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  • Commentary posted November 29, 2016 by Paul Winfree, Brian Blase How to Repeal Obamacare: A Road Map for the GOP

    Over the past few years, pundits have dismissed the Republican Party’s chances of repealing and replacing Obamacare. But with President-elect Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday and the GOP’s successful effort to keep control of Congress, conservatives now have a real chance to eliminate the health care law. The question is how to do it. Three years into its implementation,…

  • Issue Brief posted November 23, 2016 by Alyene Senger, Edmund F. Haislmaier The ACA’s Risk Programs: Why Congress Needs to Prevent Insurer Bailouts

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) put in place three separate programs designed to mitigate some of the risks assumed by health insurers participating in the markets that are most significantly affected by the health care law. The three programs are reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk adjustment. As a result of the ACA’s inherent flaws and questionable actions taken by…

  • Issue Brief posted November 22, 2016 by Nina Owcharenko, Edmund F. Haislmaier Preparing a Smooth Transition for the Repeal of Obamacare

    It is vital that the new Administration, Congress, and state officials orchestrate a smooth and methodical transition for the repeal of Obamacare. For this smooth transition to take place, Congress should act immediately to initiate repeal and the Administration should take aggressive administrative actions to stabilize the private market for the upcoming 2018 plan cycle.…

  • Issue Brief posted October 31, 2016 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski 2015 Health Insurance Enrollment: Net Increase of 4.8 Million, Trends Slowing

    During 2015, the growth in both individual-market and employer-group coverage resulted in a net increase in private-market coverage of 2 million individuals. For individual-market policies, enrollment increased by a bit more than 1.12 million individuals.[1] For the employer-group-coverage market, enrollment in fully insured plans declined by 932,000 individuals, while…

  • Commentary posted October 26, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Commentary: Obamacare Critical, Getting Sicker

    President Obama says that Obamacare is a “success,” but has “real problems.” Hillary Clinton also says that Obamacare is a success, but needs “fixing.” Her prescription: create yet another government health plan to enhance the competition. Former President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, recently described Obamacare as “the craziest thing in the world.” Great timing. The…

  • Commentary posted October 25, 2016 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Risk of ‘Mass Exodus’ of Doctors from Medicare

    In what may be the most significant modification to Medicare since the program began in 1966, on Oct. 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). It dramatically changes how Medicare pays doctors for their services. Does it really matter how doctors get…

  • Issue Brief posted October 13, 2016 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. MACRA Implementation: What Is at Stake and What Is Needed

    The Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)[1] repealed the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) system of paying for physician services in Medicare. Although the MACRA legislation is conceptually sound, much of the final legislative language is complex and vague. The success or failure of the legislation therefore rests with the decisions concerning…

  • Commentary posted October 11, 2016 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. By Spinning Early Results, CMS May Be Undermining Payment Reform

    A recent press release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) summarizes the 2015 Results for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model by stating that “physicians, hospitals, and health care providers participating in Accountable Care Organizations continue to make significant improvements in the…

  • Commentary posted October 11, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Obamacare — It’s the Costs, Stupid!

    President Obama says that Obamacare is a “success,” but has “real problems.” Hillary Clinton also says that Obamacare is a success, but needs “fixing.” Her prescription: create yet another government health plan — a “public option” — to enhance the competition. Note that “competition” has not been enhanced by two other government insurance creations: the disappearing…

  • Commentary posted October 11, 2016 by Nina Owcharenko Owcharenko: The ACA Started with a False Policy Premise, and It's Failing

    The Obamacare experiment has left consumers with fewer health insurance options, narrower provider networks and higher premiums.   United Healthcare and Aetna - two of the nation’s largest insurers - have withdrawn from most of the health exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.   And they’re not the first. Years of losses on the exchanges have led many…

  • Commentary posted August 16, 2016 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Brian Blase, Seth Chandler, Doug Badger Obamacare’s Advocates Mostly Agree On The Facts But Suggest More Corporate Welfare To Prop Up Law

    Humana recently announced that next year it is withdrawing from 88% of the counties where it sold Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange plans this year. United Healthcare forecasts higher earnings in 2017, stemming in part from its decision to shut down most of its exchange business. Aetna has cancelled plans to expand its ACA market footprint and is instead reevaluating its…

  • Commentary posted August 12, 2016 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Why Obamacare Co-Ops Are Failing At A Rate Of Nearly 50%

    Cooperative health insurers (or co-ops) created under a federal grant and loan program in the Affordable Care Act seem to be falling like dominoes. It started in February, when CoOportunity Health, which operated in Iowa and Nebraska, was ordered into liquidation. In July, Louisiana’s insurance department announced it was shuttering that state’s co-op. The following month…

  • Special Report posted July 29, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare’s Next 50 Years: Preserving the Program for Future Retirees

    Here’s the truth. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement. And millions more will do so in the future. But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current seniors, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. — President Barack…

  • Commentary posted July 6, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Here's How Congress Can Save Medicare

    When will Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund run out of money? A newly released report from the Medicare Trustees says it will be exhausted in 2028—two years earlier than they projected last year. Using slightly different assumptions, the Congressional Budget Office earlier predicted that the trust fund would be insolvent by 2026. No matter how you slice it, the…

  • Issue Brief posted July 5, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. The 2016 Trustees Report: Yet Another Warning to Congress and the President

    The Medicare Trustees have released their long-awaited 2016 annual report.[1] It once again calls for expeditious action by Congress and the executive branch to address Medicare’s growing fiscal problems. The Medicare Trustees project major increases in Medicare spending, fueled by progressively higher taxes, and an even larger long-term Medicare debt than they projected…