“The ACA presents New York policymakers with a unique opportunity to reform its individual and small-group insurance markets. However, creating an effective market-based exchange requires policymakers to recognize that simply imposing its current high-cost insurance arrangements on the exchange may lead to the collapse of the exchange over time. Instead, reforms should build on the lessons learned from state exchanges in Utah and Massachusetts, federal programs such as Medicare Part D, and private exchanges such as New York’s HealthPass.”

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“It’s not often that states turn their back on money from Washington, but at least two states may say no thanks to federal grants to implement the new federal health-care law.
In February the federal Department of Health and Human Services selected seven states to get $240 million in demonstration grants this year to kick start the health-care plan. But Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced last week that the Sooner State will decline $54.6 million from the feds to establish new insurance exchanges.”

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“The fact of the matter is that IPAB won’t make the notoriously inefficient Medicare program any more efficient. Through arbitrary reductions on payments to providers, it will simply reduce the supply of care. Even before the advent of a new, more powerful IPAB and a new, tougher limit on spending, Medicare’s chief actuary warned that ObamaCare will drive providers out of the program. If you love Medicaid, you’ll adore the new IPAB version of Medicare.”

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“President Barack Obama signed a bill repealing a tax-compliance mandate in last year’s health- care law, giving a victory to business groups that led a campaign against the requirement.
The repealed provision, under which companies would have had to report more transactions to the Internal Revenue Service, was included in the law as a revenue-raising measure. It was to have taken effect in 2012.”

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“It’s rare for the Supreme Court to expedite cases because justices generally prefer to have the benefit of looking at the decisions of the appeals’ courts as well as letting the arguments mature as they move up the judicial ladder. But in this case, the uncertainty regarding the constitutionality of the health care law is causing problems for governors who have to decide whether to start implementing aspects of the law. If they proceed with implementation and it’s ruled unconstitutional, all that money will be wasted.”

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“The House on Wednesday voted to terminate another piece of last year’s healthcare law — the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is currently scheduled to receive nearly $18 billion over the next few years.”

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“The Department of Health and Human Services has released draft rule that governs Accountable Care Organizations. ACOs are groupings of health care providers who join together under specific rules in order to create shared savings. The idea is to bundle a single payment for a patient so that providers do not have incentives to prescribe additional services that generate additional fees. This sounds like a relatively simple concept, and it is worth exploring different ideas for needed payment reform. But the truth is, changing payment systems is far from simple. The devil is in the details about the ‘specific rules’ that define an ACO’s structure.”

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“Obamacare is already exacerbating some of the current trends in American medicine that work against the interests of patients. Paramount among them is an erosion in the quality of the nation’s doctors. If unaddressed, America’s heyday as the world leader in the practice of medicine could draw to a close.”

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“Amid a budget debate that will affect the health care of virtually every family, a new poll finds support for President Barack Obama’s overhaul at its lowest level since passage last year…
The Associated Press-GfK poll showed that support for Obama’s expansion of health insurance coverage has slipped to 35 percent, while opposition stands at 45 percent and another 17 percent are neutral. That nearly ties the previous low in September 2009, when after a summer of heated town hall meetings dominated by critics, only 34 percent supported Obama’s approach.”

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“Missouri’s Democratic attorney general broke with his party on Monday and urged a federal judge to invalidate the central provision of the new health care law.”

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