Obamacare enrollment has a smoking problem.
A new study from the Yale School of Public Health finds that an anti-smoking provision in the health law is discouraging people from signing up for insurance while simultaneously failing to get them to kick the habit.
Under the Affordable Care Act, individual health insurance plans sold on statewide marketplaces can only set how high their premiums are based on three factors: a customer’s geographic region, age, and smoking status. This is meant to let health insurers adjust their prices for how much medical care an enrollee may wind up using.
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House Republicans on Thursday released an investigative report and held the first of two hearings questioning the legality of Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program. That program is also the subject of a House lawsuit against the administration.
At issue is whether the cost-sharing program is legally funded. House Republicans, through an investigation conducted by the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees, concluded that the health care law does not provide funding for the cost-sharing program.
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It’s policymaking 101: When a policy delivers benefits to people, support for the policy grows. Political scientists call situations like these “policy feedback loops,” and they are a big part of the story of how Social Security and Medicare became so entrenched in American life. But what happens if hyper-partisanship stops the loop? Consider the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over the past four years, some 20 million people have gained health coverage and the already-insured have received new protections. But public opinion of the ACA has remained mixed.
The numbers are stark. Monthly tracking polls show that 49 percent hold unfavorable views of the ACA versus just 38 percent holding favorable views.
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Oregon’s nonprofit ObamaCare health insurance co-op is winding down operations due to financial problems, the second such announcement this week for the troubled co-op program.
The announcement is just the latest in a long string of failures of ObamaCare’s co-ops, non-profit health insurers set up to increase competition with established insurers. Before this week, just 10 of the original 23 co-ops remained functioning, and Republicans have seized on the problems.
Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services announced Friday that it is taking over the insurer, known as Oregon’s Health CO-OP, and will liquidate the company.
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Republicans and Democrats continued to talk at each other Friday about Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program in an Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee hearing.
The hearing was the second in two days following the release of a GOP report claiming that payments to the administration’s program were made illegally.
Republicans suggested that the way the payments have been handled sets a dangerous precedent for the future and nullifies Congress’s power of the purse. Democrats chalked the investigation up as yet another GOP attempt to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. They also said since there is already a court case on the matter, Congress doesn’t need to do its own investigation.
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