“The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-17 to repeal the healthcare reform law’s long-term care CLASS Act on Wednesday, setting up a possible vote by the full House by year’s end. Democrats stayed largely united in support of the program, which the Obama administration has put on hold because it says it can’t find a way to make it solvent. Only three Democrats – Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike Ross (Ark.) and John Barrow (Ga.) – voted to repeal the program; all three had voted against the healthcare reform law last year.”

“Voters want the Supreme Court to overturn President Obama’s healthcare law, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
The survey showed 48 percent support for the court striking down the healthcare law, compared to 40 percent who said the court should uphold it.”

“President Barack Obama is using passage of the health-care law to help him get re-elected. He’s just not making the sales pitch in public… Since July, the president has refrained at six news conferences from discussing the health-care measure that became a major issue in the 2010 midterm elections in which the Democrats lost control of the House.”

“A loophole in the federal health care overhaul would allow many employers to game the system by dumping their sicker employees onto public health insurance exchanges, according to two University of Minnesota law professors. They say the loophole could have dire consequences for the financial health of the exchanges, which are a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The online marketplaces are intended to make it easier to comparison shop for health plans and also to expand access to coverage for the uninsured.”

“The work reported here confirms earlier
studies showing that hospitals are able to
extract higher private payments when they
hold more market power. Public policy has
been ambivalent with respect to the ongoing
consolidation within hospital markets. While
antitrust regulatory agencies have challenged
a number of hospital mergers in the past few
decades, these challenges rarely culminated in
decisions to disallow a merger. Now provisions
of the ACA are encouraging further consolidation
of hospitals and physicians, and the final antitrust review regulations from the Department
of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission
have eliminated the proposed mandatory
review of certain prospective ACOs.”

“The healthcare reform law could threaten farmers’ insurance coverage, a group of Senate Democrats said. The law could undermine farmers’ cooperatives, which provide coverage for thousands of farmers and their families. That threat is an ‘unintended, and unwanted’ side effect of the law’s tax credits, Democrats said.”

“Before ObamaCare’s state-based high risk pool program—the pre-existing condition insurance plan (PCIP)—went into effect, critics (including me) warned that enrollment in the program would run high and that as a result the program would go over budget. In California, at least, it turns out that prediction was half wrong. Enrollment in the program is much lower than expected. But program administrators are now worried it might go over budget anyway.”