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  • Backgrounder posted April 1, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Year Six of the Affordable Care Act: Obamacare’s Mounting Problems

    Americans are engaged in an intense national debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA, popularly known as “Obamacare”). Despite President Barack Obama’s glowing account of his “signature” accomplishment, the ACA’s six-year record demonstrates that the legislative product he signed into law is deeply—and in many respects irreparably—flawed.…

  • Testimony posted March 22, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Preserving and Protecting Medicare

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Health Committee on Ways and Means U.S. House of Representatives March 16, 2016 My name is Robert E. Moffit. I am Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has…

  • Backgrounder posted March 16, 2016 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Overcoming Challenges to Physician Payment Reform in a Post-SGR World

    On April 16, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA),[1] which among other things, finally repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) mechanism of paying for physician services in Medicare. The SGR had been blamed for causing instability and uncertainty among physicians for over a decade and led to 17 overrides of…

  • Issue Brief posted March 14, 2016 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Insurer ACA Exchange Participation Declines in 2016

    Among the consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) are its effects on insurer competition, particularly in the law’s new government-run exchanges. By several different measures, insurer participation in the ACA exchanges declined in 2016. Measuring Competition One measure for the level of competition is the number of insurers offering exchange coverage…

  • Backgrounder posted February 11, 2016 by Edmund F. Haislmaier The Obama Administration’s Design for Imposing More Health Care Mandates

    On September 8, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights published in the Federal Register a proposed regulation entitled “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities,” interpreting and implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).[1] The text of section 1557 references existing statues prohibiting…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2016 by Nina Owcharenko 2016: What’s Next for Obamacare?

    Obamacare remains unworkable, unaffordable, and unpopular. Its ailments continue to mount: failing state exchanges, collapsing co-ops, higher premiums, higher deductibles, narrow networks, and fewer choices. It should be no surprise that the latest Real Clear Politics average poll shows 50.2 percent of Americans oppose the law, while only 42.5 percent support it. Those…

  • Commentary posted January 13, 2016 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Obamacare Lessons From UnitedHealth

    The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, surprised investors last month. The company revealed that it was incurring substantial losses on the Obamacare exchanges — and that, consequently, it would scale back marketing its exchange plans in 2016 and possibly exit the exchanges in 2017. The poor results for United's exchange business seem to have taken even…

  • Issue Brief posted December 11, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Reducing Taxpayer Subsidies to Wealthy Medicare Recipients Is Sound Policy

    Medicare is accumulating an unfunded obligation of between $28 trillion and $37 trillion.[1] This is the dollar amount of promises to Medicare beneficiaries that are not financed with dedicated revenues. Although comprehensive Medicare reform is in order, one small step to alleviate this burden would be a further reduction in taxpayer subsidies to Medicare’s wealthy…

  • Backgrounder posted December 4, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield, James Phillips, Diane Katz, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Roger Severino, Sarah Torre, Lindsey Burke, James Sherk, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Brett D. Schaefer, David Inserra Important Policy Riders for the FY 2016 Appropriations Bills

    The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the exclusive power to appropriate funds for the “necessary and proper” operations of government.[1] James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 58 that providing budgetary powers to Congress was a critical element in maintaining individual rights: “The power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and…

  • Commentary posted November 9, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Stop the Presses: Congress Did the Right Thing on Medicare

    The recent Boehner-Obama budget deal is bad public policy. Formally known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, it’s devoid of serious entitlement reform and allows the already crushing national debt to crash through a $18.1 trillion ceiling. Indeed, the debt literally jumped $339 billion the very same day President Obama signed the deal into law. But sometimes, even…

  • Issue Brief posted October 28, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Justin T. Johnson, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, James L. Gattuso, Jason Snead, Rachel Greszler, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., David R. Burton, Curtis S. Dubay Analysis of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

    The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt. Heritage…

  • Testimony posted October 16, 2015 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Effects on Competition of Proposed Health Insurer Mergers

    Testimony before Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law United States House of Representatives Edmund F. Haislmaier Senior Research Fellow in Health Policy The Heritage Foundation September 29, 2015 Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify. My name is Edmund F. Haislmaier and I am…

  • Backgrounder posted October 15, 2015 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski 2014 Health Insurance Enrollment: Increase Due Almost Entirely to Medicaid Expansion

    Last year’s changes in health insurance enrollment are of particular interest, as 2014 was the year in which key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) took effect—most notably, the offering of subsidies for coverage purchased through the new government exchanges and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Analysis of enrollment data for private health insurance…

  • Commentary posted September 22, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Washington’s boondoggle bandwagon: Obamacare’s co-op plans

    The Obama administration is perfecting the art of the “boondoggle” — a colorful term for a taxpayer-funded project characterized by wasteful spending, gross inefficiency, or political favoritism. William Safire, the late New York Times columnist, traced the word’s origins to 1935, when the New York City Council learned that Depression-relief funds were being used for…

  • Commentary posted July 31, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare: Washington's Next Trillion-Dollar Trainwreck

    Medicare is still in trouble. The Medicare Trustees just issued their 2015 report. Like last year’s report, it says that the Hospital Insurance trust fund will enjoy a few years of surpluses, followed by deficits, ending in insolvency in 2030. The trustees’ report is a bracing corrective to the complacency and demagoguery that often mars the ongoing Medicare debate.…