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  • Local Obamacare rates poised to spike

    06/16/2016 1:25:58 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Dayton Daily News ^ | June 16, 2016 | by Randy Tucker
    Dayton-based Premier Health is seeking an average 40 percent premium increase next year for the health plans its sells on Ohio's federally-run health insurance marketplace, while the area's largest marketplace insurer, CareSource, has proposed an average rate hike of about 14 percent, based on the latest rate filings with the Ohio Department of Insurance. Of the more than 266,000 Ohioans who signed up for marketplace plans by the end of open enrollment for 2016, about 88 percent, or nearly 235,000 consumers, were eligible to receive premium tax credits, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • HHS Announces Plans To Curtail Consumers' Use Of Short-Term Insurance Policies

    06/08/2016 11:07:40 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 6 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | June 8, 2016 | By Jordan Rau
    The Obama administration on Wednesday moved to sharply limit short-term health insurance plans, which a growing number of consumers have been buying even though they offer less coverage than what the Affordable Care Act decreed, all people should have. The plans, designed for people in between jobs or in need of temporary insurance until they secure a regular policy, are cheaper than regular insurance plans. But they also can lack features that the health law requires for other policies, such as coverage for preexisting medical conditions, maternity care and prescription drugs. In addition, insurers are allowed to refuse to sell...
  • Senate GOP drops push to 'defund Obamacare'

    06/07/2016 8:46:21 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 54 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 7, 2016 10:40 AM EDT | Andrew Taylor
    Republicans controlling the Senate are abandoning an effort to use their power over the federal purse strings to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The more pragmatic approach with a huge $164 billion spending measure reflects a hope by top Republicans like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to remove veto bait from must-pass spending bills in hopes of advancing them more easily. …
  • Report: Oklahoma Had Highest Price Increases On Federal Insurance Marketplace Last Year

    06/01/2016 10:58:47 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 2 replies
    KGOU ^ | June 1, 2016 | By Adam Brooks
    Oklahoma leads the nation in price increases on the federal health insurance exchange, according to a national analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Prices for silver health plans on the federal exchange rose 42 percent from 2015 to 2016. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only company that has been on the exchange for Oklahoma for several years. The marketplace is run by the federal government since Gov. Mary Fallin opted not to establish a state-run exchange when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare, went into effect. Three others were on for a...
  • New York Health Insurers on Obamacare Exchange Seeking Massive Rate Hikes

    05/23/2016 7:19:40 AM PDT · by rustyweiss74 · 16 replies
    The Mental Recession ^ | 05/23/2016 | Rusty Weiss
    Insurers on the New York health exchange are requesting rate hikes averaging in excess of 17%, with UnitedHealthcare going as high as a whopping 45.6%. UnitedHealthcare has already announced that they would exit most of the Affordable Care Act state exchanges in which they operate in 2017, New York being one of the few exceptions. The biggest health insurer in the country announced that it lost $475 million on the ACA exchanges last year and could lose another $500 million this year. They explained that states in which they would continue to serve – like New York – would be...
  • Sorry, we don't take Obamacare

    05/18/2016 4:26:44 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | May 17, 2016 | By Elisabeth Rosenthal - The New York Times
    Amy Moses and her circle of self-employed small-business owners were supporters of President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act. They bought policies on the newly created NY state exchange. But when they called doctors and hospitals in Manhattan to schedule appointments, they were dismayed to be turned away again and again with a common refrain: "We don't take Obamacare," the umbrella epithet for the hundreds of plans offered through the president's signature health legislation. Though their insurance cards look the same as everyone else's the plans are often very different from those provided to most Americans by their employers....
  • Maryland: 83 Percent of Obamacare Enrollments Are Medicaid

    05/17/2016 2:54:46 PM PDT · by MarvinStinson · 13 replies
    The Weekly Standard By Jeryl Bier 10:49 AM, May 16, 2016 ^ | The Weekly Standard By Jeryl Bier 10:49 AM, May 16, 2016 | The Weekly Standard By Jeryl Bier 10:49 AM, May 16, 2016
    The Maryland Health Connection is the state's Obamacare Marketplace. Monday, an agency press release noted that Maryland "has cut by 40 percent the number of Marylanders who were eligible for private insurance coverage when the state marketplace began three years ago." However, the breakdown of that statistic reveals that only 165,000 out of more than one million sign-ups are non-Medicaid enrollments. When the exchange opened three years ago, an estimated 405,000 people were eligible for private coverage. Three years later, that number has fallen to 240,000. But the press release notes that including Medicaid over one million have been enrolled...
  • Most Americans want the government to pay for health care, poll says

