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Commentary

Forbes
08/26/15
Back in 2009, President Obama spoke to the American Medical Association and said, “We need to bundle payments so you aren’t paid for every single treatment you offer a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes, but instead paid well for how you treat the overall disease.” That’s a great idea, and it could really improve health care. Unfortunately, the president’s signature reform did nothing to move in that direction. Now, as before, almost no one in the health care fields is actually paid to keep people healthy.
The Wall Street Journal
08/26/15
At a July town hall in Nashville, Tenn., President Barack Obama played down fears of a spike in health insurance premiums in his signature health law’s third year. “My expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested,” he said, saying Tennesseans had to work to ensure the state’s insurance commissioner “does their job in not just passively reviewing the rates, but really asking, ‘OK, what is it that you are looking for here? Why would you need very high premiums?’” That commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, answered on Friday by greenlighting the full 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.
Bloomberg View
08/25/15
After talking about it endlessly, Republican presidential candidates are finally starting to get specific about how they intend to replace the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released his plan last week. As the reaction to it shows, Republicans have to be ready with answers to a lot of hard questions.
The Kaiser Family Foundation
08/25/15
As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high-cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax, is affecting employer decisions about their health benefits. The tax takes effect in 2018.
CNBC
08/25/15
If you like your flexible spending account ... you might not be able to keep your flexible spending account. Obamacare's looming "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health plans threatens to hit 1 in 4 U.S. employers when it takes effect in 2018—and will impact 42 percent of all employers by a decade later, according to a new analysis.
Forbes
08/24/15
Consumers are trying to figure out how they’ll absorb the double-digit increases in health insurance premiums that many insurers have announced for next year. American employers, meanwhile, are worried about what will happen to health costs several years out, in 2018.
Forbes
08/22/15
Just in time for the next presidential election, health care spending is starting to take off again. Through 2024, health care spending is projected to grow by 5.8% annually, on average, according to CMS. While this isn’t unexpected—health economists across the political spectrum expected health care costs to start growing again (and growth rates are expected to still be lower than the long-run average)—the window for addressing health care costs in a less painful way is closing. Without better cost controls in the private sector, and without immediate reforms to Medicare, the health care sector is set to gobble up a full fifth of the U.S. economy in just 10 years.
Forbes
08/22/15
Recent reports have touted a significant drop in the number of uninsured and generally credited Obamacare for it. And, other reports have recently highlighted about 950,000 more people signing up for Obamacare since the 2015 open enrollment closed but haven’t said anything about the number of people who dropped their coverage during the same period. As one headline put it, “After Obamacare Number of Uninsured Hits Five Year-Low.” Now, this headline might be technically correct but it hardly gives us the proper impression for why the uninsured rate has dropped so low.
The American Enterprise Institute
08/21/15
Earlier this week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio tossed into the Republican presidential campaign ring an abbreviated version of his plan to fix health care. How does his approach (published in Politico magazine) compare to a somewhat more detailed plan released by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker the next day?
Forbes
08/20/15
Earlier this week, Wisconsin governor and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker released his version of an Obamacare “repeal and replace” plan. There’s also versions out there from Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) There are yet others on Capitol Hill: the Republican Study Committee plan, the plan advanced by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), and the so-called “Burr-Hatch-Upton” plan. Republicans are often accused of having no alternative to Obamacare, but they actually have many.

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