“Florida officials have joined a growing number of states and companies seeking waivers from the new medical-loss-ratio requirements imposed by the federal government under President Obama’s health care law.”

“Calling these rules ‘consumer protections’ implies that the people harmed don’t matter, or one has clairvoyance to know that the benefits outweigh the costs.
ObamaCare supporters should call these supposed consumer protections what they are: regulations that can hurt even more than they help.”

“In fact—if we may use that term without PolitiFact’s seal of approval—at the heart of ObamaCare is a vast expansion of federal control over how U.S. health care is financed, and thus delivered. The regulations that PolitiFact waves off are designed to convert insurers into government contractors in the business of fulfilling political demands, with enormous implications for the future of U.S. medicine. All citizens will be required to pay into this system, regardless of their individual needs or preferences. Sounds like a government takeover to us.”

“Calling ObamaCare a government takeover of health care is the ‘lie of the year,’ according to the self-proclaimed oracle of all things true and untrue in the political debate. That outrageous proclamation from PolitiFact shows that its editors need a Truth-O-Meter of their own. Obamacare is a uniquely American government takeover of health care. Its 2,801 pages of legislation and insidious regulatory structure give the Secretary of Health and Human Services almost unlimited authority to rule over every corner of our health sector.”

“Under the 136-page rule, the federal government will now decide what counts as an ‘unreasonable’ rate increase, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote to Governors yesterday urging them ‘to prevent unjustified and excessive health insurance premium growth.’ Apparently, ‘unreasonable’ means rate increases that exceed 10% next year, except when it doesn’t. If an insurer crosses this arbitrary threshold, ‘The review process would then determine if the increase is, in fact, unreasonable.’ So that’s cleared up.”

Health care regulations create new costs to employers when hiring additional staff. ObamaCare’s new rules create strong disincentives for firms to hire low-wage workers or expand their businesses. “With higher-skill jobs, employers can offer the required benefits and pay for them by cutting the wage. But low-wage jobs in the restaurant and retail sectors leave little room for cuts in wages.”

In light of this week’s good news on the legal front of the war against ObamaCare, Medical Progress Today, a project of the Manhattan Institute, asked a collection of leading health policy experts for their opinions on whether ObamaCare can still stand if the individual mandate is removed.

“What they found calls into question the assumptions that health policy wonks have been making for years: While Medicare indeed spends almost twice as much more per patient in McAllen than in El Paso, Blue Cross spends about the same in both places. In fact, Blue Cross’s per-patient spending was actually slightly lower in El Paso. These findings persisted for overall spending, as well as for spending on specific types of services and several specific diseases.”

“HHS has spent the past nine months issuing guidance and regulations at a furious pace in an attempt to fill the holes and correct some of the errors in the healthcare law. But that activity does not account for the numerous special circumstances facing millions of people with all sorts of different insurance arrangements that are unknown or poorly understood by Washington regulators. The waivers help, but they are not permanent and only delay the inevitable.”

“After receiving several inquiries about the mandate’s cost in the wake of Monday’s court decision in Virginia, the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Tuesday sent around the Congressional Budget Office’s June estimate for repealing the mandate. The bottom line, according to CBO: Doing so would bring in $202 billion from its 2014 start date to 2019.”