A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Uninsured"

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. Though the agency found that the health care law is projected to cost the government less than originally thought, the CBO projected enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will continue to increase. The CBO attributed the drop in Obamacare costs to lower-than-expected enrollments and subsidies given to those who are eligible. The number of consumers receiving subsidies could decrease even further following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the court case King v. Burwell.

Americans See Healthcare, Low Wages as Top Financial Problems

Gallup
Wed, 2015-01-21
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Healthcare costs and lack of money or low wages rank as the most important financial problems facing American families, each mentioned by 14% of U.S. adults. Fewer Americans than a year ago cite the high cost of living or unemployment, and the percentage naming oil or gas prices is down from 2012. Gallup has been asking Americans about the most important financial problem facing their family in an open-ended format for the past 10 years. Healthcare this year has returned to the top of the list for the first time since early 2010, when the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was signed into law. Still, Americans viewed it as an even bigger financial problem in 2007, when a range of 16% to 19% said it was most important. Notably, 6% of Americans see the high cost of living or inflation as their family's biggest financial problem, down from 13% just over three years ago.

Reforming Obamacare: Start With the Young

Real Clear Politics
Wed, 2015-01-21
After the lofty promises that led to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, young people are waking up to how much the law targets them with higher costs. Yes, those lucky enough to be covered on their parents' health plans can postpone the consequences until they are 26. But for the rest, the situation is grim: Young people face disproportionately high costs to pay for coverage and a crushing burden of taxes that could impede their future prosperity. Young people 20-35 constitute about 20 percent of America's population, but they represent 46 percent of the uninsured -- and, according to an analysis by Manhattan Institute scholar Avik Roy and colleagues, a 25-year-old male living in California and earning just $29,000 a year pays more than $1,140 more per year for health insurance due to the ACA.

Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To ‘Obamacare’

Five Thirty Eight Economics
Wed, 2015-01-14
By Ben Casselman On Friday, I posted this chart, showing that nearly all the job growth since the recession ended has been in full-time jobs. Part-time employment is pretty much flat. I wasn’t trying to make a political point, but many readers saw one anyway. Specifically, they saw it as a refutation of a frequent Republican talking point: that the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is killing full-time jobs because it requires employers to offer health insurance to their full-time (but not their part-time) workers. The reality, though, is a bit more complicated. Obamacare hasn’t led to a shift from full-time employment to part-time.

Obamacare Problems? Now in Hands of IRS

Town Hall
Wed, 2015-01-14
Bruce Bialosky Deluged with catastrophes, court challenges and criticism, Obamacare (ACA) has had a controversial life to date. Yet it is ready to enter a completely new phase where the implementation gets shifted to the Internal Revenue Service – America’s favorite three words. If you liked the health care plan up to now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. 2010 was actually the first year that the IRS was involved in Obamacare enforcement. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit went into effect with this filing year. You may remember I wrote that there was mass resistance to this credit by the tax-preparer community. We could not figure out how to get the credit for our clients while at the same time keeping the cost of preparing the paperwork lower than the actual credit being received by our clients.

What '60 Minutes' Didn't Tell You: Hospitals Will Charge You More Under Obamacare

Forbes
Mon, 2015-01-12
On Sunday evening, CBS’ 60 Minutes did a feature story on Steven Brill’s new book, America’s Bitter Pill, in which Brill complains that Obamacare didn’t do enough to tackle the exorbitantly high price of U.S. hospital care. “Obamacare does zero to change any of that,” says Brill. That’s not exactly right. What Brill—and CBS—don’t tell you—is that Obamacare is driving hospitals to charge you more than they already do. The U.S. hospital industry is crony capitalism at its finest Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer and Court TV took a starring role in the health care debate when he published the Time article “Bitter Pill,” describing how hospitals charge extreme prices for ordinary care to the uninsured. For example, Sean Recchi, an uninsured lymphoma patient, went to MD Anderson Cancer Center, a world-renowned facility in Houston, to seek treatment. MD Anderson proceeded to charge him $283 for a $20 chest X-ray.

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. And with the debate just getting underway, author Steven Brill, who has spent the past two years immersing himself in the subject, has come out with a new book, "America's Bitter Pill," that takes a comprehensive look at what the new law does and doesn't do.

21 pages of Obamacare tax instructions, IRS demands 'shared responsibility payment'

The Washington Examiner
Mon, 2015-01-12
The complicated process of signing up for Obamacare is now being matched by IRS instructions to help Americans figure out how much in healthcare taxes they owe Uncle Sam. The agency has issued 21 pages of instructions, complete with links to at least three long forms and nine tip sheets. It is geared to those who have Obamacare or who owe a fine, dubbed “shared responsibility payment,” for refusing to get health insurance.

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

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