“One of the main criticisms of Obamacare is that it will significantly reduce the incentive for small businesses to hire — especially once the premium subsidies become available in 2014… But the actual implementation will be complex, thanks to an odd retroactive feature.”Details
“Specifically, the government’s position rests on two false economic claims. First, that an individual’s decision not to buy health insurance substantially affects interstate commerce by increasing the costs of health insurance for all Americans.
Second, that the health care industry is ‘unique’ because of its high rates of participation, high costs, federal mandates and the purported uncertainty surrounding when care will be required.”
“The incentives built into the legislation are pretty straightforward: Employers who don’t offer coverage will have to pay a penalty. But the penalty in many cases will be far less than the cost of coverage. So even with the penalty, they’ll be able to shift employees into the subsidized exchanges, save money, and perhaps even give their employees a raise as they do. As Credit Suisse’s response says, ‘While the figures are staggering, they are simply an economically-rational response by employers to federal health policy to shift the U.S. from an employer-purchased to an individually-purchased insurance market.'”Details
“In the most important appeal of the Obamacare constitutional saga, today was the best day yet for individual freedom. The government’s lawyer, Neal Katyal, spent most of the hearing on the ropes, with the judicial panel extremely cautious not to extend federal power beyond its present outer limits of regulating economic activity that has a substantial aggregate effect on interstate commerce. As the lawyer representing 26 states against the federal government said, ‘The whole reason we do this is to protect liberty.’ With those words, former solicitor general Paul Clement reached the essence of the Obamacare lawsuits.”Details
“Three federal appeals judges expressed unease with a requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance or face penalties, as they repeatedly raised questions about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
At a Wednesday hearing, the three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Atlanta questioned whether upholding the landmark law could open the door to Congress adopting other sweeping economic mandates.”
“A report by McKinsey & Co. has found that 30% of employers are likely to stop offering workers health insurance after the bulk of the Obama administration’s health overhaul takes effect in 2014. The findings come as a growing number of employers are seeking waivers from an early provision in the overhaul that requires them to enrich their benefits this year.”Details
“The constitutional battle over ObamaCare has largely focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Namely, does forcing individuals to buy health insurance violate the commerce clause? But as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear Florida v. United States, a second issue is of equal importance: Was District Court Judge Roger Vinson correct to rule that the federal government can force states to expand their Medicaid programs as a precondition for continuing to receive matching federal funds for the program?”Details
“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.”Details
“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.”Details
“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.”Details