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  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted June 24, 2016 by John S. O'Shea, M.D. Reforming Veterans Health Care: Now and for the Future

    Since 2014, investigations of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have revealed glaring issues with the Administration’s policies and practices, including excessively long wait times and secret waitlists for health care at hundreds of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. A report from a VA whistleblower shows that as many as 238,000 veterans may have passed away before…

  • Commentary posted May 27, 2016 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Congress Receiving Unconstitutional Obamacare Subsidies

    In our constitutional republic, it not only matters what officials do, but also how they do it. Constitutional policy ends can be pursued only by constitutional means. That understanding lies at the heart of the recent decision in United States House of Representatives v. Burwell. There, the Federal Court for the District of Columbia declared the Obama administration’s…

  • 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…