A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Public Opposition"

Melissa Quinn: 5 Takeaways from the CBO’s Report on Obamacare

The Daily Signal
Wed, 2015-01-28
A nonpartisan entity of the federal government has found that the Affordable Care Act will cost the government less than expected. However, the reduction in the law’s price tag comes among findings that millions of Americans could lose their employer-provided health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office came out with a report yesterday revising the costs and budgetary effects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Though the agency found that the health care law is projected to cost the government less than originally thought, the CBO projected enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will continue to increase. The CBO attributed the drop in Obamacare costs to lower-than-expected enrollments and subsidies given to those who are eligible. The number of consumers receiving subsidies could decrease even further following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the court case King v. Burwell.

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report

Daily Mail
Tue, 2015-01-27
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best The law will still leave 'between 29 million and 31 million' nonelderly Americans without medical insurance Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025 It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday. The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.

Justin Haskins: Endlessly Slapped By ObamaCare

NY Post
Mon, 2015-01-26
“I’m sorry sir,” the polite Healthcare.gov customer-service agent said. “There’s nothing I can do. You’re either going to have to enroll in Medicaid or you’re going to have to pay the full health-insurance rate.” “The rate you quoted earlier?” I asked. “That’s nearly 30 percent higher than my current insurance bill, I just can’t afford it.” “You’ll have to pay the full rate, yes,” the agent replied. “I don’t understand,” I explained. “I have plenty of money to pay you a reasonable rate, but I can’t afford to pay the same rate a millionaire would be asked to pay. Why can’t I just receive a partial subsidy? I’m willing to pay more than what Medicaid offers.” “Sir, that’s just not how the system works.” Right.

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.

New privacy concerns over government's health care website

My Way
Wed, 2015-01-21
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and JACK GILLUM 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. The data firms have embedded connections on the government site. Ever-evolving technology allows for individual Internet users to be tracked, building profiles that are a vital tool for advertisers. Connections to multiple third-party tech firms were documented by technology experts who analyzed HealthCare.gov, and confirmed by The Associated Press.

Need help filing out your tax return? Don't call the IRS

Yahoo
Thu, 2015-01-15
WASHINGTON (AP) — Filing a federal tax return is about to get more complicated for millions of families because of President Barack Obama's health law. But they shouldn't expect much help from the Internal Revenue Service. Got a question for the IRS? Good luck reaching someone by phone. The tax agency says only half of the 100 million people expected to call this year will be able to reach a person. Callers who do get through may have to wait on hold for 30 minutes or more to talk to someone who will answer only the simplest questions. "Taxpayers who need help are not getting it, and tax compliance is likely to suffer over the longer term if these problems are not quickly and decisively addressed," said a report Wednesday by agency watchdog Nina E. Olson. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says budget cuts are forcing the agency to reduce taxpayer services and other functions.

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.

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.

How The New Congress Can Thoughtfully Repeal Obamacare's Expansion

Forbes
Tue, 2015-01-06
By Jonathan Ingram, Josh Archambault, and Nic Horton — Mr. Ingram is Research Director, Mr. Archambault a Senior Fellow, and Mr. Horton is a Policy Impact Specialist at the Foundation for Government Accountability. Tomorrow, a new Congress convenes, with the largest Republican majorities in nearly a century. These Republicans, elected on the promise of rolling back Obamacare, are ready to start chipping away at the law. One of their first targets? Obamacare’s immoral funding scheme that prioritizes able-bodied adults over the truly needy. Obamacare Values The Able-Bodied Over The Truly Needy The Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rates determine how the cost of Medicaid will be divvied up between the federal government and the states. FMAP rates vary by state, depending on states’ per capita personal income.

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