It’s not a government takeover.
The new health law hands over to the federal government immense new powers, powers that will, over time, mean all important decisions about the organization and financing of American health care will need to meet the approval of federal agencies and bureaucrats.
Among the new federal powers created in the health law are the following:
The power to establish standardized insurance benefit packages from which all Americans must choose their coverage (see section XXXX). This means that everyone must conform with federal requirements regarding what is and is not covered by health insurance.
The power to include or exclude insurers from the marketplace based on any criteria the Secretary of HHS considers appropriate (see section XXXX). This means the federal government will have the power to pick winners and losers in the insurance marketplace.
The establishment of a new unelected and unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board with the power to unilaterally cut payment Medicare rates to providers of medical services (see section 3403).
In recent months, President Obama and his subordinates have waived or delayed a number of Obamacare’s notable features, such as the law’s employer mandate, and its procedures for protecting taxpayers from fraud and identity theft…
“The rising cost of insurance affects people whether they purchase insurance through their employers or an exchange, since both depend on private insurers. If insurance costs go up, taxpayers also may end up paying more to foot the bill for the higher cost of subsidized insurance. This is particularly concerning since the administration has announced that it will be unable to verify whether applicants for subsidies actually qualify for them. The subsidies are likely to be very popular.”
“Health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross said it won’t participate in California’s new insurance market for small businesses. Anthem, a unit of WellPoint Inc., is California’s largest insurer for small employers. This surprising move could hamper the state’s ability to enroll businesses in its new exchange called Covered California that opens Jan. 1 as part of the federal healthcare law.”
[T]he MLR caps will also limit innovation. Right now, expenses that are on a pre-approved, government list of “activities that improve health care quality” are not included in the cost of administration and so don’t count against the 20 percent cap on what plans get to spend on overhead. If a health plan comes up with a new business approach that it believes improves quality and outcomes, it will be forced to count the costs against its allowable profits. It can’t incorporate the cost into the total money it spends on healthcare if the new scheme isn’t on the government list.”
“As anyone who’s ever worked on a project with an important deadline knows, when someone starts insisting that everything will come in on time, really, trust me, it’s usually because the work isn’t going as planned—especially on project that’s been rife with shoddy management and missed deadlines. The real message of the HHS video is that the agency desperately wants people to think it is on schedule and can make the law work. And it understands that as it stands, its work, and the weight of the available evidence, suggests otherwise.”
“In New York state, 7.6% plan to fire or refrain from hiring in order to stay under the mandate, and 6.5% plan to shift from full time to part-time workers. In Philly the answers are 5.6% and 8.3%, respectively. Many also planned to outsource work. [Respondents were allowed to select more than one option.] Whether companies carry out these strategies will depend greatly on the level of demand in coming years. But the shift to part-time workers would carry on a trend started in the last recession that has been slow to reverse in this recovery.”
“Despite a temporary reprieve from some of the new rules under the health care law, business owners are growing increasing anxious about its looming implementation at the end of the year, according to a pair of recent surveys. “
“House lawmakers on Wednesday voted to approve two separate bills amending portions of the Affordable Care Act, the latest moves by the GOP to try to throw up hurdles to the Obama health law. The first bill would codify the year-long delay to the obligation on companies to provide health care coverage to their workers from next year. The second would delay a similar obligation on individuals to purchase health-care insurance.”
“An unprecedented 35 Democrats bucked the president by voting to delay Obamacare’s ’employer mandate,’ while 22 Democrats voted to delay its ‘individual mandate’ for one year. Obamacare opponents now have an opportunity to widen the fissures among its supporters.”