“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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“The brutal arithmetic is that total federal health spending is about 10% of GDP today and on pace to hit 15% in 20 years. The liberal response is more central planning and eventually the political rationing of care, even as taxes continue to climb. The alternative that Mr. Ryan has offered, including an ObamaCare repeal and a conversion of Medicaid into block grants to states, would bring that share down to 6% as premium support began to limit Medicare’s open-ended spending.”

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“Now, a recent hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has further revealed that the cost of ObamaCare will be higher than expected. Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, highlighted that CBO’s March 2011 updated analysis of the health care legislation shows its coverage provisions costing $1.1 trillion between 2012 and 2021. This is $90 billion more than the prior month’s estimates for the same time period.”

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“Efforts to defund ObamaCare one bite at a time are making progress in the House, although Senate prospects remain dim. The House is addressing parts of ObamaCare which are so loosely-drafted that House Speaker John Boehner and others label them multi-billion-dollar ‘slush funds.'”

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“In 2009, using a PPACA-adjusted MLR
definition, we estimated that 29% of insurer-state
observations in the individual market would have
MLRs below the 80% minimum, corresponding to
32% of total enrollment. Nine states would have
at least one-half of their health insurers below the
threshold. If insurers below the MLR threshold
exit the market, major coverage disruption could
occur for those in poor health; we estimated
the range to be between 104,624 and 158,736
member-years.”

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