Obamacare will never work as advertised

Note:  You might want to start at the Obamacare Index Page, especially if you arrived here by using a search engine.

Obamacare -- the latest attempt to nationalize the medical profession in America -- is simply not feasible.  Anyone who puts ten minutes of effort into researching the facts can come to the same conclusion.

As you may surmise, this information on this page was compiled and maintained before the launch of Obamacare, and for several months, many writers accurately predicted that the whole thing would not work.  Parts and pieces were obviously falling off the Obamacare machine, which made it easy to see that the whole thing would explode on the launch pad.  Or I should say, it was easy to see unless you're one of those unfortunate people who gets all his information from television; and in that case, Obamacare's shortcomings probably came as a complete surprise.

Related topics on other pages:

Obamacare does not work as promised.

      Low enrollment numbers, especially in critical demographic categories

      They knew the web site wouldn't work before it was launched

      They knew Obamacare itself wouldn't work

Obamacare depends on the "honor system" -- in this country?

Doctors won't work under these conditions!

Obamacare horror stories

Obamacare is tremendously expensive.

Obamacare is based on a pack of lies.

Obamacare won't work as advertised.  The promised benefits will never come to pass.

A Decade of Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  The great "Pax Obama" — economic peace in our time, medical affordability for all — had finally arrived.  "Premiums and deductibles will go down.  You can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan, period!" — the pronouncements were handed down like Holy Writ.  Principled objections to this grandiose overhaul of medical care funding — over considerations of advisability, feasibility, and constitutionality — were handily batted aside.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sagely taught the American earthlings that "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."  The U.S. Supreme Court found that the tax that was not a tax was, in fact, a tax, thus confirming the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the Article I power of Congress to tax the citizens.  The law was as solid as Gibraltar.  It didn't take long for this Styrofoam Gibraltar to exhibit embarrassing cracks and fissures.  The traffic-overloaded internet enrollment page collapsed into spasms of paralysis.  You could keep your doctor and your existing plan, but only if they met the arbitrary requirements declared in the government overseers' approval manuals, which wasn't frequent enough.  Premiums, copayments, and deductibles of "approved" plans shot up, not down, rendering claims often too costly to file.  "Impending train wreck" fast became a description of choice.  Participating insurers abandoned the exchanges like rats from a burning ship and the state cooperatives collapsed.  Private employers cut staff and dropped family benefits.  Physicians threatened early retirement or changing careers.  The president handed out administrative exemptions like bags of candy.

This is not entirely off-topic:
How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them.  When a stubborn pain in Nick van Terheyden's bones would not subside, his doctor had a hunch what was wrong.  Without enough vitamin D in the blood, the body will pull calcium from the bones.  Left untreated, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.  A blood test in the fall of 2021 confirmed the doctor's diagnosis, and van Terheyden expected his company's insurance plan, managed by Cigna, to cover the cost of the bloodwork.  Instead, Cigna sent van Terheyden a letter explaining that it would not pay for the $350 test because it was not "medically necessary."  The letter was signed by one of Cigna's medical directors, a doctor employed by the company to review insurance claims.  Something about the denial letter did not sit well with van Terheyden, a 58-year-old Maryland resident.  "This was a clinical decision being second-guessed by someone with no knowledge of me," said van Terheyden, a physician himself and a specialist who had worked in emergency care in the United Kingdom.

Obamacare's Dirty Little Secret.  When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, President Barack Obama and virtually every Democrat in Congress repeatedly made the same argument: the act would make good health insurance at affordable premiums available to people with pre-existing conditions.  Now, suppose at the same time advocates were making this argument in public, there was an evil genie back in the Congressional Legislative Counsel's Office.  The genie's assignment: create a plan that makes health insurance as good as possible for the healthy and as bad as possible for the sick.  We don't think there really was an evil genie.  But the law looks like it was designed by one.  If you must buy your own health insurance in America today, have an average income and never get sick, your options have never been better.  But if you have a serious health problem, your options have never been worse.

Time to get rid of Obamacare.  When something doesn't work as advertised, and amounts to a lemon, you get rid of it, right?  You take that defective product off the market.  It happened to some cold medicine makers a few days ago.  But somehow, that common sense response doesn't apply to government programs, where human-service programs in particular are considered sancrosanct.

If Obama-Biden healthcare policies are so good, why do costs keep rising?  Healthcare inflation has continued to raise prices in the rest of the economy, as was always obviously going to be the case despite Democratic falsehoods, and the massive costs to taxpayers also keep growing.  The latest numbers on health insurance premiums and dangerous additional levels of government debt condemn both Obamacare and President Joe Biden's policies that are driven by the same flawed assumptions.  For most people, it is the direct costs of premiums that hit hardest.  KFF, a health policy think tank, reports this week that the average cost of employer-based health insurance premiums for family coverage has reached nearly $24,000.  That's 7% more than last year, nearly doubling the broader inflation rate.  Insurers typically pick up 25%-38% of those costs, which means even families with generous employers are paying 62%, or about $15,000 a year, out of pocket.

