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Unemployed by ObamaCare

ObamaCare Sink HoleThree new Fed surveys highlight damage to the labor market.

Wall Street Journal Editorial

Most of the political class seems to have decided that ObamaCare is working well enough, the opposition is fading, and the subsidies and regulation are settling in as the latest wing of the entitlement state. This flight from reality can’t last forever, especially as the evidence continues to pile up that the law is harming the labor market.

On Thursday the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported the results of a special business survey on the Affordable Care Act and its influence on employment, compensation and benefits. Liberals claim ObamaCare is of little consequence to jobs, but the Philly Fed went to the source and asked employers qualitative questions about how they are responding in practice. [Read more...]

How to Transition from Obamacare to Real Health Care Reform

 by James C. Capretta and Yuval Levin     •     Weekly Standard

Obamacare-DelayObamacare—or at least the version of it that the president and his advisers currently think they can get away with putting into place—has been upending arrangements and reshuffling the deck in the health system since the beginning of the year. That’s when the new insurance rules, subsidies, and optional state Medicaid expansions went into effect. The law’s defenders say the changes that have been set in motion are irreversible, in large part because several million people are now covered by insurance plans sold through the exchanges, and a few million more are enrolled in Medicaid as a result of Obamacare. President Obama has stated repeatedly that these developments should effectively shut the door on further debate over the matter. [Read more...]

The Myth of ObamaCare’s Affordability

The law’s perverse incentives will have the nation working fewer hours, and working those hours less productively.

By Casey B. Mulligan     •     Wall Street Journal

obamacare costsWhether the Affordable Care Act lives up to its name depends on how, or whether, you consider its consequences for the wider economy.

Millions of people pay a significant portion of their income for health insurance so they and their families can get good health care when they need it. The magnitude of their sacrifices demonstrates the importance that people ascribe to health care.

The Affordable Care Act attempts to help low- and middle-income families avoid some of the tough sacrifices that would be necessary to purchase health insurance without assistance. But no program can change the fundamental reality that society itself has to make sacrifices in order to deliver health care to more people. [Read more...]

Frontiers of Freedom Supports H.R. 3522 the “Employee Health Care Protection Act”

obamacare doctor medicineOn Wednesday, September 10th, the House of Representatives is expected to take up the Employee Health Care Protection Act (H.R. 3522). If enacted, the legislation would allow American workers to keep their health plans, even if it does not meet the minimum requirements artificially imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Regarding the proposed legislation, Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith remarked:

“The Employee Health Care Protection Act would allow American workers to keep their health care plan if they like it, a promise that President Obama made himself when selling Obamacare. Unfortunately he has broken that promise. I encourage representatives from both parties to support this commonsense piece of legislation which will lower costs, expand access to healthcare and increase wages for American workers.”

ObamaCare Will Still Come Back to Haunt Liberals

by Jonathan S. Tobin     •     Commentary Magazine

obamacare costsAfter a summer of discontent and failure for the Obama administration that is leading into a fall campaign that may cost the Democrats control of the Senate, liberal pundits still have one thing to celebrate. In contrast to predictions from many conservatives last winter, it appears that ObamaCare isn’t an issue that is dominating the midterm elections. But while Democrats are trying to tell themselves that this means the debate about it is over, as even the New York Times conceded in an article today, the controversy over its impact will return with a vengeance next year.

As the Times reports, the administration is bracing for the fact that the next open enrollment period may be even more traumatic than the first one. Huge price increases in premiums are expected. As Kevin Counihan, the man recently named to head the federal exchanges, told the newspaper, “Part of me thinks that this year is going to make last year look like the good old days.” [Read more...]

How Repealing And Replacing Obamacare Would Help Restore Booming Economic Growth

ObamaCare Launchby Peter Ferrara   •    Forbes

One of the biggest drags on economic growth under President Obama has been Obamacare, enacted on a strictly partisan basis in 2010. That drag has come primarily from the sweeping overregulation of Obamacare.

The biggest culprit has been the employer mandate, which requires all employers of 50 or more full time workers to buy them health insurance with the terms and benefits as specified by the federal government. That is effectively a tax on employment of well over $10,000 a year per worker for family coverage.

Even for employers that already provide health insurance, the employer mandate will likely be a big tax increase on employment. That is because the mandated health insurance will most likely cost more than what the employer is already providing. That results first because the government responds to political pressure to require generous benefits most people will think the employer is paying for, to be include in the mandated health insurance. That drives up the cost of the mandatory health insurance. [Read more...]

More Bad News for Obamacare

ObamaCare Cancelled Policiesby Megan McArdle    •    Bloomberg

Last Monday, Jed Graham of Investor’s Business Daily reported that insurers say Affordable Care Act enrollment is shrinking, and it is expected to shrink further. Some of those who signed up for insurance on the exchanges never paid; others paid, then stopped paying. Insurers are undoubtedly picking up some new customers who lost jobs or had another “qualifying life event” since open enrollment closed. But on net, they expect enrollment to shrink from their March numbers by a substantial amount — as much as 30 percent at Aetna Inc., for example. [Read more...]

