The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
Democrats are confidently running on Obamacare for the first time in a decade.
They’ve got a unified message blaming Republicans for “sabotaging” the health care law, leading to a cascade of sky-high insurance premiums that will come just before the November midterm elections. They’re rolling out ads featuring people helped by the law. And Tuesday, they’re starting a campaign to amplify each state’s premium increases — and tie those to GOP decisions.
Republicans have often won support in recent elections by promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This year, Democrats hope to turn the tables by pushing the opposite goal—not just keeping the health law, but expanding government’s role in health care.
The tactic, which carries political risk as well as opportunity, is playing out in places such as Minnesota, a state won narrowly by Hillary Clinton in 2016 that is facing a governor’s race, two Senate contests and five close House races. Democrats need to gain 23 House seats to retake the chamber, so the state is critical.
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This fall’s midterm election ballot just got a little longer in Utah. In mid-April, progressive activists announced that they’d gathered enough signatures to force a November referendum on Medicaid expansion.
Utah isn’t the only red state flirting with extending free government health insurance to able-bodied, childless adults. Within weeks, activists in Idaho will surpass the number of signatures required for their own ballot referendum. Groups in Nebraska just launched a signature-gathering campaign, too.
If voters choose to expand Medicaid, they’ll surely regret it.
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What the British government is doing to a baby and his family is almost unbelievable. The government has determined that Alfie Evans, afflicted as he is by a rare neurodegenerative disorder, has so poor a quality of life that no efforts should be made to keep him alive.
He was taken off ventilation, but continued, surprising the doctors, to breathe. He has also been deprived of water and food. His parents want to take him to Italy, where a hospital is willing to treat him. The British government says no, and has police stationed to keep the boy from being rescued.
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After 94-year-old Enid Stevens was treated for a spinal fracture at a hospital in Northern England last month, she was wheeled out from the overcrowded ward to a hallway, where she lay on a gurney, unable to easily alert nurses, for six days.
“The health service is failing,” said Wayne Stevens, Mrs. Stevens’s 40-year-old grandson. “It’s not just my grandmother—there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of grandmothers going through the same indignities.”
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This paper examines the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – which substantially increased insurance coverage through regulations, mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid expansions – on behaviors related to future health risks after three years. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and an identification strategy that leverages variation in pre-ACA uninsured rates and state Medicaid expansion decisions, we show that the ACA increased preventive care utilization along several dimensions, but also increased risky drinking. These results are driven by the private portions of the law, as opposed to the Medicaid expansion. We also conduct subsample analyses by income and age.
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The state’s antitrust lawsuit against Sutter Health is a welcome move to stop Sutter from inflating health care costs across the Northern California market.
The lawsuit alleges that Sutter has illegally used its market power to compel commercial health plans to contract with all or none of its hospitals, extract exorbitant prices and prohibit use of financial incentives to encourage use of lower-cost providers.
The problem is not just Sutter, however, but insurance-contracted provider networks (preferred provider organizations and health maintenance organizations), where insurers negotiate medical service prices, keep those prices hidden and make other private deals that maximize revenue at purchaser and consumer expense.
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California’s government would set prices for hospital stays, doctor visits and other health care services under legislation introduced Monday, vastly remaking the industry in a bid to lower health care costs.
The proposal, which drew swift opposition from the health care industry, comes amid a fierce debate in California as activists on the left push aggressively for a system that would provide government-funded insurance for everyone in the state.
Across the country, rising health care costs have put the industry, lawmaker and employers and consumers at odds.
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During Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the Federal Government won or negotiated over $2.4 billion in health care fraud judgments and settlements, and it attained additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings. As a result of these efforts, as well as those of preceding years, in FY 2017 $2.6 billion was returned to the Federal Government or paid to private persons. Of this $2.6 billion, the Medicare Trust Funds received transfers of approximately $1.4 billion during this period, and $406.7 million in Federal Medicaid money was similarly transferred separately to the Treasury as a result of these efforts.
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Since the managed care debacle of the 1990s, billions of dollars have been spent in time and resources to improve and measure the quality of patient care. However, measuring the quality of care in the effort to improve it in a cost-efficient manner is showing evidence of being counter-productive, particularly for small physician practices and practices with complex patient populations.
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