The Problem with Health Care Is Washington.  Volumes of medical evidence exist proving that government-controlled healthcare, viz., a single-payer system, fails to provide adequate medical care for the people it claims to serve.  For more than fifty years, Washington has been increasing government control over healthcare using solutions such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Emergency Medical Transport and Labor Act (EMTALA), the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (UMRA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Yet Medicare will be insolvent in less than five years.  Medicaid enrollees die waiting for care that never comes.  EMTALA created the unfunded mandate that forces rural hospitals to close.  The unfunded mandate persists despite UMRA.  HIPAA failed to make insurance portable or affordable and hampers communication between care providers.  The ACA reduced patients' access to medical care.  In 2022, the U.S. spent $4.3 trillion on healthcare, 18.3 percent of GDP.  The combined GDP of all nations on Earth is $88 trillion.  [Bernie] Sanders admits his plan would cost up to $40 trillion, a third to half of which produces no patient care!  It pays for BARRCOME (bureaucracy, administration, rules, regulations, compliance, oversight, mandates, and enforcement), not doctors, nurses, therapists, hospitals, and pharmacies.

Government healthcare Is a proven failure.  National healthcare in Great Britain and in Canada spend within sustainable limits.  The same is not true of the proposed American version of federal healthcare, Medicare-for-All.  Senator Sanders admitted that M-4-All would cost $30-40 trillion over ten years.  The combined GDP of all nations on planet earth was $104 trillion in 2022.  If the U.S. moves to greater federal control of healthcare, patients will suffer as BARRCOME expands even further (bureaucracy, administration, rules, regulations, compliance, oversight, mandates, and enforcement).  BARRCOME wastes trillions of "healthcare" dollars taking them away from patient care to pay bureaucrats.  Such "bureaucratic diversion" can turn wait times, currently in months, into years, resulting in more death-by-queue.  It is ironic that the phrase death-by-queue — dying while waiting for care — was based on experience from Great Britain's single payer.

Biden [is] Trying to Kill Short Term Health Insurance.  President Biden has taken to the airwaves to sell his plan to crack down on short-term health insurance policies, which he terms "junk."  Taking away the right to choose is not only bad healthcare policy, it runs counter to the spirit of freedom on which this country was founded.  The history of short-term, limited duration (STLD) policies is straightforward.  In order to coerce Americans to use only government approved (Washington controlled) taxpayer-subsidized policies, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included the individual mandate, an order for all Americans to purchase insurance.  Washington restricted STLD policies to non-renewable 3-month plans.  The Trump administration expanded public choice by allowing such policies up to 12-months in duration and renewable for three years.  Millions of Americans used this affordable vehicle to cover themselves and their families, giving them a viable alternative to expensive and restrictive ACA insurance with its "auto-renewal."  Biden wants to quash STLD insurance policies making them illegal, calling them a scam and junk.

Let's tax the healthy.  The Biden administration now wants to limit short-term health insurance plans to three or four months.  Depending on where you live, these policies can provide up to 36 months of coverage (38 states allow for short-term health insurance — not all for 36 months) with the ability to renew annually.  The 12 states that prohibit these policies are generally Democrat-controlled states.  (Low economic growth California, New York, New Jersey...)  These policies generally have a $2-million-dollar maximum benefit (less if the consumer selects less coverage), comprehensive coverage without the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) essential benefits such as preventive care, prescription drug coverage, mental health coverage and pregnancy.  These policies also have a pre-existing conditions exclusion and can have deductibles as high as $20,000.

'Lowering Health Care Costs' Is Not What Americans Need.  When the feds lower the "cost" of anything, they simply reduce the payment.  Regardless of the price set by the producer of a good or service, Washington says it will pay a predetermined lesser amount.  That amount has no relationship to the producer's actual cost to produce, much less the expense of investing in research for new products or services.  When payments are decided by government fiat, rather than by millions of consumers in a free market, quality goes down, and there are shortages.  Producers cut their costs substituting cheaper components and untrained labor to meet the price set by Washington.  Those who cannot simply go out of business, and many do.  The number of producers shrinks, leaving a small number of low-quality suppliers who produce an insufficient volume of goods and services.

Obamacare: Still Killing People 13 Years In.  Xavier Becerra, the Health and Human Services secretary, astonishingly missing during the entire COVID health crisis, declared the following:  "As we celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act today ... this law has lived up to its name, providing a way for Americans to access quality, affordable health coverage."  The ACA did indeed expand medical insurance to more Americans.  In 2000, Medicaid enrollment was 15.6 percent of the U.S. population.  In 2022, that number has nearly doubled: 27.7 percent of Americans — 92,340,585 individuals — were enrolled in the taxpayer-funded, no-charge-to-enrollees program.  Thus, nearly one third of the country has medical insurance and, according to Secretary Becerra, "have the peace of mind that comes with high-quality health care."  Note the conflation of care with insurance.  Washington wants you to think having the latter means you get the former, presumably when you need it.  Otherwise, what good is insurance?  Having insurance does not mean getting timely care.  In fact, there is a seesaw effect:  as the number of people with government-provided insurance increases, access to care decreases.

