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  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted August 1, 2014 by Christopher Pope How the Affordable Care Act Fuels Health Care Market Consolidation

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA), often called Obamacare, accelerates the pernicious growth of market consolidation in American health care.[1] The national health care law reinforces the trend of providers, including doctors and hospitals, to merge into large regional health systems that dominate local markets. The law also introduces new rules and restrictions that will…

  • 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 July 30, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier A First Look at Enrollment Under Obamacare

    Obamacare’s initial open-enrollment period ended in mid April. The big question since then has been, “What were the results?” Hard data have been lacking — until now. My colleague Drew Gonshorowski and I have just finished reviewing insurance-market data from the first quarter of 2014, and we can report that Obamacare’s results are not very impressive. Certainly they’re…

  • Backgrounder posted July 28, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski New Obamacare Enrollment Data: Employer-Based Coverage Declines

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a series of monthly reports on exchange performance during the initial open enrollment period (October 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014) for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obamacare. However, the data HHS provided are insufficient for determining either the number of…

  • Testimony posted July 2, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Reinsurance, Risk Adjustment, and Risk Corridors in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    Testimony before Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs United States House of Representatives Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Cartwright: Thank you for inviting me to testify today. My name is Edmund F. Haislmaier, and I am a Senior Research Fellow in Health Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The…

  • Commentary posted June 7, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Taxpayers Shouldn't Have to Cover Losses Insurers Incur Under Obamacare

    Obamacare alters and disrupts health insurance markets in numerous ways. Exactly how individuals and employers will respond to all these changes remains highly uncertain. This uncertainty makes it difficult for insurers to predict claims costs, much less set premiums. Naturally, insurers wish to make a reasonable profit and remain competitive in the marketplace. But…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Four Years of Obamacare: Early Warnings Come True

    But we have to pass the bill, so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.    —Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, March 9, 2010 It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.    —Chief Justice John Roberts, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, June 28,…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 21, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Three Better Bipartisan Health Policies To Pay For Repealing Medicare’s SGR

    After months of House and Senate negotiations on legislation to replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for updating Medicare physician payment, members of Congress are relieved to finally have an agreement. It is perfectly understandable that they, as well as professional medical organizations, want to act quickly. The danger is that even normally…

  • Commentary posted March 21, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier HHS Wants to Sink an Obamacare Lifeboat

    Sunday will mark the fourth anniversary of the launch of the SS Obamacare packed with 300 million Americans in steerage, about half of whom had to be forcibly dragged aboard. Nearly six months ago — October 1, 2013, to be precise — the great ship steamed into the Sea of Reality and promptly began banging into icebergs. Subsequent collisions have damaged the ship and…

  • Issue Brief posted March 14, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare SGR Replacement Is Not Worth More Deficit Spending

    Congress is considering compromise legislation (H.R. 4015 and S. 2000) to repeal and replace the unworkable Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for updating physician payments. Since 2003, Congress has prevented its own 1997 formula from going into effect because the Medicare physician payment cuts, often draconian, would threaten seniors’ access to medical…

  • 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…