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  • Audit finds 22 of 23 taxpayer-backed ObamaCare co-ops lost money in 2014

    07/30/2015 8:54:20 AM PDT · by george76 · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | July 30, 2015
    Under resident Barack Obama's overhaul, taxpayers provided $2.4 billion in loans to get the co-ops going, but only one out of 23 -- the one in Maine -- made money last year ... Another one, the Iowa/Nebraska co-op, was shut down by regulators over financial concerns. The audit by the Health and Human Services inspector general's office also found that 13 of the 23 lagged far behind their 2014 enrollment projections. The probe raised concerns about whether federal loans will be repaid, and ... Just last week, the Louisiana Health Cooperative announced it would cease offering coverage next year
  • More in Minnesota have health coverage but still can't afford to be sick

    07/27/2015 7:50:23 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 22 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | 7-26-15 | Glenn Howatt
    The number of Minnesotans struggling to pay their medical bills is rising sharply, despite an increase in the number of residents who have health insurance. In the past year, Minnesota’s main hospital and clinic groups filed nearly 9,000 lawsuits against people with large or long-standing medical debts — a sharp increase since 2005, according to a Star Tribune analysis of court records. Once a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States, medical debt was widely expected to decline as more Americans got health insurance following federal health reform. Instead, shifts in the insurance market are pushing more people...
  • State health insurance markets struggle with cost challenges

    07/27/2015 1:20:02 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul. 26, 2015 7:56 AM EDT | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
    State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states.Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million and enrolled 8,200 customers for individual coverage in 2015. Unable to sustain itself, the state marketplace is turning over sign-ups to the federal HealthCare.gov for 2016. Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Experts estimate...
  • Dr. Ben Carson would dump all of Obamacare but one piece

    07/27/2015 7:59:39 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 9 replies
    Hotair ^ | 07/27/2015 | Jazz Shaw
    Remember that neurosurgeon guy who said he wanted to run for President? If you work for one of the major cable news networks or the nation’s largest newspapers you probably don’t. I base this anecdotally on the fact that I was struggling this morning to recall the last time I saw an interview with him or coverage of a campaign event he held. It’s almost as if he’d already folded up his tent and gone home. That’s particularly strange in light of the fact that nationally he’s still tied with Huckabee for 5th, he’s a solid 4th in Iowa...
  • Mike Lee goes for nuclear option to repeal Obamacare

    07/24/2015 3:37:46 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 39 replies
    Washington Post ^ | July 24, 2015 | By Kelsey Snell
    Senate conservatives couldn’t stop a vote on the Export-Import bank. So they’re going to try to force a vote on Obamacare instead. Conservative firebrand Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced on Friday that he plans to use a complicated procedural maneuver known as the nuclear option to repeal the Affordable Care Act with just 51 votes. Democrats famously used the strategy in 2013 to break a Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominees to fill judicial openings. Now Lee wants to use the partisan procedure get rid of Obamacare. It’s unclear whether Lee’s gambit will work — but if it does, there...
  • St. Paul schools may adjust health plans to avoid 'Cadillac tax'

    07/24/2015 5:20:34 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 10 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 7-22-15 | Josh Verfes
    St. Paul Public Schools employees are likely to see their health benefits curtailed as the school district looks to avoid financial penalties set to begin in 2018. The Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac Tax" provision will charge employers an excise tax on high-cost plans -- 40 percent on every dollar over $10,200 on individual and $27,500 on family plans. Jeni Simon, a consultant with Aon Hewitt, told school board members Tuesday that companies already are redesigning their health plans in order to avoid paying the tax. A survey found 92 percent of U.S. employers expect their health plans to change by...
  • Anthem to acquire CIGNA, leaving only 3 big health insurance companies

    07/24/2015 7:50:29 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 30 replies
    CNN Money ^ | 07/24/2015 | Aaron Smith
    In another merger of health insurance giants, Anthem has agreed to acquire Cigna in a $54 billion deal. Anthem (ANTM), a Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer, said it would buy all of Cigna's (CI)shares in a cash and stock transaction. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016, if it passes state regulatory approvals and other requirements. The merged insurer would cover 53 million members. The merger would leave only three major players in the insurance industry. Earlier this month, Aetna (AET) struck a deal to buy Humana (HUM) for $37 billion, which would cover...
  • Medicare's Prognosis Is Far Worse Than Dr. Obama Says

