Issue Brief on March 31, 2014
Delay the ICD-10 Coding System
The House of Representatives recently passed H.R 4302, a temporary “fix” to the Medicare payment system that would prevent a 24 percent cut in Medicare payments this year. The bill would also delay the Obama Administration’s implementation of the new ICD-10 coding system, which is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2014. Congress should recognize the…
Issue Brief posted March 14, 2014
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
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). Many key stakeholders and Members of Congress expressed…
Issue Brief posted March 5, 2014
Compensation and Obamacare’s Impact on Low-Wage Workers
In February, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a budget outlook that showed significant changes in the effect of Obamacare on the supply of labor. This led to a furious outcry from Obamacare proponents and critics. However, one additional bit of conversation seemed to get lost in the shuffle: The CBO clearly states that Obamacare will lower aggregate labor…
Issue Brief posted February 11, 2014
“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. The number is likely even higher, since data were not available for 19…
Issue Brief posted January 24, 2014
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…
Issue Brief posted December 18, 2013
Ten Broken Obamacare Promises
Since the passage of Obamacare in 2010, many of the President’s famous promises have been routinely broken. As he so ironically threatened in 2009, “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.” To that end, here are 10 promises of Obamacare that have already proved to be broken.
Promise #1: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep…
Issue Brief posted November 8, 2013
Lack of Competition in Obamacare’s Exchanges: Over Half of U.S. Has Two or Fewer Carriers
My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and…
Issue Brief posted October 24, 2013
Budget Sequestration's Impact on Obamacare Subsidies
Many Americans could face a rude awakening when they discover that the subsidies they thought they were getting to offset their health care costs are less than what they were promised. Some claim that the Obamacare subsidies are exempt from the spending reductions established by the Budget Control Act (BCA), but that is only half right.
The BCA exempts only the…
Issue Brief posted October 16, 2013
How Will You Fare in the Obamacare Exchanges?
There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, [the Department of Health and Human Services] has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.
President, American Action…
Issue Brief posted September 13, 2013
Interpreting Obamacare’s Premium Estimates for 2014
In recent weeks, several organizations have released studies projecting premiums in Obamacare’s new exchanges next year. However, many of these studies suffer from the same flaw: They ignore or minimize the fact that, due to Obamacare, individuals will be forced to buy levels of health insurance that they may not need or want. As a result, average insurance premiums on…
Issue Brief posted September 3, 2013
How Obamacare Threatens Privacy in America
Over the past several months, a stream of reports from government auditors and news stories has raised serious questions about the Administration’s implementation of Obamacare and its effects on the privacy of millions of Americans. The reports paint a portrait of an Administration casting aside security concerns—potentially putting Americans’ financial and health data at…
Issue Brief posted August 26, 2013
Obamacare’s Impact on Businesses: An Update
Obamacare will impose new health coverage costs, the employer mandate, compliance regulations, and new taxes on all businesses. Altogether, these constraints will dramatically affect companies’ per-employee costs, desire to provide health coverage, and motivation to grow in terms of both income and employment.
Further Burdening Businesses
Obamacare is likely to…
Issue Brief posted August 16, 2013
Medicaid Expansion and State-Level Evaluation in Virginia
Many states have conducted various versions of evaluation of the budgetary effects of expanding Medicaid. One state in particular that has participated in a rather robust analytical discussion is Virginia.
According to the Urban Institute, “Virginia exemplifies a state where public officials and private stakeholders have carefully analyzed multiple effects of the Medicaid…
Issue Brief posted July 30, 2013
Defunding Obamacare: The Next Best Option
Congressional opponents of Obamacare continue to search for the best approach to relieve the American public of the unpopular law’s burdens. Of course, the ideal solution is Obamacare’s full repeal. However, short of its full repeal, Congress’s best option is to defund the entire law to prevent its implementation.
What Defunding Does
Because the Constitution grants…