“The Democratic plan for closing the budget gap has always centered on raising taxes and rationing care. What most people don’t yet realize is just how far ObamaCare has already taken us down that road.”

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“The new federal health care law may eventually ‘bend the cost curve’ downward, as proponents argue. But for now, at many workplaces here, the rising cost of health care is prompting insurance premiums to skyrocket while coverage is shrinking.”

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“So mandates probably help explain part of the story. But government-subsidized coverage is likely a large factor too. Yet the response of those who authored the PPACA was not to change the way the government provides coverage. It was to expand the subsidization of generous coverage and, at the same, time, make it more difficult for insurers to weed out waste through activities like fraud prevention and utilization review. A decade from now, I suspect, The New York Times will be telling the same story.”

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“During a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) admitted to double-counting in the Obamacare budget.”

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“The fundamental question in the Obamacare case is whether there is any constraint on the ability of Congress to regulate economic activity. Do we still live in a system of dual sovereignty, split between the federal government and the states, as set out by the Constitution? Does the federal government only have certain enumerated powers? Is anything beyond its ambit? Judge Kessler’s argument is a ringing “no” on all three counts.”

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“The last few weeks have seen something of a tactical change in the Obama administration’s approach to defending the health-care bill enacted last year. In two instances, the administration has admitted that the law is a hugely problematic and burdensome mess and given the appearance of a willingness to do something about it. But in both cases, that willingness turns out to be far less than it seems.”

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“The Obama administration got a well-deserved rebuke today from Judge Roger Vinson in the Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare (aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as big government types insist). Judge Vinson issued a new order in response to a bizarre and obtuse ‘motion to clarify’ that the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed on February 17.”

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“At the same time, it’s not clear how hospitals will save money through integration. Many proposed cost-reduction measures–such as new electronic medical-records systems–involve expensive up-front capital investments that may not yield savings.
Further, ObamaCare calls on providers to deliver more care–not less–through the ACOs. The president and his allies hope that elevated levels of primary and preventive care for Medicare patients will head off the need for surgeries or other expensive procedures down the road.”

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“States establishing Obamacare exchanges are making a one-way, lose-lose bet. If Obamacare persists, exchanges will become bloated administrative nightmares. If Obamacare is defeated, states will have wasted time and energy that should have been directed towards that effort. Obamacare is President Obama’s problem. Don’t make it your state’s too.”

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“In light of all this evidence about the benefits of hospital competition, it might be surprising to learn that the new health reform law will decrease rather than increase competition between hospitals due to the encouragement of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs will not be implemented until 2012, but already hospitals are buying out physician practices to create what amount to, in many locations, geographic monopolies that will restrict patient choice and stifle innovation.”

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