“U.S. employers can expect an 8.5 percent increase in their medical costs next year due in some part to the healthcare reform law, the consulting firm PwC said in a report Wednesday.”

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“Our actuarial modeling of more than 130 employee benefit plans
shows that last year’s health reform law imposes additional costs on
employers’ health plans. The study also shows that the law will create
a financial incentive for some employers to terminate health benefit
plans in 2014 when new Insurance Exchanges take effect.”

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“Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district.
That’s in addition to the 27 new waivers for health care or drug companies and the 31 new union waivers Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services approved.”

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“The new health care law is supposed to fix the problem by guaranteeing access to affordable coverage for all. But many nursing homes and home care agencies, alarmed at the cost of providing health insurance to hundreds of thousands of health care workers, have started a lobbying effort seeking some kind of exemption or special treatment.”

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“Even before Obamacare was enacted, the nation’s most difficult long-term economic challenge was runaway entitlement spending. Obamacare is more gasoline on what’s already a raging fire. The law included no real reform of Medicare or Medicaid. It simply doubled down on the failed model of command-and-control payment rate reductions. Those have never worked before to make the programs sustainable, and they won’t work this time either.”

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“One of ObamaCare’s main goals is to cut costs — President Obama has said so repeatedly. Because Medicare is such a big dog in health care, and the government’s single largest toe-hold in the industry, Obama was counting on using it to shape providers’ behavior in the direction of cutting costs. So far, their efforts do not seem to be appreciated.
This initiative is all the more important because Obama did not go for the low-hanging fruit in medical cost-savings — malpractice reform.”

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“Basically, hospitals will not be able to provide seniors with the same kind of services they provide younger patients. To survive, we may see hospitals specialize in Medicare patients and provide far fewer amenities. In some cases, they may offer reduced access to expensive technology. A private room paid for by Medicare may be replaced by four- or six-bed wards. Menu choices may be replaced by the civilian equivalent of meals-ready-to-eat. Hospitals that accept Medicare patients may have access to MRI scanners, but not PET scanners.”

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“Despite the fact that the three-judge appeals court panel was comprised entirely of Democratic appointees, he said there was a positive surprise for opponents of the law.”

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“An astounding 93 percent of physician group practices surveyed by a key trade organization warned that they would not join a new healthcare reform program to reward quality of care unless it’s thoroughly reworked.”

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“Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will expand the mandatory population and require that states make Medicaid available to all individuals, married or single, under the age of 65 with incomes at or below 133 percent of poverty. Although the federal government will provide funds for states to cover this newly eligible population, it will increase the fiscal burden on many states, particularly those that do not already cover expanded optional populations.”

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