[T]he MLR caps will also limit innovation. Right now, expenses that are on a pre-approved, government list of “activities that improve health care quality” are not included in the cost of administration and so don’t count against the 20 percent cap on what plans get to spend on overhead. If a health plan comes up with a new business approach that it believes improves quality and outcomes, it will be forced to count the costs against its allowable profits. It can’t incorporate the cost into the total money it spends on healthcare if the new scheme isn’t on the government list."
"An unprecedented 35 Democrats bucked the president by voting to delay Obamacare’s 'employer mandate,' while 22 Democrats voted to delay its 'individual mandate' for one year. Obamacare opponents now have an opportunity to widen the fissures among its supporters."
"House lawmakers on Wednesday voted to approve two separate bills amending portions of the Affordable Care Act, the latest moves by the GOP to try to throw up hurdles to the Obama health law. The first bill would codify the year-long delay to the obligation on companies to provide health care coverage to their workers from next year. The second would delay a similar obligation on individuals to purchase health-care insurance."
"The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says it is hearing that many carriers will cancel policies and issue new ones because administratively that is easier than changing existing plans. About 14 million Americans currently purchase their health policies individually, a number expected to more than double eventually because of the new law's subsidies and one-stop insurance markets. But the transition may not be seamless."
"Two online health calculators designed by federal officials to help states and employers comply with Obamacare mandates are riddled with so many flaws that users are abandoning them, The Washington Examiner has learned. Users say the calculators - one used by state officials, the other by private employers - too often are confusing, produce contradictory results, do not reflect real world conditions, and use old data."
"So, if repeal is not a viable short-term option, reveal must be. Dissecting Obamcare's defective anatomy while offering alternatives is the way to get our health care system back on track. That's why the two committees we chair will continue our aggressive oversight, exposing Obamacare's failures - and discussing ways to provide more affordable health care to all Americans. What have our efforts 'revealed' so far?"
"A recent decision by HHS illustrates the arbitrary nature by which some implementation decisions are being made at CMS while highlighting the problem of a top-down approach in Obamacare. After months of small businesses anxiety in Massachusetts surrounding the impact of fewer rating factors due to an ACA mandated one-size-fits all policy, the Federal government recently pulled a piecemeal delayed implementation of the regulations out of thin air."
"Obamacare is designed to destroy the insurance market. Markets do not function without prices, and Obamacare ensures that prices will not be allowed to emerge. There is a medical price associated with smoking, but the District of Columbia has decided to suppress that price by law. Pretending that smoking has no relationship with health-care costs does not make it so — it is only a way to push costs around in a way that is agreeable to the likes of Barack Obama, converting a system that prices risk into a system of entitlements."
"President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats sold many Americans on the Affordable Care Act largely by emphasizing two arguments: The law would help to reduce overall health-care costs, and it would provide health insurance to those who, for financial or health reasons, cannot get it now. Unfortunately, both of these arguments are flawed."
"Want to apply for Obamacare this fall? Start the paperwork now. The Obama Administration quietly released a draft copy of its 'single streamlined application' for Obamacare. This is the form that the government will use to certify eligibility for the program’s subsidies. The on-line version of that form requires 60 printed pages to spell out all the queries. (A condensed paper version of the same application fills 21 pages)."