Healthcare Job Growth Brings Death-by-Queueing to U.S..  The primary function of any healthcare system is medical care.  Job growth that helps Americans get care would be care providers, i.e., doctors and nurses.  Some other jobs facilitate providers' delivery of care such as technicians and pharmacists.  Then, there are the middlemen.  Which jobs grew in number:  care providers or middlemen?  There are two categories of providers: nurses and doctors.  There are thousands of healthcare middlemen jobs in both the business sector as well as government, federal and state.  Healthcare middlemen jobs include actuaries, administrators, agents, analysts, bureaucrats, compliance officers, consultants, lawyers, managers, regulators, rule-writers, secretaries, and a host of assistant positions. [...] A 1999 study suggested that at least 31 percent of U.S. healthcare spending was taken from patient care to pay middlemen.  With expanded regulation of healthcare since 1999, particularly the cost of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) and the healthcare spending built-in to the Anti-Inflation Act of 2022, roughly 50 percent of our healthcare spending is wasted on non-clinical activities. [...] The U.S. spent $4.1 trillion on healthcare in 2021.  Roughly two trillion dollars, more than the entire GDP of France, produced no care.  Middlemen take what they want first from the healthcare budget, and what remains can pay for patient care.

Spending More Government Money on Healthcare Does Not Improve Health Outcomes.  In 2008, the State of Oregon inadvertently ran a randomized health insurance experiment.  They decided they had just enough money in their annual budget to give Medicaid coverage to an additional ten thousand citizens randomly chosen via a lottery.  While there was no improvement in health outcomes, hospital admissions increased by 30 percent, outpatient visits by 35 percent, and ER visits by 40 percent.  The experiment cost a lot of money — 36 percent more — with no tangible benefit.  Amazingly, there is not a strong relationship between healthcare spending and health outcomes.  America spends almost $4 trillion a year on healthcare, around twice what most other developed nations spend per head, and approximately half of it is taxpayer funded.  With only 4 percent of the world's population, the US accounts for half of the pharmaceuticals consumed worldwide.  If more healthcare were the answer, the US would be the healthiest country on the planet.  Yet while Japan's and Singapore's healthcare expenditures per head are only a fraction of those of the US, Japanese and Singaporeans live over five years longer than Americans.

Joe Biden Is Lying To Americans About Medicare And Social Security's Insolvency.  A dozen years ago, Democrats faced a dilemma.  A long-term care entitlement known as the CLASS Act that they added to what became Obamacare faced serious solvency concerns.  But after Scott Brown, R-Mass., won a shock Senate victory for Republicans in a January 2010 special election, ending Democrats' filibuster-proof majority, Democrats didn't have the votes to alter the CLASS Act or remove it from Obamacare.  What did Democrats do?  The Obama administration suppressed the internal documents showing that the CLASS Act wouldn't work.

Americans give health care system failing mark: AP-NORC poll.  When Emmanuel Obeng-Dankwa is worried about making rent on his New York City apartment, he sometimes holds off on filling his blood pressure medication. [...] He is among a majority of adults in the U.S. who say that health care is not handled well in the country, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.  The poll reveals that public satisfaction with the U.S. health care system is remarkably low, with fewer than half of Americans saying it is generally handled well.

The Editor says...
This is exactly the kind of reporting that was used to get Obamacare passed.  Obamacare hasn't improved anything, but that's not mentioned in the news coverage.

The Truth Regarding Health Care.  Many of the residents of our country act as if cost should not be a factor in the delivery of health care.  They feel as if medical care is a right and not having a socialized, government-sponsored system of delivery is akin to slavery.  On the other hand, corporations successfully weave among the patient, the doctor, the current government-sponsored health care systems, and their fellow capitalist insurance companies, managing to make a good profit while driving up cost.  How did we get to the point where it was conceivable to produce pharmaceutical agents that cost six figures a dose?  When did we conclude that it is cost-appropriate to pay doctors and facilities to transplant a pair of lungs, a kidney, a liver, or a heart?  Most telling for the future, what would we be willing to sacrifice to make things sensible?

Medicine as a Subjective Good.  No philosophical argument for freedom depends on the absence of shortage in any market.  America's public health establishment espoused a preposterous political philosophy.  Shortages of other goods — like toilet paper or hand sanitizer in 2020 or gasoline in the 1970s — were never claimed to justify the suspension of freedom.  Since economic freedom improves the performance of markets, shortages should call for more freedom, not less.  What lies behind such bizarre political philosophy?  I suggest an economic fallacy, the objective good (or cost) fallacy.  The health care establishment views medical care as an objective good.  The objective good fallacy sustains the myth of efficient expert management and the desperate suspension of freedom in the face of a shortage.

