A project of the Galen Institute
Emily Egan & Janine Hanrahan, The American Action Forum
12/05/12

"As key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are moving closer to full implementation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is beginning to define regulations, with the latest round of draft rules released last Friday. Among the new regulations is a proposed 3.5 percent “user fee” to be charged to insurers that want to sell plans on the federally facilitated insurance exchanges (FFE)."

Dan Goldbeck, American Action Forum
11/27/12

"Nearly three weeks after President Obama’s reelection, the Administration has officially published three proposed rules implementing his signature legislative package, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposals are relatively uncomplicated compared to other ACA rules; together, they take up a brisk 93 pages. Nevertheless, they represent some of the more notable changes mandated by the law."

James Capretta, Health Affairs
11/15/12

"The Democrats do not have supermajority control of the House and Senate, as they did in the 111th Congress when the PPACA was passed. Indeed, in 2013 and 2014, Republicans will have a rather sizeable majority in the House, along with 45 votes in the Senate. In addition, there are now 30 Republican Governors in the states, who will have much to say about health care policy in the coming years, too. So, unlike the birth of the PPACA, its implementation will proceed at a time when Republicans are controlling many levers of power."

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, The American Action Forum
10/28/12

"The ACA health insurance subsidies are the most significant expansion of entitlements since the 1960s. In light of the precarious fiscal outlook for the federal government, its cost is a central concern to policymakers and taxpayers alike. When the ACA passed in June 2010, the Congressional Budget Office projected the budget cost between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2019 to be $462 billion. By June 2012, the cost for these same years had jumped to $574 billion, an increase of nearly 25 percent."

Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D., New England Journal of Medicine
10/18/12

"U.S. health care suffers from three major problems: millions of people go without insurance, health care costs are rising at unaffordable rates, and the quality of care is not what it should be. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) primarily addresses the first — and easiest — of these problems by expanding coverage to a substantial number of the uninsured. Solutions to the other two remain aspirations and promises."

David M. Eddy & Roshan Shah, Health Affairs
10/11/12

"The Medicare Shared Savings Program, created under the Affordable Care Act, will reward participating accountable care organizations that succeed in lowering health care costs while improving performance... We used a simulation model to analyze the effects of the Shared Savings Program quality measures and performance targets on Medicare costs in a simulated population of patients ages 65–75 with type 2 diabetes. We found that a ten-percentage-point improvement in performance on diabetes quality measures would reduce Medicare costs only by up to about 1 percent. After the costs of performance improvement, such as additional tests or visits, are accounted for, the savings would decrease or become cost increases."

Sam Batkins, American Action Forum
10/10/12

"Since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Action Forum (AAF) has tracked the state of its regulatory implementation. To date, the ACA has imposed a total of $27.6 billion in new regulations – at least $20.4 billion in lifetime costs on private entities and $7.2 billion in increased burdens on state budgets. In this paper AAF examines how this $27.6 billion in new costs break down on a state-by-state level. The data show that five states will endure at least $1 billion in ACA regulatory costs."

Paul Howard, Manhattan Insititute
09/24/12

"PPACA is poised to radically expand Medicaid coverage beginning in 2014—adding to an already crushing state burden of Medicaid costs. The “perfect storm” of Medicaid overspending, excessive regulation, and PPACA expansion is leading to serious discussions among governors and state Medicaid directors about block-granting federal Medicaid funding in return for significant state flexibility in Medicaid program design and administration."

William McBride & Andrew Lundeen, The Tax Foundation
09/12/12

"Perhaps that sounds like a successful jobs program, as it will keep 40,000 people fully employed, filling out paperwork and sorting through a confounding pile of government regulations. Only problem is, that work is entirely wasteful and creates zero wealth for America as a whole. It would be better for America and for the 40,000 workers to do something useful, like build the empire state building 11 times over, to use the Ways and Means example."

Paul Howard, Medical Progress Today
08/27/12

"Two articles over the weekend highlight the continuing effect of Obamacare on the health care industry - particularly how it is accelerating industry consolidation. In both the insurance and hospital industry, players are consolidating to lower costs, gain market share, and defend their bottom lines. The big question, however, is whether these trends will ultimately benefit consumers and the health care system as a whole, through improved quality and lower costs."

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