    07/24/2015 5:28:55 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 07/23/2015 | Staff
    Entitlements: Medicare's latest annual report, issued days before its 50th anniversary, seems to show that, thanks to ObamaCare, it has a long and healthy future in front of it. But it's not true. Not by a long shot.
  • Senate GOP setting up ‘Obamacare’ vote on highway bill

    07/24/2015 7:02:13 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul. 24, 2015 9:55 AM EDT | Erica Werner
    Senate Republican leaders will use a must-pass highway bill to start another fight over the president’s health care law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to introduce an amendment to the transportation bill to fully repeal “Obamacare.” […] The Senate is rushing to complete the highway legislation before states face a cutoff of highway and transit aid one week from now. …
  • Health insurer Anthem to buy Cigna in $54.2 bln deal [Bernie Sanders approves]

    07/24/2015 3:52:55 AM PDT · by markomalley · 12 replies
    CNBC ^ | 6/24/15
    Anthem said on Friday it would buy Cigna in a deal valued at $54.2 billion, creating the largest U.S. health insurer. Cigna shareholders will get $103.40 per share in cash and 0.5152 Anthem shares. The deal comes three weeks after Aetna struck a deal to buy Humana for $37 billion and is part of an industry-wide consolidation of the health insurance industry following the roll-out of the Obama government's health-care reform law.
  • More Americans than expected forgo health insurance — and pay Obamacare penalties

    07/21/2015 12:13:35 PM PDT · by Nachum · 37 replies
    Market Watch ^ | 7/21/15 | Russ Britt
    As many as 7.5 million U.S. taxpayers reported that they owed a tax penalty for 2014 for not signing up for health insurance, the Internal Revenue Service said. That amounted to roughly $1.5 billion in penalties. That was at least 1.5 million more taxpayers than the Obama administration expected to see paying penalties under terms of the Affordable Care Act, according to reported forecasts, and as much as triple what some officials had forecast. The number, however, will come down, as the IRS says 300,000 should have claimed an exemption to the penalty. Further, penalties for those who failed to...
  • Democrats decry undercover probe of HealthCare.gov

    07/16/2015 10:56:55 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 16, 2015 1:54 PM EDT | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
    Senior Democrats pushed back Thursday against an undercover government probe of President Barack Obama’s health care law, saying it didn’t uncover any real fraud. Investigators for the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office signed up 11 bogus beneficiaries for 2014 coverage then got HealthCare.gov to continue benefits this year for all but one. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said these were “fictitious cases” and the GAO investigators themselves admit the findings can’t be translated to the 10 million people getting subsidized coverage through the law’s health insurance markets. Wyden spoke at a Finance Committee hearing on the investigation. But GAO’s audits chief Seto...
  • As health insurers merge, consumers' premiums are likely to rise

    07/10/2015 8:37:36 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 25 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | July 10, 2015 | by David Lazarus
    As leading health insurers scramble for market share through a series of multibillion-dollar mergers, consumers are no doubt wondering if their premiums are bound to skyrocket. Short answer: Probably. Ironically, Obamacare had anticipated the negative effects of runaway capitalism with a safeguard that critics branded as socialism — the so-called public option, a government-run insurance plan offered alongside private plans. Thanks to business and ideological interests triumphing over economic considerations, a public option fell by the wayside. Some experts say that, with fewer private insurers and rising rates, we're going to regret not having a public option as part of...
  • Obamacare has saved women more than $1 billion on birth control

    07/08/2015 4:35:25 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 26 replies
    Washington Post ^ | July 8, 2015 | By Danielle Paquette
    American women are spending much less money on birth control since the Affordable Care Act started requiring insurance plans to cover contraception, according to a new analysis. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined health insurance claims from one of the country’s largest private insurers in 2012 (pre-Obamacare) and 2013 (post-Obamacare). They found that spending on the pill, America’s most popular birth control method, quickly fell 38 percent -- from $33 to $20, on average. Spending on IUDs, meanwhile, plummeted 68 percent, from $262 to $84. The total savings, the health economists estimate: $1.4 billion.
  • For Many, Obamacare Is Becoming The Unaffordable Care Act

