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More than two-thirds of Obamacare enrollees unsatisfied with coverage

By Tom Howell Jr.     •     The Washington Times

obamacare-obama-government-inefficientObamacare has offered insurance to millions of people, but they’re unhappy with the coverage they’re getting and are particularly upset about the costs, according to a survey released Monday that suggests the health care law continues to struggle to win over Americans.

Just 30 percent of customers on Obamacare’s exchanges were satisfied with their coverage, the health care research arm of the Deloitte consulting firm said.

Only a quarter of Obamacare customers in the survey were confident that they could get care when they needed it, and just 16 percent felt “financially prepared” to handle future health care costs, Deloitte said.

“Those are not high numbers,” said Paul Lambdin, a director for Deloitte’s work on insurance exchanges and retail practices.

Analysts said it is hard to tell at this point whether dissatisfaction is the inevitable byproduct of a new customer base or whether the law itself has structural problems. [Read more...]

Obamacare fines rise as subsidies go to people who don’t exist

by Eric Boehm     •     Watchdog.org

GOING JUST FINE: It was the first year in which purchasing health insurance was made mandatory under the ACA, with penalties of $95 or 1 percent of total income. The average penalty collected for the 2014 tax year was about $200, the IRS reported.

The IRS fined more than 7.5 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance in 2014, even as Obamacare subsidies flowed to people who didn’t even exist.

The Treasury Department reported last week the number of Americans who faced fines because of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was significantly higher than the Obama administration expected. For 2014, the IRS projected that roughly 6 million would face fines, but the final total was 1.5 million higher.

It was the first year in which buying health insurance was made mandatory under the ACA, with penalties of $95 or 1 percent of total income – whichever was higher – for people who did not comply. [Read more...]

The newest Obamacare fail: penalties of $36,500 per worker

The Internal Revenue Service swoops in with a money grab

by Diana Furchtgott-Roth     •     MarketWatch

ObamaCare IRSHey, employers, don’t even think about reimbursing your workers’ health-insurance premiums.

Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm.

This Internal Revenue Service penalty is not written into the Obamacare law. The amount is over 12 times the statutory amount in the Affordable Care Act of $3,000 per worker per year. That is what an employer is charged when one of its employees gets subsidized care on one of the health-care exchanges. It’s 18 times the $2,000 penalty for not offering adequate health insurance.

The $100 fine is applicable not only to large firms, but also those with fewer than 50 workers that are exempt from the $2,000 and $3,000 employer penalties. Firms with one worker are exempt. The penalty for S-corporations will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The new rule is broad, sweeping and overly punitive. [Read more...]

ObamaCare’s Prices Will Keep Surging

After this year’s spike, the average family plan will go up another 11.2% in 2016.

By Stephen T. Parente     •     The Wall Street Journal

Americans who purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges should buckle up. Within the month, state regulators will begin approving premium hikes for plans sold in every state. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already released the premium increases that health insurers have requested for their 2016 plans. By law, insurers must receive regulatory approval for any increase more than 10%—and more than 10% is what many of them want.

The numbers are staggering. According to the rate requests posted on Healthcare.gov, nearly every state has multiple plans that are facing a more than 10% premium increase. Many plans—including some offered by state-market leaders—could see hikes of more than 30%, 40% or even 50%. Though most of these requests have not been approved, nor have all of the rate hikes that are less than 10% been unveiled, it is undeniable that millions of Americans are facing double-digit premium increases for health insurance next year. [Read more...]

Scalia Blasts Obamacare Ruling: ‘Words Have No Meaning’

They did it again.

The Supreme Court of the United States effectively rewrote the text of Obamacare to save the legislation.

By a 6-3 majority, the Court upheld the Fourth Circuit’s decision in King v. Burwell and decided that federal subsidies were available on state Obamacare exchanges, even though the text of the so-called Affordable Care Act said that such subsidies were only available on “State” exchanges.

