A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Jobs/Economic Impact"

Obamacare cancellations, again: Column

Tim Phillips
USA Today
Sun, 2014-10-19
"Last fall, millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when Obamacare didn't cancel their health care plans. Now they're holding their breath once again. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will soon receive cancellation letters affecting their 2015 health care plans — and that number may quickly rise into the millions. This wave of cancellations will fall into two categories. The first group hit will be in the individual market, the same group that suffered through at least 6.3 million cancellation letters last year. They will almost certainly be joined by millions of people in the small-employer market, which has 40 million plans and will be under Obamacare's control starting next year."

Big jump for PreferredOne premiums

Christopher Snowbeck, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Fri, 2014-10-17
"Sticker shock awaits thousands of people with health coverage through PreferredOne, the top seller on the MNsure exchange during its first year. The Golden Valley-based insurer said Wednesday that its individual market subscribers will see an average premium increase next year of 63 percent due to high claims costs. “Given the volatility of the individual marketplace due to the first year of the [federal health law], this increase is a significant step at stabilizing our rates and plans for the years to come,” the company said in a statement."

Fact Checker: Obama’s claim that Obamacare has helped produce a ‘$1,800 tax cut’

Glenn Kessler
Washington Post
Fri, 2014-10-17
"“If we hadn’t taken this on, and [health insurance] premiums had kept growing at the rate they did in the last decade, the average premium for family coverage today would be $1,800 higher than they are. Now, most people don’t notice it, but that’s $1,800 you don’t have to pay out of your pocket or see vanish from your paycheck. That’s like a $1,800 tax cut.” –President Obama, remarks on the economy, Northwestern University, Oct. 2, 2014 Remember that 2008 campaign promise touted by then-candidate Obama — that his health care law would reduce the cost of premiums by $2,500 by 2014? As we have noted, he was quickly called out by fact checkers for making a dubious claim based on shaky assumptions."

Dem push for health law rooted in demographics

Steve Ohlemacher, Associated Press
Kansas City Star
Fri, 2014-10-17
"Why do Democrats and Republicans view this law so differently? Ideology plays a big role. Democrats are generally more willing than Republicans to look to government to help address people's problems. Demographics shape the debate, too. If a community has a large concentration of people without health insurance, there is a good chance it is represented by a Democrat in Congress. Of the 50 congressional districts with the most uninsured people, all but nine are represented by Democrats."

Now There Can Be No Doubt: Obamacare Will Increase The Deficit

Chris Conover
Forbes
Fri, 2014-10-17
"Remember this categorical assurance from President Obama? “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.” This was no casual, throw-away campaign promise. The pledge was made on September 9, 2009 in his health speech before a joint session of Congress. In reality, we have known for years that Obamacare would violate this promise. But champions of Obamacare have repeatedly pointed to the CBO score that purported to show that the law would reduce federal deficits by $143 billion in its first 10 years.[1] They conveniently ignored the fact that less than four weeks before the law even passed, Paul Ryan had deftly exposed all the “gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors” underlying that calculation."

Administration Signals Doubts About Calculator Permitting Plans Without Hospital Benefits

Jay Hancock
Kaiser Health News
Thu, 2014-10-16
"Insurance consultants were shocked recently to learn that Obama administration rules allow large companies to offer 2015 worker health plans that don’t include hospital benefits. Now the administration is concerned too. Treasury Department officials are preparing to reverse course on an official calculator that permits plans without hospital coverage to pass the health law’s strictest standard for large employers, said industry lawyers who have spoken to them. These sources expect the administration to disallow such coverage by the end of the year."

Obamacare has victimized many, helped few

Jim Brown, NFIB
The Tennesseean
Thu, 2014-10-16
"It’s been more than four, long painful years since the Affordable Care Act became law. When it passed, many believed small-business owners and their employees would suffer under its weight. That’s why my organization, the National Federation of Independent Business, tried to stop it by suing the federal government. Since the Supreme Court’s disappointing decision in 2012 to uphold Obamacare, the results for small business continue to be alarmingly bad or disastrous."

More Still Say Health Law Has Hurt Instead of Helped Them

Rebecca Riffkin, Gallup
Thu, 2014-10-16
"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Although more provisions of the Affordable Care Act have taken effect over the past year, more Americans still say the law has hurt rather than helped them. Compared with early 2014, fewer Americans say it has had no effect, although this group is still in the majority, at 54%. Americans overall are both more positive and more negative about the law's effect on themselves and their families. Since the start of this year, the percentage saying the law has helped them has increased from 10% to 16%, while the percentage saying it has hurt them has also gone up, and by a similar amount, from 19% to 27%."

Obama Tells GM His Healthcare Costs Are Rising Because He’s Not ‘Shopping’ Correctly

Washington Free Beacon
Wed, 2014-10-15
"President Obama said healthcare costs are rising for Indiana steel workers because employers are not “shopping” correctly for insurance plans during an event at Millennium Steel Service in Princeton, Ind., on Friday. “We are seeing almost a double-digit increase in health-care costs every year,” General Manager Mihir Paranjape said. “Do you think that trend is going to go down, and what can we do to control that trend?” “That’s really interesting, you’re gonna have to talk to Henry,” Obama said, referring to the company’s CEO, Henry Jackson. “The question is whether you guys are shopping effectively enough.” Obama said healthcare premiums were rising at the slowest rate in 50 years and that the higher-ups at Millennium Steel were simply not aware of the options they have in the healthcare market to ensure they are getting the best deal."

Wal-Mart Stymied By ObamaCare

Investors Business Daily
Wed, 2014-10-15
"Health Reform: Wal-Mart says it's cutting health benefits to part-timers and boosting worker premiums. If a retail empire built on low prices can't find a way around ObamaCare's added costs, we are all doomed. The world's biggest retailer announced this week that its health costs will be about 48% higher for the current fiscal year than it had expected in February. As a result, it's cutting 30,000 part-timers from its health benefit plan, raising worker-paid premiums by 19% and trimming its co-payment for health costs above the deductible. "We had to make some tough decisions," benefits director Sally Wellborn told the Associated Press. But to hear President Obama tell it, Wal-Mart just didn't shop around."

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