A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Federal Budget/Deficit"

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."

Explainer: What Gruber meant when he said ‘if CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies’

Glenn Kessler
Washington Post
Thu, 2014-11-20
"“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.” – MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, captured on videotape What did Gruber mean when he uttered this words in a now-infamous video that has inflamed hostility to the Affordable Care Act?

How a key Obamacare enrollment number slipped below the 7 million mark without anyone noticing

Phillip Bump, Washington Post
Thu, 2014-11-20
"In the blink of an eye, Obamacare enrollment numbers through August fell from 7.3 million to just under 7 million -- a level that dips overall enrollment under 2013 enrollment projections from the Congressional Budget Office. How'd it happen? In short, the administration combined Obamacare medical plan enrollment with dental plan enrollment for those August numbers -- while previous reports had kept the two numbers distinct. Here's how the Department of Health and Human Services reported enrollments in a report last April. This shows only the last line of enrollments, but the number of plans with data on "metal level" (that is, the quality of the plan), is fairly close to the overall number of enrollments. Underneath, the number of people who got standalone dental coverage. 8 million; 1.1 million."

ObamaCare's whopping Cadillac tax under fire

Jim Angle
Fox News
Thu, 2014-11-20
"Of all the taxes in ObamaCare, none is more onerous than the whopping 40 percent Cadillac tax on the more generous employer-provided health care plans, which often are union plans. The now-famous former outside adviser on ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber of MIT, spoke about the Cadillac tax before an audience at the Pioneer Institute in 2011, saying, "It turns out politically, it's really hard to get rid of. And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.""

New Obamacare furor: Was Jonathan Gruber the “architect”?

Paige Winfield Cunningham, Politico
Sun, 2014-11-16
"Nobody much cared how much credit Jonathan Gruber took for Obamacare — until now. Once videos surfaced in which the MIT economist talked about the public’s “stupidity,” his claims suddenly matter a lot. Conservatives are using the controversy — not the first involving the high-profile health care expert and Obamacare comic book author — to show that Democrats knew the law was terrible all along."

What Should Republicans Do if SCOTUS Strikes Down Federal Subsidies?

Guy Benson
Townhall
Sun, 2014-11-16
"By now you're aware of the red hot 'federal subsidies' controversy, yes? The star of the show at the moment is one Jonathan Gruber -- a famed economist and top Obamacare architect -- who's been caught repeatedly lying about the law he helped design, while smirking about the "stupidity" of the American people. Gruber's performance has become so harmful to The Cause that Nancy Pelosi is now pretending she doesn't know who he is:"

Gruber strikes again: Obama knew “the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured”

Zachary Goldfarb, Washington Post
Thu, 2014-11-13
"CNN has unearthed a new Jonathan Gruber video speaking undiplomatically about the White House's approach to passage of the health care law in 2010. In this video, Gruber says bluntly what many observers noticed at the time: President Obama focused on how the Affordable Care Act would bring down the cost of health care, not on the moral imperative of extending health insurance to millions of low- and moderate-income Americans. "Barack Obama's not a stupid man, okay? He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn't actually care that much about the uninsured. ... What the American public cares about is costs. And that's why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it's going to lower the cost of health care, that's all they talk about.""

CBS News on Obamacare: "Higher Costs, Higher Penalties"

Guy Benson, Townhall
Thu, 2014-11-13
"As Bob Laszewski so aptly explained over the summer, there are reasons why the White House delayed the 2015 Obamacare enrollment period until after the midterm elections. CBS News summarizes several of the unhappy developments consumers will encounter in the coming days and weeks:"

What Howard Dean Thinks Is the ‘Core Problem’ with Obamacare

Kate Scanlon
The Daily Signal
Thu, 2014-11-13
"Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s remarks about the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” as factors necessary to passing Obamacare have spurred responses from across the political spectrum. Former DNC chairman Howard Dean responded to Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski’s comment that Gruber’s statement “might be a problem.” “The problem is not that he said it. The problem is that he thinks it,” said Dean about Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. “I’m serious. The core problem of the d— law is that it was put together by a bunch of elitists who don’t fundamentally understand the American people. That’s what the problem is.”"

Sen. Orrin Hatch: We're ready to repeal, replace

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
USA Today
Wed, 2014-11-12
"Voters last week flatly rejected the Obama administration's policies and created a new opportunity to improve American health care by electing a Republican Congress that is firmly committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare. With a flawed website launch, failed state exchanges, burdensome mandates, mass cancellations of coverage and countless other broken promises paid for by Medicare cuts and a trillion dollar tax hike, it's no wonder so few Democratic candidates campaigned on the merits of Obamacare."

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