The majority acknowledged that the word “State” was, at best, “ambiguous.” And it rejected the idea that an executive agency, in this case the Internal Revenue Service, could decide the meaning of that term. [Read more...]

Obamacare Database Keeps Personal Info “Forever”

by Americans for Tax Reform

The Symbol of ObamaCare

The Symbol of ObamaCare

 

In the wake of a security breach last month that resulted in the theft of personal taxpayer data, experts are now raising concerns over a government data warehouse that keeps the information of Obamacare enrollees forever.

The system, known as the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System, or MIDAS is vaguely described on the federal healthcare.gov as a “perpetual central repository.” When asked by the Associated Press how many people have direct access to the database, officials refused to say.

The decision to keep the personal information of enrollees forever has raised the ire of experts. Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated that it is irresponsible of the government to retain data any longer than is necessary. Similarly, Michael Astrue, a former Social Security Commissioner has argued that there is no justification for keeping this data permanently. In addition, he worries that the federal government is illegally expanding MIDAS by adding personal information from state-run Obamacare exchanges without proper privacy consent. [Read more...]

The President’s Fictions: from Obamacare to ISIS

President Obama lives and operates in a fictitious world because the real world doesn’t cooperate with his dogmas. 

by New York Post Editorial BoardOrwellian Doublespeak Obama

 

It’s plainly liberating for President Obama to simply deny reality and declare everything just peachy, as he did again Monday at the G7 summit in Germany. Sadly, reality’s not cooperating.

One of his fictions du jour: All’s well with Obama­Care. No joke.

“The thing is working,” the president insisted. “We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of ObamaCare, because none of them have come to pass.”

Somebody’s having those conversations. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 54 percent oppose ObamaCare, with only 39 percent — the lowest ever — in favor.

He also insisted that a big suit against ObamaCare, Burwell v. King, is so clearly based on a “twisted interpretation” that “it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.” [Read more...]

The Fantasy that ObamaCare ‘Is Working’

by Steve Moore    •    Forbes obamacare tire mud

Sometimes it seems President Obama lives in a parallel universe where facts are floating around to be plucked out of suspended animation. Never more so than on the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

“[ObamaCare] is working…We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of Obamacare because none of them have come to pass. You got 16 million people who’ve gotten health insurance.

“It hasn’t had an adverse effect on people who already had health insurance. The overwhelming majority of them are satisfied with the health insurance…

“The costs have come in substantially lower than even our estimates about how much it would cost. Health care inflation overall has continued to be at some of the lowest levels in 50 years. None of the predictions about how this wouldn’t work have come to pass.”

Barack Obama, June 8, 2015

So let’s see whether anything he says on the new law, including that it “is working,” comports with the facts: [Read more...]

Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are responsible for Obamacare’s chaos

The Left desperately wants to blame Obamacare’s chaos on the GOP.  But it is all a lie. They passed it without a single GOP vote and they rammed it down America’s throat with lies. Now they want to blame the GOP. Have they no shame?  Evidently not. 

by David Harsanyi    •   The Federalist 

If the Supreme Court decides that there will be no more retroactive legislating and upholds Obamacare as written, terrible things will happen to America. No doubt, you’ve heard some of them. We might, for instance, find out what health insurance in fabricated, state-run “marketplaces” actually cost:

Twitter Obamacare Costs

Yikes, indeed. But her contention isn’t exactly right. Insurance plans in federally run exchanges already cost 650 percent more than consumers pay. The difference is picked up taxpayers. Kaiser estimates that the 37 states that have declined to set up exchanges will see an average spike of 287 percent should the King v. Burwell decision not go the administration’s way. A ruling that only proves exchanges have not made insurance markets more competitive or more affordable, as promised. [Read more...]

EPA power grab looks like Obamacare redux

by Peter Roff     •     Washington Examiner

epa-logoEveryone remembers former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ill-advised comment that the Affordable Care Act would have to pass so that the American people could find out what was in it. Unfortunately, what should have been a cautionary tale has instead been an object lesson in rulemaking for President Obama’s bureaucracy.

