“The furor says less about McKinsey than about the politically damaging reality of the new law. As the McKinsey survey shows in detail, many businesses may be better off if they drop coverage and pay workers slightly more to compensate for fewer benefits, along with paying the new penalty for not providing insurance. Many workers earning up to $102,000 may also be better off because the ObamaCare subsidies are so much larger than the current tax break for employer coverage.”

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“President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed… Up to 3 million people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility.”

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“The Obama Administration is handing out waivers far and wide for its health-care bill, but behind the scenes the bureaucracy is grinding ahead writing new regulations. The latest example is the rule for Accountable Care Organizations that are supposed to be the crown jewel of cost-saving reform. One problem: The draft rule is so awful that even the models for it say they won’t participate.”

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“Obamacare poses two great dangers to our nation: lower quality of care and runaway costs. It will stifle innovation and lead to rationing. But the overwhelming cost and the damage it will do to our nation’s finances at a pivotal moment in our history deserve greater scrutiny.”

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“Children with Medicaid are far more likely than those with private insurance to be turned away by medical specialists or be made to wait more than a month for an appointment, even for serious medical problems, a new study finds. Lower payments by Medicaid, delays in paying and red tape are largely to blame, researchers say.
The study, with findings that match anecdotal reports from other parts of the country, is one of only a few efforts to measure access to health care among people with Medicaid. Nationwide, those patients are caught between states’ threats to cut Medicaid payments and the Obama administration’s plans to use the program to cover more and more people as part of its health care law.”

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“House appropriators on Thursday approved a $19.9 billion financial services spending bill for 2012 that prohibits the federal government from enforcing the healthcare reform law’s requirement that individuals buy insurance.”

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“A divided American Medical Association will consider withdrawing its support of a key tenet of the health overhaul law that requires Americans to purchase an insurance plan. The Chicago-based national doctors group, which represents nearly a quarter-million physicians, is being asked by several medical societies within the organization to change its stance in favor of the ‘individual mandate.'”

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“New regulations that require chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus are an unfair burden on small businesses, Republican lawmakers say. Industry groups are asking the Food and Drug Administration to extend the deadline for public comments on the regulation, which implements menu labeling requirements included in healthcare reform. The healthcare law requires restaurants with more than 20 locations to post calorie counts on their menus or menu boards.”

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“In addition to being transparently political, these provisions have negative practical implications. For example, the proposed rule setting an arbitrary 10 percent price-increase threshold could cause insurers to target rate increases to just below the limit. Indeed, it is a well-documented effect of price controls that sellers respond to the imposition of price ‘ceilings’ by turning them into price ‘floors.’ The less competitive the market on which price controls are imposed, the sooner that phenomenon occurs.”

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“But what’s most important about the report is how it reveals, yet again, that the folks running the ObamaCare show are aware of the effects the law will have on the price of insurance. Like the Obama administration’s decision to grant the state of Maine a waiver from ObamaCare’s medical loss ratio requirement, the GAO’s description of the waiver process is about as straightforward an admission as anyone is likely to get fulfilling ObamaCare’s new insurance requirements does indeed drive up premium prices and/or reduce health insurance benefits.”

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