A project of the Galen Institute
The Washington Post
But wait, you might say, isn't there a 2008 law that was supposed to address this? Yes. But, it seems it did not. What about the mental health care parity mandates that went into effect in January 2014, under Obamacare? Well, results there can at best be described as mixed. The Affordable Care Act has boosted the number of Americans with health insurance coverage but has not resolved the disparate way in which many insurers treat the costs of mental and physical health care, according to an April report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The report found that federal changes (part of the Affordable Care Act) mandating so-called parity between mental and physical health-care benefits do not, in practice, exist for the vast majority of Americans who are insured.
Kaiser Family Foundation
The Affordable Care Act does not require businesses to provide health benefits to their workers, but applicable large employers may face penalties if they don’t make affordable coverage available. The Employer Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act penalizes employers who either do not offer coverage or do not offer coverage which meets minimum value and affordability standards. In 2016, these penalties will apply to firms with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees. This flowchart illustrates how those employer responsibilities work.
The Wall Street Journal
An Affordable Care Act program meant to ease risks for health insurers in the law’s new marketplaces will initially pay many companies less than they expected, likely putting financial strain on some. Federal authorities said that insurers will at first receive only about 12.6% of the money that they requested from the program, known as risk corridors, for 2014, its first year of operation. Insurers have requested approximately $2.87 billion in payments from the program based on their 2014 results. But the pool available to make those payments is just $362 million, which came from collections from other insurers that did relatively well on their marketplace business.
The New York Times
The Senate passed legislation on Thursday intended to protect small and midsize businesses from increases in health insurance premiums, clearing the bill for President Obama’s expected signature. The action by Congress was a rare example of bipartisan agreement on how to revise the Affordable Care Act.
The Hill
A congressional oversight committee recently renewed its request for documents from an ethically suspect Internal Revenue Service, which ignores such requests with impunity. But this time, the Supreme Court has taken away the agency’s excuse for not cooperating.
Modern Healthcare
The CMS has sent letters to Medicaid consumers (PDF) who received tax credits to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The agency says these people will have to terminate marketplace coverage and pay back the amount of the credit they've received.
Health Affairs Blog
On September 28, 2015, the House of Representatives approved by voice vote without opposition two bills that would amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Given the rancor that surrounds anything related to the ACA in our sharply partisan—and largely nonfunctional—Congress, this is a remarkable occurrence worthy of note.
Washington Examiner
Just a few weeks before the third Obamacare enrollment season begins, researchers are pointing out that millions of people are still uninsured, despite the law, and that there are real hurdles to convincing people to sign up. The first two enrollment seasons made a sizable dent in the U.S. uninsured population, as about 17 million Americans have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act's various provisions, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated this week.
In a bit of poetic justice, a tax named after an automobile brand got a boost from contract negotiations in the Motor City. That new federal levy, officially called an excise tax on high-cost health coverage, is better known as the "Cadillac tax." Under this provision of the Affordable Care Act, employer-sponsored health coverage worth more than $10,200 per year to an individual or $27,500 per year to a family will be subject to a 40 percent tax on the amount that exceeds the threshold. The tax doesn't take effect until 2018, and as we get closer to that date, pressure in Congress is building to repeal it.
A U.S. appeals court has ruled that President Barack Obama's healthcare law violates the rights of religiously affiliated employers by forcing them to help provide contraceptive coverage even though they do not have to pay for it. Parting ways with all other appeals courts that have considered the issue, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Thursday issued a pair of decisions upholding orders by two lower courts barring the government from enforcing the law's contraceptive provisions against a group of religiously affiliated employers.

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