“Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for gaining $200 million additional federal funds for Louisiana’s Medicaid program. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion in extra Medicaid funds: more than twenty times the assigned amount. How this happened, and how Congress failed to fully fix it, is a microcosm of our new health law’s many flaws.”

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“The Obama administration’s top spokesperson on health care was unable to defend the president’s health overhaul law during a Senate hearing yesterday when she was confronted with the facts about a string of promises that already have been broken about law. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was clearly flummoxed by a series of fact-based questions asked by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on March 7.”

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“The article examined colonoscopy, something which many politicians believe in so fervently as preventive care that they included in ObamaCare a provision that waived the Medicare co-pay for the procedure. That will likely result in an increased use of colonoscopy. The article in the NEJM is particularly useful in shedding some light on whether that policy change will be worth it from a dollars-and-cents perspective. The article examined 2,602 patients who had advanced adenomas (large polyps, usually close to 10 millimeters in size) removed via colonoscopy. In the end, the authors estimated that it saved about 13 people from dying of colon cancer.”

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“On February 10, on the same day that the administration announced it wanted to craft the so-called accommodation, it finalized the rule that had been previously issued with no change. That rule includes the infamous four-part test by which HHS bureaucrats will determine which houses of worship are pure enough to warrant a full exemption from the mandatory coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization procedures, and contraception. It is also the same rule that provides no exemption from the mandate for religious employers that provide services to the general public. So, as matters stand today, the Obama administration has implemented rules that even it concedes infringe on the traditional rights of religious employers.”

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“Voting for President Obama’s healthcare reform law cost Democratic incumbents 5.8 percentage points of support at the polls in 2010, according to a new study in the journal American Politics Research. The study helps explain why Democrats lost 66 House seats, significantly more than the median academic forecast of 44 to 45 seats, study co-author Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College writes on his blog.”

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“During the debate over the health care law, it was often argued that the added federal cost of the coverage provisions would be more than offset by other tax hikes and spending cuts. Indeed, it was suggested that the new law would actually reduce the longterm budget deficit. But this perspective rests critically on how one accounts for the Medicare taxes
and cuts that were enacted in the law, and specifically the taxes and cuts that were assigned to the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund.”

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“If employers dump many of their workers onto the exchanges, as numerous independent analyses suggest is likely, taxpayers may need to spend as much as $200 billion a year extra on these exchange subsidies. Well, it turns out that the Obama Administration agrees that initial spending estimates are too low. The White House’s fiscal year 2013 budget adds $111 billion in exchange spending between 2014 and 2021, with even more spending to come in future years.”

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“ObamaCare will repeat the mistake when it enrolls about 16 million new people in Medicaid. Many will be converting from private coverage that pays physicians more than Medicaid pays (even with the somewhat higher rates for two years). The net result: millions of patients will have less access to care than they had before the reform.”

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“The Senate is under increasing pressure to bring up legislation repealing a key part of President Obama’s healthcare law. A House subpanel on Wednesday easily approved a measure to repeal a Medicare cost-cutting panel derided by Republicans as a ‘rationing board.’ Two Democrats — including the panel’s ranking member — crossed the aisle and joined Republicans in voting to nix the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The lopsided 17-5 vote underscored the bipartisan support for repealing the board, which Obama has made the centerpiece of his efforts to reduce Medicare spending. It also provided evidence the legislation could have a shot at passing the Senate.”

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“Just when you think everything that can be said about Obamacare’s constitutionality has been said, along comes another legal brief that makes a new point. The latest was filed by the Arlington-based Institute for Justice, a nonpartisan, libertarian public-interest law firm. The institute points out that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — the requirement to purchase insurance — is not only an unprecedented expansion of federal power. It also undermines several centuries of contract law.”

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