“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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“The argument for insurance exchanges is relatively simple. By setting up Web sites where consumers and small businesses can easily compare insurance options (including quality, price and coverage), states will spark competition, driving insurers to offer more affordable plans to consumers. The health law, however, takes this simple idea and makes it extraordinarily complicated — if not impossible — to execute. By adding a litany of new minimum-insurance requirements and regulations to the original bipartisan idea, health insurance purchased through an exchange will likely end up more expensive than it is now.”

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“Perversely, ObamaCare both drives up the cost of insurance with mandates and rules while making it attractive for companies to dump the increasingly more expensive coverage and pay a lesser fine. There will be huge ramifications for the country’s finances if more workers lose coverage than was estimated.”

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“‘Sixty-six percent of those who mentioned Medicaid-CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) were denied appointments, compared with 11 percent who said they had private insurance.’ Half of ObamaCare‘s projected coverage gains (16 million out of 32 million U.S. residents) comes from expanding the Medicaid program.”

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“Thus the administration’s position comes to this: What is one unconstitutional law, more or less, among friends? Health care is simply more important than any other issue. And Congress can be trusted to act responsibly, imposing purchase mandates only when they are essential. That’s why Congress can mandate medical insurance but would never require Americans to buy broccoli. The courts have always found such promises constitutionally insufficient.”

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“The PPACA repeatedly refers to any IPAB proposal as a ‘legislative proposal’ and speaks of ‘the legislation introduced’ by the IPAB. Each proposal automatically becomes law unless Congress passes — with a three-fifths supermajority required in the Senate — a measure cutting medical spending as much as the IPAB proposal would.
This is a travesty of constitutional lawmaking: An executive branch agency makes laws unless Congress enacts legislation to achieve the executive agency’s aim.”

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“One of the main criticisms of Obamacare is that it will significantly reduce the incentive for small businesses to hire — especially once the premium subsidies become available in 2014… But the actual implementation will be complex, thanks to an odd retroactive feature.”

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