Congress Isn’t Alone in Struggling to Obtain Obamacare Records

by Jillian Kay Melchior     •     National Review Online

accountability_corruption_mediaAs news breaks about the Department of Health and Human Services’ missing HealthCare.gov e-mails, it’s pertinent to note how difficult it has been to obtain records in general about Obamacare, as I’ve learned personally over the past many months.

In Nevada, National Review had to sue the state health exchange before we were able to obtain records about how many Obamacare navigators had criminal backgrounds, despite the fact that they were handling consumers’ private information. (As it turned out, at least eight did.) [Read more...]

Congressman Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost or Destroyed’ E-mails After House Launched Probes

by Joel Gehrke     •     National Review Online

marilyn_tavennery_emails_ObamacareThe revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.

“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner’s lost e-mails. [Read more...]

Obama Official Deleted Obamacare Emails Sought By Congress

by Patrick Howley     •     Daily Caller

marilyn_tavennery_emails_ObamacareThe administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deleted some of her emails and may not be able to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the flawed Obamacare rollout, CMS has warned Congress.

Marilyn Tavenner, who was appointed by President Obama to take over CMS within the Department of Health and human Services in 2013 — prior to the Obamacare rollout — deleted some of her emails and did not save hard copies as the Federal Records Act requires her to do, MSNBC reported Thursday. [Read more...]

Big Government Doesn’t Work in the Digital Age

by Michael Barone     •     Washington Examiner

bureaucracy_big governmentEarlier this week, I was thinking of writing a column about the lying and duplicity of Obamacare backers who argued that the difference between provisions providing subsidies in states with state-run health exchanges and providing no subsidies in states with federal exchanges resulted from inadvertence or a typographical error.

Typical among them was MIT health care expert Jonathan Gruber. The folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute found video of him in 2012 arguing that all or most states would create their own exchanges because they wouldn’t get subsidies if they let the federal government run their exchanges. That was just a “speako” (the oral equivalent of a typo), Gruber replied. [Read more...]

Obamacare: The more the public knows, the less they like it

Obamacare Hurtby Byron York    •    Washington Examiner

Democrats have long believed Obamacare would become more popular once it was fully in place and Americans got a chance to see it up close. So why is Obamacare less popular now than a few months ago? Because it is fully in place and Americans have had a chance to see it up close.

According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked Obamacare for years, 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. That’s an eight-percentage-point jump in unfavorability over last month, and a two-point drop in favorability over the same time.

Why the shift? It’s not because millions of Americans have suddenly become conservative Republicans. Kaiser found that disapproval of Obamacare has risen across the board. Among Democrats, for example, the law’s unfavorable rating jumped six points in July, while its favorable rating fell four points. A similar thing happened among independents and — it hardly seemed possible — among Republicans who already hated the law. [Read more...]

Affordable Care Act’s Own Words Should Be Its Undoing

Las Vegas Review-Journal

obamacare-2The Democrats who forced the Affordable Care Act on the American public are predictably outraged that Obamacare appears headed back before the U.S. Supreme Court for another make-or-break appeal on a pillar of the legislation. But for the Obama administration to prevail once more, the justices will have to follow the president’s lead in ignoring the letter of the law.

The latest legal challenge to Obamacare addresses the health insurance subsidies that have propped up the country’s tepid pursuit of coverage mandated by the law. [Read more...]

Health-Care Strategy for 2014: Freedom

Obamacare-exemptionsObamaCare repeal is out until 2017, but here’s an agenda to unite the GOP and offer Americans relief.

by Phil Gramm

Contradictory rulings this week by the D.C. and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals mean that ObamaCare will probably return to the Supreme Court. The crucial issue is whether the government can subsidize premiums for health insurance bought on federal exchanges, though the Affordable Care Act’s plain language authorizes subsidies only for policies purchased on “an Exchange established by the State.”

If the Supreme Court decides that ObamaCare must be implemented as written, Democrats will have to bring the legislation back to Congress. This gives Republicans an opportunity to develop a new strategy to rid the country of ObamaCare.

President Obama and virtually every congressional Democrat believed that once the Affordable Care Act passed it would become popular, thanks to the law’s massive subsidies. Many Republicans believed this as well. It hasn’t worked out that way. Four years later 59% of Americans still oppose ObamaCare, according to the most recent CNN poll. It has become clearer over time that the president’s health law has made many problems in health care worse. Judged by the deeply flawed roll out and the necessity for endless illegal waivers, merely implementing the law as written seems to be far beyond the capacity of the U.S. government. [Read more...]

Questions for Obamacare Now

by Megan McArdle

obamacare logoYesterday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to outline what we don’t know: namely, what will happen after the case winds its way through the court system.

If the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rules for the government, the answer is, “not much; things go on as they are.” But what if the justices take the case and rule for the plaintiff? [Read more...]