“Liberals are taking a victory lap since a federal appeals court upheld President Obama’s health-care plan last week, but not so fast. This is an idiosyncratic and flawed opinion, and we trust the Supreme Court, however it rules, will hold itself to a higher standard of jurisprudential reasoning.”

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“The Sixth Circuit was the first of several appeals courts to rule on the validity of Obamacare’s individual mandate, and conservatives are disappointed about Wednesday’s 2-1 decision upholding the law. They shouldn’t be. A careful reading of the entire 64-page document shows the swing judge may in fact be inviting the U.S. Supreme Court to use the case to finally put the brakes on the seemingly unlimited expansion of federal powers under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.”

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“Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) measures the effects of different drugs or other treatments on a population, with the goal of finding out which ones produce the greatest benefits for the most patients… The 2009 federal stimulus law allocated $1 billion for CER programs, and the 2010 health-care overhaul created an institute to promote CER and disseminate the results of this research to doctors and payers… Our results suggest that CER will not fulfill its promise unless it is implemented differently by researchers and understood differently by policymakers. Simply put, seeking the treatment that is most effective on average will not improve health or save money.”

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“Amidst Washington’s bruising battles over Medicare and Medicaid reform, one of the few ideas that still enjoys broad bipartisan support is comparative effectiveness research. CER is designed to compare drugs, medical devices or surgeries and determine which treatment offers the best outcome for the greatest number of patients… CER should remain a critical component of health care reform efforts. Paradoxically, however, it can go astray easily and result in greater health care spending and worse health care outcomes unless policymakers and researchers revisit some of its key assumptions.”

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“Today’s 2-1 Sixth Circuit ObamaCare decision was an exercise in unwarranted judicial deference, not by the author of the majority opinion, Judge Boyce Martin, who regularly rubberstamps misuses of federal power, but by concurring Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who avoided the logical implications of this ruling and punted the main issue to the Supreme Court. Under a document establishing a government of enumerated and therefore limited powers, the burden is on that government to prove that it has the power to do something, not on the plaintiffs to disprove that power. Never has the Supreme Court ratified the federal power to force someone to buy a product in the marketplace under the guise of regulating commerce.”

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“Another unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care law has emerged: Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories could pay widely different amounts for private health insurance due to a quirk of the complex legislation. Those differences could be substantial. A 62-year-old could end up paying $1,200 a year more than his neighbor, in one example. And experts say the disparities among married couples would be much larger.”

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“A broad coalition of healthcare stakeholders lent their support Friday to repealing a controversial cost-cutting panel established under healthcare reform.
All told, some 270 stakeholder groups signed a letter to members of Congress urging them to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is a panel of experts, appointed by the president, that will have the power to cut Medicare payments.”

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“ObamaCare passes two milestones this month. It has been exactly two years since the first version of the legislation appeared in Congress. And it has now enjoyed exactly two years of solid public opposition. Yet this month has been harsher than most.”

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“Democrats may be on the offensive against the Republican Medicare plan, but they’re not finished playing defense on their health care law. That’s the lesson from the latest series of PR crises on the law they’ve had to deal with, including a survey that suggested many employers would stop offering health coverage and a widely circulated news story that reported 3 million middle-class people could qualify for Medicaid because of the law.”

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“[D]ue to a glitch in Obamacare, married couples of early retirees making around $64,000 a year will become eligible for Medicaid. That’s more than four times the federal poverty level of $14,710… If we do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the average annual Medicaid expenditure per early retiree is $15,000 per year, the ten-year cost of this glitch could be as high as $450 billion. Even if only half of those eligible opt to take advantage of the loophole, we’re talking at least $250-300 billion, as the sickest patients are the ones most likely to enroll.”

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