    05/17/2016 12:21:48 PM PDT · by rightwingintelligentsia · 62 replies
    Newsy, via WPXI ^ | May 17, 2016 | Grant Suneson
    A new Gallup Poll shows most Americans want the government to take on a bigger role in health care. More than 1,500 people from across the country were surveyed, and 58 percent favor replacing the provisions set up by the Affordable Care Act with a federally funded health care program. The ACA, or Obamacare, lets Americans buy insurance through the federal government, but the survey shows most citizens want the government to just pay for everything, or at least that’s what they’re saying now. In recent years, Americans have waffled on whether the government should pay their medical bills. Polls...
  • The Obamacare Health Exchange in Tennessee Is Sickening

    05/12/2016 5:57:44 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    The Knoxville Mercury ^ | May 11, 2016 | by Joe Sullivan
    After raising its premiums for coverage on the Obamacare exchange by 36.3 percent for 2016, the state's dominant health insurer is heralding another increase of the "same order of magnitude" for 2017. BlueCross BlueShield claims it lost more than $150 million in 2015 when its rates were among the lowest in the land. But the 36.3 percent increase for 2016, the largest of any state, brings Tennessee rates to just about the national average. So how on Earth can costs be going up so exponentially to justify such a rate increase on the part of a nonprofit insurance company whose...
  • Humana Seeks 50% ObamaCare Premium Hike In Michigan

    05/11/2016 2:28:13 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    Investors Business Daily ^ | May 11, 2016 | by JED GRAHAM
    Humana wasn't kidding when it hinted last week of big premium hikes for 2017 in those ObamaCare markets where it remains. This year, the nation's fifth-largest insurer offers the cheapest bronze and silver plans in Michigan's largest market, including Detroit. But Humana has filed for a 50% premium hike for its low-cost silver plan. Meanwhile, Humana wants a 38% premium increase for its lowest-cost bronze plan. So far only Oregon, where insurers are requesting an average 27% premium hike, and Virginia, where insurers want an 18% hike, are the only two states to make all rate filings available.
  • Rose, Obama Speechwriters Laugh About the President’s ‘You Can Keep Your Plan’ Lie

    05/10/2016 12:12:40 PM PDT · by Nachum · 30 replies
    Free Beacon ^ | 5/10/16 | David Rutz
    Charlie Rose and three of Barack Obama’s former speechwriters had a good laugh Monday night while joking about the president’s infamous, oft-repeated false promise that under Obamacare, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Obama said dozens of times in the run-up to the Affordable Care Act’s signing and enactment that no Americans who liked the insurance plan they had would lose it under the Affordable Care Act. In reality, millions of policies were canceled because of the law’s regulations, and Obama was forced to apologize to the American people. The infamous remark...
  • Get Ready for Higher Obamacare Rates Next Year

    05/06/2016 5:58:14 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 11 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 6, 2016 | Margot Sanger-Katz
    It already looks clear that many Obamacare insurance plans are going to raise their prices significantly. Over the last few years, average premium increases in the Obamacare markets have been lower than the increases for people who bought their own insurance in premiums before the Affordable Care Act. But several trends are coming together that suggest that pattern will break when plan premiums are announced in early November. Many plans may increase prices by 10 percent, or more. Over the last two years, I’ve written articles warning against scary headlines that exaggerate premium increases. Next year, those scary headlines are...
  • California Lawmakers Want to Give Illegal Immigrants Obamacare

    05/05/2016 1:36:04 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | May 5, 2016 | by Aaron Kliegman
    State lawmakers in California are circulating legislation that would open the door for illegal immigrants to buy health insurance from Covered California, the state's Obamacare exchange. State Sen. Ricardo Lara introduced the bill to pave the way for illegal immigrants to purchase health plans from Covered California. Many people believe this move to not grant money makes the legislation mainly symbolic because most illegal immigrants would not practically be able to pay for health premiums on their own, according to Kaiser Health. Covered California staff personnel presented an analysis of the proposed legislation to the organization's board last month and...
  • Insurers planning big Obamacare price hikes next year

