“That is, states must now accept a comprehensive reorganization of Medicaid or forfeit all federal Medicaid funding—even though the spending power is circumscribed to preserve a distinction between what is local and what is national. If Congress is allowed to attach conditions to spending that the states cannot refuse in order to achieve an objective it could not outright mandate, the local/national distinction that is so central to federalism will be erased.”Details
“Twenty-six states on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to overturn the health care reform law’s mandatory state expansion of the Medicaid program, a sleeper issue in the health care reform lawsuit that could determine how much leverage the federal government has with the states on any issue.
The states, led by Florida, argue that the federal government can’t force them to expand the Medicaid program, which has operated as a partnership between the feds and the states, as part of the 2010 health reform law. They argue that the Medicaid expansion is possibly more coercive than the law’s individual mandate.”
“A broad coalition of patient advocates Wednesday asked the Obama administration to slow down its implementation of a key regulation under the healthcare law. A group of 75 patient organizations asked the Health and Human Services Department to allow more time for public comment on its proposal for defining ‘essential health benefits.’ The healthcare law directs HHS to define a package of essential benefits that all insurance plans will have to cover beginning in 2014.”Details
“Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that, ‘Trustmark Life Insurance Company has proposed unreasonable health insurance premium increases in five states—Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming. The excessive rate hikes would affect nearly 10,000 residents across these five states.’… This rate increase action by HHS is just political grandstanding as the Obama administration tries to sell a still unpopular law.
But it is dangerous grandstanding.”
“Another ObamaCare provision is falling on its face, but this is one that hardly anyone even knew existed.
Part of the law called for the creation of “Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans” (CO-OPs). The law originally appropriated $6 billion to set up these plans in all 50 states. It created an entirely new section of the Internal Revenue Code (Sect 501-C-29) to allow this new type of member-operated organization to be tax-exempt. They were intended to be sort of like the “public option” the Democrats wanted to compete with private insurance plans.”
“If you’ve never heard of the law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, you’re certainly not alone. This simple calculation has had the effect of radically reducing what health insurance agents earn. That, in turn as greatly restricted their ability to help million of Americans navigate the maze of approvals needed for medical procedures and processing claims. It has also had a devastating effect on these agents’ businesses and is disrupting the insurance market.”Details
“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hopes you will believe her and not your own eyes, as she pens an op-ed in the Washington Post deceptively entitled, ‘The Affordable Care Act, helping Americans curb health-care costs.’
Health costs are rising, as we all can see, and independent analysts confirm they will accelerate under Obamacare.”
“You’ll notice, however, that there’s something missing from the op-ed: any mention of actual health insurance premium prices. That’s not particularly surprising, I suppose, given that the premise of the piece is that the law helps make health care cheaper, yet since the law passed, family health insurance premiums have risen substantially faster than in the years before the law went into effect, rising nine percent following several years of three to five percent rises.”Details
“The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that, since the survey taken in the first month after Obamacare’s passage, the gap between those who like Obamacare and those who dislike it has swung 8 percentage points against the health care overhaul. Kaiser is an outlier poll, consistently showing greater support for Obamacare than can be found nearly anywhere else. Yet even Kaiser’s polling now shows that only 41 percent of Americans support President Obama’s signature legislation.”Details
“Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) improve the performance of the U.S. health care system? The quality of the major interim final regulations issued under the ACA in 2010 gives three main reasons for pessimism on this score.”Details