Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
"As employers try to minimize expenses under the health law, the Obama administration has warned them against paying high-cost workers to leave the company medical plan and buy coverage elsewhere.
Such a move would unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their health status, three federal agencies said in a bulletin issued this month."
"Jonathan Gruber, the controversial MIT professor and ObamaCare architect caught on video calling the American people stupid multiple times, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month on the lack of transparency surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
In a letter to Gruber, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House committee, asked him and Marilyn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service administrator, to appear and answer questions on repeated transparency failures and outright deceptions involving the Affordable Care Act. The hearing will be held Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m."
Elise Viebeck, The Hill
"Illegal immigrants protected from deportation under President Obama's executive action will be eligible for Medicare and other benefits once they enter the federal system.
The sweeping White House announcement last week means that up to 5 million people will be considered lawfully present in the United States despite having entered the country illegally.
This status makes them eligible for programs such as Medicare and Social Security if they work and submit payroll taxes that flow to those programs. This fact was noted Tuesday in a report by The Washington Post."
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air
"In a somewhat ironic fashion, if Jonathan Gruber has taught us anything, it’s that telling the truth won’t get you far in the political world. After famously describing how the success of Obamacare relied heavily on the gullibility and short attention span of the voters, both former and prospective employers have been scurrying away from him like he was an Ebola dog. First he saw his old friends Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi stricken with shocking bouts of amnesia where they seemed unable to even recall his name. Then a plush job with the the state of Vermont – to the tune of $400K – had the plug pulled on it. And now, North Carolina has shown Mr. Gruber the door."
Annie Fiedt, Alaska Public Radio
"Dr. Oliver Korshin, a 71-year-old ophthalmologist in Anchorage, is not happy about the federal government’s plan to have all physicians use electronic medical records or face a Medicare penalty. A few months ago when he applied for an exemption to the latest requirement, he had to pick an exemption category that fit.
“The only one that possibly applied to me was disaster,” Korshin says. “So I picked disaster and I described my disaster as old age and I submitted as my supporting document a copy of my passport.”"
Crayton Harrison, Bloomberg
"Obamacare customers who choose to re-enroll in insurance plans would automatically default to cheaper coverage during sign-up periods, protecting them from price increases, under rules proposed by the U.S. government."
Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
"The Obama administration took another step to close what many see as a health-law loophole that allows large employers to offer medical plans without hospital coverage and bars their workers from subsidies to buy their own insurance.
“It has come to our attention that certain group health plan designs that provide no coverage of inpatient hospital services are being promoted,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in proposed rules issued late Friday."
Elise Viebeck, The Hill
"The Obama administration is seeking to tighten how insurers segregate funds for abortion coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges after a scathing government investigation found the rules have been widely ignored.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided additional detail Friday about how health plans should go about charging women for abortion coverage that is handled separately from their other health benefits obtained on the exchanges."
Howard Kurz, Fox News
"The man who changed the ObamaCare debate was at a gas station when I reached him, and he wasn’t dying to talk.
“I really want to stay out of the limelight,” said Rich Weinstein, a Philadelphia investment adviser. “This is not about me.”
But it is about him in the sense that if not for one slightly obsessed citizen, we wouldn’t have the videos of Jonathan Gruber saying the health care law was deceptively designed and its passage depended on the stupidity of the American public. And it is about his frustrating struggle to get that information out to the media."
"WASHINGTON - A new video has surfaced showing economist Jonathan Gruber, who made controversial comments about how the Affordable Care Act was written, talking about states' opposition to the Medicaid expansion in the law, and the role poverty may play in its success or failure.
"There's larger principles at stake here," Gruber said in the video, which appeared on the website Healthinsurance.org in April. "When these states are not just turning down covering the poor people, but turning down the federal stimulus that would come with that.
"They're not just not interested in covering poor people, they're willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. I mean, it really is just almost awesome in its evilness.""