    05/05/2016 1:05:49 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 24 replies
    CBS News ^ | May 5, 2016 | By/ Aimee Picchi
    It's still early days for the Affordable Care Act. But it may be dismaying to some consumers to learn that it appears 2017 may bring another year of big rate hikes. The first two states to release insurers' premium proposals for next year suggest that individual insurance premiums could rise by as much as one-third. In Oregon, the steepest requested rate hike is 32.3 percent. In Virginia, five of the biggest insurers are asking for increases of 9.4 percent to 37.1 percent for individual policies. The proposed rate hikes follow an average increase of 8 percent for 2016, and are...
  • Pregnant Women Dumped By Covered California Into Medi-Cal, Without Notice Or Consent

    05/03/2016 9:33:23 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | May 3, 2016 | By Emily Bazar
    Lynn Kersey has some advice for pregnant women who bought health insurance policies from Covered California and want to keep them: Don't report your pregnancy to the agency. Why? Two of Kersey's clients with Covered California health plans recently were thrown into Medi-Cal - the state's health program for low-income residents - without their consent or prior notice after they reported their pregnancies to the state's health insurance exchange. The two women are among about 1,900 across the state who were automatically transferred from the exchange to Medi-Cal since October, even though they were supposed to have the option to...
  • Are Democrats Bailing On ObamaCare, Too?

    05/03/2016 4:29:29 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer · 17 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 05/03/2016 | Staff
    Health Care: “I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.” That was President Obama in a speech before Congress back in Sept. 2009, pitching the health reform plan he’d sign six months later. It doesn’t look like he’s going to get his wish.
  • Feds Expand Medicaid to Cover 96,000 'Justice-Involved' Individuals in Obamacare States

    05/02/2016 2:11:21 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    CNSNews ^ | May 2, 2016 | By Penny Starr
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Thursday that it is expanding Medicaid coverage to give "access to health care" to 96,000 people who face a prison sentence or have been incarcerated - or "justice-involved" individuals - as part of the federally designated National Re-Entry Week. "Today, HHS strengthened access to health care for individuals transitioning from incarceration back to their communities," the press release stated. "New Medicaid guidance released today updates decades-old policy and clarifies that individuals who are currently on probation, parole or in home confinement are not considered inmates of a public institution." "It...
  • Millions of Poor Still Could Have Gotten Coverage Without Obamacare [Gruber is back]

    05/02/2016 1:27:38 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 18 replies
    U.S. News & World Report ^ | May 2, 2016 | By Kimberly Leonard
    Millions of poor Americans have signed up for no-cost health insurance that they could have gotten even without the passage of Obamacare. In recent years, the publicity of Obamacare has driven them to sign up in droves, so much so that economists and health policy wonks have dubbed the phenomenon the "woodwork effect," or the "welcome mat" population. This group turned out to be larger than anyone anticipated. A working paper released Monday finds that 43 percent of those who gained insurance in 2014 came out of the woodwork. According to MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the authors...
  • Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law

    04/28/2016 4:33:12 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 27 replies
    ABC News ^ | April 28, 2016 | By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
    Expect insurers to seek significant premium increases under President Barack Obama's health care law, in a wave of state-level requests rippling across the country ahead of the political conventions this summer. Insurers say the law's coverage has been a financial drain for many of them, and they're setting the stage for 2017 hikes that in some cases could reach well into the double digits. For example in Virginia, nine insurers returning to the HealthCare.gov marketplace are seeking average premium increases that range from 9.4 percent to 37.1 percent. The health law's nagging problems seem to center on lower-than-hoped-for enrollment, sicker-than-expected...
  • Trump's Schizophrenia on Taxes and Obamacare

    04/24/2016 6:14:25 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 47 replies
    The Weekly Standard ^ | April 23, 2016 | By Jeffrey H. Anderson
    Donald Trump was asked this week, "Do you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy?" He replied, "I do. I do - including myself. I do." Yet Trump's own tax plan would cut the highest marginal federal income-tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. How does this tax plan square with Trump's newly professed support for "raising taxes on the wealthy"? This is similar to Trump's rampant inconsistency on Obamacare. Trump says he's for repealing Obamacare, but he's not for cutting Medicaid which, thanks to the efforts of those like John Kasich, accounts for most of Obamacare's coverage increases....
  • Statewide view: Obamacare anything but affordable for millennials

