“I note with special sadness that first and foremost amongst the bill’s consequences will be the probable demise of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). This program is currently providing health insurance to 50,000 low-income Hoosiers. With its Health Savings Account-style personal accounts and numerous incentives for healthy lifestyle choices, it has been enormously popular and successful. Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, soon to cover one in every four citizens, will not only scoop up most of HIP’s participants, but will also cost the state between $3.1 and $3.9 billion over the next decade. It is hard to see how my successors as governor will be able to avoid a steep state tax increase to pay for it.”
“The real wallop of ObamaCare will come in 2014, when most of the spending begins and businesses and individuals are hit with intrusive and expensive mandates. The main job of Republicans, should they capture Congress, will be to slow down implementation of the law and explain to the American people the damage it will do—and already is doing—to our economy. If the White House changes hands in 2012, they can be ready to start with a clean slate and begin a step-by-step approach to sensible reform.”
Regulators are discussing how to write regulations governing ObamaCare’s rules on “medical-loss ratios” which restrict the operating flexibility of insurers. “Democrats prefer an extremely narrow definition, the better to hasten the conversion of insurance companies into public utilities. This political pressure is giving most state commissioners night sweats, because they’re responsible for preventing coverage disruptions and premium increases in the insurance markets they oversee. When the commissioners met last week in Seattle, they largely declined to endorse the medical loss restrictions that Democrats favor.”
ObamaCare will restrict the ability of colleges to give students low-cost health plans. “As the new law currently stands, it’s unclear whether student health plans would meet federal requirements to qualify as minimum essential coverage. If they don’t, students would have to find coverage elsewhere or pay the individual mandate in addition to the premiums of their student health plan.”
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA) is projected to yield $575 billion in Medicare savings over the next 10 years, mostly from Medicare payment reductions to doctors, hospitals, and health plans. But beneath these payment reductions, the PPACA also makes statutory changes that could challenge the autonomy of physicians to treat patients as they think best, undercut the freedom of physicians to remain in private practice, and threaten the continuation of fee-for-service medicine regardless of the preferences of doctors and patients.”
Despite promises from the President that his health care law would not make anyone lose their current health plan, colleges will soon stop offering low-cost plans to students. Since young people are unlikely to need the expensive plans mandated by ObamaCare, colleges are able to offer inexpensive plans. ObamaCare will change all that, as new coverage mandates will be implemented. “Without a number of changes, it may be impossible ‘to continue to offer student health plans,’ says an Aug. 12 letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from the American Council on Education and signed by 12 other trade associations representing colleges.”
Insurance agents are looking at the government’s plans to create insurance exchanges and are worried that they’ll be made obsolete and driven out of business. They are assuming that the fee insurance companies pay to brokers will be considered an administrative cost by new “medical-loss ratio” regulations and that insurance companies will be forced to lower those costs to comply with ObamaCare.
As one of the backroom deals required to pass ObamaCare through the Senate, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) earmarked special funding for Libby, Montana to deal with an asbestos problem. At a town hall meeting featuring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, residents weighed in with strong objections to the new law, even though they were the recipients of special treatment. “And while some Libby residents thanked Sebelius and Baucus for the health care reform law that passed last year and extended Medicare coverage to those sickened by asbestos, others questioned whether the changes to America’s health care system were Constitutional. “