Large employers are expecting next year’s health costs increase more than they did this year, with ObamaCare’s new regulations taking much of the blame. “While there was uncertainty about the regulations determining grandfathered plan status, the majority of employers (53%) were still planning to make changes to their plan designs. To comply with the law, employers are having to remove lifetime dollar limits on overall benefits (70%), make changes to annual limits on specific benefits (40%), remove annual dollar limits on overall benefits (26%), and remove pre-existing conditions exclusion clauses for dependent children under age 19 (13%). Employers are still evaluating retiree health offerings as a result of new provisions related to taxation of retiree drug subsidies as well as changes in Medicare Advantage plans.”

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According to an analysis by Weiss Ratings, several small insurers will be driven out of business by ObamaCare’s new restrictions. “Martin D. Weiss, president of Weiss Ratings, said in a statement that provisions in PPACA, such as the removal of certain reimbursement limits and mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions, will force health insurers to spend more on medical care. ‘Most large health insurers will be able to handle it. But we are concerned that weaker, less profitable insurers will be forced out of the market, reducing competition and ultimately leading to fewer choices and higher premiums for consumers,’ he said.”

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce formally objected to the recently published regulations to implement ObamaCare’s provision to “grandfather” existing insurance plans. The regulations are very strict, and would likely grant exemption to only a small number of current plans. Complying with ObamaCare’s regulations will lead to higher insurance costs for companies, or lead those companies to drop coverage altogether.

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ObamaCare’s promises to lower costs are not working, according to a new study from the National Business Group on Health. Businesses are increasing or considering increasing cost-sharing , dropping retiree drug coverage to stave off rising health insurance costs in 2011.

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The definition over exactly what is or isn’t a medical expense now has huge ramifications, after ObamaCare imposed new rules on insurance companies. The rules were designed to restrict what liberals view as excessive insurance company profits, but actually could capture necessary overhead expenses like federal taxes.

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Medicare and the other entitlement programs are putting our fiscal future in danger. ObamaCare includes $500 billion in cuts to Medicare, but Medicare’s Chief Actuary doesn’t believe they’ll ever happen. “This led Foster to his central argument:. Rather than face the draconian consequences of its decisions, Congress will step in to prevent the cuts and restore services… Health care reform was sold to Congress as an act of fiscal prudence. It’s beginning to look more like an exercise in profligate spending.”

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A USA Today story highlights the attempts of educational organizations to teach people the truth about ObamaCare, but instead ends up perpetuation misinformation. Seniors are correct to be concerned about cuts to Medicare benefits and rationing.

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The presidents of Texan medical schools are concerned about new costs from ObamaCare that will cause them to train fewer doctors. Teaching hospitals rely on Medicare and Medicaid patients, and they will be reimbursed less per patient by the government according to ObamaCare’s new payment schedules. Given that new insurance subsidies will drive up the demand for medical services, a restriction in supply could result in higher premium costs or rationing of care.

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Medicare spending is growing rapidly, and ObamaCare will do nothing to slow it. The two main reforms, Accountable Care Organizations and the Independent Payment Advisory Board, are poorly constructed and won’t result in significant savings. Only real, market-driven reforms will be able to lower the growth rate.

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Congressional Quarterly has produced a July 21 letter from Sen. Harry Reid to Secretary of Health and Human Service Kathleen Sebelius. In it, Reid complains that ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare will ‘result in a net reduction in payment to Nevada’s hospitals when they are unable to absorb such a cut.’ Furthermore, he questions the method used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to calculate the payments to hospitals, and he is ‘very concerned about potential effects on beneficiary access if this regulation is finalized without adjustment.’ Did Senator Reid finally read the bill, almost four months after passing it and a year after masses of Americans began to demand that Congress do so?”

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