“Recent district court decisions have fueled speculation over what the Supreme Court will do about ObamaCare if and when one of the challenges to the law’s ‘individual mandate’ arrives on the justices’ doorstep. Largely unnoticed amidst the agitation, though, cases that will have profound effects on ObamaCare’s future are already pending before the Court. They involve enormous amounts of money, and they have powerful implications for the implementation of the criminally misnamed ‘Affordable Care Act.’ The justices will get these cases right, to good effect.”

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“The number of temporary healthcare reform waivers granted by the Obama administration to organizations climbed to more than 1,000, according to new numbers disclosed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago.”

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“The few line items in the budget bearing the fingerprints of ObamaCare portend billions in expenses that have nothing to do with expanding access to care or making it more affordable.
For instance, in the 2011-2012 budget, the president has requested 1,270 new IRS agents to help implement the law. The agency will have to hire thousands more by 2014, when it will be tasked with making sure that all 300 million Americans comply with the law’s individual health insurance mandate.
The Department of Health and Human Services is also looking for some 4,700 new employees. Every single division of the HHS bureaucracy is set to grow.”

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“The Democratic plan for closing the budget gap has always centered on raising taxes and rationing care. What most people don’t yet realize is just how far ObamaCare has already taken us down that road.”

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“The new federal health care law may eventually ‘bend the cost curve’ downward, as proponents argue. But for now, at many workplaces here, the rising cost of health care is prompting insurance premiums to skyrocket while coverage is shrinking.”

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“So mandates probably help explain part of the story. But government-subsidized coverage is likely a large factor too. Yet the response of those who authored the PPACA was not to change the way the government provides coverage. It was to expand the subsidization of generous coverage and, at the same, time, make it more difficult for insurers to weed out waste through activities like fraud prevention and utilization review. A decade from now, I suspect, The New York Times will be telling the same story.”

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“During a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) admitted to double-counting in the Obamacare budget.”

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“The fundamental question in the Obamacare case is whether there is any constraint on the ability of Congress to regulate economic activity. Do we still live in a system of dual sovereignty, split between the federal government and the states, as set out by the Constitution? Does the federal government only have certain enumerated powers? Is anything beyond its ambit? Judge Kessler’s argument is a ringing “no” on all three counts.”

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“The last few weeks have seen something of a tactical change in the Obama administration’s approach to defending the health-care bill enacted last year. In two instances, the administration has admitted that the law is a hugely problematic and burdensome mess and given the appearance of a willingness to do something about it. But in both cases, that willingness turns out to be far less than it seems.”

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“The Obama administration got a well-deserved rebuke today from Judge Roger Vinson in the Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare (aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as big government types insist). Judge Vinson issued a new order in response to a bizarre and obtuse ‘motion to clarify’ that the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed on February 17.”

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