Three million to lose Obamacare in 2023 if Democrats don't extend subsidies.  Over 3 million people will lose health coverage if Congress allows enhanced subsidies for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges to expire later this year, a key item of unfinished business for Democrats at risk of losing their majorities in November.  Democrats have sought, but so far failed, to extend temporary tax credits that were implemented in President Joe Biden's pandemic relief plan for premiums on health plans purchased on the Obamacare exchanges.  If the additional subsidies expire, 3.1 million Americans will no longer have insurance, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

Every Tragedy Caused by Government Is Done with the Best of Intentions.  President Obama's insistence that "health care is a right" that required the government to take over an entire industry (and close to one fifth of the economy) has only exacerbated the costs of medical treatment, increased the cost of insurance, wrecked the financial viability of rural hospitals, politicized the work of medical professionals, and destroyed the doctor-patient relationship by inserting the government's eyes and ears into every treatment room.

My Hospital Stay Showed We're Careening toward Socialized Medicine.  [Scroll down]  The night before my surgery, an aide came in and said she was there to shave my torso, and that afterward, someone else would come in to cover me with lotion.  Why was this being done?  The aide couldn't tell me.  Then, after arguing about the matter, the nurses managing the heart surgery wing (no doctors were on the floor) came in and told me that after the surgery, to keep patients from trying to pull out a ventilator in their mouths, my hands would be in restraints.  Had I not complained and fussed about the shaving, I never would have been told about this.  None of these procedures had been conveyed to me ahead of time.  Why?  Because it is part of the emphasis on efficiency.  Talking to patients, explaining procedures, and reassuring patients takes time and thus is not cost-effective.  Applying skills to the patients is more efficient, more measurable, and thus more cost-effective.

Certain restrictions apply; See Joe for details.
A new Biden stimulus benefit offers free health insurance for 6 months.  The massive COVID rescue package President Joe Biden signed back in March — the same law that included $1,400 stimulus and the monthly payments for families that start next week — is now offering free health insurance to millions of Americans, through the end of 2021.  The benefit's zero-premium health plans became available on July 1, with no income limits for qualifying.  But there is one major eligibility requirement.

Obamacare's Side Effects:  Higher Costs, Lower Choices.  One of the main goals of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, was to make individual insurance cheaper and more accessible for Americans.  The health care law imposed new mandates and regulations on the market for individual insurance, and the data indicates these reforms did exactly the opposite of the goal:  In nearly all states, conditions in the individual market have worsened dramatically.  Choices in health insurance decreased as the number of insurers participating in the individual market fell, while insurance premiums increased more than 50% nationally.  The results of Obamacare not only have been less choice and competition, but higher premiums for Americans.

Biden poised to undo Trump alternatives to Obamacare plans.  As the Biden administration looks to make its mark on healthcare, one policy it is likely to overturn is President Trump's 2018 executive order loosening rules for short-term health insurance policies, an effort to provide alternatives to Obamacare plans that Democrats described as sabotage.  While such policies account for a small part of the health insurance market, it is likely indicative of healthcare policy battles to come during the Biden administration, pitting liberal groups who want to defend and build upon Obamacare against conservative groups who want more free-market alternatives.  Also known as short-term, limited-duration insurance, it is health insurance that primarily fills the gaps in coverage that an individual may face when transitioning from one long-term plan to another, as may happen when a person is in between jobs.

Trump vs. Biden — 5 reasons why a sane person should vote — again — for Trump.  [#2] ObamaCare:  Democrats have put this failed insurance program on the ballot, and it should be.  While Biden tries to scare people by saying the Trump White House will remove protections for people with preexisting conditions, which is not true, they neglect to mention that the cost of insurance premiums under ObamaCare for people not receiving subsidies doubled between 2013 and 2017, making it unaffordable to millions.  As a consequence, the number of uninsured people in the country actually went up.  As of 2019 only 11.4 million Americans were enrolled in the ACA-mandated health care exchanges.

Obamacare's mandate didn't work and wasn't needed, yet Joe Biden wants to bring it back.  Joe Biden, as part of his campaign to revive the Obama years and be the anti-President Trump, has repeatedly vowed to bring back one of the least popular policies of the prior administration: the individual mandate.  The requirement forcing individuals to purchase health insurance under the threat of a penalty was already the subject of one high-stakes Supreme Court case.  It is about to be at the center of another.  But in practice, it has proven to be completely ineffective.

The 10 ways Obama has actively sought to destroy America.  This one piece of legislation has essentially upended the entire health industry, and there is just no arguing it or denying it.  But this "reform" law did not deliver any of what Obama promised — universal coverage, lower annual deductibles, lower monthly premiums (even the newly covered and currently subsidized enrollees have to pay something whereas before, when they were uninsured, they paid nothing), and lower overall healthcare costs.  What's more, the healthcare industry and American consumers hate it and would like to see it repealed, but that isn't resonating with a tone-deaf, ideologically driven president.