    07/05/2015 1:25:31 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 51 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 5, 2015 | By Richard Eisenberg
    Let me start by saying this is not a political screed against Obamacare; I’m thrilled that some 18 million Americans now have health insurance who didn’t before the law took effect, lowering the percentage of uninsured adults from 18% in 2013 to 11.9% today. But I’m growing concerned that for some people — especially older, middle- and lower-income adults — the Affordable Care Act is becoming The Unaffordable Care Act. A Growing Problem: The Underinsured Several recent studies suggest to me that due to a combination of Obamacare’s incentives to reduce premiums; the rise of so-called “consumer-driven” and high-deductible health...
  • CMS’ Secretive Settlement: $1.3 billion in improper hospital claims paid out

    07/02/2015 1:21:17 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 8 replies
    freebeacon.com ^ | July 2, 2015 2:00 pm | Joe Schoffstall
    The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services secretly paid out over a billion dollars in improper hospital claims earlier last month, despite auditors labeling them unnecessary previously. The payments, which were quietly announced on June 1 by CMS, totaled $1.3 billion and involved 1,900 hospitals and 300,000 claims that had been already denied by CMS auditors on two different levels as medically unnecessary. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals settled hundreds of thousands of appeals for 68 cents on the dollar. The money used to cover the claims will be taken from the...
  • Starting Wednesday, Obamacare will punish businesses who help employees with health care

    07/04/2015 9:18:19 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 21 replies
    Watchdog.org ^ | 7-4-15 | Eric Boehm
    Employers who reimburse their workers for health care costs will face massive tax penalties beginning Wednesday. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, with its mandate that all Americans purchase insurance and requirement for businesses to offer employees insurance plans, many small companies provided coverage by directly reimbursing medical costs or for the cost of private insurance plans. Businesses do it because that’s a less complicated process than dealing with an official health insurance plan, but continuing to do so after July 1 could cost them hundreds of dollars in fines each day. Business groups are calling attention...
  • Republicans look to deliver blow against ObamaCare tax

    07/04/2015 9:27:16 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 46 replies
    Fox News.com ^ | July 4,2015 | Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
    Despite the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding ObamaCare subsidies, opponents of the law remain poised to strike a key blow against another component of the health care overhaul in a matter of months. Republicans, with help from Democrats, have gained momentum in their long-running effort to repeal the law's controversial 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices. The House voted 280-140 to nix the tax, which went into effect in 2013, in June; the debate heads next to the Senate. While Republicans have tried dozens of times to unravel all or parts of the law through repeal legislation, this bill...
  • Aetna to acquire Humana for $37 billion [Obamacare Moves Closer to Full Blown Fascism]

    07/03/2015 4:40:45 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 50 replies
    WDRB-TV ^ | 7/3/15 | Dalton Main
    Aetna has reached a $37 billion deal to buy Humana. A news release from the two companies says Aetna will acquire all outstanding shares of Humana for a combination of cash and stock valued at approximately $230 per share. The deal was unanimously approved by the board of directors....
  • White House: Have you talked to your family about ObamaCare lately?

    07/02/2015 7:34:10 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 34 replies
    The Hill ^ | July 2, 2015 | Sarah Ferris
    The Obama administration wants you to bring a side of healthcare politics to your family picnic this weekend. After ObamaCare’s big win at the Supreme Court last week, federal health officials are serving up some tips about talking to family members who may be less-than-enthused that ObamaCare is here to stay. “You should be prepared when Aunt Janine says something like, ‘Obamacare hasn’t helped anyone!’” a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services wrote in a blog post on Thursday. For instance, if your Uncle Ted starts calling Obamacare a train wreck, you should calmly explain that he’s...
  • Here are 334 reasons why Democrats and unions that support Obamacare want exemptions for themselves

