Ungar: Another Lie? Obamacare First Year Sign Up Numbers Revealed To Be Substantially Inflated

November 21, 2014

We were told that 7.3 million Americans signed up for healthcare coverage and paid their premiums during the first year of the ACA healthcare exchanges. Now, we learn that we were, in fact, misled and that 380,000 of those counted only purchased dental care.It’s enough already.

While I am a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act—and continue to believe that, if given time and some revisions, the law will make a positive difference in bringing health care to those previously shut out of the system while lowering the overall cost of care—I have had just about enough of the never-ending disclosures about the administration’s marketing games, ranging from careless to downright dishonest.

Revelation after revelation has now brought me to the point where I really don’t care if the bad information and sordid tales are the result of negligence or have otherwise been intentionally thrust upon the public. I am simply sick of getting incorrect data that almost always seems to fall on the side of painting a rosier picture than what turns out to be the truth.

via Another Lie? Obamacare First Year Sign Up Numbers Revealed To Be Substantially Inflated.


Beyond Gruber: How HHS Flip-Flopped on Federal Exchange Subsidies | Competitive Enterprise Institute

November 21, 2014

The following timeline demonstrates that HHS initially set out to establish its federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, without a tax credit calculator—that is, it set up the federal exchange so that it could not provide users any information about tax credits. This strongly suggests that its original interpretation was that only residents of states that established their own exchanges were entitled to tax credits. It was only after many states decided against setting up exchanges that HHS and the Obama administration changed course and began claiming that the Affordable Care Act allows tax credits for both state and federally facilitated exchanges. Only then did HHS begin developing a tax credit calculator for HealthCare.gov.

via Beyond Gruber: How HHS Flip-Flopped on Federal Exchange Subsidies | Competitive Enterprise Institute.


What will a Republican Congress do on health care?

November 20, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014 | 9:15 am – 11:00 am

AEI, Twelfth Floor 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW Washington, DC

The November midterm election outcomes mean Republicans have a chance to set the health care agenda for the next two years. House Speaker John Boehner R-OH and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-KY are committed to repealing Obamacare, but their legislative strategy has yet to be determined.Will Republicans push for full repeal, repeal and replace, or more targeted proposals to undercut the most damaging aspects of the Affordable Care Act? Please join us at AEI as a panel of experts discuss the Republican strategy and likely impact of the 114th Congress on health care in America.

via What will a Republican Congress do on health care?.


Liberal Lawyer to Represent House of Representatives Against Obama | The Weekly Standard

November 20, 2014

Jonathan Turley, a liberal law professor and attorney, announced on his blog Tuesday he will be representing the House of Representatives in its lawsuit against the Obama administration. Here’s Turley:

As many on this blog are aware, I have previously testified, written, and litigated in opposition to the rise of executive power and the countervailing decline in congressional power in our tripartite system. I have also spent years encouraging Congress, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, to more actively defend its authority, including seeking judicial review in separation of powers conflicts. For that reason, it may come as little surprise this morning that I have agreed to represent the United States House of Representatives in its challenge of unilateral, unconstitutional actions taken by the Obama Administration with respect to implementation of the Affordable Care Act ACA. It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office. As in the past, this posting is meant to be transparent about my representation as well as my need to be circumspect about my comments in the future on related stories.

via Liberal Lawyer to Represent House of Representatives Against Obama | The Weekly Standard.


The Biggest Reason For Income Inequality Is Single Parenthood

November 20, 2014

The fabric of our society is changing. In 1980, approximately 78 percent of families with children were headed by married parents. In 2012, married parents headed only 66 percent of families with children. In a new report, Bradford Wilcox and Robert Lerman explore the role of family structure with new data and analysis, and document how this retreat from marriage is not simply a social and cultural phenomenon. It has important economic implications for, amongst others, men’s labor force participation rates, children’s high school dropout rates and teen pregnancy rates. Since these factors are highly correlated with economic opportunity and the ability to move up the income ladder, this suggests that income inequality and economic mobility across generations are critically influenced by people’s decisions and attitudes towards marriage. Understanding the role of family structure is therefore key to understanding the big economic challenges of our time.

via The Biggest Reason For Income Inequality Is Single Parenthood.


Amy Finkelstein Book | Moral Hazard in Health Insurance

November 19, 2014

In this short and accessible book, Amy Finkelstein—winner of the 2012 John Bates Clark award—tackles the tricky question of moral hazard, which is the tendency to take risks when the cost will be borne by others. Kenneth J. Arrow’s seminal 1963 paper, “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care”—included in the volume—was one of the first to explore the implication of moral hazard for healthcare, and in this book, Finkelstein examines this issue in the context of contemporary American health care policy.

Showcasing research from a 1972 RAND experiment and her own findings from an ongoing Medicaid study in Oregon, Finkelstein presents compelling evidence that health insurance does indeed affect medical spending and encourages policy solutions that acknowledge and account for this. The volume also features commentaries and insights from other renowned economists, including an introduction from Joseph Newhouse that provides context for the discussion, a commentary from Jonathan Gruber that considers provider-side moral hazard, and reflections from Joseph E. Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow.

via Moral Hazard in Health Insurance.


How One Man Could Obliterate Obamacare | The National Interest

November 19, 2014

Gruber-gate is important for a few reasons besides the normal political “gotcha” game. First, it reminds us that Obamacare’s losers will remain a vital part of the repeal constituency. The mobilization of such people was essential to rolling back the Medicare catastrophic coverage expansion of the 1980s, one of the most prominent examples of a broad-based entitlement being repealed in the post–New Deal era.

Second, it is a fitting window into how the technocrats view the masses. You might have liked the health plan you already had, but Jonathan Gruber knows it was bare-boned and terrible. The liberals truly are the best and the brightest.

Now Gruber is saying he misspoke and his allies are adamant that any text of their law that might lead to unfavorable results is simply a typo. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.

via How One Man Could Obliterate Obamacare | The National Interest.


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