“Whenever somebody says that an argument is settled, you can be sure that it is not. If it were settled, there would be no need to say so. No president will hold a press conference to announce that the argument over the prohibition of alcohol is settled, precisely because it truly is settled. So when President Obama declared the debate over his health-care law “settled” and “over,” as he did at an April 17 press conference, his performance was self-refuting.”
“Kyle Cheney of Politico is a solid, straight news reporter. So I was a little surprised this morning to see his analysis of state Obamacare exchange spending features numbers much smaller than the ones I have been using, most notably a figure of $248 million for Oregon and just $57 million for Massachusetts. Total federal grant funding to Oregon’s failed exchange, according to CMS, is $305 million. Massachusetts, according to CMS, is at $179 million. These are huge disparities.”
“Now, the Obama administration, saying that some rural hospitals have been receiving subsidies they weren’t meant to get, has proposed eliminating a further $2.1 billion in Medicare payments next fiscal year for hospitals designated as providing “crucial access.”
In addition, under the new federal health law, hospitals are losing government subsidies for providing care to the uninsured. The law envisioned that those who couldn’t afford insurance would be covered by an expansion of Medicaid, but two dozen states, including North Carolina, opted not to do so.”
“Back in November, Republicans honed in on a new line of attack on the Affordable Care Act.
In the midst of the disastrous rollout of the health insurance exchange websites, the GOP not only got to frame Obamacare as broken and impossible to implement, but also leapt at the chance to paint it as a corrupt handout for one of the least popular parts of the health sector – insurance companies.”
“The chief executive of Hawaii’s largest health insurance company is calling on Hawaii to shut down its beleaguered health insurance exchange, which was set up as part of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
Michael Gold, president and CEO of Hawaii Medical Services Association, says the state shouldn’t keep spending money on the Hawaii Health Connector, a system that he says is financially unsustainable and does not work.”
“Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher.
Each of the states — Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland — embraced Obamacare, and each underperformed. All have come under scathing criticism and now face months of uncertainty as they rush to rebuild their systems or transition to the federal exchange.”
“In the first look at how insurers plan to adjust prices in the second year under the federal health-care law, filings from Virginia carriers show they are opting for premium increases in 2015 that will pinch consumers’ pocketbooks but fall short of some bigger rate predictions.
The new premium proposals, detailed in official filings to the state’s insurance regulator, show health plans all opting for some increases.”
“A left-leaning think tank whose research is often taken seriously by backers of the health-care overhaul has published a paper suggesting the administration should scrap the health law’s requirement that employers offer coverage or pay a penalty.”
“Insurers who are not selling their wares on Washington, D.C.’s exchange have signaled they may sue to block a D.C. council plan to charge them a 1 percent annual tax on all health-related plans sold in the city. The revenue would pay for the continuing operation of online marketplace.”
The federal government will bear a disproportionate burden of premium increases in states with high rates of subsidized enrollees. Double digit premium increases are likely in many markets in 2014. Age distribution among enrollees varies by state, which may influence plans’ interest in each market.