    07/01/2015 9:07:03 AM PDT · by grundle · 6 replies
    wordpress ^ | Last updated June 3, 2015 | Dan from Squirrel Hill
    Dan from Squirrel Hill's Blog Here are 334 reasons why Democrats and unions that support Obamacare want exemptions for themselves By Dan from Squirrel HillPosted on September 24, 2013. Updated on June 3, 2015.As the author of this blog post, I place it into the public domain. Anyone may freely copy it in any part or in its entirely, without asking my permission, and without paying any money. I do ask you please cite a link to https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/obamacare-59/I ask you to please show this list to as many people as possible. Sunshine really is the best disinfectant. I can’t stop Obama...
  • Leaked: What's in Obama's trade deal [TPP's intellectual property - Big Pharma]

    07/01/2015 6:08:52 AM PDT · by GIdget2004 · 25 replies
    Politico ^ | 07/01/2015 | Michael Grunwald
    A recent draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal would give U.S. pharmaceutical firms unprecedented protections against competition from cheaper generic drugs, possibly transcending the patent protections in U.S. law. POLITICO has obtained a draft copy of TPP’s intellectual property chapter as it stood on May 11, at the start of the latest negotiating round in Guam. While U.S. trade officials would not confirm the authenticity of the document, they downplayed its importance, emphasizing that the terms of the deal are likely to change significantly as the talks enter their final stages. Those terms are still secret, but the public...
  • CNN: Obama's approval rating grows following memorable week

    06/30/2015 1:03:25 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 31 replies
    CNN ^ | 06/30/2015 | By Jennifer Agiesta, CNN Polling Director
    <p>Could Barack Obama's great week mark a turning point in his poll numbers?</p> <p>After months of stagnant approval ratings, a new CNN/ORC poll finds that for the first time in more than two years, 50% of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the presidency. And his overall ratings are bolstered by increasingly positive reviews of his treatment of race relations and the economy.</p>
  • Ryan: Obamacare Will ‘Collapse Under Its Own Weight’

    06/28/2015 3:34:52 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 105 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | June 28, 2015 | Leah Barkoukis
    “Today, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law, after a presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law, after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is here to say,” President Obama said on Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld the state subsidies provision in the Affordable Care Act. In other words, time for Republicans to give up the fight against the health law. But appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan seemed unfazed. Ryan said the current law is not fixable, and,...
  • Obama says health law now "woven into fabric of America" ("This is reality, .. it is working")

    06/25/2015 10:25:30 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 46 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 6/25/15 | Nancy Benac - AP
    WASHINGTON (AP) — His health care legacy secure, President Barack Obama cast Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare as a historic and emphatic declaration that the law has now been "woven into the fabric of America." "This is reality," Obama said in a celebratory statement in the Rose Garden. "We can see how it is working."
  • BREAKING: Healthcare subsidies upheld by SCOTUS

    06/25/2015 7:09:40 AM PDT · by GIdget2004 · 614 replies
    SCOTUS Blog ^ | 06/25/2015 | SCOUTSBLOG
    Six are the Chief, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.
  • SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS NATIONWIDE HEALTH CARE LAW SUBSIDIES (Scalia: Obamacare is now SCOTUScare)

    06/25/2015 8:00:06 AM PDT · by Kazan · 109 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 6/25/2015 | Mark Sherman
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.< The outcome is the second major victory for Obama in politically charged Supreme Court tests of his most significant domestic achievement. It came the same day the court gave the administration an unexpected victory by preserving...
  • Supreme Court upholds nationwide health care law subsidies

    06/25/2015 7:59:51 AM PDT · by Dr. Thorne · 91 replies
    AP ^ | 6/25/2015 | Mark Sherman
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.
  • Obamacare Ruling May Have Just Killed State-Based Exchanges

    06/25/2015 8:28:26 AM PDT · by Theoria · 49 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 25 June 2015 | Margot Sanger-Katz
    Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that health insurance consumers can receive federal subsidies regardless of their state’s role in running their insurance market, fewer states may stay in the game.When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, most people expected that each state would want to run its own health insurance marketplace. That never really happened, as many states opted to let the federal system, HealthCare.gov, do the work for them. Many of those states that did try running their own marketplaces are starting to think twice.Now, with the Supreme Court ensuring that every state’s consumers will have...
  • Obamacare Guidelines: Insurance Must Cover ‘Mammogram or Pap Smear for a Transgender Man’

