Forbes, April 9, 2014
Some people say that bipartisanship is dead. But if rumblings in the House are to be believed, cooperation on Obamacare may yet be possible. The “Save American Workers Act of 2014,” which passed the House 248-179 (with 18 Democrats voting in favor) amends the ACA to redefine “full-time employees” as being those who work 40 hours, rather than the 30 hour definition in the law. While this would have a relatively marginal effect when all is said and done (criticism of the bill has focused on those who are expected to lose coverage as a result – on net about 1 million people), it does begin to repeal an important budget gimmick in Obamacare – the employer mandate.
Texas Public Policy Foundation, March 2014
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most Americans to have health insurance by March 31, 2014, or else pay a penalty. Those not insured through an employer-sponsored health plan must obtain individual coverage, which must comply with a host of regulations and include certain essential health benefits in order to be eligible for federal subsidies on the exchanges. In addition, the law requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer their workers affordable health insurance beginning in 2015 or 2016, depending on the size of the employer.
Forbes, April 7, 2014
Earlier Today I reported that health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in the individual and small group market. Morgan Stanley’s healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers. The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual group rates (for renewing health plans) in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when the regular analysis has been conducted. The average increases for the present quarter are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market, where consumers purchase coverage directly from health plans. Some states show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the “increases are largely due to changes under the ACA.” So how do these increases, for the health plans renewing this quarter, compare to rate increases experienced during other quarterly periods over the last four years? The data for the rate increases experienced in the small group and individual insurance markets for the last four years is detailed in the graphics below. They show how the rate hikes have accelerated as Obamacare’s regulations have started to get implemented.
Forbes, March 28, 2014
Obamacare is still struggling to sign up young people. In order to offset the high cost of the older, and probably less healthy people who are joining Obamacare plans, the White House must coerce a sufficient number of thirty-somethings to also join. Problem is, the health plans are too pricey to make economic sense for many young adults.
Just how costly are the Obamacare plans for young beneficiaries?
We ran the numbers. Here are our results:
American Thinker, March 28, 2014
You won’t read about the International Classification of Disease (ICD) on TMZ or hear it discussed on The View, but it has the potential to be an unpleasant October surprise in the health care world. It is a list of codes that physicians and hospitals use when billing insurance companies. These codes cover all manner of medical diagnoses for diseases, conditions, and injuries.
The first version of the ICD appeared in 1946, with periodic revisions since. Six months from now, on October 1, the latest version, the ICD-10, will be implemented in the U.S. We are late to the party, with other countries havingimplemented this over the past 15 years. The ICD-10 has already been delayed for a year, but the administration promises no further delays.
The ICD-10 is not the fault of ObamaCare, nor is it Bush’s fault. The classification preceded even Bill Clinton. So this is not a partisan issue. Instead, it is an issue of complexity, arriving in the wake of the largest health care overhaul in history, with its attendant chaos and confusion.