Representatives from the 18 nonfederal initiatives GAO reviewed described a variety of efforts they are undertaking to achieve or facilitate electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, but most of these initiatives remain works in progress. EHR interoperability is the ability of systems to exchange electronic health information with other systems and process the information without special effort by the user, such as a health care provider. These initiatives’ efforts include creating guidance related to health data standards, encouraging the adoption of certain health data standards or policies that facilitate interoperability, and operating networks that connect EHR systems to enable interoperability.
On the same day Hillary Clinton backed killing ObamaCare’s “Cadillac tax” on high-cost plans, Paul Ryan’s House Ways and Means Committee voted to kill it too.
The real news will be if a politician not named Obama comes out in favor of it. It’s so unpopular among unions that even Vice President Joe Biden, if he enters the race, will likely run from it.
Lackluster enrollment numbers, technology issues, and high maintenance costs are among the challenges plaguing ObamaCare state exchanges that were reviewed by the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee at a hearing Tuesday.
“CMS has seemed more focused on doling out taxpayer dollars rather than overseeing how those dollars are spent,” Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) said of the lack of oversight.
Executives from six state exchanges—Oregon, Massachusetts, Hawaii, California, Minnesota, and Connecticut—provided testimony. So far, Oregon and Hawaii’s exchanges have both proven to be unsustainable, closing down and migrating consumers to HealthCare.gov’s federal marketplace with others likely to follow.
Chairman Murphy emphasized in his opening statement the sufficient amount of taxpayer money that was poured into creating these now-failing exchanges: “The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has awarded $5.51 billion dollars to the States to help them establish their exchanges. Let me repeat that. The States received $5.51 billion in federal taxpayer dollars to set up their own exchanges. Yet, the ACA had no specific definition of what a state exchange was supposed to do, or more importantly, what it was not supposed to do.”
Grant money used to fund the exchanges was cut off in 2015 when states were expected to start bringing in enough money to continue operation on their own. Of the 17 states that chose to establish their own exchanges, nearly half face financial difficulties.
The committee hopes to find out why exchanges have struggled to become self-sustaining and whether or not any grant money will be recouped from states where exchanges have been shut down. For instance, Oregon spent $305 million of taxpayer dollars to establish its failed exchange, while Hawaii spent $205 million.
As Americans for Tax Reform points out, Tuesday’s hearing is a vital first step to addressing the urgent problems within the state exchanges—before they spread to all 17.
On September 28, 2015, the House of Representatives approved by voice vote without opposition two bills that would amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Given the rancor that surrounds anything related to the ACA in our sharply partisan—and largely nonfunctional—Congress, this is a remarkable occurrence worthy of note.
Now that the effects of Obamacare have begun to sink in, we’ve seen rapid consolidation among health-care providers and insurance companies. Out-of-pocket health-care costs have skyrocketed. Medicaid patients are having much more trouble finding doctors. And millions have been kicked off their health-insurance plans or had their health care disrupted. Given the disastrous consequences of this deeply flawed law, we believe the American people deserve to have Congress employ budget reconciliation yet again, this time to repeal Obamacare.
As Congressional lawmakers returned from August recess, some have proposed eliminating the so-called “Cadillac Plan Tax” that imposes a tax starting in 2018 on higher cost employer-sponsored health plans and 6 in 10 of the public is opposed to this tax, reflective of an overall anti-tax sentiment among Americans.
This audit was initiated as part of our continued coverage of the IRS’s implementation of key Affordable Care Act tax provisions. The overall objective of this review was to determine whether the IRS has developed processes to identify providers required to file premium reports, assess penalties on those that did not, and accurately determine health insurance providers’ market shares and applicable annual fees.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established health insurance exchanges (commonly referred to as “marketplaces”) to allow individuals and small businesses to shop for health insurance in all 50 States and the District of Columbia (States). For each State that elected not to establish and operate its own marketplace (State marketplace), the ACA required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) to operate a marketplace (the Federal marketplace) within the State. Beginning on October 1, 2013, the Federal marketplace offered private insurance plans, known as qualified health plans, and enrolled individuals in those plans through its HealthCare.gov Web site (Web site) or through other means. However, consumers experienced significant problems accessing the Web site, including slow response times, errors that dropped consumers out of the enrollment process, and unplanned outages that made enrollment difficult or impossible.
This summary report provides an overview of the results of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) review of the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System (MIDAS). It does not include specific details of the vulnerabilities that we identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. We have provided more detailed information and recommendations to officials responsible for the MIDAS so that they can address the issues we identified. The findings listed in this summary reflect a point in time regarding system security and may have changed since we reviewed these systems.
Reduce Medicare payments to certain hospitals for hospital-acquired conditions by 1%. (Effective fiscal year 2015)