    06/24/2015 10:18:05 AM PDT · by jazusamo · 55 replies
    CNSNews ^ | June 24, 2015 | Brittany M. Hughes
    (CNSNews.com) – The Department of Health and Human Services’ most recent guidelines explaining the “preventive services” mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—or Obamacare—says health insurance plans must provide co-pay-free pap smears and mammograms to “transgender men.” As defined by the federal Office of Personnel Management: “a person assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male is a transgender man.” The guidelines, written as a FAQ sheet, state: Q5: Can plans or issuers limit sex-specific recommended preventive services based on an individual's sex assigned at birth, gender identity or recorded gender? No. Whether a sex-specific...
  • Oregon dumps cold water on low Obamacare rates

    06/22/2015 4:15:14 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    CNBC ^ | June 22, 2015 | by Dan Mangan
    They wanted their Obamacare prices to be low—but the state said "no." The state of Oregon reportedly has ordered a number of insurers to raise proposed Obamacare premiums for 2016 after some of those companies asked for rates that were only moderately higher, if not lower than this year. Now, many Obamacare customers there are looking at likely double-digit percentage rate increases after having experienced some of "the lowest premiums in the nation," the Oregonian noted. For example, Oregon's Health CO-OP asked for a 5.3-percent average rate increase for next year, but the state's preliminary decision calls for a 19.9...
  • How Donald Trump helped Democrats pass Obamacare

    06/22/2015 10:44:35 PM PDT · by South40 · 56 replies
    WaPo ^ | 22 JUN 2015 | Marc A. Thiessen
    In the announcement speech for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against Obamacare. “We have a disaster called the big lie: Obamacare,” Trump declared. “I would repeal and replace the big lie, Obamacare.” Well, that sounds like something a Republican candidate would say. But there is one problem: Trump helped finance the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006 — which put in place the liberal majority that passed Obamacare over the objections of congressional Republicans. And he continued to support a Democratic Senate majority after Obamacare. Democratic House and Senate campaign committees. In 2006 — the year Democrats took back...
  • 'The Gift That Keeps On Giving': George Will Takes On Gruber After New Email Revelations

    06/22/2015 5:24:58 PM PDT · by Nachum · 9 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 6/21/15 | Al Weaver
    Columnist George Will called MIT professor Jonathan Gruber “the gift that keeps on giving” to Obamacare opponents Monday after new emails show that the White House downplayed his role in crafting the law. Appearing on “Special Report,” Will tied Gruber to the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare subsidies, saying we’ll read the opinion “in light” of Gruber’s comments. The syndicated columnist made the comments after the House Oversight Committee released 20,000 pages of emails between Gruber and Obama administration officials. GEORGE WILL: Well, Mr. Gruber is, for opponents of the Affordable Care Act, the gift that keeps on giving....
  • However the Supreme Court Rules, ObamaCare Is In Deep Financial Trouble

    06/22/2015 6:26:04 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer · 19 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 06/22/2015 | John Merline
    Anyone who thinks ObamaCare will cut the deficit over the next decade should look at Page 11 of the latest Congressional Budget Office report. The table on that page shows how the trillions in ObamaCare subsidies are supposed to be "paid for" — by tax hikes or spending cuts. What it reveals, however, is that ObamaCare increasingly relies on dubious Medicare spending cuts to cover its growing subsidy costs.
  • New Emails Again Confirm Jonathan Gruber Wasn't "Just Some Advisor" on Obamacare

    06/22/2015 6:20:25 AM PDT · by Servant of the Cross · 10 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | 6/22/2015 | Katie Pavlich
    When citizen journalist Rich Weinstein exposed Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber in late 2014 for defrauding the country and calling the American voter "stupid," the White House denied he played a major role in writing the legislation and argued he was just "some advisor."video at link ... But new emails, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, reconfirm what we already knew. Gruber played an integral, major role in developing Obamacare. The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable...
  • Report: Gruber had larger role in ObamaCare

