A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Jobs/Economic Impact"

Grace-Marie Turner: Treasury Rule Allows Taxpayer Subsidized Health Insurance For Illegal Immigrants

Forbes
Thu, 2015-05-28
New research about implementation of the Affordable Care Act finds that Obama administration regulations are allowing taxpayer subsidized health insurance for some people earning less than the statutory income floor and also for unlawful immigrants. A new study by Andy S. Grewal, an associate professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, explains that the ACA provides tax credits to U.S. citizens with incomes between 100 and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). However, IRS regulations were written to extend credits to citizens below 100% FPL in some cases. Also, Section 36B of the ACA grants credits to some non-citizens with low-incomes only if they are themselves lawfully present in the U.S. and cannot obtain Medicaid coverage.

Erica E. Phillips: West Coast Port Contract Has Employers Covering ‘Cadillac Tax’

The Wall Street Journal
Thu, 2015-05-28
The U.S. West Coast port labor contract ratified by dockworkers will require shipping companies and terminal operators to cover the tax on high-cost health plans beginning in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act, widely called the “Cadillac tax.” Health care benefits were an important part of the negotiations that culminated in an agreement in February and last week’s vote by the cargo handlers in favor a five-year contract that included wage increases, pension upgrades and substantial health care coverage. Under the contract, the Pacific Maritime Association, a group of port terminal operators and shipping companies, will provide full health care benefits for members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, their dependents and retirees including full coverage with no premiums, no in-network deductibles or co-pays, $1 prescriptions and 100% coverage of hospital care.

Louise Radnofsky and Adam Janofsky: Midsize Businesses Seek Relief From Federal Health Law

The Wall Street Journal
Thu, 2015-05-28
Employer groups and insurers are pushing to keep businesses with 51 to 100 workers exempt from a provision of the federal health law that they say could significantly increase their costs. For these midsize employers, the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for what health plans must cover—and how they are priced—are set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Already the law requires insurers to sell individual and “small group” plans to everyone at the same price, regardless of their health. Those rules, which kicked in Jan 1, 2014 for businesses with 50 or fewer workers, also set standards for what health-benefits packages must cover.

Edwin Meese III and J. Kenneth Blackwell: Why the Supreme Court should strike down Obamacare subsidies: Column

USA Today
Fri, 2015-05-01
Two questions will dictate not only the future of healthcare, but also the balance of power between Washington, D.C., and the states, and the separation of powers between the federal branches. One concerns state sovereignty, the other the heckler's veto. When justices heard arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) in King v. Burwell on March 4, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts suggested ways they might vote to uphold an Internal Revenue Service rule granting taxpayer subsidies to Obamacare exchange policies in states that refused to join that part of the ACA. The ACA's Section 1401 provides that subsidies are granted for insurance policies purchased on exchanges "established by the State under (Section) 1311." By contrast, the federal exchange is created by Section 1321.

Sarah Kliff: Obamacare has helped 14 million people get coverage. So why aren’t doctors' offices swamped?

Vox
Thu, 2015-04-02
About 14 million Americans have gained health coverage since Obamacare's insurance expansion began in 2014 — but those new enrollees haven't swamped the nation's doctors' offices, new research shows. When the health-care law started, there was concern that an influx of new patients could overwhelm doctors. It's already hard enough to get an appointment with a primary care provider — wouldn't millions of newly insured Americans just exacerbate the problem? New data from 16,000 providers across the country, pulled by the medical records firm AthenaHealth, shows that requests for new appointments just barely edged upward in 2014. The proportion of new patient visits to primary care doctors increased from 22.6 percent in 2013 to 22.9 percent in 2014.

Sean Higgins: Dem senators warn Obamacare rule 'particularly harmful and disruptive'

The Washington Examiner
Tue, 2015-03-24
Six Democratic senators and one independent have asked the Department of Health and Human Services to a delay a new rule that would likely force small businesses to pay more for employee health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The senators warn that if the administration goes ahead with the change it would be "particularly harmful and disruptive" to small businesses. Starting in 2016, the Obamacare change will require businesses that employ between 51-100 people to purchase insurance in what the government defines as the "small group market," rather than the market for large group plans. The senators warn that the change will inflate health care costs for those businesses. "[T]hey could experience higher premiums, less flexibility, and new barriers to coverage.

Joyce M. Rosenberg: Small businesses struggle with health care law

USA Today
Mon, 2015-03-23
Complying with the health care law is costing small businesses thousands of dollars that they didn't have to spend before the new regulations went into effect. Brad Mete estimates his staffing company, Affinity Resources, will spend $100,000 this year on record-keeping and filing documents with the government. He's hired two extra staffers and is spending more on services from its human resources provider. The Affordable Care Act, which as of next Jan. 1 applies to all companies with 50 or more workers, requires owners to track staffers' hours, absences and how much they spend on health insurance. Many small businesses don't have the human resources departments or computer systems that large companies have, making it harder to handle the paperwork.

I have to pay back my Obamacare subsidy

Forbes
Fri, 2015-02-13
Janice Riddle got a nasty surprise when she filled out her tax return this year. The Los Angeles resident had applied for Obamacare in late 2013, when she was unemployed. She qualified for a hefty subsidy of $470 a month, leaving her with a monthly premium of $1 for the cheapest plan available. Riddle landed a job in early 2014 at a life insurance agency, but since her new employer didn't offer health benefits, she kept her Obamacare plan. However, she didn't update her income with the California exchange, which she acknowledges was her mistake.

Melissa Quinn: 5 Takeaways from the CBO’s Report on Obamacare

The Daily Signal
Wed, 2015-01-28
A nonpartisan entity of the federal government has found that the Affordable Care Act will cost the government less than expected. However, the reduction in the law’s price tag comes among findings that millions of Americans could lose their employer-provided health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office came out with a report yesterday revising the costs and budgetary effects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report

Daily Mail
Tue, 2015-01-27
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best The law will still leave 'between 29 million and 31 million' nonelderly Americans without medical insurance Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025

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