How Obama/Biden Wrecked the U.S. Medical Device Industry.  As lawmakers ponder ways to bring back U.S. manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, their raw materials, medical supplies, and devices, it must be remembered a major part of this problem which has come back to bite us was created by the Obama/Biden administration and the medical device tax that was included in ObamaCare that was supposed to defray the costs of this doomed-to-failure new entitlement program.  As part of the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act, sales of medical devices from implants to MRIs, research equipment and surgical instruments were to bear a 2.3 percent tax.  The tax would be on gross sales and not just profits.  Even packaging, shipping, and warranties were included when calculating what was to be taxed.

Coronaviris [sic] Exposes Obamacare Failures.  On March 23, 2010, then-President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.  It has long since become obvious to all but a few die hard apologists that Obamacare, as it is more commonly known, achieved few of its ostensible goals.  It not only failed to reduce national expenditures for medical care, it actually increased the cost of health insurance and out-of-pocket expenses for the average patient.  Moreover, it left nearly 30 million Americans uninsured at the end of Obama's second term.  More to the point, it reduced the nation's overall capacity to manage a large scale medical crisis by decimating our rural health care safety net.  Virtually all of the 120 hospitals shuttered since 2010 were critical care and acute care facilities located in rural areas where they provided the only realistic source of emergency or intensive care for patients living outside of large metropolitan centers.

Obamacare At 10: A Big Failure.  Remember "you can keep your plan"? Or "family premiums will go down by $2,500"?  How about the claim that Obamacare would cut the number of uninsured in half?  That it would dramatically reduce the federal deficit?  And that it would make the health care industry more efficient?  None of it came true.  The very name of the law — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — was an exercise in false advertising.  Affordable?  Premiums in the individual market doubled in Obamacare's first four years.  The result was that millions of middle-class families found themselves priced out of the insurance market altogether.  Patient protection?  Those who could afford the premiums faced enormous deductibles for HMO-style plans that strictly limited which doctors they could see and hospitals they could use — unless they wanted to pay the entire costs out of pocket.

ObamaCare: 10 years of distress and disappointment.  First, then-candidate Barack Obama said his namesake act would "cut the cost of a typical family's premiums by up to $2,500 a year."  In reality, the opposite has occurred.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), "premiums have doubled for individual health insurance plans since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare's regulations and mandates took effect."  Even more shocking, HHS reports, "Average individual market premiums more than doubled from $2,784 per year in 2013 to $5,712 on Healthcare.gov in 2017 — an increase of $2,928 or 105%."  Needless to say, ObamaCare has fallen woefully short in its grand ambition to slice health insurance premiums by $2,500 per year.  Second, ObamaCare supporters claimed it would drastically reduce the uninsured population.  Unfortunately, this also has not happened.

The Billionaire And The 'Moderates' Are Socialists Too.  After years of dissatisfaction with Obamacare minus the public option, the ever-mobile middle of the party now embraces the public option — or, more accurately, it embraces government-run health care via incrementalism.  South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, attempting to sell it to his party's radicalized base, described it last night as "the biggest, most progressive reform we've had in health care in 50 years, just so long as we don't force it on anybody."  Mayor Pete neglected to mention that when all the insurance companies are put out of business once the federal government becomes their direct competitor, it will most certainly be forced on everybody, by default.

It's All Trump's Fault.  Have your health insurance premiums increased?  It's not the fault of Democrats and their Obamacare mess, it's Trump's refusal to "fix" the problem.  Of course, when Obama was still president and Republicans attempted to point out obvious flaws in the law, even before it was implemented, they were denounced as racists.  When they tried to change any part of it, they were told they couldn't because it was "settled law."  Now every Democrat running for president has a plan to "fix our broken health care system," and none are met with a similar reaction.  They claim it's all Trump's fault, and they're the ones to make it better (who better to fix something than the people who broke it?).

ObamaCare turns 10 — decade of failure is nothing to celebrate.  As the calendar flips to 2020, we're coming up on a decade since the passage of ObamaCare.  But Democrats aren't celebrating 10 years of the Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 23, 2010.  That's largely because President Obama's signature legislative achievement hasn't yielded the affordable care Democrats promised.  Let's start with that opening adjective — "affordable."  ObamaCare's champions insisted that their elaborate system of subsidies, taxes, regulations, public insurance expansions and state-level insurance exchanges would ultimately drive down the price of health coverage.  Obama himself promised it would save the typical family $2,500 a year.

A Decade of Fake News.  2013: Obamacare collapse.  The media mocked and attacked Republicans after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used a "talking filibuster" to shut the government down ahead of the imminent launch of Obamacare.  When Obamacare finally opened, however, the federal website did not work; one state's insurance exchange collapsed and never recovered.  In subsequent years, households were shocked by rising premiums and unaffordably high deductibles.