    06/21/2015 2:36:41 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 14 replies
    The Hill ^ | June 21, 2015 | By Mark Hensch
    The ObamaCare consultant who once mocked the “stupidity of the American voter” had a bigger impact on the healthcare law than previously known, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. Jonathan Gruber frequently contacted Obama administration officials via email while crafting ObamaCare, according to the newspaper. The Journal said that previously unreleased messages show that Gruber repeatedly messaged the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) between January, 2009 and March, 2010. He offered advice on healthcare policy and informed officials about media and lawmaker interviews concerning ObamaCare, it added. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told the newspaper...
  • [CBO] Study says repealing ‘Obamacare’ would add to budget deficit

    06/20/2015 7:55:54 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 20, 2015 3:19 AM EDT | Andrew Taylor and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
    A nonpartisan government study says repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law would modestly increase the budget deficit and the number of uninsured Americans would rise by more than 20 million. The report from the Congressional Budget Office comes ahead of a highly anticipated Supreme Court ruling that could have a major impact on the Affordable Care Act, nullifying health insurance subsidies for some 6 million people in more than 30 states. The budget analysts said that would add a host of new uncertainties to their estimates. Republicans now in control of both chambers of Congress say they are...
  • ObamaCare Can't Account for Almost $3 Billion In Subsidy Payments

    06/18/2015 2:59:51 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer · 18 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 06/17/2015 | Staff
    Fiscal Responsibility: Now we learn that the Obama administration doesn't know whether billions in subsidies it paid out to insurers were appropriate. Yeah, this law is working just great.
  • Big Changes Coming for Medicare, Social Security

    06/17/2015 10:38:47 AM PDT · by BradtotheBone · 44 replies
    Kiplinger ^ | June 16, 2015 | Martha Lynn Craver,
    Republicans will risk political pushback to put entitlement programs on the agenda during the presidential election. Some changes are in the wind for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—entitlement programs that account for 45% of the federal government’s payouts. Many of the changes are still years away. But some of them will start next year, smack in the middle of the presidential election campaign, forcing candidates to address issues that they and their advisers generally try to steer clear of when they’re running. Kicking off the rare election-year debate: a move to rescue the Social Security disability fund image: http://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png before...
  • Feds Can’t Verify $2.8 Billion in Obamacare Subsidies

    06/16/2015 3:07:29 PM PDT · by Signalman · 24 replies
    freebeacon.com ^ | 6/16/2015 | Elizabeth Harrington
    The federal government cannot verify nearly $3 billion in subsidies distributed through Obamacare, putting significant taxpayer funding “at risk,” according to a new audit report. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit Tuesday finding that the agency did not have an internal system to ensure that subsidies went to the right enrollees, or in the correct amounts. “[The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] CMS’s internal controls did not effectively ensure the accuracy of nearly $2.8 billion in aggregate financial assistance payments made to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act...
  • City employees shocked by new insurance deductibles

    06/15/2015 10:58:16 AM PDT · by FatherofFive · 58 replies
    Fox23.com ^ | June 11, 2015 | News Story
    The City of Bixby changed insurance deductibles for their employees. One of the changes means that a family now has a $7,000 deductible instead of a $500 one. There is a gap plan available on limited basis. Employees said that no one asked them about the change or if they would prefer to pay higher premiums instead.
  • Study on ER returns suggests more need for follow-up care (thanks Zerocare)

    06/15/2015 1:08:34 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 15, 2015 3:21 AM EDT | Lauran Neergaard
    No one wants to make a repeat visit to the emergency room for the same complaint, but new research suggests it’s more common than previously thought and surprisingly, people frequently wind up at a different ER the second time around. Already some ERs are taking steps to find out why and try to prevent unnecessary returns. A Philadelphia hospital, for example, is beginning to test video calls and other steps to link discharged patients to primary care. The new research, based on records in six states, suggests patients should be pushy about getting follow-up care so they don’t have to...
  • Some Insured Patients Still Skip Care Because Of High Costs

    06/11/2015 6:46:43 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | June 10, 2015 | By Jim Burress
    A key goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help people get health insurance who may have not been able to pay for it before. But the most popular plans – those with low monthly premiums – also have high deductibles and copays. And that can leave medical care still out of reach for some. Renee Mitchell of Stone Mountain, Georgia is one of those people. She previously put off a medical procedure because of the expense. But as the threat of losing part of her vision became a real possibility, she sought an eye specialist at Emory University,...
  • Obama plans major Obamacare speech

