“CNN has unearthed a new Jonathan Gruber video speaking undiplomatically about the White House’s approach to passage of the health care law in 2010. In this video, Gruber says bluntly what many observers noticed at the time: President Obama focused on how the Affordable Care Act would bring down the cost of health care, not on the moral imperative of extending health insurance to millions of low- and moderate-income Americans.
“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay? He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured. … What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about.””
“As Bob Laszewski so aptly explained over the summer, there are reasons why the White House delayed the 2015 Obamacare enrollment period until after the midterm elections. CBS News summarizes several of the unhappy developments consumers will encounter in the coming days and weeks:”
“Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s remarks about the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” as factors necessary to passing Obamacare have spurred responses from across the political spectrum.
Former DNC chairman Howard Dean responded to Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski’s comment that Gruber’s statement “might be a problem.”
“The problem is not that he said it. The problem is that he thinks it,” said Dean about Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. “I’m serious. The core problem of the d— law is that it was put together by a bunch of elitists who don’t fundamentally understand the American people. That’s what the problem is.””
“Voters last week flatly rejected the Obama administration’s policies and created a new opportunity to improve American health care by electing a Republican Congress that is firmly committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
With a flawed website launch, failed state exchanges, burdensome mandates, mass cancellations of coverage and countless other broken promises paid for by Medicare cuts and a trillion dollar tax hike, it’s no wonder so few Democratic candidates campaigned on the merits of Obamacare.”
“Two potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates — Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — are teaming up on a proposal to replace President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
Their plan could be voted on in the new Congress next year, when the GOP will control both the House and Senate.
The Washington Examiner first reported that Ryan and Rubio began discussing a plan this spring, and the Tampa Bay Times published another report about the collaboration on Monday. But with Ryan ascending to a top House committee post and the Senate being run by Republicans in 2015, the joint effort gets new momentum.”
“The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case on a subject that’s important to millions of people who receive subsidies to help purchase coverage under the health-care law. Friday’s decision follows earlier action in July when two U.S. appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the issue. KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey answers some frequently asked questions about those court decisions and how they impact consumers.”
“With the second open enrollment period of the health insurance marketplaces approaching, this analysis provides an initial look at premium changes for marketplace plans for individuals in 15 states and the District of Columbia that have publicly released comprehensive data on rates or rate filings for all insurers.
The analysis examines premium changes for the lowest-cost bronze plan and the two lowest-cost silver plans in 16 major cities. The second-lowest cost silver plan in each state is of particular interest as it acts as a benchmark that helps determine how much assistance eligible individuals can receive in the form of federal tax credits. The findings show that in general, individuals will pay slightly less to enroll in the second-lowest cost plan in 2015 than they did in 2014, prior to the application of tax credits.”
“Since the outcome of Tuesday’s elections became clear, a lot has been said, and threatened, about repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Republican control of the next Congress is likely to bring ACA challenges in two flavors. There will be early “statement legislation” to repeal the law and possibly to repeal the ACA’s individual mandate, a linchpin of the law that spreads risk and makes its insurance market changes work. These bills, intended to honor election promises to the Republican base, would be vetoed by President Barack Obama if they pass.”
“Big Republican election gains in Congress will position the GOP to aggressively challenge Obamacare in 2015. Now the questions are how sweeping Republican efforts will be to roll back the law, and whether the party will pursue its longstanding goal of restructuring Medicare and Medicaid. Everyone will be watching where President Barack Obama draws the line with his veto pen.
Repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a key campaign issue propelling Republicans to gain control of the Senate and their largest majority in the House since the Great Depression. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is expected to be the new Senate majority leader, has vowed to dismantle Obamacare “root and branch.””
“Within days of the Republican Party regaining control of the Senate, a host of policy issues has quickly risen to the top of Washington’s priorities list: trade, corporate tax reform, the Keystone pipeline. And then there’s the medical device tax.
The tax, passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, plays a marginal role in the health-care overhaul, but the push to repeal it has attracted millions of dollars of lobbying, as well as high-profile supporters on the Hill, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).”