    04/03/2016 7:52:23 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    Duluth News Tribune ^ | April 2, 2016 | By Lindsey Stroud
    How affordable is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare? One just needs to look at the state of Minnesota. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota increased its individual health insurance premiums by an average of 49 percent in 2016. In Minnesota, many younger people may now have to pay for a portion of the health care assistance a dead parent received in the past. When Minnesota agreed to expand its Medicaid program, required asset tests were eliminated. Prior to that change, assets such as real estate were accounted for when determining eligibility. Now assets are not used...
  • Failed ObamaCare co-ops have not repaid $1.2B in federal loans, docs say

    03/10/2016 12:30:44 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 6 replies
    FOX News ^ | March 10, 2016 | By Rich Edson
    The dozen failed ObamaCare cooperatives have not repaid any of the $1.2 billion in federal loans they received and still owe more than $1 billion in additional liabilities, according to recent financial statements cited Thursday at a congressional hearing. "We shouldn't hold our breath on repayment," Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said in his opening statement at the hearing. "In some states, these losses will be absorbed by other insurance companies - which means, by the policyholders of other insurance companies who have to pay increased … premiums," he said. "In other states,...
  • HealthNet says quarterly membership in Obamacare plans declined

    02/25/2016 11:17:40 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    Reuters ^ | february 25, 2016 | by Amrutha Penumudi
    Insurer Health Net Inc said it lost members in its individual business that sells plans under Obamacare, echoing thoughts of larger rivals in the sector. Many insurers have been losing money on the plans, in part because total enrollment has been sharply lower than initially anticipated and due to higher-than-expected patient costs. In November, UnitedHealth Group Inc said it may completely exit the Obamacare business. Humana Inc said in January that it had set aside 74 cents per share in the fourth quarter to cover anticipated shortfalls in its 2016 individual health plan business, while Anthem Inc said the plans...
  • Minuteman draws $100M from feds to deal with Obamacare; alternative to bankruptcy or being 'lucky'

    02/25/2016 11:05:46 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    Boston Business Journal ^ | February 25, 2016 | by Jessica Bartlett
    Minuteman Health has drawn down $100 million in federal loans in anticipation of continued losses from the Affordable Care Act. The Massachusetts co-op insurer, which also operates in New Hampshire, will report the draw down and a second-consecutive year of operating losses as part of its fiscal 2015 financials. Minuteman officials said the borrowings are needed to offset certain components of Obamacare, which financially punish insurers for doing the very things the federal law was intended to address: to provide affordable health insurance to previously uncovered segments of the population. What ObamaCare's architects didn't anticipate, and what local insurers are...
  • Doctors protest Highmark payment cuts spurred by Obamacare losses

    02/25/2016 10:53:21 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    PennLive.com ^ | February 25, 2016 | By David Wenner
    Pennsylvania doctors say they will be forced to pay the price for what they deem poor business decisions that caused health insurer Highmark to lose hundreds of millions on customers covered as a result of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Highmark recently notified doctors it will cut their payments by 4.5 percent for medical care provided to people covered by Obamacare plans. Highmark's 2015 loss on Obamacare plans, which still isn't finalized, is expected to reach about $500 million. Highmark attributes the Obamacare losses to new customers who may not have previously had insurance, and who turned out to...
  • HHS failed to heed many warnings that HealthCare.gov was in trouble

    02/23/2016 8:40:04 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 16 replies
    Washington Post ^ | February 23, 2016 | by Amy Goldstein
    During the two years before the disastrous opening of HealthCare.gov, federal officials in charge of creating the online insurance marketplace received 18 written warnings that the mammoth project was mismanaged and off course but never considered postponing its launch, according to government investigators. The warnings included a series of 11 scathing reviews from an outside consultant - among them a top-10 list of risks drawn up in the spring of 2013 that cited inadequate planning for the website's capacity and deviations from usual IT standards. A few months before, then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had hired another consultant...
  • Covered California Takes Aim At System Gamers

