A few recent articles about Democrats opposing or criticizing ObamaCare:
Are Democrats Starting to Regret Obamacare?: “Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat and chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which did much of the heavy lifting on early drafts of Obamacare, now thinks that passing the law in its current form was a mistake.”
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer: Democrats Made a Mistake Putting Health Care Reform Before the Economy
Barney Frank on the White House Rollout ofhttps://patientpowernow.wordpress.com/wp-admin/themes.php Obamacare: “They just lied to people.”
(I should add more if I see any.)
The Supreme Court has granted cert. in King v. Burwell, one of four cases challenging the IRS’s ongoing expansion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s main taxing and spending provisions beyond the clear and unambiguous limits imposed by Congress. Here I will attempt to dispel common myths surrounding these “Obamacare” cases.
Read the whole article by Michael Cannon: Seven Myths about King v. Burwell | Cato Institute.
At Reason, Peter Suderman writes:
In the week since video surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying that “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter” were critical to passing the health law, two more videos of Gruber making statements with similar themes or tones have received attention.
Both clips reveal a gleefully dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the law, and offer a telling reminder of the attitude that played a crucial role in shaping and selling the law to the public. …
This is the person whom the White House relied on to help craft the bill; he was paid handsomely to model its effects (a fact he did not disclose, even when asked), and he was in the room when important decisions were made about how it would work. He claims to have helped write specific portions of the law himself. Gruber was not the sole architect of the law, but he was one of its biggest single influences on both its design and on how the media, which quoted him repeatedly, reported and understood the law.
The White House and its allies are desperately trying to distance themselves from Gruber right now by downplaying his role in the law’s creation. But the record of his involvement is clear enough: At The Washington Post, Ezra Klein has variously described Gruber as “one of the key architects behind the structure of the Affordable Care Act” and “the most aggressive academic economist supporting the reform effort.” The New York Times in 2012 described his role as helping to design the overall structure as well as being “dispatched” by the White House to Congress to write the legislative text. Gruber’s work was cited repeatedly by the White House, Democratic leadership, and the media.
So when he describes the thinking about how the law was crafted and sold to the public, it’s worth taking note. This is the posture of one of the law’s authors and chief backers. It’s part of the spirit in which the law was created and passed. Gruber’s ideas were embedded in the law’s structure and language, and so was his attitude.
Read the whole article: Jonathan Gruber Embraced Misleading the Public About Obamacare Even While It Was Still Being Debated – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
From David Hogberg at the National Center for Public Policy Research:
When millions of people in the individual health insurance market lost their health plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those lost plans were “substandard” or “crappy.” However, they failed to support that contention.
This study examines the claim that the policies on the individual market were inferior in quality to those on the ObamaCare exchanges. First, it compares the premiums and the size of the deductibles as well as maximum out-of-pocket costs of policies on the individual market prior to the exchanges to those of current polices on the exchanges. Second, it examines the quality of provider networks by comparing the number of plans that are HMOs versus those that are PPOs in the individual market prior to the exchanges and those now on the exchanges.
The study finds that there were many policies on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans now available on the exchanges. It also finds that the individual market prior to the exchanges offered a greater choice of hospitals and physicians since it contained far more PPO policies than HMO policies, whereas the exchanges offer more HMO policies.
Read the whole study: Despite ObamaCare Supporters’ Claims, Health Insurance Plans Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges Were Neither ‘Crappy’ Nor ‘Substandard’.
Via the National Center for Policy Analysis.
In The Wall Street Journal, Mark Sklar writes about endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when should I see patients? Sklar writes:
The patient should be the arbiter of the physician’s quality of care. Contrary to what our government may believe, the average American has the intellectual capacity to judge. To give people more control of their medical choices, we should move away from third-party payment. t may be more prudent to offer the public a high-deductible insurance plan with a tax-deductible medical savings account that people could use until the insurance deductible is reached. Members of the public thus would be spending their own health-care dollars and have an incentive to shop around for better value. This would encourage competition among providers and ultimately lower health-care costs.
Mark Sklar: Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare – WSJ.
Michael Ramlet writes:
We estimate that within 10 years, the number of uninsured Americans may increase by 10 percent. At the same time, premiums will rise faster than federal subsidies. The latter problem will be most severe when insurers release their 2017 rate increases in the summer and fall of 2016—perhaps the most awkward timing for the law’s supporters.
More: A 10-Year Prediction for the Affordable Care Act – NationalJournal.com.
See also Risky Business: Will Taxpayers Bail Out Health Insurers? by John R. Graham.
From a recent NCPA Washington Update:
As the implementation of Obamacare moves forward, more people are buying insurance and many of the early problems that plagued the website seem solved. But public approval ratings remain dismal. Maybe it is the complex labyrinth of paperwork. Or the rising cost of premiums. Many businesses are still coping with the effects of the new health care law, while many individuals are still trying to send the right documents to the government.
It turns out that health insurance premiums tend to be more affordable in states with more competition among insurance companies. That is a predictable outcome based on what we learned in Econ 101. Another predictable conclusion: Congress will always try to play by their own rules. You may remember that the Obama Administration exempted Congress from a provision in the law that requires members of Congress and their staff to purchase health insurance in the Obamacare exchange without a taxpayer subsidy. That’s why Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and other Republicans opposed the exemption. Now there are a group of Democrats who are introducing legislation that would require Congress to play by the same rules as everyone else. Just in time for the election.