    06/09/2015 6:30:13 AM PDT · by PROCON · 33 replies
    washingtonexaminer ^ | June 9, 2015 | Paige Winfield Cunningham
    President Obama will tout his healthcare law Tuesday to a Catholic group that has consistently supported the law despite deep divides over its birth control requirement. In a speech to the Catholic Health Association — which represents hundreds of hospitals and nursing homes across the U.S. — the president will talk about the law's major tenets and make his case that it has improved health plans for virtually everyone, in addition to expanding coverage to millions. The address comes just days before the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling that could halt the healthcare law's insurance subsidies to...
  • Emails Reveal Jonathan Gruber’s Obamacare Work Was Of ‘Key Political Importance’

    06/09/2015 1:31:10 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 15 replies
    The DC - The Daily Caller ^ | June 9, 2015 | Chuck Ross
    A top Obama administration health official considered putting MIT economist Jonathan Gruber to work on Obamacare to be an initiative of such “key political importance” that it was expedited because of “political push” from the Obama administration, emails released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reveal. The agency released 750 pages of heavily-redacted records on Monday to The Daily Caller and other news outlets in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. In one telling exchange after Gruber’s Obamacare work was first reported in 2010, one HHS analyst told another that having Democrats in charge “across...
  • Consumers In Grandfathered Plans Can Face Higher Costs For Preventive Benefits

    06/09/2015 9:50:50 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | June 9, 2015 | By Michelle Andrews
    Judy Naillon called her insurer several months ago to find out why she was being charged $35 every month for birth control pills. Her friends said they were getting their pills for free under the federal health law. Why wasn’t she getting the same deal? “I’m just really frustrated,” says the Wichita, Kan., piano and violin teacher. When her husband took a new marketing job last fall, “I thought that surely all these insurers must now be covering these benefits.” Naillon, 33, would have to continue to pay a share of the cost of her pills, and the plan wouldn’t...
  • Obama Mocks ‘Unending Chicken Little Warnings’ That Obamacare ‘Would End Freedom’

    06/09/2015 6:27:04 PM PDT · by Nachum · 41 replies
    PJ Media ^ | 6/9/14 | Bridget Johnson
    President Obama defended his signature healthcare law before the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling on Obamacare subsidies, telling the conference of the Catholic Health Association in Washington today that “Chicken Little warnings” haven’t come true. (Snip) “We need more governors and state legislatures to expand Medicaid, which was a central part of the architecture of the overall plan,” Obama said today. “We need more governors and state legislatures to expand Medicaid, which was a central part of the architecture of the overall plan.” “There’s something, I have to say, just deeply cynical about the ceaseless,
  • Obama Boasts: Obamacare "Woven Into the Fabric Of America"

    06/09/2015 10:45:28 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 44 replies
    Breitbart.com ^ | June 9,2015 | Charles Spiering
    President Obama delivered a sharply critical speech today at the Catholic Health Association Conference, blasting his critics for ignoring what he calls the “reality” that Obamacare is here to stay. “The critics stubbornly ignore reality,” he said, boasting that since Obamacare was passed, jobs actually increased and opened up health care to millions.
  • Obama:Obamacare "Restored The Basic Promise Of America"

    06/09/2015 10:34:32 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 34 replies
    Breitbart.com ^ | June 9,2015 | Pam Key
    Tuesday in Washington D.C. at the the Catholic Health Association’s annual assembly, President Barack Obama defended his Affordable Care Act saying it was a “critical part” of his administration’s attempt to “restore the basic promise of America.”
  • Obama: ‘You Interpret a Statute Based On…Intent’

    06/09/2015 4:07:48 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 58 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | June 9, 2015 | 7:31 AM EDT | Susan Jones
    The intent of Obamacare is clear, and the law “doesn’t need fixing”, President Obama told a news conference in Germany on Monday. “There is no reason why the existing exchanges should be overturned through a court case,” he insisted, just days before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on a case that could eliminate subsidies for people who got their insurance through the federal exchange. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, said laws should be interpreted based on their “intent”: “And under well-established statutory interpretation approaches that have been repeatedly employed, not just by liberal Democratic judges, but by...