A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Taxes"

Republicans Will Run On An Obamacare Replacement in 2016 – Will Democrats?

Ben Domenech for Morning Consult
Sat, 2014-07-26
"The decision in the Halbig v. Burwell case this week was an unexpected legal boon to opponents of Obamacare. Spearheaded by the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon and law professor Jonathan Adler, the case will almost certainly lead this debate about the text of the Affordable Care Act back to the Supreme Court. My colleague Sean Davis has written a comprehensive piece on the case, particularly on the nature of the supposed “drafting error” at its core. But whatever the ultimate outcome for Halbig, the case serves as a reminder of the uneven ground on which Obama’s health care law is likely to be standing over the next two years.

Federal officials cap fines for not buying health insurance

The Associated Press
Sat, 2014-07-26
"Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five. The amount is equal to the national average annual premium for a bronze level health plan. But only those with an income above about a quarter of a million dollars would benefit from the cap. Those making less would still have to pay as much as 1 percent of their annual income. The penalty for the first year starts at $95 per adult or $47.50 per child under 18. The penalty for not buying insurance increases to 2 percent of income or $325, whichever is higher, for 2015. The fines are due when people file their 2014 taxes. The figures, released late Thursday, are important because the White House has only provided theoretical caps in the past.

Three Conservative Ideas Buried Within Obamacare

Greg Scandlen, The Federalist
Tue, 2014-07-15
"The Affordable Care Act is the worst piece of legislation ever passed into law in the United States. It was poorly conceived, poorly written, poorly enacted, and is being poorly implemented. The thing is a mess. However, it does open up some doors that were firmly locked before—things that most free-market economists have been espousing for years without success. We should not run away from those things just because they have President Obama’s name on it. I am not talking about the things the idiot media think are popular—the slacker mandate, open enrollment, equal premiums for men and women, and free “preventative” services. These are all terrible ideas for reasons I won’t go into here (unless you insist). I’m talking specifically about several more important elements of the law that were not well crafted in this particular bill, but can now be used as precedents for major improvements in American health care."

Bosses bash Affordable Care Act: report

Gregory Bresiger, NY Post
Thu, 2014-07-10
"ObamaCare hurts businesses. That’s the result of an exhaustive study polling small to medium-sized businesses. The controversial government health-care reform increases company and employee costs and sometimes stops companies from hiring as well, participants told the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in its new study. “More than half of single employers believe the Affordable Care Act has had a negative effect on their company,” according to the report. The survey, which polled some employers and their health-care pros, found that the majority of respondents, 54 percent, thought the effect of the ACA on their firms had been “negative” or “very negative.” The same respondents also expected that the negative effects from ACA would increase to 66 percent in the near future as the program unfolds."

Colorado health insurance exchange asks for carrier fee, sets budget

Electa Draper, The Denver Post
Mon, 2014-06-09
"The board of Connect for Health Colorado will consider Monday whether to begin charging insurance carriers $1.25 a month for each policy on their books to generate more than $13 million for the state health exchange."

The Shrinking Obamacare Individual Mandate

Steven Dennis, Roll Call
Fri, 2014-06-06
"It’s the tax at the heart of Obamacare, but just more than 1 percent of Americans will end up paying it, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) slashed their estimates for how many people will pay the individual mandate tax penalty in 2016 by a third — to 4 million from 6 million — citing exemptions granted by the Obama administration, including exemptions for people whose plans were cancelled because they did not meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements."

Exchange board frustration mounts over spending

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, Health News Colorado
Fri, 2014-06-06
"Colorado’s exchange managers have triggered confusion among their own finance committee board members on the eve of a critical vote Monday over future spending and revenues. Health News Colorado on Thursday reported that board members were concerned that exchange managers had spent $10 million over the past year to sign up about 8,000 people through face-to-face enrollment centers."

CBO: Millions will dodge ObamaCare fines

Elise Viebeck, The Hill
Thu, 2014-06-05
"Congressional budget scorekeepers estimated Thursday that only a fraction of the people without health insurance in 2016 will actually pay a penalty under ObamaCare's individual mandate. In a new analysis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said only 4 million of the 30 million who are expected to be uninsured in 2016 will pay a fine."

Exchange spent $10 million for 8,000 face-to-face sign-ups

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, Health News Colorado
Thu, 2014-06-05
"Colorado health exchange managers spent $10 million over the past year on a statewide assistance network that generated about 8,000 sign-ups for private health insurance. Board critics pressed managers on the wisdom and sustainability of spending about $1,250 per customer for the face-to-face help centers."

Fiscal Diagnosis Only Gets Tougher for Health Care Law

Paul M. Krawzak, Roll Call
Wed, 2014-06-04
"For Democratic lawmakers who were hesitant to sign onto the sweeping 2010 health care law, one of the most powerful selling points was that the Affordable Care Act would actually reduce the federal budget deficit, despite the additional costs of extending health insurance coverage to the uninsured. Four years after enactment of what is widely viewed as President Barack Obama’s key legislative achievement, however, it’s unclear whether the health care law is still on track to reduce the deficit or whether it may actually end up adding to the federal debt. In fact, the answer to that question has become something of a mystery."

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