“I’ve predicted that lots of parts of Obamacare will not work the way they’re expected to. But here’s one I wouldn’t have predicted: the high-risk pools, which were meant to tide people over until 2013, have signed up just 18,000 people as of March. There were supposed to be millions of people who were uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions. We heard lengthy testimony about their terrible plight… It was estimated by Medicare’s Chief Actuary that around 400,000 would sign up… The administration is now loosening the requirements (you just need a note from a doctor or nurse saying you’ve been sick in the last year) and lowering premiums. But this doesn’t mean that they’re finally covering more ‘uninsurables’; it just means they’ve decided to use the money allocated for those people to cover someone else. They’re changing the “high-risk pools” to something that looks a lot more like simply subsidizing insurance.”Details
“The folks at The Cleveland Clinic, a highly integrated provider organization that has been touted as a model for the sort of team-driven health care that ACOs are supposed to encourage, aren’t buying the promises made by the administration and its backers. Last month, I noted that the Clinic was disappointed with the regulations. Since then, its officials have expanded their criticism in a new letter written to Medicare director and superstar ACO-wonk Donald Berwick.”Details
“The feds argue that folks without insurance affect commerce when they consume care without paying for it. Providers then pass along the cost of that uncompensated care to those with insurance.
But requiring everyone to buy insurance will not solve this problem. In fact, the individual mandate will result in higher uncompensated care costs.
The cure, so to speak, is worse than the disease.”
“Now, with 50 uncompetitive state markets and new federal regulations on what is or isn’t an acceptable insurance plan on top of existing state laws, there will actually be less room for price-cutting competition in health care. You can expect insurance costs to rise as a direct result.”Details
“Physician Hospitals of America (PHA) has filed a formal notice of appeal in its ongoing battle against growth restrictions in the healthcare reform law that make it nearly impossible for physician-owned hospitals to expand, according to PHA.
PHA and its coplaintiff, Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler, Texas, are arguing that provisions that prevent new or expanding physician-owned hospitals from qualifying for Medicare are unconstitutional, as well as limit patient access to high-quality hospitals.”
“The White House conveniently failed to notice the program’s problems during the health care debate. But last fall, the president’s own fiscal commission officially called for a total repeal of the program. At this point, even Obama’s top health care officials won’t stand behind the program’s worthless fiscal design. ‘While the law outlined a framework for the CLASS Act,’ Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told members of Congress in February, ‘we determined pretty quickly that it would not meet the requirement that the act be self-sustaining and not rely on taxpayer assistance.’ Whoops!”Details
“The law’s spending path depends on making providers pay for all the future Medicare shortfalls. But since no one can force health-care providers to show up for work, short of a health-care provider draft this reform ultimately cannot succeed. The House Republican path, on the other hand, would make a sum of money available to each senior to choose among competing private plans—much the way Medicare Advantage provides insurance today for about one out of every four Medicare beneficiaries.”Details
“One of the key components of ObamaCare, tax subsidies to purchase federally approved health insurance, will substantially increase the number of people who are not paying for government services and thus have a lower incentive to be concerned about record-breaking government spending. These tax subsidies, which take effect in 2014, will also harm the economy by increasing the national deficit and by creating huge marginal tax rates that will discourage productivity for many households. Obamacare’s tax subsidies are one of the primary reasons to repeal Obamacare.”Details
“This summer the IRS is set to finish writing the rules for one of ObamaCare’s new taxes–its 2.3% levy on medical device companies. Congress should wrest the pen from the taxman’s hand and scrap the tax entirely. Not only will it raise the prices American patients pay for life-saving medical equipment, it will also destroy thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.”Details
“Comparative effectiveness research could cost the nation trillions of dollars in economic activity and shorten the lives of Americans, concludes a new report from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.”Details