A project of the Galen Institute
Independent Women's Forum
03/23/15
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the 5-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. The last five years have proven that a one-size-fits-all, top-down government healthcare system doesn't work. Coinciding with the date President Obama signed ObamaCare into law, Independent Women’s Forum released a series of memes highlighting the devastating consequences of this failed law. Hadley Heath, Director of Health Policy at the Independent Women's Forum, issued the following statement: "ObamaCare has proven in its first five years that central planning does not work, especially not for health care. Americans are fed up with the continuously rising costs and diminished choice they face in health care and insurance as a result of too much government interference. Maybe millions have gained coverage, but millions have lost coverage too.
The New York Times
03/17/15
WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a proposed budget for 2016 that partly privatizes Medicare, turns Medicaid into block grants to the states, repeals the Affordable Care Act and reaches balance in 10 years, challenging Republicans in Congress to make good on their promises to deeply cut federal spending. The House proposal leans heavily on the policy prescriptions that Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin outlined when he was budget chairman, according to senior House Republican aides and members of Congress who were not authorized to speak in advance of the official release. With the Senate now also in Republican hands, this year’s proposal is more politically salient than in years past, especially for Republican senators facing re-election in Democratic or swing states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois and New Hampshire, and for potential Republican presidential candidates.
9 News NBC
03/16/15
DENVER - About 190,000 Coloradans will lose access next year to health insurance plans which don't comply with the Affordable Care Act, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) decided. In March of 2014, President Barack Obama decided to give states the option of allowing people on noncompliant health plans to be grandfathered in by renewing their old plans early, while problems with insurance exchanges were ironed out. Colorado insurance commissioner Marguerite Salazar opted to do that for 2015, but told 9NEWS on Friday that the exception is no longer needed for plans in 2016, even though Colorado could have continued them an additional year. "By delaying it, it doesn't give us a good pathway into full implementation of the ACA," Salazar told 9NEWS. "I feel like we gave people that year, we have a great robust market in terms of health insurance in Colorado."
CNBC
03/16/15
If you like your health insurance plan, you actually might have been able to keep it this year. Fewer than 1 million Americans had their health insurance plans canceled for 2015 for noncompliance with Obamacare rules, according to a report by the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report, which called that number "quite small," suggests that in the latest enrollment season there was relatively little disruption of either the individual or job-based insurance market due to plans not meeting Affordable Care Act-related regulations. Those rules set certain minimum standards for coverage, including prescriptions, maternity care and mental health treatment, which were not required in plans prior to the ACA's enactment.
The Wall Street Journal
03/13/15
If the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell strikes down subsidies to the buyers of health insurance on the federal exchange, President Obama will call on Congress to change the law to allow the subsidies. There also will be enormous pressure on elected officials to establish state exchanges in the 34 states that don’t have them. Instead, congressional Republicans should be laying the groundwork for market-friendly health reforms and devolving power to the states, meanwhile helping Americans who have difficulty purchasing coverage...
Hoover Institution
03/10/15
One of the most anticipated cases of the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 term is King v. Burwell. In it, the Supreme Court is confronted with what should be a straightforward question of statutory interpretation about the scope of subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1311 of the ACA states that “each state shall, not later than January 1, 2014, establish an American Health Benefit Exchange.” Another part of the law, section 1321, then qualifies that apparently absolute duty by providing that if the state does not “elect” to establish that exchange by January 1, 2014, or if it otherwise fails to meet the federal requirements for an exchange, “the Secretary [of HHS] shall . . . establish and operate such exchange within the state.” The question of whether a state establishes this exchange determines far more than where individuals can buy their health care coverage.
The New York Post
03/10/15
Last week’s Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare struck me as a bit irrelevant, and not just because the case won’t impact New York. The case is about whether federal subsidies are actually legal in states that didn’t set up their own insurance exchanges — but the truth is, ObamaCare is a bad deal even with the subsidies. Down here in the medical trenches, the harsh reality of the Affordable Care Act continues to play out.
The Weekly Standard
03/09/15
Chief Justice Roberts has said he likes mystery novels; once, as a lower-court judge, he invoked Sherlock Holmes's "dog that didn't bark." But at the King v. Burwell arguments, Roberts himself was in effect the dog that didn't bark, saying far less than expected and thus leaving reporters to puzzle over the mystery of how he might vote. But the one question he did ask about statutory interpretation does merit particular notice, as the Washington Post's Robert Barnes notes. It pertains to "Chevron deference" -- the doctrine under which the Court generally should defer to an agency's reasonable interpretation of an ambiguously worded statute.
The New York Times
03/09/15
I haven’t commented much on the issues at play in the latest Obamacare case to reach the Supreme Court, mostly because there are so many lawyer-bloggers and health care pundits on the internet offering more informed takes than mine. But now duty calls, so here is my pundit’s view of things: 1) Having gone back and forth over the evidence presented, I’m not convinced by the plaintiffs’ argument that the people responsible for drafting for Obamacare consciously intended to limit subsidies in order to induce states to set up their own exchanges.
The Hill
03/07/15
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has given Republicans new ammunition in the fight over ObamaCare by endorsing the idea that Congress is certain to act if the court deals a blow to the law. The conservative justice contended Wednesday that lawmakers would move quickly if the court, in the case of King v. Burwell, were to strike down subsidies that are helping millions of people purchase insurance through the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov.

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