Take, for example, the pending Clean Power Plan, an initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency. If fully implemented, it could lead to the mass shuttering of existing power generation facilities, rolling brownouts, blackouts and a significant increase in electrical rates. [Read more...]

U.S. Emergency-Room Visits Keep Climbing

By Stephanie Armour     •     Wall Street Journal

Emergency-room visits continued to climb in the second year of the Affordable Care Act, contradicting the law’s supporters who had predicted a decline in traffic as more people gained access to doctors and other health-care providers.

A survey of 2,098 emergency-room doctors conducted in March showed about three-quarters said visits had risen since January 2014. That was a significant uptick from a year earlier, when less than half of doctors surveyed reported an increase. The survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians is scheduled to be published Monday. [Read more...]

Don’t Import Canada’s Ideas on Health Care

by Sally Pipes     •     RealClearPolitics

obamacare-obama-government-inefficientMove aside, maple syrup. Canada has a hot new export — single-payer health care.

The New York State Assembly may soon consider legislation that would switch the Empire State to a Canadian-style single-payer system. Maine has expressed interest in doing the same.

So has Congress. Earlier this year, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced a bill to create government-run insurance programs in every Obamacare exchange.

Our northern neighbor’s admirers should consult its history. Nearly fifty years ago, Canada charged a youthful chief executive with a massive overhaul of its healthcare system — just as the United States has today. Canada now has a half-century of proof that government-dominated healthcare systems force patients to wait interminably long times for subpar treatment. [Read more...]

Cutting Healthcare Costs Without Harming Patients

by Peter Roff     •     The Hill

obamacare pay less for healthcareA debate has raged for more than 20 years now over the best way to bend the U.S. healthcare cost curve downward. So far, no one is winning – least of all patients and healthcare providers. And no one will as long as “bending the curve” (which is just a fancy way of saying we need to find ways to make the delivery of healthcare cheaper) remains the primary objective regardless of the impact on patient care.

Up to now the debate has focused largely on what government can proactively do to ease costs. This led to the passage by the narrowest of margins of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – which is really nothing more than a complex series of new regulations and taxes, fines and fees that have forced insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and patients all to make changes in the way they provide and receive care as well as coverage.

People don’t like the new system very much but they weren’t exactly fans of the old one either. And no matter what the United States Supreme Court determines in the pending King vs. Burwell suit over the questionable use of tax dollars to subsidize health insurance bought through the federal exchange by people living in states that do not have exchanges of their own, things can probably only get worse. [Read more...]

Barack Obama, Corporate Liberal

And secret friend of the one percent.

by Jay Cost     •     The Weekly Standard

Obama-smugIn last week’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama came across as the ultimate class warrior. His domestic agenda consists of more spending on roads and infrastructure, new entitlement programs for community college and preschool, and tax preferences targeted to low- and middle-income earners. All of this he would pay for with new inheritance taxes on the wealthy, a hike in the capital gains tax, and a special levy on the biggest financial institutions.

But don’t be fooled. Obama may seem like the newest member of Occupy Wall Street—chanting “We are the 99 percent!”—but his record shows him to be a corporate liberal, and a closer look at last week’s proposals confirms it. [Read more...]

Here Comes the Next Obamacare Showdown

by Philip Klein     •     Washington Examiner

obamacare logoIf the U.S. Supreme Court rules in June that health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans are illegal, Republicans better not be caught flat-footed, because President Obama will be ready to pounce, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told the Washington Examiner in an interview.

“As the president said to me in the White House [earlier this month], he said, ‘There are five million people [who receive subsidies through the federal exchange] — and I know who they are.’ He spoke like a community organizer who was going to try to use those people that he has actually caused significant damage to by not applying the law,” Barrasso said from his senate office.

The Wyoming senator has of late been something of a Paul Revere of the Republican Senate majority, shouting, “King vs. Burwell is coming! King vs. Burwell is coming!” [Read more...]