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  • Commentary posted March 30, 2015 by Alyene Senger Are we better off now, five years into Obamacare?

    Obamacare just passed its fifth anniversary as a law, but don't be surprised if you didn't hear much about it. After all this time, polls show the public still doesn't like it. Results are more important than perception, of course. So let's ask: If Obamacare is measured on four important metrics - cost, coverage, competition and choice - are we better off now? Cost.…

  • Issue Brief posted February 23, 2015 by Alyene Senger Eight Groups Harmed by the ACA’s Flawed Policies

    The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on March 4 in the case of King v. Burwell—a challenge to an IRS rule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowing the payment of premium subsidies to individuals enrolled in the federal exchange. Supporters of the ACA have made various claims about the harm that would supposedly occur were the court to find for the plaintiffs…

  • Issue Brief posted January 21, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Alyene Senger Replacing Medicare’s SGR: Four Bipartisan Options to Finance a Permanent Fix

    The new Congress must stop irresponsible federal spending. This applies to replacing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that annually updates Medicare physician payment with a workable alternative. In 2014, House and Senate negotiators, representing three major congressional committees, worked long and hard to hammer out a compromise SGR replacement…

  • Issue Brief posted December 22, 2014 by Alyene Senger Measuring Choice and Competition in the Exchanges: Still Worse than Before the ACA

    My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and…

  • Backgrounder posted November 6, 2014 by Alyene Senger Understanding the CBO’s Changes in Medicare Spending Projections

    Changes in the Medicare spending projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have prompted a new debate over the fiscal health of the Medicare program. Some journalists and commentators have interpreted the CBO’s lowering of its Medicare spending projections over the past nine years as a possible indication that Medicare’s fiscal crisis is tapering. The New York…

  • Backgrounder posted October 30, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Nina Owcharenko, Alyene Senger A Fresh Start for Health Care Reform

    Despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that the national health care debate is over, and that he will not “re-litigate” the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the practical concerns, aggravated by implementation glitches and policy failures, guarantee that the debate over the PPACA is far from over.[1] In the next phase of the health care…

  • Backgrounder posted September 4, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Alyene Senger Progress in Medicare Advantage: Key Lessons for Medicare Reform

    Medicare Advantage (MA) is a program of competing private health plans. For the vast majority of senior citizens, it is the only viable alternative to enrollment in traditional Medicare. For Members of Congress, its record also provides valuable lessons for comprehensive Medicare reform. MA is an increasingly attractive option for millions of senior and disabled…

  • Issue Brief posted August 1, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Alyene Senger The 2014 Medicare Trustees Report: A Dire Future for Seniors and Taxpayers Without Reform

    The recently released annual Medicare trustees report reiterates a decades-old message: The Medicare program faces an unsustainable financial future. Unless the program is reformed, it will impose a huge financial burden on American taxpayers and jeopardize access to care for seniors. While these facts are incontrovertible, the Obama Administration’s allies and some in…

  • Commentary posted April 25, 2014 by Alyene Senger If You Like Choice, Competition And Entrepreneurship, Obamacare Is Not For You

    Gene Sperling, former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council and former Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, argues that Obamacare should appeal to those who desire competition and choice in health care. But the very nature of Obamacare fosters neither. Sperling claims that the Obamacare exchanges are competitive: “On average, there are 8…

  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2014 by Alyene Senger, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Proposed Rules for Part D Would Create Undue Disruption for Seniors

    The Obama Administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will not finalize controversial elements of its proposed Medicare rule. The proposed rule would have undercut patient choice and reduced the competition that controls costs in the Medicare drug program (Part D).[1] Many key stakeholders and Members of Congress expressed…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2014 by Alyene Senger Obama’s slippery attack on ‘junk’ health care plans

    “Too many Americans have substandard health plans.” That was just one of many arguments made by President Obama and his allies to justify why America needed the heavy government regulation included in Obamacare. Obamacare, they assured us, would rein in all those “bad-apple insurers” and protect consumers from the false security of “junk” health care plans. Last year,…

  • Issue Brief posted February 11, 2014 by Alyene Senger “Junk” Health Plans and Other Obamacare Insurance Myths

    Obamacare affects nearly all areas of health care, but the most disruptive provisions of the law affect insurance sold in the individual market. In 2013, at least 4.7 million policyholders across 31 states and the District of Columbia were notified that their current coverage was being discontinued.[1] The number is likely even higher, since data were not available for 19…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2014 by Alyene Senger The Next Obamacare Crisis

    After a botched rollout that was universally panned, it may seem like things are finally moving more smoothly for Obamacare. But 2014 and beyond promise more turbulence for consumers, with premium tax credits likely to be another crisis. On January 1, Obamacare’s subsidized exchange coverage began. The Congressional Budget Office projects that exchange subsidies, both…

  • Issue Brief posted December 18, 2013 by Alyene Senger Ten Broken Obamacare Promises

    Since the passage of Obamacare in 2010, many of the President’s famous promises have been routinely broken. As he so ironically threatened in 2009, “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.”[1] To that end, here are 10 promises of Obamacare that have already proved to be broken. Promise #1: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2013 by Alyene Senger Obamacare: A bad deal for young people

    By now, young adults have heard that they are key to making Obamacare work, and the Obama administration has spent ample resources trying to convince them that the law is a good deal for them. But they don't seem to be buying in. A new Harvard poll shows that 57 percent of young adults polled disapprove of the health care law. And with good reason: The law will impact…