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The New York Times
Sat, 2015-01-31
WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties and as many people struggle with complex forms needed to justify tax credits they received in 2014 to pay for health insurance. The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm. Mark J. Mazur, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, said up to six million taxpayers would have to “pay a fee this year because they made a choice not to obtain health care coverage that they could have afforded.” But Christine Speidel, a tax lawyer at Vermont Legal Aid, said: “A lot of people do not feel that health insurance plans in the marketplace were affordable to them, even with subsidies.
CNN
Thu, 2015-01-29
Some 3 million to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty for not having health insurance last year, Treasury officials said Wednesday. It's the first time they have given estimates for how many people will be subject to a fine. The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold (roughly $20,000 for a couple). So you could end up owing the IRS a lot of money. Take a married couple with $100,000 in income - their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator. The penalty for remaining uninsured rises to the larger of $325 or 2% of income in 2015. Related: Obamacare 2.0 sign ups hit 9.5 million As millions of Americans sit down in coming weeks to compile their tax returns, they'll have to contend with Obamacare's health insurance mandate for the first time.
The Daily Signal
Wed, 2015-01-28
A nonpartisan entity of the federal government has found that the Affordable Care Act will cost the government less than expected. However, the reduction in the law’s price tag comes among findings that millions of Americans could lose their employer-provided health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office came out with a report yesterday revising the costs and budgetary effects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Though the agency found that the health care law is projected to cost the government less than originally thought, the CBO projected enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will continue to increase. The CBO attributed the drop in Obamacare costs to lower-than-expected enrollments and subsidies given to those who are eligible. The number of consumers receiving subsidies could decrease even further following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the court case King v. Burwell.
Daily Mail
Tue, 2015-01-27
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best The law will still leave 'between 29 million and 31 million' nonelderly Americans without medical insurance Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025 It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday. The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.
Washington Examiner
Tue, 2015-01-27
If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in June that health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans are illegal, Republicans better not be caught flat-footed, because President Obama will be ready to pounce, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “As the president said to me in the White House [earlier this month], he said, ‘There are five million people [who receive subsidies through the federal exchange] — and I know who they are.’ He spoke like a community organizer who was going to try to use those people that he has actually caused significant damage to by not applying the law,” Barrasso said from his senate office. The Wyoming senator has of late been something of a Paul Revere of the Republican Senate majority, shouting, “King vs. Burwell is coming! King vs. Burwell is coming!” King vs.
The Daily Caller
Wed, 2015-01-21
Posted By Richard Pollock H&R Block, the nation’s largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014. “Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site. A former IRS Commissioner agrees, and cautions that the new tax requirements will be a “shock to the system,” especially afflicting low-income earners who have never itemized on their tax return. The tax preparation giant — with 24 million tax clients worldwide — reports that the Obamacare tax rules now constitute “the biggest tax code change in the last 20 years.” The company is so concerned, it has launched a high profile national television advertising campaign directed solely at Obamacare enrollees.
Real Clear Politics
Mon, 2015-01-12
As we enter 2015, the politics of the president's health care law are little changed from last year or the year before, or any year since it was passed. The details change with the calendar, but year after year, the law remains a major drag on President Obama's popularity and legacy. Defenders of the law commonly known as Obamacare continue to believe the law will eventually become popular and point to a growing number of people with insurance as proof the law is working. Sooner or later, they reason, those who receive insurance through the healthcare exchanges will express their gratitude in the voting booth. But that's not going to happen. Why? Partly because the irritation factor has been and will continue to be far more significant than most advocates of the law want to admit. The next round of irritation is almost here and will directly impact the people that the president's team is hoping to win over.
Lesley Clark, McClatchey
Sun, 2014-11-16
"The White House looked to distance itself Thursday from critical remarks made by one of the architects of President Barack Obama’s health care law, who suggested the law benefited from a lack of transparency and the ignorance of the American voter. In videos that have surfaced, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber has been quoted as saying the “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage," in seeing the complicated law passed. "Call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever,” he said in the video from a conference in 2013. “But basically, that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. I wish we could make it all transparent. But I'd rather have this law than not.""
The Daily Signal
Thu, 2014-11-06
"Fox News’ Megyn Kelly grilled House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., about whether a Republican-controlled Congress would seek to repeal Obamacare. After repeated questions from Kelly, McCarthy said, “I would press for [a vote to repeal Obamacare] when we have ability to replace it at the same time.”"
Lisa Schenker, Modern Healthcare
Tue, 2014-11-04
"Healthcare stakeholders and the public likely will have to wait at least another week—if not longer—to find out whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear King v. Burwell, a case with the potential to severely disrupt implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The justices were scheduled last Friday to discuss whether to hear the case, but on Monday morning it was announced that they took no action. Shortly after that announcement, the court's website showed that the justices had scheduled another private discussion about the case, which is called relisting."
