A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Uninsured"

Insurers steal a beat from Apple, open retail branding stores

Bob Herman
Modern Healthcare
Fri, 2014-10-31
"Health insurers increasingly are building and staffing bricks-and-mortar retail centers to potentially expand their membership base and, most importantly for now, enhance their brand image with the public. The retail approach represents a major pivot in insurer tactics to grow their books of business brought on by changes in how consumers get insurance thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

New York Times: 14% Is Good Enough To Call Obamacare A Success

Merrill Matthews
Forbes
Thu, 2014-10-30
"Most of us have long realized that the New York Times’ standards are low. Just look at who the Gray Lady endorses for president and other high political offices. But even we were a little surprised at what little it takes for the editors to call Obamacare a success. The Times poses the question “Is the Affordable Care Act Working?” Given all the ACA’s problems, one could be forgiven for thinking it was a rhetorical question. It wasn’t. The paper asserts, “After a year fully in place, the Affordable Care Act has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises, an analysis by a team of reporters and data researchers shows.”"

Gov. Haslam: Little progress in Medicaid expansion plans

David Boucher, The Tennesseean
Thu, 2014-10-30
"Plans to find a way to expand Medicaid eligibility for Tennessee residents aren’t moving as quickly as expected, Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday morning. The governor said he continues to work with federal health officials to find a solution that will work, but it’s taking longer than he had hoped. “I would have hoped we would have made more progress by now, after the meeting we had up there five or six weeks ago,” Haslam said Tuesday morning after speaking at an education conference in Nashville."

This Infographic Shows How Obamacare Might Be Just One Big Expansion of Medicaid

Kelsey Harkness
The Daily Signal
Wed, 2014-10-29
"Spoiler alert! When it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare has proven itself to be one giant expansion of Medicaid. A new report released Wednesday reveals the total coverage increase for the first half of 2014. While total coverage increased by 8,538,327 individuals, enrollment in Medicaid accounted for 71 percent of that growth. Check out the infographic below for the full breakdown of the numbers."

Speculation swirls around what happens if federal subsidies go away

Lisa Schnecker, Modern Health Care
Wed, 2014-10-29
"New language in contracts between the CMS and insurers operating on HealthCare.gov is grabbing attention, with some calling it an admission by the government that it might lose upcoming court battles dealing with insurance subsidies on the health portal and others saying the new wording is just a practical precaution. The new language appears to allow insurers to stop offering their plans should federal premium subsidies disappear. A number of cases regarding the legality of the subsidies in states without their own exchanges are now working their way through the courts. The language says, “CMS acknowledges that (the insurer) has developed its products for the (federal exchange) based on the assumption that (advance payments of the premium tax credit) and (cost-sharing reductions) will be available to qualifying enrollees.

HHS: Obamacare Cancellations Aren’t ‘Losing Insurance’ — They’re An Invitation To Obamacare

Sarah Hurtubise
The Daily Caller
Wed, 2014-10-29
"The millions of health insurance cancellations caused by Obamacare don’t mean people are “losing insurance,” according to a top Health and Human Services official — they just mean people are being invited to join an Obamacare exchange. HHS regional director Joanne Grossie spoke to the Virginia legislature about widespread cancellations. At least 250,000 Virginians will be losing their health insurance Jan. 1 because they don’t meet Obamacare regulations. Republican state Sen. Jeff McWaters asked Grossie whether HHS knows how many people are going to lose coverage, but Grossie took issue with the idea that customers are even losing insurance."

HealthCare.gov communication issues cast cloud on coverage renewal

Jordan Shapiro, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mon, 2014-10-27
"If you bought health insurance on HealthCare.gov for this year, you could be in for a few surprises when open enrollment begins next month. It’s possible, for example, that you could end up being billed for two different plans. The reason, insurers say, is because the federal government hasn’t addressed a key communications issue with the website. And if you haven’t updated your financial information on the online insurance marketplace, you could face higher premiums and get less of a subsidy than you deserve."

The Love Affair With Obamacare

Erick Erickson
Red State
Mon, 2014-10-27
"Americans love Obamacare, the New York Times propagandizes today. It’s not the only media outfit running with this story today, suggesting a coordinated campaign effort a week before the election. According to the New York Times, it is too soon to tell if Obamacare is working, except with the young. There, Obamacare seems to be working. But, here’s the kicker. With the Obama Administration claiming Obamacare would reduce costs, the New York Times finds it only has at the margins."

Obamacare's Bay State Bailout

Josh Archambault
Forbes
Mon, 2014-10-27
"After the worst transition to Obamacare in the country, Massachusetts is still without a functional exchange website and just 769 people have enrolled in Obamacare-subsidized plans. To avoid accountability and political repercussions, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is about to cut two special deals with the federal government: the “Commonwealth Kickback” which grants Massachusetts the most generous taxpayer-funded premium subsidies in the entire country, while the “Bay State Bailout” gives 300,000+ MA residents “temporary” Medicaid coverage in 2014, without any verification of their eligibility. These deals are reminiscent of the controversial ACA-related “Cornhusker Kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase,” but they also can be added to the growing list of special deals cut for Massachusetts as the state struggles to transition to the ACA."

Double Trouble for the Health Care Overhaul?

Naomi Lopez-Bauman, Illinois Policy Institute
The Blaze
Mon, 2014-10-27
"As President Barack Obama’s administration gears up for its second open enrollment period next month, the president’s health care overhaul is now facing two new threats. Either piece of news, on its own, should warrant concern from the law’s most ardent supporters for the program’s long-term prospects. The first threat is a group of legal challenges to the law that are making their way through the courts. At issue is what the plain text of Section 1401 of the Affordable Care Act means. Even though the text of the law states that the subsidies are available “through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), without congressional authorization, allowed federal subsidies to flow into states participating in the federal exchange when it implemented the law."

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