Tag: Obamacare
American Health Insurance Is Upside Down

Writing in The Week, Ryan Cooper shares a chilling story about an Obamacare Gold-level health insurance policy that let its beneficiary down when he needed it most: Stewart is 29 years old, and was pursuing his Ph.D in American history at Texas Christian University until ill health forced him to withdraw. He lives in...
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Fixed-Dollar Tax Credits Would Reduce Individual Health Insurance Premiums

Sonia Jaffe and Mark Shepard of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) have written a new paper, which compares the effects of fixed-dollar subsidies for health insurance to subsidies that are linked to premiums. They conclude that fixed-dollar subsidies reduce taxpayers’ costs and improve access. Unfortunately, the structure of subsidies in U.S. health...
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Over a Decade Later, Tax Hikes Still Proposed to Pay for Romneycare

Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has proposed a tax of $2,000 per worker on businesses that do not offer health coverage to employees who become dependent on Medicaid. This makes him the second Republican governor of Massachusetts to buy into the notion that imposing taxes (or fines or penalties or fees) on individuals and...
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Pre-Existing Conditions and High-Risk Pools

Obamacare’s most popular provision is its prohibition against health insurers charging higher premiums for pre-existing conditions. It is so popular that Republican politicians have promised to keep it! (Or, at least bring it back once they repeal and replace Obamacare.) Scholars at the Kaiser Family Foundation have estimated that 27 percent of American adults...
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Obamacare’s Bureaucracy: The Amazing Rise in Health Insurance Jobs

As Congress and President-elect Trump debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare, the obsession with health insurance, rather than actual access to health care, has dominated the debate. It invites the question: How have jobs in health insurance fared before and after Obamacare? They have boomed! Before the Great Recession, nonfarm civilian employment peaked...
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Obamacare’s Individual Mandate and Tax Credits Are Really, Really Inefficient

Obamacare’s least popular feature is the individual “mandate” to have health insurance. This requirement was the subject of the 2012 lawsuit asserting Obamacare was unconstitutional: Never before had the federal government forced any resident to buy a good or service from a private business. The people lost that argument. Nevertheless, whether we label the...
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Obama Economists’ Bad Obamacare Economics

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has issued its valedictory report on the state of Obamacare. The gist of its argument is that Obamacare is doing fine, on the verge of overcoming its growing pains since 2014. Critics (like me) who suspect the 25 percent increase in premiums for 2017 are a problem...
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Illustrating Obamacare’s Effect on Employers’ Health Costs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a chart showing how health-benefit costs among private employers have increased over the past decade. The chart shows health benefits increased from 6.9 percent of total compensation in September 2006 to 7.6 percent last September. The 0.7 percentage point absolute increase is a relative increase of ten...
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Zeke Emanuel, Obamacare Architect, Visits Trump to Urge One-Term Presidency

Last Wednesday, the Trump transition team disclosed the remarkable news that Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, an architect of Obamacare, was Mr. Trump’s first official guest of the morning. The spokesman demurred with respect to the details of the conversation, but I can guess: Dr. Emanuel was urging Mr. Trump to remain in office only one...
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Trump’s Pick for Labor Secretary Another Win for Health Reform

Soon after announcing his intention to nominate Rep. Tom Price, MD, for Secretary of Health & Human Services, Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor. This is yet another good sign for the repeal of Obamacare. Since the election, the media have asserted that repealing Obamacare will yank...
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