David Catron in the American Spectator:
Buried beneath the avalanche of recent news reports about the latest Obamacare-mandated funding cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is a related but far more disturbing story — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a major step toward rationing medications to the elderly. Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to “all or substantially all” of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals. President Obama’s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the “protected” list. …
Even some left-leaning media outlets are uncomfortable with the Obama administration’s rationing policy. …
It’s a little disorienting to find such an objective view in a publication that normally repeats Obama administration talking points verbatim, but there it is. Presumably, this departure from partisanship is an indication of just how far CMS has over-reached this time.
More: Drug Rationing for Seniors Begins | The American Spectator.
From the Galen Institute:
By our count at the Galen Institute, more than 35 significant changes already have been made to ObamaCare: at least 18 that President Obama has made unilaterally, 15 that Congress has passed and the president has signed, and 2 by the Supreme Court. But even this large number of changes hasn’t stopped the cascade of failures we are seeing today in the implementation of the law.
More: 35 Changes to ObamaCare…So Far | Galen Institute.
Via “Of Course He Should Be Impeached,” by David Catron.
Related:PPACA’s Corrupting Lawlessness: The new health care law’s proponents have done long-lasting damage to constitutional order. By Christina Sandefur and Timothy Sandefur
From Ross Kaminsky:
In the Federal Register update which includes President Obama’s most recent unlawful modification of the Affordable Care Act (called Obamacare by liberals only when it is polling above 40% favorable with the public), two main conditions need to be met for employers of between 50 and 99 workers to qualify for another year-long delay in the law’s mandate that they provide health insurance to their employees or face fines.
In addition to having to keep substantially the same insurance coverage for their employees, an employer will not receive relief from the law if she has fired workers in order to get the company’s employee count down below 100 for the purpose of qualifying for the current waiver.
Read more: The Obamacare Thought Police | The American Spectator.
In the Greeley Tribune, Linda Gorman writes:
Some Colorado legislators have shown impeccable timing in seeking to exacerbate the problem. Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, have introduced Senate Bill 016, which would force the closure of already existing freestanding emergency rooms unless they are owned by a hospital. SB 016 provides an exemption for emergency rooms more than 25 miles from a licensed hospital. Given the geographic structure of the Front Range corridor, however, the practical effect of the bill would be to give hospitals monopoly control of all emergency facilities. …
Colorado’s hospitals are big businesses. As the bill to close competitive emergency rooms shows, they would rather outlaw competitors than outproduce them. Colorado legislators need to remember that handing hospitals a monopoly over freestanding emergency rooms does not serve the best interests of their constituents. It will increase health care costs while reducing health care access, and increase the pain for ordinary citizens already suffering from Obamacare cost increases.
More: Gorman: Senate Bill 016 a boost to health care cronyism in Colorado | GreeleyTribune.com.
Thomas Sowell writes:
One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them in the first place. …
Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D. Rockefeller, they usually pay little — if any — attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.
What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.
More: The Inequality Bogeyman | National Review Online.
More by Sowell on income & wealth inequality.
John R. Graham writes:
This result is important for anticipating the consequences of ObamaCare. About half of the 30-plus million people expected to get health insurance under ObamaCare will be enrolled in Medicaid, not private health insurance. Already, the Administration asserts that four million new Medicaid enrollees have signed up via ObamaCare (but this estimate has been questioned).
Nobody should be surprised: Despite politicians’ assertion that Medicaid coverage increases the likelihood of using primary care, rather than an ER, the evidence points clearly to the contrary. For example, in Massachusetts, ER use soared by 17 percent two years after Gov. Romney’s law mandating insurance coverage came into effect.
Read more: Least Surprising Health Research Result Ever
See also “Medicaid Expansion Drives up Visits to ER,” Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2014.
Peter Suderman at Reason:
At this point, the White House has backed off so many of its own definitions of success that it’s not clear what would constitute a failure. The administration seems to be defining Obamacare success if it continues to exist.
More: The Administration’s Continually Shifting Standards for Obamacare’s Success – Hit & Run : Reason.com.