A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Business Impact"

Ben Boychuk: Playing the specialty drug lottery

The Sacramento Bee
Fri, 2015-04-17
My son Benjamin has a serious growth hormone deficiency. He’ll be 13 years old in May but could easily pass for a boy of 8 or 9. In fact, many 8- and 9-year-olds are taller than him. He’s a full head shorter than all of his pals in seventh grade. Although his mother and I don’t have medical degrees, we medical degrees, we had Benjamin’s diagnosis pegged when he was 3 years old and still wearing clothing for an 18-month-old. Several trips to his pediatrician along with a couple simple tests to assess Benjamin’s bone age confirmed with data what we could see with our own eyes. Our boy wasn’t just in the bottom percentile in average height for kids his age – he was in the sub-basement

David Mills: Is It True? Do Doctors Really Loathe Obamacare?

Healthline News
Wed, 2015-04-15
Doctors in the United States appear as bitterly divided over the Affordable Care Act as the general public. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare, has been a lightning rod since it was signed into law in 2010. Five years after its enactment, the healthcare reform legislation still divides the American public.

Testimony of the Hon. Tevi D. Troy, Ph.D.

United States Congress
Wed, 2015-04-15
House Committee on the Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Hearing on “Five Years of Broken Promises: How the President’s Health Care Law is Affecting America’s Workplaces” Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, Members of the Committee, My name is Tevi Troy, and I am the President of the American Health Policy Institute, adjunct fellow at Hudson Institute, and a former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a former senior White House Domestic Policy Aide. The American Health Policy Institute is a 501(c)3 think tank dedicated to studying the issue of employer sponsored health insurance and highlighting the challenges employers face in offering care to their employees and their dependents.

Holtz-Eakin: If Individual Mandate Axed, 7 Million Fewer Insured But $191 Billion Saved

Inside Health Policy
Wed, 2015-04-15
Repealing the ACA's individual mandate would result in 7 million fewer insured Americans in 2025 but would reduce federal spending on financial assistance by $191 billion, American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who backs axing the mandate, told the House Ways and Means health subcommittee Tuesday.

Sarah Kliff: Obamacare has helped 14 million people get coverage. So why aren’t doctors' offices swamped?

Vox
Thu, 2015-04-02
About 14 million Americans have gained health coverage since Obamacare's insurance expansion began in 2014 — but those new enrollees haven't swamped the nation's doctors' offices, new research shows. When the health-care law started, there was concern that an influx of new patients could overwhelm doctors. It's already hard enough to get an appointment with a primary care provider — wouldn't millions of newly insured Americans just exacerbate the problem? New data from 16,000 providers across the country, pulled by the medical records firm AthenaHealth, shows that requests for new appointments just barely edged upward in 2014. The proportion of new patient visits to primary care doctors increased from 22.6 percent in 2013 to 22.9 percent in 2014.

Rachel Feintzeig: Health Overhaul Leads to Shorter Work Hours

The Wall Street Journal
Wed, 2015-03-25
The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama five years ago this week, sparked a host of changes. For some workers, the law’s legacy amounts to fewer hours of paid work. The law’s requirement that larger employers provide affordable insurance to workers putting in 30-plus hour weeks has led some companies to cap the number of hours employees can log. A new survey out Tuesday from the Society for Human Resource Management finds that 14% of employers have cut back on hours for part-time employees, and an additional 6% plan to do so. The survey, which included more than 740 human resources professionals, found that a small subset of companies were considering reducing hours for full-time employees too. Firms are playing around with how they classify and schedule workers, but the strategy comes with risk.

Joyce M. Rosenberg: Small businesses struggle with health care law

USA Today
Mon, 2015-03-23
Complying with the health care law is costing small businesses thousands of dollars that they didn't have to spend before the new regulations went into effect. Brad Mete estimates his staffing company, Affinity Resources, will spend $100,000 this year on record-keeping and filing documents with the government. He's hired two extra staffers and is spending more on services from its human resources provider. The Affordable Care Act, which as of next Jan. 1 applies to all companies with 50 or more workers, requires owners to track staffers' hours, absences and how much they spend on health insurance. Many small businesses don't have the human resources departments or computer systems that large companies have, making it harder to handle the paperwork.

Kathy Kristof: Insured Through ObamaCare? Prepare for a Tax Headache

CBS News
Thu, 2015-02-19
If you're among the roughly 20 million people affected by the Affordable Care Act -- either because you bought insurance through health exchanges or will be subject to penalties or exemptions for failing to get coverage -- filing a tax return just got a lot harder. Indeed, potentially millions of people who never before had to file tax returns will now need to file as the result of the health law. The ACA, better known as Obamacare, has put health insurance in reach for millions of Americans by setting up subsidies for those who otherwise couldn't afford to buy coverage. However, the subsidies that may appear to simply lower the cost of insurance premiums are actually "advance premium tax credits" that are paid directly to health insurers.

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report

Daily Mail
Tue, 2015-01-27
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best The law will still leave 'between 29 million and 31 million' nonelderly Americans without medical insurance Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025

H&R Block: ‘No One Can Understand’ New Obamacare Tax Code

The Daily Caller
Wed, 2015-01-21
Posted By Richard Pollock H&R Block, the nation’s largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014. “Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site.

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