    02/19/2016 10:18:18 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    California Healthline ^ | February 19, 2016 | By Emily Bazar
    Covered California, the state health insurance exchange, wants to tighten the rules for special-enrollment periods by making consumers provide documentation proving they’re eligible. The change, proposed by Covered California’s staff, comes amid concerns that some people are waiting until they get sick to sign up for health insurance during a special-enrollment period, driving up costs. John Bertko, Covered California’s chief actuary, said there are "credible indications" that people who sign up during special enrollment have higher health costs than those who sign up during open enrollment. He believes the difference can be attributed partly to people who are gaming the...
  • Cancer and ObamaCare: a Double Whammy

    02/18/2016 8:32:32 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 24 replies
    The New American ^ | February 18, 2016 | by Michael Tennant
    Being diagnosed with cancer is scary enough. Having cancer and ObamaCare can be a nightmare. According to the Associated Press, "Hundreds of thousands of people lose subsidies under the health law, or even their policies, when they get tangled in a web of paperwork problems involving income, citizenship and taxes. Some are dealing with serious illnesses like cancer." The American Action Forum estimates that the regulations issued under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) "will cost businesses and individuals more than $45 billion and will require approximately 165 million hours of paperwork in order to comply." Now imagine you're a cancer...
  • David Vitter - Time to End Obamacare Exemption

    02/15/2016 8:26:54 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 22 replies
    Bossier Press-Tribune ^ | February 15, 2016 | by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
    When chefs are forced to eat their own cooking, the food always gets a whole lot better. It's common sense to apply the same logic to Congress. Congress should abide by the laws that it passes, just the same as any other American. Unfortunately, when it comes to the disastrous and expensive Obamacare, that's not the case. This week I've continued my years-long push to end Washington's Obamacare exemption. Members of Congress conveniently exempted themselves and their staff from its most onerous provisions, while enabling the President, Vice President, and political appointees who helped craft the law to continue receiving...
  • Farm Contractors Balk At Obamacare Requirements

    02/09/2016 5:53:46 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 18 replies
    NPR ^ | February 9, 2016 | by April Dembosky
    Obamacare is putting the agricultural industry in a tizzy. Contractors who provide farm labor must now offer workers health insurance are complaining loudly about the cost in their already low-margin business. Last year, employers with 100 or more full-time employees had to offer health insurance to their workers or pay a stiff penalty. This year, employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees must comply. The cost isn't the only thing about Obamacare stressing people out in the ag industry. Some are worried about immigration problems. Employers have to file new health care forms with the IRS for all their workers,...
  • Licking Wounds, Insurers Accelerate Moves To Limit Health-Law Enrollment

    02/04/2016 2:30:57 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | February 4, 2016 | By Jay Hancock
    Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment. In recent days Anthem, Aetna and Cigna, all among the top five health insurers, told brokers they will stop paying them sales commissions to sign up most customers who qualify for new coverage outside the normal enrollment period, according to the companies and broker documents. Last year, these "special enrollment" clients were much more expensive than expected because lax enforcement allowed...
  • Donald Trump: 'Ted Cruz gave us Obamacare'

    02/04/2016 7:35:00 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 146 replies
    CNN ^ | February 4, 2016 | By Jeremy Diamond
    Donald Trump on Wednesday leveled a bold accusation at one of his chief rivals for the Republican nomination: "Ted Cruz gave us Obamacare." "He's the one that got Justice Roberts onto the United States Supreme Court," Trump added. While Cruz vocally supported Roberts' nomination at the time, he was not yet a U.S. senator and therefore could not vote to confirm Roberts to the Supreme Court.
  • California Exchange Chief Rips UnitedHealth For Obamacare Excuses

    02/03/2016 2:23:43 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    NPR ^ | February 3, 2016 | by Chad Terhune
    Amid growing questions over the future of Obamacare exchanges, the head of California's marketplace said the nation's largest private health insurer should take responsibility for nearly $1 billion in losses and stop blaming the federal health law. In a blistering critique, Covered California's executive director, Peter Lee, said UnitedHealth Group Inc. made a series of blunders on rates and networks that led to a $475 million loss in 2015 on individual policies across the country. The company estimates a similar exchange-related loss of $500 million in 2016. "Instead of saying, 'We screwed up,' they said, 'Obamacare is the problem and...
  • Health Care Fines Press Millennials as Deadline Nears