Why Everyone Should Fear Universal Healthcare.  Three weeks ago, I was struck with an intensely painful, and briefly highly dangerous, MSSA staph infection, with a full recovery underway.  The experience, plus time on my hands recuperating, has given me a personal appreciation of the coming nightmare of universal healthcare.  The month-long recuperating period has afforded me the opportunity to think holistically about my medical experience, especially as it relates to health care policy.  My conclusions are based solely on direct experience, in particular what I learned watching the system operate up close and personal. [...] Under Elizabeth Warren's plan, or anything resembling a dramatic increase in demand for health care, inevitable once health is declared a "right," no less a fundamental human right, I never would have left that hospital alive.

Heath Care Doom on the Horizon.  The relationship between Americans and their health care delivery is about to make a dramatic change for the worse.  Consumers of health care are poised to vote for a federally managed system.  Why would they go down this predictably awful rabbit hole?  They'll do it because they are overwhelmed and frightened in the current system.  They'll do it because this may be the only option that a typical voter understands.  They'll do it because our elected leaders do not have the courage to enact changes that could make things work and don't want to give up power.  And it will happen because the media will demonize and target anyone who isn't on the socialist bandwagon.

Kamikaze Schumer Wants to Repeal Private Health Insurance.  While the Democrats continue their impeachment pantomime war dance in the mirror-clad corner in order to keep up their spirits, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is ginning up a much more fateful danse macabre on health care.  He has promised to force a vote this week on various Trump Administration directives that have injected flexibility into Obamacare.  As The Hill reports, "Senate Democrats plan to force vulnerable Republicans to vote on legislation that would overturn a controversial Trump administration directive on ObamaCare."  The idea is that Democrats can force besieged lawmakers such as Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Martha McSally (R-Arizona) to take a stand and make an unpopular vote on the issue that voters consistently identify as the most important:  health care.

Democrat Debates:  Trying to win the White House by smearing President Trump.  The Dems changed the priority of the health goals from the traditional 1) Quality, 2) Cost, 3) Coverage to 1) Coverage, 2) Cost, 3) Quality.  In 2010 the Dems, with absolutely no GOP support, passed the Affordable Care Act.  More than 20 million previously uninsured, could now get coverage.  However, Obamacare meant that cost and quality suffered.  Now the Dems want to push more comprehensive health care which is completely controlled by the government and will cover 100% of the population.  Under this plan, the cost and quality will suffer.

Leaving the Democrats.  [Scroll down]  After securing a job at a hospital, I watched ObamaCare tear through healthcare and then almost immediately watched as our pension benefits were frozen as a result of having to comply with new rules and regulations.  My wife and I lost 3000 dollars a month in future retirement income as a result of her company having to reorganize, and my pension is a private plan.  Not a single Republican voted for the ObamaCare scam.

The Obamacare 'Experts' Are Wrong Again.  When President Trump announced plans to provide beleaguered health insurance consumers a cheaper alternative to Obamacare, critics decried it as "sabotage."  It would, they said, destabilize Obamacare exchanges and drive up premiums, while ripping consumers off.  It turns out that, like everything else about Obamacare, these predictions were dead wrong.  Until Obamacare started up in 2014, short-term insurance plans were a niche market that mainly served those between jobs.  As the name suggests, these plans were meant to be held only for short periods, and there were limits on whether or how you could renew them.  This market exploded after Obamacare went into effect, and suddenly millions of people found their premiums shoot up.

Shedding Obama.  Obamacare was a failure because it had no focus.  LBJ was smart enough to focus Medicare on helping the elderly and Medicaid on helping the poor.  But just what was the stated purpose of Obamacare?  Free birth control?  We could have done that without flipping the health insurance industry upside down.  Of course, the real purpose was to be another step toward socialist medicine.  Obamacare's failure set that movement back a generation.

$586 Billion Later, Health Care Is Worse Than Before Obamacare — Thanks Obama.  "I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last."  That was how then-President Barack Obama pitched Obamacare to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9, 2009.  He described a health care system in crisis and promised that his reforms would "provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance.  It will provide insurance for those who don't.  And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government."  Nearly a decade after having his vision realized, how have his promises worked out?  Based on polling data, Obamacare has been a miserable failure, and Obama will be far from the last president to grapple with this issue.

Democrats Are Pro-Choice, Except When It Comes To Health Care.  Remember when President Obama promised repeatedly that under Obamacare "if you like your plan you can keep your plan, period"?  Politifact awarded it lie of the year after millions of people got cancellation notices for plans they liked.  Yet even now, Democrats are determined to force millions more off insurance plans they like.  All in the name of "saving" Obamacare.  Last week House Democrats voted to kill what has become a thriving insurance market for affordable short-term insurance plans that don't comply with Obamacare's myriad regulations and benefit mandates.

CBO Report: 1.4 Million Lost Health Insurance Since 2016, And Obamacare Is To Blame.  According to the Health and Human Services Dept., premiums in the individual insurance market doubled from 2013 to 2017. They shot up again in 2018.  For those eligible for Obamacare subsidies, the rate increases were meaningless.  The amount they had to pay didn't change much, and in many cases went down.  But for the millions of middle-class Americans who buy insurance coverage on the individual market and aren't eligible for Obamacare subsidies, the result has been financially devastating.

