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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...]

Federal Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies in 36 States

obamacare tire mudby Susan Jones

A federal court on Tuesday struck down health insurance subsidies for people in the 36 states that did not set up their own Obamacare exchanges.

The ruling “is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted shortly after a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. issued its ruling in Halbig v. Burwell.

While the ruling is a “significant victory for the American people & rule of law…we must not rest,” Cruz added. [Read more...]

No, Halbig Did Not Gut Obamacare Because Of A “Drafting Error”

Reading is fundamental, unless you’re a liberal blogger.

obamacare-2by Sean Davis

Words mean things.

That was the message delivered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in yesterday’s Halbig opinion. At issue was whether Obamacare required federal health insurance subsidies to be limited only to plans purchased via a state-based health exchange. To date, only 14 states (plus Washington, DC) have established state exchanges; the federal government established and is operating the exchange used by residents of the other 36 states. In May of 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a rule stating that the subsidies would be available even if they would be applied to a plan purchased via the federal health exchange. [Read more...]

Liberalism as an Instrument of Coercion

Free speechby Michael Barone

Liberals just aren’t very liberal these days. The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century, liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade — for minimal state interference in people’s lives.

In the 20th-century, New Dealers revised this definition by arguing that people had a right not only to free speech and freedom of religion but also, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1941 Four Freedoms speech, freedom from fear and from want. [Read more...]

Obamacare’s War on Chain Restaurants

by Liz Thatcher     •     RealClearPolicy

obamacare logoThese days, it seems not a week goes by without a new hidden cost in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, coming to light. This time it’s Section 4205, a provision that imposes a costly, one-size-fits-all regulation on restaurants and grocery stores: Any food-service establishment with 20 or more locations must display calorie counts on its menus.

If implemented in its current form, this provision would be ineffective in fighting obesity. Many restaurants already publish calorie counts for customers who might want them. Domino’s, for example, offers an online Cal-o-meter that helps customers calculate the calories in their pizza. [Read more...]

Obama Hasn’t Hit Rock Bottom Yet

obama_frownby Alex Castellanos

Ordinarily, being ranked as the worst modern president of the United States would be considered unfortunate. For you Mr. President, that’s the good news.

As painful as it is to note, your presidency has not yet hit bottom. You’ve got a long way to go in your descent.

Everywhere you walk, Mr. President, the world unravels. Americans are whispering that each political missile you fire seems to hit not its target but our own house.

You have undone the core idea you’ve advanced, that a larger public sector can save us. You are becoming the one-man Keystone Cops of an experiment in weakness and incompetent government. [Read more...]