A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Uninsured"

Health Law Hurts Some Free Clinics

The Wall Street Journal
Mon, 2014-12-15
By Stephanie Armour: Some free health clinics serving the uninsured are shutting their doors because of funding shortfalls and low demand they attribute to the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion. Nearly a dozen clinics that have closed in the past two years cited the federal health law as a major reason. The closings have occurred largely in 28 states and Washington, D.C., which all expanded Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for low-income people, and are being heralded by some clinic officials as a sign the health law is reducing the number of uninsured. Continued at... http://www.wsj.com/articles/health-law-hurts-some-free-clinics-1418429551

A Post-ObamaCare Strategy

The Wall Street Journal
Mon, 2014-12-15
With the Supreme Court due to rule on a major ObamaCare legal challenge by next summer, thoughts in Washington are turning to the practical and political response. If the Court does strike down insurance subsidies, the question for Republicans running Congress is whether they will try to fix the problems Democrats created, or merely allow ObamaCare’s damage to grow. The time to define a strategy is soon, as King v. Burwell will be heard in March with a ruling likely in June. As a matter of ordinary statutory construction, the Court should find that when the law limited subsidies to insurance exchanges established by states, that does not include the 36 states where the feds run exchanges. But in that event one result would be an immediate refugee crisis. Of the 5.4 million consumers on federal exchanges, some 87% drew subsidies in 2014, according to a Rand Corporation analysis. Continued... http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-post-obamacare-strategy-1418601071

Exploring the shortcomings and fault lines of the Affordable Care Act

Physicians for a National Health Program
Mon, 2014-12-08
The case for single payer – Medicare for All By Jeoffry B. Gordon, M.D., M.P.H. December 3, 2014 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has as its main and overriding purpose the expansion and subsidization of health insurance coverage for many (usually poor and uninsured) Americans who were previously unable to reliably access medical services. Under its auspices, the federal law has provided for health insurance enrollment for 1 million to 3 million additional 19- to 26-year-olds; 6 million new, expanded Medicaid enrollees; and 7.2 million commercial Qualified Health Plan enrollees. Of the latter, about 80 percent qualify for financial subsidy. Taking into account additional factors, e.g. the fact that some of the new enrollees were previously insured, there has been a net gain of about 10 million people who have coverage. Yet even at full expansion, it is estimated that the ACA will not insure another 30 million U.S.

How to Replace Obamacare

James C. Capretta
National Review
Tue, 2014-12-02
In the 2014 midterm elections, opposition to the Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare — was a clear political winner. That’s obvious from the election results themselves but also from polling that consistently finds that far more of the electorate disapproves of the law than approves of it. It is therefore to be expected that the incoming Congress, fully under the control of the GOP, will vote on a straight repeal bill, probably very early in next session. In the House, such a bill will pass easily. But in the Senate, Democrats will control at least 46 seats in the new Congress, giving them plenty of votes to filibuster most legislation they oppose. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that the repeal legislation will die in the Senate and therefore never get sent to the president for a certain veto. Perhaps that’s just as well, because repeal without a replacement plan is not the best long-term position for ACA opponents anyway.

Coming Soon to a Mall Near You: Obamacare

Christine Rousselle
Townhall
Sat, 2014-11-29
"The holiday shopping season kicks off tomorrow with Black Friday, the annual mad-dash for good deals and early-morning sales. This year, shoppers in a few states will see something new this year at shopping malls--and its not exactly a hot new store. It's...Obamacare. In an effort to boost floundering enrollment numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken to partnering with retail stores, pharmacies and websites to promote the open enrollment period, which lasts until Feb. 15. Enrollment workers will be present on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to tell shoppers about how to sign up for a plan on the exchange."

Obama order extends benefits to immigrants

Elise Viebeck, The Hill
Wed, 2014-11-26
"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."

Administration Warns Employers: Don’t Dump Sick Workers From Plans

Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"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."

A Quarter Of Uninsured Say They Can’t Afford To Buy Coverage

Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Just days before the health law’s marketplaces reopened, nearly a quarter of uninsured said they expect to remain without coverage because they did not think it would be affordable, according to a poll released Friday. That was by far the most common reason given by people who expect to stay uninsured next year, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Forty-one percent of individuals without health insurance said they expected they would remain uninsured, while about half said they plan to get coverage in the coming months."

Democrat Wants Gag Order On Liberal Lawyer Representing GOP In Obamacare Lawsuit

Sarah Hurtubise, Daily Caller
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Self-avowed liberal law professor Jonathan Turley is representing the House GOP in its lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s implementation of Obamacare and at least one House Democrat wants him punished for it Turley, a George Washington University law professor, is also a frequent media commentator on political issues. Despite describing himself as a political liberal, he’s long been harshly critical of Obama’s use of executive power and said he’d jumped at the chance to represent the House GOP in the lawsuit against unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act in its implementation."

In Year Two, Obamacare’s Off to Another Bad Start

Bob Moffit and Kenneth Manyari Magro
The Daily Signal
Wed, 2014-11-26
"The implementation of the Affordable Care Act seems like an unending nightmare. Desperate for some good news, the White House is justly relieved and celebrating the fact that the government website is not plagued with last year’s disasters. But other big challenges loom, including the administration of the law’s hideously complex insurance subsidy system, as well as coverage and cost problems."

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