A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "States"

John Fund: As Vermont Goes...

National Review
Mon, 2014-12-22
The one state that not only embraced Obamacare but insisted on going beyond it to a full single-payer system was Vermont, the haven of hippies and expatriate New Yorkers, which has become one of the most liberal states in the nation. In 2011, it adopted a form of neighboring Canada’s government-financed health care and promised to implement it by 2017. (And Jonathan Gruber was a key architect of this plan as well as of Obamacare.) This week, however, Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, admitted the state couldn’t afford the plan’s $2 billion price tag and consequent sky-high taxes, and pulled the plug. The lessons for Obamacare are obvious and profound. Scott Milne, the little-known Republican who opposed Shumlin in last month’s election and came within 1 percentage point of winning the most votes, isn’t surprised.

6 Reasons Why Vermont's Single-Payer Health Plan Was Doomed From The Start

Forbes
Mon, 2014-12-22
Avik Roy: Last week, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D.) announced that he was pulling the plug on his four-year quest to impose single-payer, government-run health care on the residents of his state. “In my judgment,” said Shumlin at a press conference, “the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.” The key reasons for Shumlin’s reversal are important to understand. They explain why the dream of single-payer health care in the U.S. is dead for the foreseeable future—but also why Obamacare will be difficult to repeal. Leading left-wing economists worked on Vermont plan Shumlin’s predecessor in Montpelier was a Republican, Jim Douglas. In 2009, Douglas announced that he would not be seeking a fifth two-year term; five Democrats joined the contest to replace him. Progressive activists demanded that each candidate promise to enact single-payer health care if nominated; all five complied.

Gruber Model Errs in Colorado as Vermont Prepares to Rely on Data

Vermont Watchdog
Tue, 2014-12-16
By Bruce Parker | Vermont Watchdog Jonathan Gruber’s health care forecasting is failing in Colorado as Vermont’s Gov. Peter Shumlin prepares to use the economist’s math for single-payer health care. As Vermonters anxiously await a Gruber-modeled financing plan for Green Mountain Care, modeling done for Colorado’s health exchange by Jonathan Gruber Associates has proven wildly erroneous. In 2011, following Colorado’s decision to set up a state health exchange for Obamacare, the state hired Gruber to forecast enrollment trends from which the state and federal government could estimate costs. According to a presentation delivered to the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Board on Sept.

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.

Economics professor brilliantly explains how Obamacare is a tax on full-time work

College Fix Staff
Mon, 2014-12-08
Casey Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and author of “Side Effects: The Economic Consequences of the Health Reform,” recently gave a speech in which he essentially explains in easily understood terms how the Affordable Care Act is a tax on full-time work, and a huge downer on our economy. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Obamacare is dragging down our American workforce. Portions of his speech are reprinted below with permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College: So what are the tax distortions that emanate from the ACA? Here let me simply focus on two aspects of the law: the employer mandate or employer penalty—the requirement that employers of a certain size either provide health insurance for full-time employees or pay a penalty for not doing so; and the exchanges—sometimes they’re called marketplaces—where people can purchase health insurance separate from their employer.

'Healthy Utah' Obamacare Expansion: Worse Than Expected

Forbes
Fri, 2014-12-05
By Jonathan Ingram, Nic Horton and Josh Archambault— Mr. Ingram is Research Director, Mr. Horton Policy Impact Specialist, and Mr. Archambault a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability. After months of secretly negotiating a backroom deal with the Obama administration, Governor Gary Herbert (R-UT) has finally released (some of) the details of his Obamacare expansion plan. We’ve not hesitated to share our disappointment over Herbert’s recent actions to bring Obamacare to Utah (which has always seemed out of character for him), but we’ve also met with the governor and his chief of staff privately to share our concerns about this welfare program. Sadly, Gov. Herbert continues to move forward with an Obamacare expansion plan that is bad for taxpayers and the truly needy. Earlier this morning, Gov. Herbert released more details about his plan to expand Obamacare in Utah.

VT lawmakers question credibility of anticipated Shumlin-Gruber plan

Bruce Parker
Vermont Watchdog
Mon, 2014-12-01
Vermont lawmakers say they’re skeptical of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s forthcoming single-payer financing plan because it relies on economic modeling provided by Jonathan Gruber. As Shumlin gets ready to present a health-care financing plan to the Legislature in January, key lawmakers who will decide its fate are saying Gruber’s explosive video confessions severely damage the proposal. “How could anyone trust this man who has said with arrogance that the lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American people is why Obamacare and related individual state health-care reform has passed?” state Rep. Mary Morrissey, R-Bennington, told Vermont Watchdog. Morrissey, a member of the House Committee on Health Care, said the issue was too important to keep Gruber on as a consultant in Vermont, even if he’s no longer being paid. “How could anyone put a person like Mr.

A Quarter Of Uninsured Say They Can’t Afford To Buy Coverage

Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Just days before the health law’s marketplaces reopened, nearly a quarter of uninsured said they expect to remain without coverage because they did not think it would be affordable, according to a poll released Friday. That was by far the most common reason given by people who expect to stay uninsured next year, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Forty-one percent of individuals without health insurance said they expected they would remain uninsured, while about half said they plan to get coverage in the coming months."

Democrat Wants Gag Order On Liberal Lawyer Representing GOP In Obamacare Lawsuit

Sarah Hurtubise, Daily Caller
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Self-avowed liberal law professor Jonathan Turley is representing the House GOP in its lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s implementation of Obamacare and at least one House Democrat wants him punished for it Turley, a George Washington University law professor, is also a frequent media commentator on political issues. Despite describing himself as a political liberal, he’s long been harshly critical of Obama’s use of executive power and said he’d jumped at the chance to represent the House GOP in the lawsuit against unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act in its implementation."

Puckett’s Senate exit undid McAuliffe’s secret plan for Medicaid expansion

Laura Vozzella
Washington Post
Mon, 2014-11-24
"RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had run out of options to pull off his marquee campaign promise to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Even a risky plan to circumvent the legislature had fallen apart. That’s when the governor, his top priority defeated, picked up the phone and called the man he blamed for the catastrophe. “Hey, Phil? Terry McAuliffe,” the governor said in a seething voice message to Phillip P. Puckett, a Southwest Virginia Democrat who had quit the state Senate days earlier, throwing control of it to the GOP. “I want you to know we just lost the vote, 20 to 19, in the Senate. Medicaid is done. I hope you sleep easy tonight, buddy.”"

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