A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Social Impact"

ObamaCare Fuels Historic Part-Time Work Surge

Investors' Business Daily
Tue, 2014-12-16
Over the past year, the ranks of people working part-time jobs by choice — as opposed to business-driven factors — has grown by more than one million, the fastest pace in at least two decades. The timing with ObamaCare's first year of subsidies to buy health insurance is likely more than coincidental. While analysts on the left and right have sparred over whether businesses have shifted to part-time jobs to limit liability under ObamaCare, no one disputes that the law will lead more people to choose to work part-time. Any disagreement is over whether the law should get credit for making less work possible or blame for making work less financially rewarding. The number of people working part-time for noneconomic reasons in November was up 1.15 million, or 6.1%, from a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

If the Supreme Court Breaks Obamacare, Will Republicans Fix It?

National Journal
Mon, 2014-12-15
By Sam Baker and Sophie Novack: Republicans want the Supreme Court to blow a major hole in Obamacare next year, but they are still debating whether they would help repair it—and what they should ask for in return. There's a very real chance the high court will invalidate Obamacare's insurance subsidies in most of the country, which would be devastating for the health care law. It would become almost entirely unworkable in most states, and the cost of coverage would skyrocket. That loss for the Affordable Care Act might seem like a clear-cut political win for the GOP, but the reality would be far messier. Such a ruling would weaken the law's individual mandate and make coverage unaffordable for millions of people.

Gruber's Pethetic Congressional Testimony

National Review
Mon, 2014-12-15
By John Fund An old Soviet joke had men carrying briefcases marching alongside tanks and soldiers in a Kremlin parade. “Why are those men in a military parade?” a boy innocently asks his father. He replies, “Those are the economists. They are the most dangerous of all.” MIT economist Jonathan Gruber’s factually impoverished testimony on Obamacare didn’t get nearly the attention it should have, as congressional Democrats cleverly decided to release a report on CIA torture abuses on the same day. Gruber’s stonewalling about videos in which he boasted that the “stupidity” of the American people and their “lack of transparency” had been the key to passing Obamacare was buried deep inside major papers and ignored by the next morning’s network-TV shows. John Harwood of CNBC dismissed his testimony: “I’m sorry, Gruber is a nothingburger and always has been.” Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News chimed in: “This has been a sideshow. . . .

Will Jonathan Gruber Topple ObamaCare?

Politico Magazine
Mon, 2014-12-08
Why the hell did Jonathan Gruber say that? And that? And that? And (sigh) the other thing? Those are the questions on the minds of virtually everyone in the health care world—especially the people who worked the hardest on Obamacare. Ever since the videos started popping up, one after another, America has come to know Gruber—the MIT economist who worked closely on both Obamacare and Romneycare—as the guy who thinks voters are “stupid.” And the guy who thinks Obamacare was passed because of trickery. And who says, ha-ha, voters don’t understand economics. For a while, Fox News didn’t have to bother running anything else. Now America is about to see Gruber in a new role: congressional witness. He’s going to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to testify before Darrell Issa’s committee, where he’ll be forced to answer a ton of questions, if he can, about all those things he said.

Schadenfreude overload: Senate Democrats and Obama staffers at war over Obamacare

Noah Rothman
Hot Air
Sat, 2014-11-29
"There are certain laws of political physics that just cannot be ignored for long. All the bravado about minuscule midterm turnout or audacious executive actions out of the White House cannot forever mask the fact that two disastrous midterm election cycles have sapped the Democratic Party of authority. In 2015, the party will be in one of the weakest positions it has been in nearly a century. As Democrats begin to internalize that suboptimal reality, the effects are spectacular beyond Republicans’ wildest imaginings. On Tuesday, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said aloud what many Democrats had been thinking privately for years when he observed that the party “blew the opportunity the American people gave them” by focusing on passing health care reform amid a recession in 2009 and 2010. Schumer admonished Democrats for being myopically consumed with addressing “the wrong problem” at the time.

Coming Soon to a Mall Near You: Obamacare

Christine Rousselle
Townhall
Sat, 2014-11-29
"The holiday shopping season kicks off tomorrow with Black Friday, the annual mad-dash for good deals and early-morning sales. This year, shoppers in a few states will see something new this year at shopping malls--and its not exactly a hot new store. It's...Obamacare. In an effort to boost floundering enrollment numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken to partnering with retail stores, pharmacies and websites to promote the open enrollment period, which lasts until Feb. 15. Enrollment workers will be present on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to tell shoppers about how to sign up for a plan on the exchange."

Did ObamaCare Cost The Democrats The Election?

John C. Goodman
Townhall
Sat, 2014-11-29
"As I wrote at Forbes yesterday, New York Senator Charles Schumer has placed the blame for the Democrat’s disastrous defeat in this fall’s election squarely at the feet of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Speaking at the National Press Club the other day, the third-ranking Democrat in the US Senate said that whatever the merits or demerits of health reform, it was bad politics."

Obamacare's Three-Legged Stool Of Deception Regarding Employer Health Plans

Chris Conover
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Anyone who has listened to the Gruber tapes has heard Prof. Gruber’s repeated references to the “three-legged stool” that forms the core of Obamacare.[1] However, those who pay close attention to his remarks–variously characterized as “arrogant” (Charles Krauthammer), “ careless” (New York Times), “dumb” (Ezra Klein) “ ill-advised and indefensible” (Times Argus), “offensive” (New York Times), and “stupid” (David Axelrod)–may have detected that Gruber enthusiastically endorses (and Obamacare contains) a more sinister three-legged stool of deception regarding employer health plans."

Sen. Chuck Schumer: Obamacare Focused 'On The Wrong Problem,' Ignores The Middle Class

Avik Roy
Forbes
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Despite the enduring unpopularity of Obamacare, Congressional Democrats have up to now stood by their health care law, allowing that “it’s not perfect” but that they are proud of their votes to pass it. That all changed on Tuesday, when the Senate’s third-highest-ranking Democrat—New York’s Chuck Schumer—declared that “we took [the public’s] mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform…When Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, ‘The Democrats aren’t paying enough attention to me.’”"

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.”"

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