On Health Costs, ObamaCare Was A Massive Failure, IBD/TIPP Poll Shows.  The latest IBD/TIPP poll shows that health care costs rank at the top of the list of priorities the public has for the new Congress when it convenes in January.  Fully 22% listed this as their highest priority and another 18% listed it is their second highest.  That's above immigration, economy/jobs, or national security.  It's way above infrastructure and criminal justice reforms (which were at the rock bottom of the priority list).  But wait a minute.  Forty percent say health care costs should be a top priority for Congress?  Four years after ObamaCare went into effect?

Ted Cruz Was Exactly Right About ObamaCare.  He was selling "snake oil," "making a false and politically damaging promise," committing "a fraud on the American people," and "(doing) his country a major disservice."  He was "creating a huge distraction" by pursuing "a fool's errand" and "the dumbest idea" one Senator claimed he had ever heard.  He was a "false leader" engaging in "government terrorism."  In sum, he was a "joke, plain and simple," and as one especially distinguished colleague affectionately recalled, "Lucifer in the flesh."  And those were all descriptions from his own party.  Oh, by the way:  Ted Cruz was also right.

And They Wonder Why We're Angry.  President Obama substantially changed the American health care system against the wishes of the American people.  After an initial straight-line partisan vote, the Affordable Care Act was adopted as legislation.  After sufficient interpretation, the legislation was affirmed as constitutional by the Roberts Court, and even Senator McCain came to see the legislation as vital.  Every American was now required to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.  Once the legislation came into full effect by 2013, something remarkable happened:  American life expectancy began to decline dramatically.  For 2015 and 2016, American life expectancy declined for two years in a row — the first such occasion of decline in more than 50 years.  Chief interpreter for the ACA Jonathan Gruber said lying to the public was necessary and justifiable to get the massive overhaul to health care passed.

Dems Battle to Limit Your Health Insurance Choices.  Democrats are trying to ban low-cost health insurance that covers less than Obamacare.  They claim they're protecting the public from what Senator Chuck Schumer calls "junk insurance."  Don't believe it.  In truth, they're sabotaging middle class consumers who've been priced out of Obamacare and dread being uninsured.  The Affordable Care Act requires all health plans to cover a whopping ten categories of medical care that Washington politicians deem "essential."  Everything from maternity (even if you're in your fifties) to substance abuse treatment.  It's like passing a law the only car you can buy is a fully loaded four-door sedan.  Some people need wheels and can only afford a Mitsubishi hatchback or a motorcycle.  Likewise, if you need health insurance, basic coverage without the costly extras sure beats being uninsured.

Six Reasons Why Barack Obama Is the Worst President in History.  [#3] Obamacare:  Despite his campaign promise to bring Democrats and Republicans together to reform healthcare, Obama signed a trillion-dollar government takeover of one-sixth of the United States economy with zero Republican votes in the Senate and only one Republican vote in the House.  Despite a promise of transparency, Obama and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made sure that the final negotiations were held behind closed doors.  And who can forget the disastrous Obamacare rollout?  Aside from website problems, there was evidence that the Obama administration fudged enrollment numbers to make it appear more successful and popular than it really was.  Basically, everything connected to Obamacare was plagued with failure.  The 23 taxpayer-funded healthcare co-ops nationwide established by Obamacare to compete with private health insurance providers proved to be unsustainable, and by January 2018, only four Obamacare co-ops remained.  The Obamacare co-ops were basically the health insurance version of the Solyndra boondoggle, but bigger.  The most insulting part of it all was that despite the high costs of Obamacare, health premiums went up and coverage got worse.

Dems Cry 'Sabotage' When Trump Follows Court Ruling On ObamaCare.  At issue is a part of ObamaCare that few have ever heard about.  It's called "risk adjustment."  And at its core it is nothing more than a massively complex system of cross-subsidies between insurance companies in each state.  ObamaCare created the risk adjustments to compensate for the market distortions its insurance regulations created.  Because ObamaCare bans insurers from setting premiums based on health risks, healthy people overpay for coverage, and the sick underpay.  As a result, insurance companies that happen to attract mostly healthy customers would be getting an unfair bonus.

NFIB v.  Sebelius Comes Back to Bite Obamacare.  Unless you have been vacationing in a far away galaxy, you will have heard the ululations of Obamacare apologists enraged by the Trump administration's refusal to defend the health care law against a 20-state lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.Obamacare advocates claim that the failure to defend the ACA in Texas v. United States is an unprecedented dereliction of duty by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  This is hysterical nonsense.  It is indeed unusual, but the DOJ is by no means obligated to defend a law deemed unconstitutional by the President, as Attorney General Sessions explains in his notification letter to Congress: [...]

