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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2014 by Alyene Senger Obama’s slippery attack on ‘junk’ health care plans

    “Too many Americans have substandard health plans.” That was just one of many arguments made by President Obama and his allies to justify why America needed the heavy government regulation included in Obamacare. Obamacare, they assured us, would rein in all those “bad-apple insurers” and protect consumers from the false security of “junk” health care plans. Last year,…

  • Issue Brief posted February 11, 2014 by Alyene Senger “Junk” Health Plans and Other Obamacare Insurance Myths

    Obamacare affects nearly all areas of health care, but the most disruptive provisions of the law affect insurance sold in the individual market. In 2013, at least 4.7 million policyholders across 31 states and the District of Columbia were notified that their current coverage was being discontinued.[1] The number is likely even higher, since data were not available for 19…

  • Backgrounder posted February 3, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Rea S. Hederman, Jr. CBO Confirms: Medicare Premium Support Means Savings for Taxpayers and Seniors

    A major report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that Medicare premium support (a defined-contribution system of health-plan financing) would make the financially troubled federal program more fiscally sustainable.[1] The CBO finds that, in a new competitive system of health plans, private plans can offer the same benefit and services as traditional…

  • Commentary posted January 29, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier What the Obamacare "Death Spiral" Debate Misses

    Will Obamacare tip the health insurance industry into a “death spiral” that ends in market collapse? While there is growing debate on that question, both sides seem to agree that, to avoid such a collapse, the Obamacare exchanges must enroll a sufficient number of young (and presumably healthy) adults. So, the other week when HHS released updated exchange enrollment data,…

  • Issue Brief posted January 24, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Replacing the Medicare SGR: Getting the Policy and the Financing Right

    This year, Medicare physicians face a 24 percent pay cut. The reason: Congress updates Medicare doctors’ payments by a formula called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). While complex, the SGR formula attempts to limit the growth in Medicare physician payment to growth in gross domestic product (GDP). If physician payments are less than GDP growth in any given year, then…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2014 by Alyene Senger The Next Obamacare Crisis

    After a botched rollout that was universally panned, it may seem like things are finally moving more smoothly for Obamacare. But 2014 and beyond promise more turbulence for consumers, with premium tax credits likely to be another crisis. On January 1, Obamacare’s subsidized exchange coverage began. The Congressional Budget Office projects that exchange subsidies, both…

  • Backgrounder posted December 20, 2013 by James C. Capretta, Kevin Dayaratna Compelling Evidence Makes the Case for a Market-Driven Health Care System

    The United States does not have a private-sector health insurance system, let alone a functioning competitive market for insurance or health services. In fact, the federal government has been the dominant force in American health care for decades, long before the recent massive expansion of the government’s role in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…