Voters in the battleground state of Colorado will likely have a big issue to vote on in 2016 — and it’s not the presidential election. The Centennial State is looking to implement a universal health care proposal that goes above and beyond what Obamacare offers. “Part of the reason Obamacare is so unpopular is that it’s a one-size-fits-all approach for 50 different states,” Colorado Democratic state Sen. Irene Aguilar, a doctor, told The Blaze. “What we are hoping to do with this is create a plan that works for Colorado.”
The Obama administration was able to push the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — through Congress in part because the Congressional Budget Office said it would modestly reduce future federal budget deficits. The claim of deficit reduction rests on a shaky foundation. It depends entirely on the uninterrupted implementation of four carefully constructed “indexing” provisions. These provisions, which make annual adjustments to key spending and tax parameters of the law (or specify that such adjustments will not be made), were written with the clear intention of making the ACA look better financially as time passed. Our new study, published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, shows that these budgetary manipulations are no more likely to survive mounting political pressure than did income-tax “bracket creep” in the 1970s or across-the-board cuts in Medicare physician fees over the past 15 years.
The clock is ticking on new rules under the Affordable Care Act that aim to ensure that hospitals devote more resources to charity care. But an article in the New England Journal of Medicine argues that the changes, known as Section 501(r) under the Internal Revenue Code, may not be yielding the desired effect. Section 501(r) mandates that not-for-profit hospitals must provide charity care to patients who need it—by actively ensuring that those who qualify for financial assistance get it, by charging reasonable rates to uninsured patients and by avoiding extraordinary collection practices. Hospitals also must perform a community needs assessment every three years.
A 10th co-op created under Obamacare has collapsed. Combined, the failed nonprofit insurance companies have received more than $1 billion in loans, with more than 600,000 consumers affected. The latest casualty, the Utah Insurance Department, announced yesterday that Arches Health Plan, a consumer-oriented and operated plan, or co-op, will not sell insurance in 2016. The co-op received $89.7 million in loans from the federal government.
Consumers shopping for health insurance on healthcare.gov will see premiums increase by an average of 7.5 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday. Open enrollment begins on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Many health plans sold through the Affordable Care Act in 2015 are so limited they don’t offer patients access to some medical specialists such as endocrinologists, rheumatologists and psychiatrists, a new study suggests. That may be forcing some patients to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for any care provided by these specialists.
Some health insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace may not provide reasonable access to medical specialists, new research suggests. Under the act, also known as Obamacare, the federal marketplace offers subsidized private health insurance to consumers in states that didn’t establish their own health insurance exchanges.
Monday night’s spending agreement between the White House and Congress would repeal part of the Affordable Care Act. But the provision is a narrow one that few people knew existed and even fewer supported enthusiastically. The Obama administration had stalled writing the rules that would have put it into effect and, with no signs of imminent action, most Washington insiders figured it was only a matter of time before Congress took it off the books anyway. For better or worse, or maybe a bit of both, the provision was the regulatory equivalent of a dead man walking.
Proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have frequently pointed to official cost estimates projecting that the law will reduce federal budget deficits. Much less attention has been paid to the primary reason for this favorable outlook: the law’s heavy reliance on indexing important provisions to restrain spending and increase revenue. These components of the ACA will automatically impose perpetual, across-the-board cuts on payments to certain institutional medical providers; increase premiums for lower-income households; and raise taxes on an ever-expanding segment of taxpayers.
Arches Health Plan, a membership cooperative that was born out of the Affordable Care Act and insures 66,000 Utahns, has been ordered out of the insurance market for 2016. Arches insures more low-income Utahns on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, than any other company besides Select Health. But it also has customers who get their insurance on their jobs and individuals who buy plans through insurance agents or brokers.