“What happens when individual states don’t follow the federal government’s orders under ObamaCare? The federal government takes over. Today, Obama’s Health and Human Services department announced that the some part of the health insurance rate review programs in 10 states were not yet up to snuff—and federal officials could elbow past state authorities to conduct the rate reviews themselves.”
“House appropriators on Thursday approved a $19.9 billion financial services spending bill for 2012 that prohibits the federal government from enforcing the healthcare reform law’s requirement that individuals buy insurance.”
“A divided American Medical Association will consider withdrawing its support of a key tenet of the health overhaul law that requires Americans to purchase an insurance plan. The Chicago-based national doctors group, which represents nearly a quarter-million physicians, is being asked by several medical societies within the organization to change its stance in favor of the ‘individual mandate.'”
“In addition to being transparently political, these provisions have negative practical implications. For example, the proposed rule setting an arbitrary 10 percent price-increase threshold could cause insurers to target rate increases to just below the limit. Indeed, it is a well-documented effect of price controls that sellers respond to the imposition of price ‘ceilings’ by turning them into price ‘floors.’ The less competitive the market on which price controls are imposed, the sooner that phenomenon occurs.”
“Specifically, the government’s position rests on two false economic claims. First, that an individual’s decision not to buy health insurance substantially affects interstate commerce by increasing the costs of health insurance for all Americans.
Second, that the health care industry is ‘unique’ because of its high rates of participation, high costs, federal mandates and the purported uncertainty surrounding when care will be required.”
“Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plea that Congress would have to pass the 906-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to “find out what’s in it” has become an instant classic in the annals of dysfunctional government. But in the months since the bill’s passage, as the Department of Health and Human Services has parceled out waivers, something else has become clear: We may never know what’s in it.”
“Our actuarial modeling of more than 130 employee benefit plans
shows that last year’s health reform law imposes additional costs on
employers’ health plans. The study also shows that the law will create
a financial incentive for some employers to terminate health benefit
plans in 2014 when new Insurance Exchanges take effect.”
“Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district.
That’s in addition to the 27 new waivers for health care or drug companies and the 31 new union waivers Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services approved.”
“The new health care law is supposed to fix the problem by guaranteeing access to affordable coverage for all. But many nursing homes and home care agencies, alarmed at the cost of providing health insurance to hundreds of thousands of health care workers, have started a lobbying effort seeking some kind of exemption or special treatment.”
“One of ObamaCare’s main goals is to cut costs — President Obama has said so repeatedly. Because Medicare is such a big dog in health care, and the government’s single largest toe-hold in the industry, Obama was counting on using it to shape providers’ behavior in the direction of cutting costs. So far, their efforts do not seem to be appreciated.
This initiative is all the more important because Obama did not go for the low-hanging fruit in medical cost-savings — malpractice reform.”