Obamacare’s uncertainty strikes Congress | WashingtonExaminer.com

April 26, 2013

In the years since the health care law’s passage, we’ve seen businesses and states seeking waivers from ill-conceived provisions of the health care law, business owners contemplating demoting full-time workers to part-time status to avoid fines, and recently, even a union calling for the law’s repeal. The reality is that the law puts many Americans in their own unique binds.

Perhaps OPM will find a way to resolve this particular issue facing members of Congress and their staffers. But it’s saying something that with all the senators, representatives, lawyers, legislative gurus and health care policy experts floating through Capitol Hill, there’s still utter confusion about what the proper application of this particular provision is. How are tens of millions of Americans and millions of businesses supposed to make sense of the law and determine how it will affect their special circumstances?

via Obamacare’s uncertainty strikes Congress | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Affordable Care Act Health Exchanges May Lack Competition When They Launch in October

April 26, 2013

The White House sums up the central idea behind the health care exchanges in the new federal health law with a simple motto: “more choices, greater competition.”

But even some stalwart supporters of the Affordable Care Act worry that in many states, people won’t have a lot of health insurance choices when the exchanges launch in October.

via Affordable Care Act Health Exchanges May Lack Competition When They Launch in October.

Might Health Care Reform Be the ‘Grand Bargain’? | The Concord Coalition

April 26, 2013

Last Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Health Care Cost Containment Initiative released a comprehensive plan to increase efficiency and reduce costs while reorienting the nation’s health care system to become more patient-centered. That combination would ideally lead not only to a more sustainable fiscal future but to better health care as well.

The plan targets the largest health care levers that federal policymakers have: Medicare and the tax code — specifically the exclusion of employer-provided health care from taxation. The plan, as scored by health policy experts, would reduce budget deficits over the next 10 years and then continue to lower the trajectory of the federal debt.

Medicare would be transformed into a system that rewards value and coordination instead of the quantity of services, and the tax code would no longer encourage overspending on health care. Furthermore, these changes at the federal level are meant to encourage and incent a more rational private health care system.

These lofty goals were heralded by BPC’s health care leaders: former Senators Tom Daschle, Bill Frist and Pete Domenici, along with Dr. Alice Rivlin. Their agreement after a year of discussion, painstaking research and stakeholder outreach suggests that their scrupulously bipartisan conclusions might be more than just a legislative pipe dream.

via Might Health Care Reform Be the ‘Grand Bargain’? | The Concord Coalition.

Some Hospital Jobs Shrivel – WSJ.com

April 26, 2013

The health-care sector, one of the last redoubts of stable and well-paying jobs for less-educated workers, is beginning to look less secure.

A variety of factors, from technological advances to increased attention on both costs and patient outcomes, are driving hospitals and other health-care providers to demand more from both the most- and least-skilled workers, while gradually eroding opportunities for those in the middle.

via Some Hospital Jobs Shrivel – WSJ.com.

Congress, Fearing ‘Brain Drain,’ Seeks to Opt Out of Participating in Obamacare’s Exchanges – Forbes

April 26, 2013

As Obamacare was winding its way through the Senate in 2009, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) slipped in an amendment requiring that members of Congress, and their staff, enroll in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. The idea was simple: that if Congress was going to impose Obamacare upon the country, it should have to experience what it is imposing firsthand. But now, word comes that Congress is quietly seeking to rescind that provision of the law, because members fear that staffers who face higher insurance costs will leave the Hill. The news has sparked outrage from the right and left. Here’s the back story, and why this debate is crucial to the future of market-based health reform.

via Congress, Fearing ‘Brain Drain,’ Seeks to Opt Out of Participating in Obamacare’s Exchanges – Forbes.

Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout – NYTimes.com

April 26, 2013

Democratic senators, at a caucus meeting with White House officials, expressed concerns on Thursday about how the Obama administration was carrying out the health care law they adopted three years ago.

via Democratic Senators Tell White House of Concerns About Health Care Law Rollout – NYTimes.com.

Why Americans will never love Obamacare | The Daily Caller

April 25, 2013

The purpose of Obamacare is to hide how much we are helping people, and which people are receiving that help. Its supporters trade efficiency for murkiness because they realize that, while the public is perfectly willing to help the elderly and people who suffer illness through no fault of their own, we are more ambivalent about paying for those who have ruined their health with bad habits and risky lifestyles. Rather than having an honest discussion about these issues, the Democrats have decided to take advantage of Americans’ kindness, obscuring the fruit of our charity so that bureaucratic waste and progressive social engineering projects can remain safely hidden from the public eye.

via Why Americans will never love Obamacare | The Daily Caller.