A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Quality/Access"

Melissa Quinn: How One Nebraska Woman Lost Her Health Insurance Three Times Under Obamacare

The Daily Signal
Wed, 2015-02-18
Dec. 26, 2014, was strike three for Pamela Weldin. The day after Christmas, Weldin, of Minatare, Neb., had logged on to Facebook to find a message from a friend of hers. Included in the note was a link to an article from the Omaha World-Herald announcing that CoOportunity Health, a nonprofit health insurance company offering plans in Nebraska and Iowa, had been taken over by state regulators. The insurer, one of 23 Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, started with the backing of the federal government and received $145 million in loans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But, CoOportunity’s expenses and medical claims would far exceed its revenue for 2014.

Doug Badger: Approaching ObamaCare with Humility

The Hill
Fri, 2015-02-13
Approaching ObamaCare With Humility Washington can’t get out of Its own way on health care. Give states a chance. President Obama spoke frequently of humility during last week’s prayer breakfast. Congressional Republicans could use a healthy measure of that virtue should the Supreme Court rule that ObamaCare subsidies are not available in the 37 states with federally-facilitated exchanges. ObamaCare is the product of a yawning humility deficit. Its core conceit is that a group of very smart and ideologically like-minded people could reorganize the financing of a $3 trillion industry that touches the lives of 320 million Americans. Its architects boast that more people have “selected a plan” this time around than during the program’s disastrous initial open season.

Grace-Marie Turner: First Biosimilar Poised For FDA Approval

Forbes
Fri, 2015-02-13
Patients and payers have been anxiously awaiting approval of the first “biosimilar” medicines in the United States, hoping the new biologics will lower the cost of these often lifesaving treatments. But early statements from makers of the first of these drugs likely to reach the market indicate that the company expects to launch its biosimilar at parity with the brand-name drug, a decision which would disappoint patients, policymakers, and payers, including Medicare. The FDA is expected to soon approve Zarxio, a drug that is biologically similar to Amgen’s Neupogen which is injected as part of the treatment for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, for patients with abnormally low counts of white blood cells, and other indications. Zarxio is a product of Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals which already sells its Neupogen biosimilars in more than 40 countries outside the United States.

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: New Privacy Concerns Over Obamacare Web Site

Real Clear Politics
Wed, 2015-01-21
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A little-known side to the government's health insurance website is prompting renewed concerns about privacy, just as the White House is calling for stronger cybersecurity protections for consumers. It works like this: When you apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, dozens of data companies may be able to tell that you are on the site. Some can even glean details such as your age, income, ZIP code, whether you smoke or if you are pregnant.

H&R Block: ‘No One Can Understand’ New Obamacare Tax Code

The Daily Caller
Wed, 2015-01-21
Posted By Richard Pollock H&R Block, the nation’s largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014. “Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site.

What '60 Minutes' Didn't Tell You: Hospitals Will Charge You More Under Obamacare

Forbes
Mon, 2015-01-12
On Sunday evening, CBS’ 60 Minutes did a feature story on Steven Brill’s new book, America’s Bitter Pill, in which Brill complains that Obamacare didn’t do enough to tackle the exorbitantly high price of U.S. hospital care. “Obamacare does zero to change any of that,” says Brill. That’s not exactly right. What Brill—and CBS—don’t tell you—is that Obamacare is driving hospitals to charge you more than they already do. The U.S. hospital industry is crony capitalism at its finest

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."

What Safer Cars Tell Us About Obamacare

Forbes
Wed, 2015-01-07
”Safer Cars Lead to Drop in Fatalities” trumpets a recent Wall Street Journal headline. Not to be a curmudgeon, but whether this is good news or bad news depends on what it cost to achieve this reduction in mortality. No one disputes that saving lives is a very good thing, but even the richest nation in the world lacks infinite resources. We will never lack opportunities to save lives. But since there are more and less cost-effective ways of achieving this objective, we are best served by policies that move us in the direction of saving lives at the least cost. Auto safety regulation and Obamacare are simply the latest illustrations of where we may have focused far too much on the benefits being achieved and much too little attention on the cost side of the ledger. Is Auto Safety Regulation Cost-effective?

Is Obamacare Squeezing The Middle Class?

Forbes
Tue, 2015-01-06
Here is something few pundits predicted. Poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through Obamacare and finally going to the doctor’s office for care. But middle-class patients are increasingly staying away. Take Praveen Arla, who helps his father run a family practice in Hillview, Kentucky. The Arlas’ patient load used to be 45% commercially insured and 25% Medicaid. Those percentages are now reversed, report Laura Ungar and Jayne O’Donnell in USA Today.

Health care customers will have more time to pay premiums

Fox News
Thu, 2014-12-18
WASHINGTON – Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Obama's health care law, the insurance industry says it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January. America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade group, says the voluntary steps include a commitment to promptly refund any overpayments by consumers who switched plans and may have gotten double-billed by mistake.

ObamaCare Watch Weekly

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Check out Jim Capretta's new book.

ObamaCare Primer