A project of the Galen Institute


American Action Forum
Five years after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), progressives are now releasing plans to expand on the legislation. The most recent plan has a lot in common with the ACA, including substantially increasing the costs for both taxpayers and consumers once again.
The Washington Times
Just when it looked like Obamacare couldn’t get worse, new statistical evidence shows that it can, and has. Health care insurance is getting more expensive for most workers because of an increase in deductions.
The Washington Post
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton issued her defense of the Affordable Care Act and proposals to change the landmark health law, signaling the next battle in a war with all the signs of a political stalemate. Americans are basically evenly split in their assessments of the law and sharply divided along partisan lines; Republican presidential candidates want to scrap the law, while Democrats support keeping it (Clinton) or expanding it (Bernie Sanders). None of this is new to anybody, nor expected to change anytime soon.
The latest KFF/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey figures have arrived with yet more bad news about Obamacare. Obamacare’s fiercest advocates have been quick to trumpet a purported slowdown in health spending and way too quick to assign Obamacare the credit for this. They’ve failed to acknowledge two inconvenient truths. The slowdown began many years before Obamacare was ever enacted into law. More importantly, and what I’ll highlight in this post, they’ve failed to point out the entire economy has slowed down thanks to Obamanomics, including worker wages, whose growth has been anemic. It is only when we compare slow health spending to even slower growth in wages that the real truth about Obamacare is revealed: Obamacare has not slowed down premium growth relative to wages at all!
More than two years away from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac” tax, 16 percent of large employers offering health benefits have changed their benefit plans or moved to less expensive plans to avoid going over the limits set by the law, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Tuesday.
Bloomberg View
On Tuesday, the Kaiser Family Foundation released its annual survey of employer-sponsored health plans. The number that will probably attract the most attention relates to the premiums attached to employer plans -- an important figure, since rising premiums eat up money that could otherwise go toward pay increases. The survey shows that 2015 premiums for family coverage were 4.2 percent higher than in 2014, a rise slightly greater than those of the past couple years.
Kaiser Family Foundation
The key findings from the survey, conducted from January through June 2015, include a modest increase (4%) in the average premiums for both single and family coverage in the past year. The average annual single coverage premium is $6,251 and the average family coverage premium is $17,545.
The Wall Street Journal
On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee is set to hear testimony from the chief executives of Aetna Inc., which plans to acquire Humana Inc., and Anthem Inc., which is seeking to buy Cigna Corp., as well as the head of the American Hospital Association. The other big insurer, which isn’t testifying, is UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Forget "repeal and replace." An obscure Obamacare provision that takes effect in 2017 could empower a Republican president to unravel Obamacare — without a single vote from Congress. The provision allows the executive branch to waive big chunks of the law for a state that chooses a different approach to expanding health coverage. It was designed to allow progressive states to go further than Obamacare.
Obamacare is back in court. This month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has standing to sue the Obama administration over how it spent federal money implementing the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit, brought by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), challenges billions of dollars the administration gave to insurers to reduce out-of-pocket costs for almost 6 million low-income Americans.

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