“Many of its opponents were passionately convinced that ObamaCare marked an unprecedented and ominous interference by the federal government in the lives of American citizens. At the root of these fears lay the provision of the program known as the individual mandate. If the government could make us buy health insurance, or incur a penalty for failing to, what could stop it from compelling people to purchase electric cars, memberships in a health club, or, that old favorite, broccoli—indeed, anything at all?”Details
“Uncertainty over changes in national health care policy has emerged as an issue in supermarket labor contracts.
Union employees of Giant and Safeway stores in Washington and Baltimore last week agreed to a new contract with an unusual duration of 19 months, a period during which both sides hope to gain more visibility into the potential financial impacts of changes set to take place as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the sweeping changes in national health care policy approved two years ago.”
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is designed to extend health-insurance coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans. Rarely is it mentioned, however, that Medicaid, the government-run health-insurance program for the poor, will provide more than half of that new coverage under the law. The PPACA assigns Medicaid this central role, despite long-standing concerns about Medicaid’s costs and the quality of its care.”Details
“A new Reason-Rupe poll finds a majority of Americans (56 percent) favor a provision in the new health care law that requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance or else pay a fine. At the same time, 58 percent of Americans expect the employer mandate to drive employers to pay their workers less, 29 percent expect no significant impact on pay. Even among those who support the provision, 50 percent expect employers to reduce pay.
Moreover, nearly half of Americans (47 percent) expect the employer mandate will lead employers to lay off workers. 39 percent think it will not significantly impact employers’ hiring decisions.”
“This means that by 2020, Medicaid enrollment will reach 85 million, or approximately one in four Americans. This level of dependence distorts the original purpose of the government program, which was intended to serve as a safety net for only the most vulnerable. As a result of the expansion, the report shows, Medicaid spending between 2011 and 2020 will increase under Obamacare by $619 billion. The federal government will initially pay for most of the new spending, totaling $572 billion. But the expansion will increasingly strain state budgets as well, since the federal contribution decreases overtime. The Medicaid expansion will bring total state Medicaid spending to $2.3 trillion through 2020.”Details
“The main argument for a mandate before the Supreme Court was that people of modest means can fail to buy insurance, and then rely on charity care in emergency rooms, shifting the cost to the rest of us. But the expenses of emergency room treatment for indigent uninsured people are not health-care’s central cost problem. Costs are rising because people who do have insurance, and their doctors, overuse health services and don’t shop on price, and because regulations have salted insurance with ever more coverage for them to overuse.”Details
“President Obama is backtracking from his remarks challenging the Supreme Court’s power to strike down congressionally approved laws after a federal judge demanded that the Justice Department clarify Obama’s views. Obama’s remarks about the Supreme Court’s power to kill his health care reform law simply lacked proper context, administration officials argued Wednesday.”Details
“But the question remains: What kind of reforms do Americans want? The Obama administration completely misread the public mood when it based its decision to craft a 2,700-page, Rube Goldberg-style makeover of literally one-sixth of our economy on polls suggesting that Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes for universal coverage. Worse, a joint poll by Reason Foundation (where I work) and Rupe released this week found that the misnamed Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. Obamacare — imposed trade-offs that Americans were simply unwilling to accept.”Details
“The hidden shortfall between new spending and new taxes was revealed just after Supreme Court justices grilled the law’s supporters about its compliance with the Constitution’s limits on government activity. If the court doesn’t strike down the law, it will force taxpayers find another $17 trillion to pay for the increased spending. The $17 trillion in extra promises was revealed by an analysis of the law’s long-term requirements. The additional obligations, when combined with existing Medicare and Medicaid funding shortfalls, leaves taxpayers on the hook for an extra $82 trillion in health care obligations over the next 75 years.”Details
“Tuesday, March 23 marked the two-year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and the largest transfer of power from Congress to the Administration in the history of this nation. As the Supreme Court hears arguments about PPACA on Constitutional grounds – the individual mandate, in particular – let’s not be lulled into thinking its broader assumptions and provisions are otherwise innocuous or valid. Setting aside the need to address legitimate reform, including egregious problems with pre-existing condition rules on the insurance side, there’s the bigger problem of healthcare delivery and the fundamental safety of this sector of the industry.”Details