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  • 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.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 30, 2015 by Nina Owcharenko Medicaid at 50: Reform Is Needed to Better Serve Low-Income Health Care Needs

    Medicaid, enacted along with Medicare in 1965, was created to provide health care for certain categories of low-income Americans.[1] Over the past 50 years, the program has changed significantly. Not only has Medicaid eligibility expanded, so also has the scope of its care and services. Mounting fiscal, demographic, and structural challenges continue to strain the…

  • Issue Brief posted July 30, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare at 50: Reform Will Better Serve Seniors’ Health Care Needs

    Medicare, enacted along with Medicaid in 1965, is 50 years old.[1] The program, which provides health care services to seniors and some disabled, has successfully provided its enrollees core hospital and physicians’ coverage and a strong measure of financial security. However, fiscal and demographic problems that are inherent in its outdated structure threaten seniors’…

  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2015 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Nina Owcharenko States Should Start Planning Now for the Post-ACA World

    When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in King v. Burwell upholding the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the law, some concluded that the intense debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) was coming to an end. Not surprisingly, President Barack Obama encouraged that interpretation in his response to the Court’s decision, saying that “the…

  • Commentary posted June 29, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. America's Obamacare Nightmare Is Just Beginning

    Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could continue to subsidize health-insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov, the federal exchanges. An ecstatic President Obama declared that Obamacare is “here to stay.” No, it’s not. A judicial victory doesn’t automatically translate into a political victory, let alone a policy success. Once they’ve…

  • Commentary posted June 29, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Shed sunshine on ObamaCare's subsidies for Congress

    Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has a simple question: How and why did Congress qualify as a "small business" eligible for special taxpayer subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? For anyone in a real small business — private employers who get no such subsidies — the very idea is absurd. But getting a straight answer is as difficult as getting Lois Lerner's IRS…