“In the end, the fate of Obamacare will almost certainly be decided in the political and legislative arena, not the courts, and the 2012 election is likely to be the decisive battle in that regard. Keeping this in mind, Republicans and conservatives should be doing all they can to make the 2012 election another referendum on the damage Obamacare will do to the American economy and health system.”

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“The Obama administration is closing down the office charged with putting in place one of the most controversial provisions of the healthcare reform law, the long-term care program’s actuary writes in an email obtained by The Hill…
The actuary in charge of implementing the long-term care program for people with disabilities, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, sent an email to colleagues Thursday informing them that HHS is closing down his office on Friday.”

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‘There is no hard evidence of a link, but it is perfectly reasonable to assume that this demographic increased their health insurance coverage, while all other demographics saw their coverage rates fall, thanks to the Obamacare provision that forces insurance companies to allow parents to add their adult children to their employer-provided health plan.
But, while these mostly unemployed but newly insured young adults are benefiting from increased health care, that increased care comes at a cost. Health insurance is never free…
A big reason why health spending continues to grow is because more and more Americans have health insurance. Contrary to what advocates of Obamacare claimed, expanded health insurance coverage increases, it doesn’t decrease, health care spending.”

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On Thursday night, President Obama gave a speech to a joint session of Congress outlining his new program to stimulate the economy. There was only one small reference to ObamaCare, but it was packed with misinformation.

“But what we can’t do — what I will not do — is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  (Applause.)  I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.  I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients.” [EA]

The laws to which the President is referring to are presumably the “medical-loss ratio” regulations which are part of ObamaCare. The laws are supposed to restrict the administrative overhead—and thus the profit—of insurance companies. Instead, this rule will drive many insurers out of business or cause them to leave certain smaller markets, driving down the quality of coverage and increasing the price. Many states are applying for waivers to delay implementation of these rules, because their insurance commissioners have said their citizens will lose access to their current insurance plans.

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“And now, today, a new Congressional investigation led by John Thune reveals that the Obama Administration knew all along that CLASS was unsustainable. ‘As a result of this investigation,’ the authors write, ‘it is now clear that some officials inside HHS warned for months before passage that the CLASS program would be a fiscal disaster. Within HHS the program was repeatedly referred to as “a recipe for disaster” with “terminal problems.”‘”

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“Even as leading Democrats offered assurances to the contrary, government experts repeatedly warned that a new long-term care insurance plan could go belly up, saddling taxpayers with another underfunded benefit program, according to emails disclosed by congressional investigators. Part of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the program is in limbo as a congressional debt panel searches for budget savings and behind the scenes, administration officials scramble to find a viable financing formula.”

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“The White House is quietly implementing a shrewd new strategy of silence on Obamacare. Its goal: making sure the revolt against the unpopular health care overhaul that swept Republicans into power across the country in November 2010 isn’t repeated in 2012. After two years of nonstop focus on health care, the president has stopped talking about the law’s far-reaching effects. Now he is concentrating on a few micro changes. Meanwhile the administration is working hard to dampen controversy by handing out buckets of waivers and attacking Republicans over Medicare.”

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“During the health care debate, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Health System and Intermountain Healthcare were repeatedly touted as models for a new health care delivery system. Now, they have something else in common: All four have declined to apply for the ‘Pioneer’ program tailor-made by the Obama administration to reward such organizations.”

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“Liberals in Congress were aware of these problems and continued to push for CLASS’s inclusion in Obamacare. That suggests that they either had an ideological commitment to a long term care entitlement program that overrode any concerns about its actuarial soundness, or that they were determined to include the program as a means to game the bill’s budget score. Since premium contributions into the CLASS program are front-loaded, its inclusion in the health care bill meant that it would reduce the budget deficit over 10 years (the standard CBO measurement window). But as the program begins to pay out benefits, its budget will sink into the red.”

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“Republican state politicians are clearly hardening their stance against exchanges. It appears that they are no longer fooled by the argument that if they do not collaborate to establish state-based exchanges, the federal government will enter their state and do it for them. Recent close reading of the law has debunked this notion. As written, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has (at least) two clauses that will prevent this from happening.”

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