two people whose combined income goes above a certain level will not be able to get a tax credit if they are married and file together. But if they get divorced or stay single they might, individually, be eligible for a premium credit. Giving people pause about marriage could be a big ‘unintended consequence’ of the law, the report says. The committee asked the Joint Committee on Taxation to crunch some marriage numbers. The JCT found that 2 million of the nearly 60 million married couples in the U.S. will end up qualifying for the tax credit.”

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“ObamaCare’s rate review regulations are premised on the notion that rising health insurance premiums are somehow caused by excess profits and wasteful spending. But insurer profits are actually quite small. The Congressional Research Service reports that in 2009, health insurers’ average profit margin was just 2.6%. The cost of insurance is rising because the cost of health care has increased dramatically. True health reform would’ve addressed this underlying problem.”

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“Had it not been for CLASS, health care reform would have been scored as a net budget positive in the first five years of the ten-year window and a net negative in the later five years – that is, when it was fully in effect. The Orszag-DeParle claim of a positive long-term impact would have hinged entirely upon unquantifiable savings claims in the second decade and beyond, and on a thin $8 billion (1% of the bill’s 10-yr cost) plus in 2019 alone — after a net minus in each of 2016-2018..”

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“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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