• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Obamacare: A Brewing Fiscal Fiasco

    There is more to this week’s House hearing with Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber than just an examination of his disparaging comments about the American public’s understanding of Obamacare. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked Gruber for copies of his taxpayer-funded modeling results,…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Should Obamacare be Repealed, Replaced or Left Alone?

    In the wake of Republican mid-term electoral victories, and with support for the President’s health care law registering new lows in the Gallup survey, it is time to consider what a “repeal and replace” strategy for Obamacare might actually look like. While it is true that the politics and timing remain fluid, it is still possible to outline substantive changes. At the…

  • Commentary posted December 9, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. How to Reform Medicare

    Every year, Medicare physician payment rates spark a legislative fire drill. The complex formula for updating doctors’ reimbursements, the sustainable growth rate formula, routinely threatens Medicare physicians with draconian payment cuts. Next year, the formula mandates a 21 percent pay cut. The sustainable growth rate formula, created in 1997, has never been…

  • Commentary posted December 9, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Another Bad Checkup for the Affordable Care Act

    The implementation of the Affordable Care Act seems like an unending nightmare. Desperate for some good news, the White House is justly relieved and celebrating the fact that the government website is not plagued with last year’s disasters. But other big challenges loom, including the administration of the law’s hideously complex insurance subsidy system, as well as…

  • Backgrounder posted December 8, 2014 by Patrick Louis Knudsen, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. The Affordable Care Act’s Mounting Budgetary Pressures

    Throughout the development of their ambitious national health insurance plan, President Barack Obama and his congressional allies vowed that the sprawling new entitlement program would not worsen the government’s already disturbing fiscal outlook. “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits,” the President had declared, “either now or in the future.”[1] It…

  • Issue Brief posted November 20, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare’s SGR: Fixing It the Right Way, Not in a Lame Duck Session

    Congress needs to junk the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that governs Medicare physician payment. Under the formula, if Medicare physicians’ payments in any given year increase by more than the economy’s growth, an automatic and proportionate reduction in their reimbursements is imposed the following year. Conceptually flawed and practically draconian, the formula…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2014 by Nina Owcharenko, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Lame duck legislators ought not act on complex health policy issues

    A lame-duck Congress typically is driven by a desire to "get things done." But lawmakers should resist ramming last-minute deals on Medicare physician payments and the Children's Health Insurance Program through this Congress. These are complex and highly consequential health policy issues. They deserve prudent deliberation by the people's chosen representatives, i.e.,…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted November 6, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier The Truth Behind Obamacare Numbers

    As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama promised that his health reform plan would "lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family." So it's not surprising that many people are dismayed by the rising costs under the health reform law he subsequently signed. But the president and the lawmakers who created Obamacare were always far more focused on increasing…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Can Congress Find a Cure for Medicare's Growing Troubles?

    Medicare: an entitlement program “too big to fail.” With the challenges the program faces—some of which are thanks to Obamacare—the new Congress will have a big challenge to overcome. It’s an entitlement program “too big to fail.” Medicare now covers 52 million seniors and disabled citizens. That’s why you can expect the seemingly unending debate on Medicare to resume…

  • 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 October 22, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski Obamacare’s Enrollment Increase: Mainly Due to Medicaid Expansion

    W‌ith enrollment data now available for the second quarter ‌of 2014, it is possible to construct a complete picture of the changes in health insurance coverage that occurred during the initial implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obamacare. The data show that in the first half of 2014, private health insurance…

  • Commentary posted October 10, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Obamacare: Nothing Short of a Disaster

    On November 15, open enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges begins again. Before the second act of our national healthcare drama commences, let’s review what we’ve learned in Act I. For starters, everyone now knows that federal officials are challenged when it comes to setting up a website. But they’ve demonstrated the ability to dole out a huge amount of taxpayers’…

  • 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…

  • Testimony posted August 7, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Risk Corridors in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    Testimony before the Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health United States House of Representatives July 28, 2014 Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Pallone, thank you for inviting me to testify today. My name is Edmund F. Haislmaier and I am a Senior Research Fellow in Heath Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my…