A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Mandates"

Repayments and Refunds: Estimating the Effects of 2014 Premium Tax Credit Reconciliation

Kaiser Family Foundation
Tue, 2015-03-24
Half of the people who received ACA subsidies in 2014 will owe money to the government because they underestimated their incomes when applying for coverage and got too large a monthly premium credit, according to an analysis released by the Kaiser Family Foundation today. Nearly as many people — 45 percent of individuals with subsidies — overestimated incomes last year and received too small a tax credit every month, Kaiser found. Individuals at the lower-income end of this population will be more likely to owe money (54 percent) than to get any back (40 percent). They also will have lower repayment or refund amounts on average than subsidy-eligible people with higher incomes. Overall, the average repayment will be $794, while the average refund will be $773, Kaiser calculated. These findings spell trouble as many people who received subsidies might not know that they could end up owing back a portion.

Joyce M. Rosenberg: Small businesses struggle with health care law

USA Today
Mon, 2015-03-23
Complying with the health care law is costing small businesses thousands of dollars that they didn't have to spend before the new regulations went into effect. Brad Mete estimates his staffing company, Affinity Resources, will spend $100,000 this year on record-keeping and filing documents with the government. He's hired two extra staffers and is spending more on services from its human resources provider. The Affordable Care Act, which as of next Jan. 1 applies to all companies with 50 or more workers, requires owners to track staffers' hours, absences and how much they spend on health insurance. Many small businesses don't have the human resources departments or computer systems that large companies have, making it harder to handle the paperwork.

We have a plan for fixing health care

The Washington Post
Mon, 2015-03-02
By Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander and John Barrasso Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether the Obama administration used the IRS to deliver health insurance subsidies to Americans in violation of the law. Millions of Americans may lose these subsidies if the court finds that the administration acted illegally. If that occurs, Republicans have a plan to protect Americans harmed by the administration’s actions. When the court rules in King v. Burwell, we anticipate that it will hold the administration to the laws Congress passed, rather than the laws the administration wishes Congress had passed, and prohibit subsidies in states that opted not to set up their own exchanges, as the language in the law clearly states. Such a ruling could cause 6 million Americans to lose a subsidy they counted on, and for many the resulting insurance premiums would be unaffordable. Republicans have a plan to create a bridge away from Obamacare.

Assessing the Universal Exchange Plan

American Enterprise Institute
Tue, 2015-02-03
Key Points •Avik Roy’s Transcending Obamacare reform proposal retains a number of core features of the Affordable Care Act, even while promising to modify them at the margins. •Despite the plan’s initial aversion to political risk, Roy places several longshot bets on proposed policy reform results. •The plan strives too narrowly to ensure that high-deductible health insurance will be the dominant (or, perhaps, exclusive) form of exchange-based coverage and neglects or avoids a number of other reform opportunities. It is also prone to overly optimistic fiscal projections, insufficient details, and ad hoc revisions that fail to hold together.

Melissa Quinn: 5 Takeaways from the CBO’s Report on Obamacare

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.

Dissecting ObamaCare

CBS 60 Minutes
Mon, 2015-01-12
The following is a script of "Obamacare" which aired on Jan. 11, 2015. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Rich Bonin, producer. This month marks one year since health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act began, and from the president's point of view: so far, so good. More than 10 million Americans who didn't have health insurance before have signed up. But congressional Republicans are gunning for Obamacare. Even if they can't outright repeal it, they want an overhaul.

What Will Be the Biggest Challenges Facing the ACA in 2015?

American Health Line
Wed, 2015-01-07
The Affordable Care Act faces several challenges in 2015.Which of those will just be bumps in the road, and which ones will become major issues this year? The Potential Headache: Owing the IRS This year will be the first that individuals could potentially need to repay IRS if they incorrectly calculated their projected 2014 income and received subsidies to help purchase exchange coverage that were larger than for which they were eligible.

ObamaCare Fuels Historic Part-Time Work Surge

Investors' Business Daily
Tue, 2014-12-16
Over the past year, the ranks of people working part-time jobs by choice — as opposed to business-driven factors — has grown by more than one million, the fastest pace in at least two decades. The timing with ObamaCare's first year of subsidies to buy health insurance is likely more than coincidental. While analysts on the left and right have sparred over whether businesses have shifted to part-time jobs to limit liability under ObamaCare, no one disputes that the law will lead more people to choose to work part-time. Any disagreement is over whether the law should get credit for making less work possible or blame for making work less financially rewarding.

If the Supreme Court Breaks Obamacare, Will Republicans Fix It?

National Journal
Mon, 2014-12-15
By Sam Baker and Sophie Novack: Republicans want the Supreme Court to blow a major hole in Obamacare next year, but they are still debating whether they would help repair it—and what they should ask for in return. There's a very real chance the high court will invalidate Obamacare's insurance subsidies in most of the country, which would be devastating for the health care law. It would become almost entirely unworkable in most states, and the cost of coverage would skyrocket.

Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won't be part of new Senate

Washington Examiner
Mon, 2014-12-08
On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into this year's midterm elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in next month. After Democratic losses on Nov. 4 and Saturday's defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the number has risen to 30. In other words, half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare will not be part of the new Senate.

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