National Review, July 15, 2014
As Obamacare, beset with calamities, enters its fourth year, the cerulean-blue state of Vermont is well into its fourth year of preparing to astonish America by installing Canadian-style single-payer health care. To understand the political dynamics of this plan, it’s necessary to go back to the 2010 election for governor.
After eight able years at the helm, much of it spent deflecting left-wing (known locally as “Sanderista,” after socialist senator Bernie Sanders) legislative initiatives, popular Republican governor Jim Douglas stepped down. Five Democrats leaped into the race to succeed him.
Forbes, July 10, 2014
Most state legislative sessions have come to a close, but this hasn’t stopped Medicaid debates across the country from raging on.
In 2014, just one state, New Hampshire, has implemented ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. The failure of ObamaCare advocates to convince more states may explain the dearth of reporting on this issue from a mainstream media that often seems solidly supportive of Medicaid expansion.
What may be even less covered, however, are the many states that are examining ways to fix a broken Medicaid program that costs too much and delivers health outcomes that, at best, are inconsistent for the patients relying on the safety net.
North Carolina is one state exploring reform, while simultaneously exposing the many fault lines that develop during reform efforts.
HealthAffairs, July 10, 2014
A primary aim of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to expand insurance coverage, especially among households with lower incomes. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that about one-third of the additional insurance coverage expected to occur because of the law will come from expansion of the existing, unreformed Medicaid program. The rest of the coverage expansion will come from enrolling millions of people into subsidized insurance offerings on the ACA exchanges — offerings that have strong similarities to Medicaid insurance.
Adapted from the February 24, 2014, issue of National Review
It was an important step forward for Republicans. They could have continued to deploy their anti-spending fervor against the discretionary side of the budget rather than taking on the larger, faster-growing, and politically trickier entitlements. They could, that is, have adopted a posture rather than a policy. Medicare reform was a sign the party was interested in governing again. Control of entitlements is after all a fiscal precondition for reform conservatism, or any other serious agenda.
Yet no larger agenda followed the Medicare initiative. Republicans’ advocacy of Medicare reform did not sink them, as Democrats had hoped, but neither did it supply an answer to voters’ concerns about the status of the American dream. And even as Ryan’s boldness got him a spot on the Republican ticket, it seems to have exhausted the appetite for innovation on the part of his colleagues. The Republicans were still narrowly focused on cutting spending.
Forbes, June 18, 2014
There are hundreds of aspects of Obamacare that people argue over. But there’s one question that matters above all others: does the Affordable Care Act live up to its name? Does it make health insurance less expensive?
Last November, our team at the Manhattan Institute published a study indicating that Obamacare had increased the underlying cost of individually-purchased health insurance in the average state by 41 percent in 2014, relative to 2013. We’ve now redone the study on a county-by-county basis, complete with a brand-new interactive map.
Depending on where you live, the results may surprise you.