A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Mandates"

Latest Official Figures Show The Obamacare Exchange Performance Was Worse Than We Thought

Chris Conover
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-26
"The Obama administration has admitted to erroneously inflating the count of Exchange enrollees by incorrectly including 380,000 dental subscribers. Instead of 7.1 paid enrollments in the Exchanges as of mid-October, the correct figure should have been only 6.7 million. For the same reason, the reported number of paid enrollments in August should have been only 6.9 million rather than the 7.3 million figure originally reported. It’s a bit disappointing that this goof might never have been discovered but for the investigative efforts of Republican staffers for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, using data that took weeks of negotiations to secure from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That said, it’s encouraging to see DHHS Secretary Burwell take the position “The mistake we made is unacceptable. I will be communicating that clearly throughout the department.”"

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."

A Quarter Of Uninsured Say They Can’t Afford To Buy Coverage

Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Just days before the health law’s marketplaces reopened, nearly a quarter of uninsured said they expect to remain without coverage because they did not think it would be affordable, according to a poll released Friday. That was by far the most common reason given by people who expect to stay uninsured next year, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Forty-one percent of individuals without health insurance said they expected they would remain uninsured, while about half said they plan to get coverage in the coming months."

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."

Democrat Wants Gag Order On Liberal Lawyer Representing GOP In Obamacare Lawsuit

Sarah Hurtubise, Daily Caller
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Self-avowed liberal law professor Jonathan Turley is representing the House GOP in its lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s implementation of Obamacare and at least one House Democrat wants him punished for it Turley, a George Washington University law professor, is also a frequent media commentator on political issues. Despite describing himself as a political liberal, he’s long been harshly critical of Obama’s use of executive power and said he’d jumped at the chance to represent the House GOP in the lawsuit against unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act in its implementation."

America, You’ve Been Grubered!

Kurt Schlichter
Townhall
Mon, 2014-11-24
"The most important effect of the revelations of the Administration’s flunkies’ history of cheesy lies about Obamacare is that liberals must now answer one threshold question before discussing the substance of any new socialist scheme: Why should we trust anything liberals say about anything?"

In Partisan Washington, Health Law Faces Grave Legal Technicalities

John Harwood
NY Times
Mon, 2014-11-24
"In March 1997, two congressmen proposed a welfare law so detailed that it had 77 sections. Within a month it sailed through the House by voice vote. There was nothing unusual about swift passage for the Welfare Reform Technical Corrections Act of 1997. But in retrospect, it underscores the deteriorating conditions in Washington today, as the Supreme Court has accepted a case threatening the Affordable Care Act over the interpretation of a single ambiguous phrase."

CMS reminds insurers that ObamaCare money can't pay for abortions

Elise Viebeck, The Hill
Mon, 2014-11-24
"The Obama administration is seeking to tighten how insurers segregate funds for abortion coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges after a scathing government investigation found the rules have been widely ignored. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided additional detail Friday about how health plans should go about charging women for abortion coverage that is handled separately from their other health benefits obtained on the exchanges."

HHS Formally Moves To Close Loophole Allowing Plans Without Hospital Benefits

Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-11-24
"The Obama administration took another step to close what many see as a health-law loophole that allows large employers to offer medical plans without hospital coverage and bars their workers from subsidies to buy their own insurance. “It has come to our attention that certain group health plan designs that provide no coverage of inpatient hospital services are being promoted,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in proposed rules issued late Friday."

Obamacare Users Would Move to Low-Cost Plans Under U.S. Proposal

Crayton Harrison, Bloomberg
Mon, 2014-11-24
"Obamacare customers who choose to re-enroll in insurance plans would automatically default to cheaper coverage during sign-up periods, protecting them from price increases, under rules proposed by the U.S. government."

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