“The Obama health-care plan passed 18 months ago, and its cynicism still manages to astonish. Witness the spectacle surrounding one of its flagship new entitlements, which is eliciting some remarkable concessions from its drafters. The Health and Human Services Department recently shut down a government insurance program for long-term care, known by the acronym Class. HHS also released a statement claiming that reports that HHS is shutting down Class are ‘not accurate.’ All HHS did was suspend Class policy planning, told Senate Democrats to zero out Class funding for 2012, reassigned Class’s career staffers to other projects and pink-slipped the program’s chief actuary. Other than that, it’s full-speed ahead.”

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“Overall, PPACA is anticipated to increase costs by an average of 1.5% in 2011 across the surveyed health plans. Other surveys have offered similar cost estimates. However, it is important to understand that these averages cannot be easily extrapolated to any particular health insurance policy or across different lines of business… Overall, for 2011 health plans reported estimated increases due to PPACA of 4.7% for individual policies, 1.5% for small group plans, and 0.8% for large group plans on a weighted average basis. These impacts are additive to the other trend components discussed previously.”

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“Staffing firms urged Congress Thursday to repeal the healthcare law’s requirement that employers provide insurance for their workers — even as they continue working with federal regulators to tweak the law.”

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“Prudent insurers, employers and benefits advisors should take the same ‘better safe than sorry approach to planning for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that they’d take to planning for computer problems, or a major hurricane.”

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“The International Franchise Association, a lobbying group that has long expressed concerns about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, released a study this month claiming that franchise businesses will be discouraged from growing and hiring in 2014, when new health-care mandates are scheduled to kick in. The report estimates that the law will negatively affect ‘tens of thousands’ of franchises. It will allegedly impose more than $6.4 billion in increased costs, not including expenses associated with regulatory compliance, and will impact some 3.2 million full-time employees who work for franchise businesses.”

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“A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation underlines that many of the promises surrounding President Obama’s health care legislation remain unfulfilled, though the White House argues that change is coming. Workers at the Flora Venture flower shop in Newmarket, NH, remember when presidential candidate named Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., promised that their health care costs would go down if they elected him and his health care plan was enacted… Last year workers at the flower shop saw their insurance premiums shoot up 41 percent.”

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“In the end, avoiding grants with significant policy strings attached, while important, is only part of the task for state lawmakers opposed to Obamacare. They should also be pursuing their own agenda of patient-centered, market-based reforms that will constitute the “replace” part of “repeal and replace.” Given that the political, judicial, and logistical impediments to implementing Obamacare are actually increasing over time, those alternatives might be needed sooner than anyone expected.”

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“According to a new survey, the majority of doctors do not believe that the AMA represents their views and interests. Much of that dissatisfaction stems from the organization’s support for President Obama’s contentious health care reform package. That shouldn’t be surprising. The AMA declares that its core mission is to ‘help doctors help patients.’ But ObamaCare undermines that pursuit by making life harder for physicians and driving down the quality of care available to patients.”

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“Now that ObamaCare is the law of the land we have to ask if privacy still exists. Or, if it is now a fiction, it will be honored in the breach rather than in the observance as far as the federal government is concerned. Confused? You shouldn’t be—not if you’ve followed what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing as it prepares for Obamacare’s implementation. To put it simply, HHS is making plans to get its hands on your health care records, one way or another, whether you want them to have it or not.”

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“The cost for businesses to buy health coverage for workers rose the most this year since 2005 and may reach $32,175 for a family in 2021, according to a survey of private and public employers… The health law enacted last year accounts for 1 to 2 percentage points of the premium increases in 2011, said Drew Altman, chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

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