A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Premiums/Costs"

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.

Grace-Marie Turner and Diana Furchtgott-Roth: A New Fix for Obamacare

The New York Times
Sat, 2015-02-14
EARLY next month the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, the latest significant legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The petitioners argue that under the statute, the federal government is not allowed to provide health insurance subsidies in the 37 states that have either declined or failed to establish their own exchanges. Should the court decide in the petitioners’ favor, most likely in June, critics in Congress will feel vindicated. But then comes the hard part: Congress must be ready with a targeted plan to help at least six million people who would quickly lose that federal assistance, and most likely their insurance. While several Republicans in Congress have offered serious proposals to replace Obamacare, debating a wholesale replacement of the Affordable Care Act would take months, even years. But it is essential for Congress to move fast on a short-term solution.

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.

If SCOTUS Rules Against ACA Subsidies

Real Clear Policy
Mon, 2015-02-09
By Tom Miller & Grace-Marie Turner Tax subsidies are one of the mechanisms through which the Affordable Care Act expands access to health insurance. These subsidies are available only to those who purchase highly regulated policies through government-run exchanges, and are allocated on a monthly basis to insurance companies to offset the costs of premiums and sometimes out-of-pocket costs. The law's formula for determining the amount of these premium subsidies specifies that people are eligible for them if they are enrolled in qualified plans offered in "an Exchange established by the State under [section] 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Only 13 states are operating such exchanges this year. The rest are relying on exchanges created by the federal government. But in 2012, the IRS wrote a rule that allows the subsidies to flow through the federal exchanges as well.

Elisabeth Rosenthal: Insured, but Not Covered

New York Times
Mon, 2015-02-09
WHEN Karen Pineman of Manhattan received notice that her longtime health insurance policy didn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, she gamely set about shopping for a new policy through the public marketplace. After all, she’d supported President Obama and the act as a matter of principle. Ms. Pineman, who is self-employed, accepted that she’d have to pay higher premiums for a plan with a narrower provider network and no out-of-network coverage. She accepted that she’d have to pay out of pocket to see her primary care physician, who didn’t participate. She even accepted having co-pays of nearly $1,800 to have a cast put on her ankle in an emergency room after she broke it while playing tennis.

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

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. That’s not how ObamaCare works; it doesn’t work at all.

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.

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.

Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To ‘Obamacare’

Five Thirty Eight Economics
Wed, 2015-01-14
By Ben Casselman On Friday, I posted this chart, showing that nearly all the job growth since the recession ended has been in full-time jobs. Part-time employment is pretty much flat. I wasn’t trying to make a political point, but many readers saw one anyway. Specifically, they saw it as a refutation of a frequent Republican talking point: that the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is killing full-time jobs because it requires employers to offer health insurance to their full-time (but not their part-time) workers.

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