    01/27/2016 3:35:40 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 21 replies
    NBC News ^ | January 27, 2016
    Millions of young adults healthy enough to think they don't need insurance face painful choices this year as the sign-up deadline approaches for President Barack Obama's health care law. Fines for being uninsured rise sharply in 2016 - averaging nearly $1,000 per household, according to an independent estimate. It's forcing those in their 20s and 30s to take a hard look and see if they can squeeze in coverage to avoid penalties. Many are trying to establish careers or just make progress in a still-bumpy economy. The minimum penalty rises to $695 in 2016 for someone uninsured a full 12...
  • ObamaCare Enrollment Is Way Down In January

    01/22/2016 3:42:30 AM PST · by IBD editorial writer · 25 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 1/21/2016 | John Merline
    Last week, just 153,631 people selected an ObamaCare plan through the Healthcare.gov website, according to the latest weekly enrollment report from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That's far below the enrollment number from the same week last year, when 400,253 signed up.
  • Top Obamacare Official Accepts No Responsibility For Health Insurance Co-Op Fiascos

    01/21/2016 1:16:31 PM PST · by Nachum · 7 replies
    Daily Caller ^ | 1/21/16
    The head of the agency that oversees President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation suggested it should not be held responsible for the 12 Obamacare health insurance co-ops that closed their doors to customers last year, according to prepared testimony he is scheduled to deliver today before the Senate Finance Committee. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was not apologetic in his testimony and accepted no personal responsibility for the co-op failures in 15 states, according to an advance copy of his testimony obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The closures sent millions of Americans...
  • Montana's ObamaCare Expansion: Over Budget On Day 1.

    01/20/2016 9:30:17 AM PST · by Kaslin · 3 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | January 20, 2016 | Nicholas Horton
    Montana legislators were able to shut down Democratic Governor Steve Bullock's attempts to expand ObamaCare in Big Sky Country for two years. But in 2015, with the help of Ohio Governor John Kasich and some legislative trickery, Bullock and his pro-ObamaCare allies got their way. A small group of moderate Republicans joined with the Democrats to change the legislature's procedural rules and yanked the bill to the floor for a vote. The bill passed narrowly, making Montana the only state in 2015 to legislatively authorize ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. (Alaska Governor Bill Walker unilaterally expanded Medicaid in 2015, despite a clear...
  • Yes, Obamacare is in dire need of fixing. Here's a guide to the best options

    01/04/2016 9:59:10 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 30 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | January 4, 2016 | By Michael Hiltzik
    ... Some of [Obamacare's] approaches have turned out to be ineffective, poorly targeted, or not ambitious enough to address deeply rooted problems. - Healthcare experts Timothy Jost and Harold Pollack These are inevitable occurrences with any major legislation, though they don't have much to do with the real issue conservatives have with the ACA. In the view of John E. McDonough of Harvard's School of Public Health, it's that Obamacare raises taxes on the wealthy while giving them "bupkis" in direct benefits. A lot can be done to correct the real flaws in the ACA, and Timothy S. Jost, emeritus...
  • Under Obamacare, Medi-Cal ballooned to cover 1 in 3 Californians

    12/31/2015 5:41:23 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 31 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | December 31, 2015
    California officials never anticipated how many people would sign up for state-run health insurance under Obamacare. The state's health plan for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, now covers 12.7 million people, 1 of every 3 Californians. Though a surprise, the high Medi-Cal enrollment is generally hailed as a success. California's uninsured population has been cut in half since Obamacare, in large part because so many Californians signed up for Medi-Cal, which is free for beneficiaries. "The Medi-Cal program continues to grow at a very substantial rate, which is great. We are very happy that we're able to provide healthcare to...
  • Obamacare deadline extended due to high demand

    12/16/2015 12:25:27 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 39 replies
    CBS News ^ | December 16, 2015 | by Ashley Welch
    The Obama administration has extended the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act by two days because of a extremely high demand, according to a statement on HealthCare.gov. The final days heading into the December 15 deadline were the busiest the site had ever seen, with hundreds of thousands of people electing plans, officials said. This clogged the federal government's exchange, forcing another million people to leave their contact information in order to hold their place in line. Those who have left their contact information on the website or call center will receive an email...
  • Poll: ObamaCare enrollees less satisfied with insurance plans

