A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Jobs/Economic Impact"

Administration Warns Employers: Don’t Dump Sick Workers From Plans

Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"As employers try to minimize expenses under the health law, the Obama administration has warned them against paying high-cost workers to leave the company medical plan and buy coverage elsewhere. Such a move would unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their health status, three federal agencies said in a bulletin issued this month."

Obamacare: Most-Used Plans Face Double-Digit Average Premium Increases

Guy Benson
Townhall
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Please consider Friday's 'Obamacare losing streak' post officially updated. Behold, the 'Affordable' Care Act at work. Congratulations, "beneficiaries" (via The Hill): The average price of the most popular ObamaCare health insurance plans rose 10 percent for 2015, according to a new study of premium figures published Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...Not only are premiums increasing, but if consumers do not pick a different plan, they could pay more due to annual changes in how subsidies are calculated."

In Obamacare's Wake, New York's Tale of Two Medicaid Programs

Yevgeniy Feyman and Paul Howard
Forbes
Sun, 2014-11-23
"With round two of Obamacare enrollment here, New York’s policymakers should take stock of where the Empire State is and where it’s heading. Take the state’s Medicaid program. Post-Obamacare, Medicaid enrollment has grown by over 7 percent to 6.1 million people: nearly 1 in 3 New Yorkers now receive coverage through the joint federal-state insurance program for the poor. New York’s Medicaid spending, among the highest in the country, makes up about 30 percent of the state budget."

How a key Obamacare enrollment number slipped below the 7 million mark without anyone noticing

Phillip Bump, Washington Post
Thu, 2014-11-20
"In the blink of an eye, Obamacare enrollment numbers through August fell from 7.3 million to just under 7 million -- a level that dips overall enrollment under 2013 enrollment projections from the Congressional Budget Office. How'd it happen? In short, the administration combined Obamacare medical plan enrollment with dental plan enrollment for those August numbers -- while previous reports had kept the two numbers distinct. Here's how the Department of Health and Human Services reported enrollments in a report last April. This shows only the last line of enrollments, but the number of plans with data on "metal level" (that is, the quality of the plan), is fairly close to the overall number of enrollments. Underneath, the number of people who got standalone dental coverage. 8 million; 1.1 million."

ObamaCare's whopping Cadillac tax under fire

Jim Angle
Fox News
Thu, 2014-11-20
"Of all the taxes in ObamaCare, none is more onerous than the whopping 40 percent Cadillac tax on the more generous employer-provided health care plans, which often are union plans. The now-famous former outside adviser on ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber of MIT, spoke about the Cadillac tax before an audience at the Pioneer Institute in 2011, saying, "It turns out politically, it's really hard to get rid of. And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.""

Health law provision prompts Dallas to lay off police retirees

Tristan Hallman and Tom Benning, Dallas Morning News
Thu, 2014-11-20
"Retired Dallas police Sgt. Tom Wafer recently received a call from a commander that “shocked the fool” out of him: The city can’t let him or any of his fellow retirees watch police surveillance camera feeds anymore when the year is over because of an obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act. City officials say they had to cut Wafer, 74, along with two dozen other retired officers because the health care law put them in a costly bind. The layoffs also affect a few other city agencies but hit the Dallas Police Department hardest."

Support for Obamacare Drops to New Low

Kate Scanlon, The Daily Signal
Tue, 2014-11-18
"Support for Obamacare has reached a new low. According to a new Gallup poll, only 37 percent of Americans approve of the president’s signature law, its lowest approval rating ever. Additionally, 56 percent of Americans disapprove of the law, its highest disapproval rate."

New Obamacare furor: Was Jonathan Gruber the “architect”?

Paige Winfield Cunningham, Politico
Sun, 2014-11-16
"Nobody much cared how much credit Jonathan Gruber took for Obamacare — until now. Once videos surfaced in which the MIT economist talked about the public’s “stupidity,” his claims suddenly matter a lot. Conservatives are using the controversy — not the first involving the high-profile health care expert and Obamacare comic book author — to show that Democrats knew the law was terrible all along."

Health law’s small-business enrollment fell far short of expectations, GAO finds

J.D. Harrison, Washington Post
Sun, 2014-11-16
"Small-business enrollment on new insurance marketplaces set up under the president’s health-care law has fallen well short of the administration’s expectations, according to government report released Thursday."

Gruber strikes again: Obama knew “the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured”

Zachary Goldfarb, Washington Post
Thu, 2014-11-13
"CNN has unearthed a new Jonathan Gruber video speaking undiplomatically about the White House's approach to passage of the health care law in 2010. In this video, Gruber says bluntly what many observers noticed at the time: President Obama focused on how the Affordable Care Act would bring down the cost of health care, not on the moral imperative of extending health insurance to millions of low- and moderate-income Americans. "Barack Obama's not a stupid man, okay? He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn't actually care that much about the uninsured. ... What the American public cares about is costs. And that's why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it's going to lower the cost of health care, that's all they talk about.""

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