“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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“At the same time, it’s not clear how hospitals will save money through integration. Many proposed cost-reduction measures–such as new electronic medical-records systems–involve expensive up-front capital investments that may not yield savings.
Further, ObamaCare calls on providers to deliver more care–not less–through the ACOs. The president and his allies hope that elevated levels of primary and preventive care for Medicare patients will head off the need for surgeries or other expensive procedures down the road.”

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“States establishing Obamacare exchanges are making a one-way, lose-lose bet. If Obamacare persists, exchanges will become bloated administrative nightmares. If Obamacare is defeated, states will have wasted time and energy that should have been directed towards that effort. Obamacare is President Obama’s problem. Don’t make it your state’s too.”

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“In light of all this evidence about the benefits of hospital competition, it might be surprising to learn that the new health reform law will decrease rather than increase competition between hospitals due to the encouragement of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs will not be implemented until 2012, but already hospitals are buying out physician practices to create what amount to, in many locations, geographic monopolies that will restrict patient choice and stifle innovation.”

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“If the United States is going to remain the global forerunner in medical innovation, serious change is needed. The federal government needs to support, rather than impede, development. But even as it seeks to do this, new taxes on the industry under Obamacare will not only slow medical innovation in the United States but force it—and the jobs it has created—overseas. This is hardly a recipe for ‘winning the future.'”

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“Mr. Obama’s new faith in federalism is trailed by his customary rhetorical asterisk. Any state that the Administration decided deserved a waiver would still need to cover the same number of uninsured, and its coverage would still need to include the same comprehensive benefits and be as “affordable” as the Administration says it should be. That is, it must be as heavily subsidized.”

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“As in lots of large, unwieldy industries-such as hospitals–innovation often happens outside large, incumbent operators. ObamaCare makes competition with entrenched market actors more difficult. It will discourage experimentation with new, entrepreneurial business models in medical care. As such, ObamaCare is shaping up to be an innovation killer-something the Congress may want to consider as it mulls further changes to the nation’s health care system.”

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