“When the Supreme Court takes up yet another challenge to the president’s health care law in March, the outcome could have a devastating impact on millions of Americans receiving subsidized health coverage through its exchanges. Almost immediately after the court announced it would hear King v. Burwell, the now-famous case that centers on whether people enrolled on the federal exchange can receive federal subsidies, legal experts began predicting grave news for Obamacare.”
“A federal appeals court on Wednesday delayed plans to handle a challenge to the Obama administration’s health care law because the Supreme Court is stepping into a separate case covering the same legal ground.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided not to move forward with an Obamacare case that was to have been argued on Dec. 17. It will be held back until the Supreme Court rules on its case, probably in late June.”
“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.””
“RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia lawmakers approved emergency legislation Monday allowing health insurance companies to renew plans that do not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act.
Republican proponents said it could help 250,000 Virginians whose insurance policies are slated to be canceled because they don’t meet the minimum requirements of the federal health care law.”
“Missouri health insurance consumers can get a first look at rates for 2015 coverage on HealthCare.gov, but they may be in for a bit of sticker shock.
St. Louis-area customers will have almost twice as many options to consider once open enrollment begins Saturday. Four insurers are selling a total of 42 different plans, a substantial increase from last year when only two carriers combined to sell 25 plans.”
“With the Affordable Care Act to start enrollment for its second year on Nov. 15, some unpleasant surprises may be in store for some.
That’s because a number of low-priced Obamacare plans will raise their rates in 2015, making those options less affordable. On top of that, penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families’ pocketbooks.
“The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage,” said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.””
“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.”