A project of the Galen Institute
Caleb Bonham, Campus Reform
Wed, 2014-08-27
"Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is restricting student work because of compliance issues associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. In an email last week, MTSU President Sidney McPhee explained that “due to our interpretation of the reporting requirements of ACA,” graduate assistants, adjunct faculty members, and resident assistants are barred from working on-campus jobs that exceed 29 hours of work per week. "[E]ffective beginning with the fall semester, we will no longer allow part-time employees, or those receiving monthly stipends from the university, to accept multiple work assignments on campus." Tweet This Now, they cannot take on multiple campus jobs. “[E]ffective beginning with the fall semester, we will no longer allow part-time employees, or those receiving monthly stipends from the university, to accept multiple work assignments on campus," the email stated. McPhee noted that violations of the law “could add up as high as
Jenna Johnson and Mary Pat Flaherty, The Washington Post
Wed, 2014-08-27
"Noridian Healthcare Solutions, the company fired by Maryland officials after the disastrous launch of the state’s health insurance exchange, received a request from federal auditors last month to turn over documents related to the troubled project, chief executive Tom McGraw said Tuesday. McGraw said in a statement that Noridian was “cooperating fully” with the July 30 request by the inspector general’s office for the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been auditing the use of federal funds in creating the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. McGraw’s statement came after Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a fierce critic of the exchange and the federal health-care law that led to it, said that federal auditors had issued subpoenas as part of their review. “The Office of Inspector General has moved this from an audit into a full-blown investigation,” he said in a statement. “Now we know that fraud may have occurred.”"
Nick Budnick, The Oregonian
Wed, 2014-08-27
"Cover Oregon will hold a special open enrollment period for 1,400 Oregonians who were incorrectly enrolled into the low-income Oregon Health Plan by the state's troubled health insurance exchange. Starting Aug. 31, the people affected will have no coverage through the OHP, the state's version of Medicaid. However, they will have the option to sign up for coverage from private insurers and to qualify for tax credits through Cover Oregon to bring down premiums. Meanwhile, Cover Oregon is contacting at least 700 people who should have been enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, but were incorrectly enrolled in a commercial health plan instead. If they were receiving tax credits for private plans, those will go away immediately, though they can keep their plan. Cover Oregon is currently negotiating with the federal government over whether those people will have to refund to the IRS all the tax credits they received incorrectly, said Amy Fauver, Cover Oregon communications director.
Fox News
Wed, 2014-08-27
"Thought HealthCare.gov had problems? Another federal government-run website created under ObamaCare is suffering the same symptoms as the troubled federal health care exchange -- grappling with delays, data problems and other hiccups as the deadline to take it public nears. At issue is a database known as the Open Payments website. It was created under the Affordable Care Act to shed light on the financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies as well as device manufacturers. The transparency initiative is supposed to include detailed information about drug payments made by doctors as well as the value of gifts and services given by drug makers. Such items can include everything from meals to swanky retreats. The database project, though, is dealing with a minefield of technical problems and confusion over the data. The problems led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to shut down what is currently a private site for 11 days earlier this month."
Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News
Tue, 2014-08-26
"Devin Payne had gone years without health insurance – having little need and not much money to pay for it. Then Payne, who had a wife and four children, realized she could no longer live as a man. In her early 40s, she changed her name, began wearing long skirts and grew out her sandy blond hair. And she started taking female hormones, which caused her breasts to develop and the muscle mass on her 6-foot one-inch frame to shrink. The next step was gender reassignment surgery. For that, Payne, who is now 44, said she needed health coverage. “It is not a simple, easy, magical surgery,” said Payne, a photographer who lives in Palm Springs. “Trying to do this without insurance is a big risk. Things can go wrong … not having the money to pay for it would be awful.” Payne learned in the fall that she might qualify for subsidies through the state’s new insurance marketplace, Covered California, because her income fell under the limit of $46,000 a year.
David Joachim, NY Times
Tue, 2014-08-26
"Todd Park, President Obama’s top technology adviser and an important figure in the emergency effort last year to fix the federal government’s online health care marketplace after a disastrous beginning, is leaving the White House, a person familiar with the matter said Monday. Mr. Park, 41, who was only the second federal official to hold the title of chief technology officer, will return to Silicon Valley at the end of the month and continue to help the White House recruit engineers, this person said. Mr. Park, a son of Korean immigrants and a Harvard graduate who was a founder of a health information technology company when he was 24, joined the White House in March 2012 after three years as the top technology official at the Department of Health and Human Services."
Nick Madigan, Miami Herald
Tue, 2014-08-26
"When she was eight weeks old, Ashlyn Whitney suffered a severe respiratory-tract infection that put her in an intensive care unit for 12 days. “Because she was so young, she couldn’t handle it,” Ashlyn’s mother, Nicole Whitney, recalled. “They had to give her oxygen.” The baby, now a year old, recovered from her illness, known as respiratory syncytial virus.The bill for her treatment at the West Boca Medical Center in Palm Beach County came to about $100,000 — a sum that included almost $4,000 in fees for her birth and pre- and post-natal care — but every dime of the tab was picked up by a medical bill-sharing organization set up for its Christian membership. Such religious groups are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
Patrick Marshall, Seattle Times
Tue, 2014-08-26
"Responding to ongoing problems at the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on Monday instituted a limited special enrollment period for consumers who want to obtain coverage outside the exchange. From Aug. 27 to Nov. 14, those who have had problems with enrolling or making payments through Healthplanfinder can enroll in coverage outside the exchange either by selecting a different plan with the same carrier or by changing carriers. “This is a problem that has been around since the end of December,” Kreidler said in an interview. “I am cautiously optimistic that the exchange is doing a much better job right now to resolve the problems, but there is no guarantee that they’re going to be gone as we go into open enrollment.”"
Brian Smith, McClatchey News
Tue, 2014-08-26
"As federal officials wrestle over whether HealthCare.gov will withstand the weight of millions of new customers and re-enrollees this fall, state brass with Your Health Idaho are looking to detach from the federal health insurance portal. But they’re going to need help from Idahoans. The state-run insurance marketplace has begun setting up state-based accounts through its own technology for the 76,000 residents who signed up for health care last year, said spokeswoman Jody Olson. Idaho used HealthCare.gov’s Web system in its inaugural year, as officials believed accounts could easily be transferred. The federal government, however, continues to “drag its feet, and we still don’t have the data we were told we’d get,” Olson wrote in a release."
Tue, 2014-08-26
"The Oregon Department of Justice jousted for nearly two months with Oracle America over the state's demand for documents from the California software giant relating to the health exchange debacle. In fact, Oracle flouted state law and stymied the demand, according to DOJ. The state filed papers in federal court Friday that provide a glimpse into high-stakes jockeying that for months took place largely out of public view. DOJ filed its federal papers shortly after the state's lawyers sued Oracle in Marion County Circuit Court on Aug. 22. In its federal filing, DOJ accuses Oracle of "stalling" and attempting to manipulate the legal system by filing its own federal lawsuit against Oregon on Aug. 8."

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