A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Medicaid"

Americans See Healthcare, Low Wages as Top Financial Problems

Gallup
Wed, 2015-01-21
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Healthcare costs and lack of money or low wages rank as the most important financial problems facing American families, each mentioned by 14% of U.S. adults. Fewer Americans than a year ago cite the high cost of living or unemployment, and the percentage naming oil or gas prices is down from 2012. Gallup has been asking Americans about the most important financial problem facing their family in an open-ended format for the past 10 years. Healthcare this year has returned to the top of the list for the first time since early 2010, when the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was signed into law. Still, Americans viewed it as an even bigger financial problem in 2007, when a range of 16% to 19% said it was most important. Notably, 6% of Americans see the high cost of living or inflation as their family's biggest financial problem, down from 13% just over three years ago.

FGA Poll: Tennesseans Do Not Support Medicaid Expansion

Uncover ObamaCare
Wed, 2015-01-21
Earlier this month The Foundation for Government Accountability conducted a poll of 500 voters from the November 4th, 2014 general election in the State of Tennessee and found that when they know the facts about expansion, they do not support it in the Volunteer State. When respondents were told that proposed Medicaid expansion is paid for with $716 billion in cuts to seniors on Medicare, nearly 80 percent of poll respondents were less likely to support Medicaid expansion. And that’s not the only information that lowered respondents support for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion plan. Seventy-three percent of Tennesseans said they would be less likely to support Medicaid expansion if they knew it could result in state funding cuts to education, roads and public safety.

Transcending King v. Burwell: With The Supreme Court's Blessing, The GOP Can Replace Obamacare's Exchanges

Forbes
Thu, 2015-01-15
By Avik Roy On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case that many pundits claim will “blow up Obamacare.” That’s an exaggeration; whatever the High Court decides, Obamacare will remain entrenched in federal law. But if the Supremes do end up ruling against the Obama administration—a distinct possibility—they will be giving Congress a uniquely important opportunity to reshape the Affordable Care Act in far-reaching ways. Here’s how that could work. Background on the Supreme Court case First, some background on the issue, one we’ve been writing about since 2011, before it reached the courts. Obamacare expands coverage to the uninsured using two mechanisms. The law was designed to achieve about half of its coverage expansion by expanding Medicaid, the 1965-vintage single-payer health care system for the poor.

Health-Law Suit Hints at G.O.P. Divide

New York Times
Mon, 2015-01-12
New York Times correspondent Abby Goodnough asks if the latest legal challenges to ObamaCare are signaling a divide within the party or are Republicans still recovering from getting burned when the ACA went to the Supreme Court last time?” About 5 million middle-income people in 36 states currently are receiving subsidies for health insurance through the federal exchanges. Since 87 percent of them are receiving subsidies to purchase coverage, many likely would no longer be able to afford coverage. Ms. Goodenough reports that after the health overhaul law was passed in 2010, Republicans on both the state and federal level spoke with one voice flatly rejecting ObamaCare. However, in the years following ObamaCare’s passage while the majority of governor’s still remain critical of the law, nine governors have expanded their Medicaid programs and four more governors are considering Medicaid expansion this year at the urging of hospitals and business groups.

Eligible Americans Turn Down Obamacare Tax Credits

US News
Mon, 2015-01-12
By Kimberly Leonard Grace Brewer says she never thought she would be without health insurance at this stage of her life. "I'm a casualty of Obamacare," says Brewer, 60, a self-employed chiropractor in the Kansas City, Kansas, area. She wanted to keep the catastrophic health insurance plan she once had, which she says fit her needs. But under the Affordable Care Act, the government's health care reform law, the plan was discontinued because it did not comply with the law's requirements, and her bills doubled to more than $400 a month. "I wanted a minimal plan and I’m not allowed to have it," she says. "That seems like an encroachment on my freedom." The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to buy insurance or pay a penalty. Government subsidies can reduce costs for low- and middle-income Americans and without them, many say they could not afford insurance.

2015: The ObamaCare Crucible

Commentary Magizine
Mon, 2015-01-05
By Tevi Troy The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, has had a tough run of it since being signed into law nearly five years ago. It has faced constitutional challenges, voters ousting congressional Democrats who supported it, and the disastrous rollout of its federal website in October 2013. This past fall, supporters launched a public-relations campaign dedicated to the proposition that things were finally going well for ObamaCare’s 7 million sign-ups, but their campaign was derailed when the Obama administration admitted that it had added 400,000 dental patients to the roster of health-insurance enrollees to falsely claim it had reached the 7 million number. It is likely that ObamaCare’s low point hasn’t been reached. The year 2015 is shaping up to be the ACA’s worst yet.

The IRS violated the law and state sovereignty

Forbes
Mon, 2015-01-05
By Grace-Marie Turner The Internal Revenue Service usurped its authority and overturned longstanding norms of federalism in ruling that health insurance subsidies could be available through federally-created exchanges, the Galen Institute and state legislators argued in an Amicus brief submitted Monday in the pending King v. Burwell lawsuit. The U.S.

ObamaCare slaps states with $15 billion in new costs

Galen Institute
Mon, 2015-01-05
By Grace-Marie Turner Thirty-six states that rely on private managed care programs to provide medical services to all or some of their Medicaid recipients are facing an added ObamaCare tax. According to a report by Milliman consulting actuaries, states that contract with Medicaid managed care plans face up to $15 billion in added costs over 10 years for their share of the law’s tax on private health insurance. States will pay even if they strongly oppose ObamaCare and are refusing to establish health insurance exchanges or expand Medicaid. The health law imposes an annual tax on private health insurance plans – a tax designed to recoup what some call their “windfall” from the millions of new customers they could gain because of the law. The tax on health insurers was expected to raise a total of $8 billion in 2014 and as much as $150 billion over the next 10 years.

Feds Looking for Company to Run 'National Data Warehouse' for Obamacare, Medicare

The Weekly Standard
Fri, 2015-01-02
Jeryl Bier The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for vendors to run its "National Data Warehouse," a database for "capturing, aggregating, and analyzing information" related to beneficiary and customer experiences with Medicare and the federal Obamacare marketplaces. Although the database primarily consists of quality control metrics related to individuals' interactions with customer service, potential contractors are to "[d]emonstrate ...

What Should the new Congress do about ObamaCare?

American Enterprise Institute
Fri, 2014-12-26
The new Republican Congress may not be able to repeal and replace Obamacare entirely, but it could make substantial progress by targeting the health law’s key structural components. This November’s electoral wave reopened and widened the strategic playing field for critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Republican control of both houses of Congress, plus larger majorities of state governors and state legislatures present both opportunities and challenges to move beyond rhetorical opposition and advance changes in national health policy. Initial speculation tends to focus more on tactical considerations on Capitol Hill: which items are easiest to pass in the Senate, how to use budget reconciliation, and which votes will “look good” politically even if vetoed by President Obama. Those are not inconsequential matters in the near term, but they can obscure more important ones. What are the most important policy and political priorities for the new Republican majorities?

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