Tag: Affordable Care Act

This Doc Fix Is an Outrage »

Yesterday’s Health Alert warned against the so-called Medicare doc fix that is being jammed through the Congress this week. More voices are rising up against this flawed legislation. The Health Alert was written and published before the Congressional Budget Office published its estimate of the bill’s effect on the deficit. Here it is: Over…
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Are Health Plans That Cover Yoga the ‘Next Frontier’? »

When a leading benefits consultant writes an article in the Harvard Business Review recommending that health plans cover yoga, it should be glaringly apparent that we have perverse incentives in U.S. health benefits: Cigna insurance CEO David Cordani says the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ recent payment changes that emphasize quality over quantity…
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Obamacare Costs Are Shrinking – So Should Its Taxes »

The Congressional Budget Office’s March budget baseline updates the agency’s estimates of costs and insurance coverage due to Obamacare. The March baseline estimates that the gross cost of Obamacare’s subsidies and Medicaid spending for the years 2016 through 2025 will be $1.7 trillion, $286 billion less than it had estimated in the January baseline. The CBO…
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Senate Dems: Get Pregnant, Then Get Health Insurance »

While everyone else is wondering whether or not the Supreme Court will strike down the Obamacare tax benefits in 37 jurisdictions (36 states plus Washington, D.C.) with the actual Affordable Care Act as written, some Democratic U.S. Senators are urging women to dig deeper into Obamacare by encouraging them to delay getting health insurance…
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How Much of Federal Transfer Payments Are Obamacare Subsidies? More than You Think! »

January’s Personal Income and Outlays report from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis shows how significant Obamacare’s subsidies to households have become. Last month, they accounted for 21 percent of the increase in total government transfer payments to households: Personal current transfer receipts increased $24.8 billion in January, compared with an increase of $13.8 billion…
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Health Spending Chews Through a Weak Economy »

The federal government’s second estimate of fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), published Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirmed what we pointed out from the initial estimate released on January 30: Health spending is chewing up more and more of the weakening economic recovery. GDP growth was actually revised down from the…
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Why Hasn’t Medicare Advantage Collapsed? »

Milliman, the actuarial consulting firm, has published a new report on the impact of the government’s cuts to Medicare Advantage. The report was sponsored by the Better Medicare Alliance, which announced that “Seniors now face soaring maximum annual out-of-pocket costs” due to the cuts. And yet, the purported cuts have not really bitten health insurers. Medicare Advantage enrollment…
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“Site-Neutral” Medicare Payments: A Good Idea from President Obama’s Budget »

Imagine that there are two providers of the same service. Their quality and timeliness are comparable. However, one provider charges significantly more than the other. In a normally functioning market, you would expect that the more expensive provider would have to significantly change its cost structure to stay in business. What if the more…
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Health Care Spending Is Up, Way Up »

The economic data on health spending has been bouncing around like crazy in the age of Obamacare, so we must not read too much into one report. Nevertheless, the January 30 report on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that health spending has begun to race up again,…
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Medical-Device Excise Tax Kills Jobs, Obamacare Kills Much More »

The sweet smell of success for the medical-device industry is wafting over Capitol Hill. News from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is that the Senate will take up repeal of the medical-device excise tax. This is a tax of 2.3 percent on most medical devices that was passed as part of the Affordable Care Act…
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