“The 2012 election, and the existence of a free health-care market in this country, could well depend on a little-known agency called IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a vastly powerful but too often overlooked component of the president’s health-care-reform law. IPAB has not yet come into existence, but when Obamacare goes into full effect, it will be an unelected and unaccountable bureaucratic entity with nearly limitless power over federal Medicare spending. IPAB will have the power to effectively ration health care through price controls — which may not even be the scariest thing about it. That distinction arguably falls to its unprecedented overriding of congressional sovereignty, in flagrant violation of the constitutional separation of powers.”

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“The more a company knows about coming changes to the nation’s health care laws, the more likely it is to consider radically restructuring the way it provides insurance to employees, according to a study by the consulting firm McKinsey and Co. The study, which is being circulated among Republicans, predicts that as many as 30 percent of companies will stop offering health insurance benefits, reduce the level of benefits, or offer benefits only to certain employees. If this prediction holds, the number of Americans who could see changes to their health insurance would be far more than the 9 million to 10 million estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.”

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“Our research suggests that when employers become more aware of the new economic and social incentives embedded in the law and of the option to restructure benefits beyond dropping or keeping them, many will make dramatic changes. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that only about 7 percent of employees currently covered by employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) will have to switch to subsidized-exchange policies in 2014. However, our early-2011 survey of more than 1,300 employers across industries, geographies, and employer sizes, as well as other proprietary research, found that reform will provoke a much greater response.”

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“ObamaCare will lead to a dramatic decline in employer-provided health insurance—with as many as 78 million Americans forced to find other sources of coverage. This disturbing finding is based on my calculations from a survey by McKinsey & Company. The survey, published this week in the McKinsey Quarterly, found that up to 50% of employers say they will definitely or probably pursue alternatives to their current health-insurance plan in the years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014. An estimated 156 million non-elderly Americans get their coverage at work, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.”

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“Obamacare encourages employers to dump coverage on two fronts. First, several provisions will increase the cost of employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), including new insurance requirements and mandates, and a tax on high-cost health plans. Employers who don’t offer a minimum level of coverage deemed essential by the federal government will face a penalty of $2,000 per worker, but as the authors point out, Obamacare’s other ‘requirements will increase medical costs for many companies. It’s important to note that the penalty for not offering coverage is set significantly below these costs.'”

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“House Republicans have targeted for repeal a tax on tanning-bed services meant to offset costs of the new healthcare law. Rep. Michael Grimm (N.Y.) and 23 other Republicans have co-sponsored legislation to repeal the 10 percent tax included in last year’s healthcare overhaul. While a tax on tanning beds might seem like a minor issue, Grimm argues it is a serious matter, as the tax hurts small businesses and the economy. “

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“One of the key provisions in President Barack Obama’s health care reform law — his preferred method for getting Medicare costs under control — is facing a groundswell of opposition from unexpected corners.
Several House Democrats have signed on to support a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created by the law that is supposed to help control rising costs in Medicare. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a prominent supporter of the law, is now actively lobbying for its repeal, too.”

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“Consider people reaching the age of 65 this year. Under ObamaCare, the average amount spent on these enrollees over the remainder of their lives will fall by about $36,000 at today’s prices. That sum of money is equivalent to about three years of benefits. For 55-year-olds, the spending decrease is about $62,000 — or the equivalent of six years of benefits. For 45-year-olds, the loss is more than $105,000, or nine years of benefits.”

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“Obamacare’s number-one idea for improving health care quality and reducing costs is to promote something called ‘accountable care organizations’ in Medicare. That effort is sinking like a stone, because it – like the rest of this sweeping law – is premised on the fatal conceit that government experts can direct the market better than millions of consumers making their own decisions.”

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“Typically, demonstration programs exist to prove the effectiveness of a reform proposal before implementing it nationwide. This was apparently forgotten in the drafting of ObamaCare, which relies heavily on accountable care organizations (ACOs) to curb runaway spending in Medicare and the health care system at large… Unfortunately, the authors of ObamaCare didn’t wait around to see how effective ACOs would actually be before including them as a main cost-reduction strategy in their health care overhaul.”

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