Edmund F. Haislmaier, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Nina Owcharenko and Alyene Senger, The Heritage Foundation
Mon, 2014-11-10
"The need for health care reform has never been questioned by health care policy analysts on either side of the political spectrum. Furthermore, the broad goals of controlling costs, improving quality, and expanding access are widely shared. Yet, while both sides agree that reform is necessary, the policy solutions differ dramatically, most importantly on the question of who controls the key decisions in health care. During the public campaign in support of President Obama’s health plan, the President made numerous promises to the American people about the law’s effect on everyday Americans. Four years into its implementation, it is growing ever apparent that these promises have all but vanished. Four Heritage Foundation health policy experts detail the five main promises that President Obama broke, and present a fresh way for sustainable and patient-centered, market-based health care reform."
Bianca DiJulio, Mira Norton, Mollyann Brodie, Elizabeth Wilner and Mitchell West, Kaiser Family Foundation
Fri, 2014-10-31
"Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the law has been an often potent and divisive political issue, and has sparked an unprecedented amount of political and campaign advertising, particularly from candidates and groups that oppose the law. According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), no other federal program or policy has resulted in the kind of advertising the ACA has caused, namely the combination of new insurance “product” advertising and sustained political advertising across multiple election cycles."
Caroline F. Pearson, Avalere Health
Wed, 2014-06-04
"A new analysis from Avalere Health finds that consumers in exchanges receiving federal assistance to reduce their out-of-pocket costs may experience inconsistent reductions in spending depending on the plan they choose."
Caroline F. Pearson, Avalere
Thu, 2014-05-22
"A new analysis from Avalere Health finds that individuals choosing an exchange plan based on premiums are most likely to consider plans from Coventry (acquired by Aetna in 2013), Humana, and WellPoint in regions where they participate."
Matthew Eyles, Avalere
Wed, 2014-05-14
"According to a new Avalere Health analysis, 17 of the 26 states that did not expand Medicaid in the first three months of 2014 still reported growth in Medicaid enrollment, ranging from 0.1 percent in Texas to 10.1 percent in Montana. Since these states had decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility levels under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these numbers show the impact of the “woodwork effect,” which is when individuals who were previously eligible, but not enrolled in Medicaid, newly sign up as a result of increased outreach and awareness. These enrollees may place a strain on state budgets, since states are required to contribute to the cost of their coverage based on traditional Medicaid matching rates."
Alexander Bolton
The Hill
Wed, 2014-12-03
Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the coauthors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill. The Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, laments the complexity of legislation the Senate passed five years ago. He wonders in hindsight whether the law was made overly complicated to satisfy the political concerns of a few Democratic centrists who have since left Congress. “We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill.
James C. Capretta
National Review
Tue, 2014-12-02
In the 2014 midterm elections, opposition to the Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare — was a clear political winner. That’s obvious from the election results themselves but also from polling that consistently finds that far more of the electorate disapproves of the law than approves of it. It is therefore to be expected that the incoming Congress, fully under the control of the GOP, will vote on a straight repeal bill, probably very early in next session. In the House, such a bill will pass easily. But in the Senate, Democrats will control at least 46 seats in the new Congress, giving them plenty of votes to filibuster most legislation they oppose. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that the repeal legislation will die in the Senate and therefore never get sent to the president for a certain veto. Perhaps that’s just as well, because repeal without a replacement plan is not the best long-term position for ACA opponents anyway.
Bruce Parker
Vermont Watchdog
Mon, 2014-12-01
Vermont lawmakers say they’re skeptical of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s forthcoming single-payer financing plan because it relies on economic modeling provided by Jonathan Gruber. As Shumlin gets ready to present a health-care financing plan to the Legislature in January, key lawmakers who will decide its fate are saying Gruber’s explosive video confessions severely damage the proposal. “How could anyone trust this man who has said with arrogance that the lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American people is why Obamacare and related individual state health-care reform has passed?” state Rep. Mary Morrissey, R-Bennington, told Vermont Watchdog. Morrissey, a member of the House Committee on Health Care, said the issue was too important to keep Gruber on as a consultant in Vermont, even if he’s no longer being paid. “How could anyone put a person like Mr.
Noah Rothman
Hot Air
Sat, 2014-11-29
"There are certain laws of political physics that just cannot be ignored for long. All the bravado about minuscule midterm turnout or audacious executive actions out of the White House cannot forever mask the fact that two disastrous midterm election cycles have sapped the Democratic Party of authority. In 2015, the party will be in one of the weakest positions it has been in nearly a century. As Democrats begin to internalize that suboptimal reality, the effects are spectacular beyond Republicans’ wildest imaginings. On Tuesday, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said aloud what many Democrats had been thinking privately for years when he observed that the party “blew the opportunity the American people gave them” by focusing on passing health care reform amid a recession in 2009 and 2010. Schumer admonished Democrats for being myopically consumed with addressing “the wrong problem” at the time.
Christine Rousselle
Townhall
Sat, 2014-11-29
"The holiday shopping season kicks off tomorrow with Black Friday, the annual mad-dash for good deals and early-morning sales. This year, shoppers in a few states will see something new this year at shopping malls--and its not exactly a hot new store. It's...Obamacare. In an effort to boost floundering enrollment numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken to partnering with retail stores, pharmacies and websites to promote the open enrollment period, which lasts until Feb. 15. Enrollment workers will be present on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to tell shoppers about how to sign up for a plan on the exchange."

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