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Canary in the Obamacare Coal Mine

106 posts in this topic

Covered California premiums projected to rise 11 percent in 2019

Catherine Ho

May 17, 2018

The elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to buy health insurance, which takes effect in 2019, is expected to lead to a 12 percent drop in enrollment and an 11 percent rise in insurance premiums for Californians buying health plans on the individual market, according to estimates in a proposed annual budget released by Covered California, the state health insurance marketplace, on Thursday.

In California, about 2.4 million people buy health plans in the individual market. That includes 1.3 million people who receive Affordable Care Act federal subsidies to buy insurance through Covered California, and roughly 1.2 million who buy plans without subsidies.

The Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare,” requires people to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The requirement, known as the individual mandate, is considered one of the most important and controversial components of the health law. Congress repealed the mandate as part of a tax bill passed in December, but the repeal does not take effect until 2019.

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NFIB v. Sebelius Comes Back to Bite Obamacare

David Catron

June 11 2019

Unless you have been vacationing in a far away galaxy, you will have heard the ululations of Obamacare apologists enraged by the Trump administration’s refusal to defend the health care law against a 20-state lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.Obamacare advocates claim that the failure to defend the ACA in Texas v. United States is an unprecedented dereliction of duty by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This is hysterical nonsense. It is indeed unusual, but the DOJ is by no means obligated to defend a law deemed unconstitutional by the President, as Attorney General Sessions explains in his notification letter to Congress:

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The Department in the past has declined to defend a statute in cases in which the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional and made manifest that it should not be defended, as is the case here.See Seth P. Waxman, Defending Congress, 79 N.C. L.Rev. 1073, 1083 (2001).

Not coincidentally, this is the very language that erstwhile Attorney General Eric Holder used in his letter advising Congress, in February of 2011, that the Obama DOJ would not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That decision was cheered by the very people who now accuse the Trump administration of “lawlessness” for not defending Obamacare. Ironically, the very real threat posed by Texas v. United States has its roots in another legal travesty that these people also celebrated — the 2012 Supreme Court ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius. That decision contained the seeds of Obamacare’s destruction.

Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius, rejected the Obama administration’s claim that Congress could impose the individual mandate pursuant to the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. However, Roberts held that the mandate was nonetheless constitutional because its penalty was in effecta tax. He ostensibly reached this conclusion because it was designed to raise revenue and would be enforced by the IRS. The plaintiffs in Texas v. United States argue that this rationale, such as it was, no longer applies because Congress reduced the tax-penalty to zero last year. Their complaint puts it thus:

(Snip)

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Trump Administration Action Could Lower Health Care Costs, Expand Coverage for Small Business Employees

Fred Lucas

June 19 2018

A new Labor Department regulation finalized Tuesday—which will make it easier for small businesses to pool resources to negotiate with large employers—will expand health care coverage for 4 million Americans by 2023, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Out of that 4 million—who were previously required to buy on the individual market through Obamacare exchanges—400,000 do not have insurance, according to a May 23 CBO report.

Further, under “association health plans,” premiums are estimated to decrease between $1,900 and $4,100 per year, a senior Department of Labor official told The Daily Signal during a background briefing with two reporters Monday.

(Snip)

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The Federalist Capers: The Twilight of Obamacare

By David Kamioner| July 30th, 2018

The absurd debacle known as Obamacare is not something about which I normally write. However, like a secret vice, I maintain a fascination with federalism and with the nature of the relationship between the feds and the states. Having done professional research into the subject for quite some time, including geeky 10th Amendment matters and all that. OK, it’s kind of dry. But if we don’t pay attention, some of us may have less money for vital necessities like cigars and bourbon. And those I know about. So, listen up.

Also, national economic well-being is a factor in national security. No cash—because it is being spent on awkwardly implemented health care “reform”—no guns.

That’s why it’s interesting that the Trump Administration is proposing a plan that would allow states to expand the use of short-term, limited duration health insurance. Currently, the plans last for up to three months before you can sign up for a longer-term plan through existing Obamacare exchanges.   :snip: 

https://amgreatness.com/2018/07/30/the-federalist-capers-the-twilight-of-obamacare/

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Trump is reforming healthcare with his push for online hospital pricing

Erin Dunne

August 07, 2018

Last Thursday, the Trump administration came out with a new rule that requires hospitals to post online the prices they charge for medical procedures. This is good for Americans and moves the country closer to the administration’s vow to work towards “value-based care” or reduced costs and improved outcomes.

Previously, hospitals were only required to make the information about prices available to those who asked for it. Even with this requirement, some insurers had agreements that prevented their charges from being shared with patients sometimes resulting in higher co-pays for treatment “covered” by insurance than patients would have paid out of pocket if they had had no insurance.

With the new rule, information about prices must be available online and must be updated every year. The charges posted on the Internet will reflect the “charge master” price or the charge at that hospital. Although it won’t reflect what patients see on their bills because of private agreements between insurance companies and hospitals, and it won’t solve the issue of prices varying wildly within cities and within a single hospital, the new rule is a step in the right direction of improving healthcare transparency.

(Snip)

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