Americans in the health insurance markets created by President Barack Obama’s law will have less choice next year than any time since the program started, a new county-level analysis for The Associated Press has found.
The analysis by AP and consulting firm Avalere Health found that about one-third of U.S. counties will have only one health marketplace insurer next year. That’s more than 1,000 counties in 26 states – roughly double the number of counties in 2014, the first year of coverage through the program.
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House lawmakers are angry that one of the last taxpayer-funded Obamacare plans wants to move to for-profit status, saying that the millions of dollars provided in startup loans were meant to go to nonprofits.
Republican leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee wrote to the Obama administration and the Maryland consumer-oriented and operated plan Evergreen Health, which wants to become a for-profit health insurer.
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President Barack Obama leaves the White House in 12 weeks, but the law that bears his name will polarize politics long after he’s gone.
On Tuesday the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced some tax benefits will increase in 2017 in order to adjust for inflation. According to the IRS the standard deduction for married couples in 2017 will be $12,700, up from $12,600, and both the earned income tax credit and the amount exempt from the estate tax will also see slight increases. The top individual tax rate will apply to those making $418,400 or more as opposed to $415,050 or more in 2016.
Yesterday the American Action Forum released an analysis of Donald Trump’s proposal to cut 70 to 80 percent of U.S. Regulations. The analysis finds that in order to achieve this goal, between $700 and $800 billion in regulatory costs would need to be cut. The analysis further shows that it would likely take a generation in order to accomplish this goal.
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A new poll conducted for POLITICO and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that 54 percent of likely voters think Obamacare is working poorly. Ninety-four percent of self-identified Donald Trump voters hold that view, while 79 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters believe the law is working well.
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President Obama promised that the Affordable Care Act would increase competition and choice in insurance markets. In a 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, for example, the president said, “Individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices. Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers.” This claim, along with many othersmade by ACA supporters, have proven to be wrong. In fact, Americans have far fewer choices for individual market coverage today than they had before the ACA took effect and there is a rapidly declining number of insurers now offering coverage in the ACA exchanges.
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The Obama administration hasn’t done enough to ensure that the right people get Obamacare subsidies, according to a new report from congressional Republicans.
The report details earlier investigations into Obamacare’s verification process for income eligibility, which screens whether a person is eligible for tax credits. It also criticizes the administration for relaxing standards for income eligibility.
The architects of the Affordable Care Act thought they had a blunt instrument to force people—even young and healthy ones—to buy insurance through the law’s online marketplaces: a tax penalty for those who remain uninsured. The full weight of the penalty will not be felt until April, when those who have avoided buying insurance will face penalties of around $700 a person or more. But for the young and healthy who are badly needed to make the exchanges work, it is sometimes cheaper to pay the Internal Revenue Service than an insurance company charging large premiums, with huge deductibles. The IRS says that 8.1 million returns included penalty payments for people who went without insurance in 2014, the first year in which most people were required to have coverage.
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Responding to the uproar over ObamaCare premium hikes, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday promised: “We’re going to make changes to fix problems like that.”
The question is: What changes could actually get through Congress?
Both parties agree that ObamaCare has problems. Premiums are rising sharply, and the pool of enrollees is smaller and sicker than expected.
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Skyrocketing premium increases on the Obamacare exchanges for 2017 were announced Monday afternoon by the Department of Health and Human Services, averaging nearly 25% across 38 federal exchange states. More than 70% of consumers in states using the federal exchange will be able to find a premium that is less than $75 a month once financial assistance is factored in, according to the HHS report. That’s because 85% of enrollees in the Obamacare exchanges receive subsidies to offset the cost of the premium increases. But someone has to make up the difference, and it is, of course, middle-income taxpayers. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and current president of the American Action Forum, estimates that taxpayers will fork over $32 billion in ACA subsidies this year and up to $50 billion next year.
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