    08/03/2015 4:18:33 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    The Hill ^ | August 3, 2015 | By Peter Sullivan
    ObamaCare enrollees are less satisfied with their plans than people with other types of health insurance, according to a new poll. The poll from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, the research arm of the consulting firm, finds that 30 percent of people with insurance through ObamaCare’s marketplaces are satisfied with their plans. That compares with 42 percent satisfaction from people with employer-sponsored plans, 48 percent with Medicaid and 58 percent with Medicare. Cost is the most common reason cited for the dissatisfaction with ObamaCare.
  • A breakdown of New York’s Obamacare numbers

    07/30/2015 3:55:51 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    Capital New York ^ | July 30, 2015 | By Dan Goldberg
    New Yorkers are proving to be cost conscious when choosing a private health insurance plan from New York State of Health, the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, which has now enrolled more than 10 percent of state residents. Of the 2.1 million enrollees, 415,352 chose a private plan, 1,568,345 signed up for Medicaid and 159,716 enrolled in Child Health Plus, according to an enrollment report released Wednesday by the state's health department. Other highlights from the report: - The state's call center handled calls in 92 different languages and dialects. - Two-thirds of those who purchased a private...
  • 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...
  • Administration Prods States To Scrutinize Insurers' Rate Hikes

    07/23/2015 4:23:13 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    NPR ^ | July 23, 2015 | By Julie Rovner
    There's a battle brewing behind the scenes to keep health plans affordable for consumers. The Obama administration weighed in this week, sending letters to insurance regulators in every state and Washington, D.C., that ask them to take a closer look at rate requests before granting them. In Maryland, for example, the dominant insurer on the exchange, CareFirst, is asking for a rate increase of 30 percent for some of its plans. In Kansas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is seeking increases averaging 37 percent. Insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski says that forcing people to change plans in order...
  • Fake applicants kept ObamaCare coverage, watchdog finds

    07/15/2015 2:26:44 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    The Hill ^ | July 15, 2015 | By Peter Sullivan
    Eleven fictitious people created as part of an undercover watchdog effort were able to automatically re-enroll in ObamaCare coverage, a new report finds. The report, from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, follows up on a GAO report last year. That report found that 11 of 12 fictitious people, with fake documents, were able to successfully enroll in ObamaCare coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace. The follow-up report, released by congressional Republicans on Wednesday, finds that those 11 fictitious people were able to maintain their coverage through the end of 2014 and then were automatically re-enrolled for 2015. Some were re-enrolled...
  • McConnell: No timeline for ObamaCare repeal

    07/14/2015 1:49:15 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    The Hill ^ | July 14, 2015 | By Peter Sullivan
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he does not have a timeline for using reconciliation to repeal ObamaCare, but indicated that Republicans would look to roll back as much of the law as they can. “I don't have a time to give you, but we're certainly going to consider using budget reconciliation for repealing as much of ObamaCare as is reconcilable,” McConnell told reporters. “There're certain rules that have to be applied to what is reconcilable and that's an active consideration, as you can imagine.” Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, later on Tuesday...
  • 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...
  • Feds Delay Obamacare Menu Labeling Rule By a Year

    07/09/2015 2:51:01 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | July 9, 2015 | BY: Elizabeth Harrington
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying an Obamacare regulation requiring restaurants to display calorie information until December 2016 after businesses complained they did not have sufficient time to comply with the complex rules. “We are taking this action in response to requests for an extension and for further clarification of the rule’s requirements,” the FDA said. The 319-page regulation, mandated by Obamacare, is estimated to cost industry $1.7 billion to comply. The rule requires restaurant chains with 20 or more stores to list calorie information for nearly every food item, and a “succinct statement” that “2,000 calories a...
  • 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.
  • Study Finds Almost Half Of Health Law Plans Offer Very Limited Physician Networks

    06/26/2015 6:06:19 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 8 replies
    Kaiser Health News ^ | June 26, 2015 | By Michelle Andrews
    If the physician networks for plans sold on the health law’s online insurance exchanges were T-shirts, more than 40 percent would be size X-small or small. That’s the takeaway from a new study that analyzed nearly 400 physician networks in silver-level plans sold around the country in 2014. The study labeled 11 percent of plans “extra small” because they covered fewer than 10 percent of physicians in a plan’s region. Another 30 percent were “small,” meaning they covered between 10 and 25 percent of physicians. Just 11 percent of plans were classified as “extra large” because they covered at least...