A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Social Impact"

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2014

Kaiser Health News
Sun, 2014-11-23
"The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that just prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment beginning this past Saturday, the uninsured remained largely unaware of its start, although about half of the uninsured expect to get health insurance in the next few months and seven in ten say that health insurance is something they need. Opinion on the law remains similar to past months – 46 percent say they have an unfavorable view of the law and 37 percent say they have a favorable view. Americans are divided as to what Congress should do next on the law – 29 percent say they support repealing the law entirely, 17 percent say they support scaling back what the law does, 20 percent support moving ahead with the law as is, and 22 percent feel that the law should be expanded. But like opinion on the law overall, partisans fall on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Gruber Flap Reopens Not-So-Old Wounds

Jonah Goldberg
Townhall
Sun, 2014-11-23
"I understand we've turned the page to the next controversy -- Obama's unconstitutional immigration pander -- but I'd like to dwell a little longer on the previous travesty. Obama administration health-care consultant Jonathan Gruber was discovered to have boasted that Obamacare was designed to exploit the "stupidity" of American voters and elude honest accounting by hiding both its cost and the taxes necessary to pay for it."

What Should The GOP Do About Obamacare?

John C. Goodman
Townhall
Sun, 2014-11-23
"It should come as no surprise to Townhall readers that the new Republican congress has no plan to deal intelligently with Obamacare. That’s unfortunate. The worst thing that can happen over the next two years is for president Obama to appear to take the high road – insuring the uninsured and fighting the mean insurance companies – while Republicans rail about the small and trivial parts of health reform. And the worst thing that can happen is the very thing that is about to happen. So here is some unsolicited advice."

"Smoke and Mirrors": How Jon Gruber Proved Republicans Right About the CBO

Kevin Glass
Townhall
Sun, 2014-11-23
"Once upon a time, it was gauche to accuse one's ideological opposition of exploiting the rules by which the Congressional Budget Office plays the scoring game. It's worth revisiting this idea in the wake of MIT academic Jonathan Gruber's admission of guilt to this charge. Way back in 2011, there were conservatives writing about how the CBO's score of the Affordable Care Act rested on "budget gimmicks," "smoke and mirrors," and "a dismal track record.""

In Obamacare's Wake, New York's Tale of Two Medicaid Programs

Yevgeniy Feyman and Paul Howard
Forbes
Sun, 2014-11-23
"With round two of Obamacare enrollment here, New York’s policymakers should take stock of where the Empire State is and where it’s heading. Take the state’s Medicaid program. Post-Obamacare, Medicaid enrollment has grown by over 7 percent to 6.1 million people: nearly 1 in 3 New Yorkers now receive coverage through the joint federal-state insurance program for the poor. New York’s Medicaid spending, among the highest in the country, makes up about 30 percent of the state budget."

Post-Obamacare Health Reform: Will Health Insurers Be Redeemed?

John R. Graham
Forbes
Sun, 2014-11-23
"Robert Pear of the New York Times recently described the “symbiotic” relationship between the Obama Administration and health insurers. It was not always so: “But since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation’s largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment. “Insurers and the government have developed a symbiotic relationship, nurtured by tens of billions of dollars that flow from the federal Treasury to insurers each year,” said Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato CATO -1.93% Institute."

The Continued Combat Over ACA

Chuck Loveless, Morning Consult
Thu, 2014-11-20
"So where do things stand with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now that the dust has settled from November’s midterm elections? With Republicans seizing control of the U.S. Senate and an expanded- and newly emboldened- conservative majority in the House of Representatives, expect a slew of new political attacks on the health care reform law. While Bill McIntyre and Elizabeth Harrington noted in their November 6 post for the Morning Consult that election night polling indicated that for most voters the ACA was not a major factor in their decision on how to cast their ballot, it WAS a huge issue for the Republican base."

GOP asks former ObamaCare official: What are you hiding?

Elise Viebeck, The Hill
Thu, 2014-11-20
"Sparks flew Wednesday at a hearing on the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov as Republican lawmakers grilled former White House Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Todd Park about his role in the site's creation. GOP members had sought for almost a year to bring Park before the House Science and Technology Committee, desiring to suss out his level of involvement in the debacle."

'Stupidity' remark leads to free health site work

Dave Gram, Associated Press
Thu, 2014-11-20
"MONTPELIER, Vt. An economist who said "the stupidity of the American voter" helped pass the complex federal health care law has agreed to finish his work on Vermont's health insurance systems for free, a top state official said Wednesday. But the state will continue to pay assistants working with Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised the Obama administration as it crafted the Affordable Care Act."

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