Striking Down Obamacare Isn't Judicial Activism But Leaving It In Place Certainly Is.  In 2012, the five conservative justices on the United States Supreme Court (including Chief justice John Roberts) held that key portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exceeded Congress's constitutional authority under the Commerce Clause.  But, Chief Justice Roberts then joined the four liberal justices on the Court in upholding the ACA as a tax under Congress's taxing power because it generated revenue for the federal government.  Fast forward five years:  In 2017, the Republican-majority Congress did not have the votes to repeal the ACA but did set the individual mandate penalty at zero.  In doing so, Congress eliminated the Court's sole constitutional justification for upholding the ACA — a tax of zero is not a tax.

This could be the end of ObamaCare.  ObamaCare could soon be history, thanks to a lawsuit filed by 20 states that claim the Affordable Care Act is no longer constitutional.  US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is so sure the states are right that he's folding his cards.  In a rare move, the Justice Department won't defend a federal law.  The lawsuit argues that last December, when Congress repealed the penalty for not having ObamaCare insurance, it removed the only constitutional grounds for ObamaCare.  Remember that in 2012, the first time the constitutionality of the health law was challenged, Chief Justice John Roberts slyly called the penalty for not having insurance a "tax" and justified a 5-4 ruling in favor of the law by arguing that the US Constitution gives the federal government the power to tax.  Voila, the tax is gone, and with it the flimsy constitutional underpinning of the ObamaCare scheme.

Trump administration won't defend ACA in case brought by GOP states.  The Trump administration said Thursday night that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch's tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the ACA brought about.  In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit.  They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional and that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law will not be valid, either.

DOJ says Obamacare unconstitutional, won't defend it in Texas lawsuit.  As you know Texas is leading the way with 19 other states in a lawsuit against Obamacare after the individual mandate was repealed.  Well the DOJ has decided it agrees with the 20 states and is now refusing to defend Obamacare in the lawsuit.

6 Reasons to Still Hate Obamacare.  Remember ObamaCare?  The fight is far from over on the future of the Obama-era health insurance overhaul.  Republicans are making a last-ditch effort this year to turn the program and the money over to the state.  This isn't full Obamacare repeal, but it would make a world of sense.  States would be free to experiment and find ways to reduce costs and provide better services.

Obamacare: A Failure of Epic Proportions.  While we'll have to wait a number of years to understand the full impact of Obamacare, it's not a stretch to call it a total failure.  Yes, 20 million people picked up health insurance from 2010 to 2016, but that's about the only positive piece of news to report.  The rest of the country has suffered or will suffer as a result of Obamacare's shortcomings in the next few months or years.  For a health insurance policy known as the Affordable Care Act, there's nothing affordable about the program.  Even the liberal New York Times has finally come to accept this reality, reporting that "Obamacare's marketplaces and Medicaid expansion make health coverage a good deal for those near the poverty line, but those earning not much more still often struggle to pay health plan premiums, and face deductibles that are much higher than those seen in a typical employer health plan."

ObamaCare Failure:  Uninsured Rate Hasn't Budged In 3 Years, CDC Says.  For three years running, the uninsured rate has remained unchanged, new government data show.  That means, despite massive taxpayer costs, ObamaCare is tapped out.  It's time to try something better.

Trump administration issues rule further watering down Obamacare.  The Trump administration took additional steps to weaken Obamacare on Monday, allowing U.S. states to relax the rules on what insurers must cover and giving states more power to regulate their individual insurance markets.

ObamaCare Is The Real Junk Insurance, And It's Killing People.  A new study finds that at least 21,900 people on Medicaid have died waiting for treatment in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility under ObamaCare.  The reason, the Foundation for Government Accountability report says, is that ObamaCare opened Medicaid up to millions of able-bodied non-poor adults.  That created a surge in demand for scarce Medicaid resources, forcing the poor to wait longer for services.  An insurance plan that you can't use?  That's junk insurance.

Obama's Strategy:  Planned Failure.  Obamacare was designed to fail.  Let's review the facts.  Ultimately, it's a variation on the Republican plan for healthcare reform.  The original idea was to empower private insurance to improve healthcare access.  The left took that plan and gutted the sound economics from it.  The point was that they could set it up to fail and point at the Republicans.

Federal Court Delivers the Coup de Gras to Contraception Mandate.  Most Americans probably believed that the notorious HHS contraception mandate had been effectively nullified after the Supreme Court ruled against the Obama administration in Hobby Lobby v. Burwelland Zubik v. Burwell.  But deep state holdovers at the Justice Department, like those Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender for decades after the end of WWII, continued to pursue the lost cause even after the Trump administration took office.  On Wednesday [3/28/2018], however, Judge David Russell of the United States District Court for Western Oklahoma flushed the last of these dead-enders out of their caves and forced them lay down their briefcases.

Zombie Obamacare:  States might bring back the individual mandate.  When Republicans passed their historic tax reform package in late 2017, they also repealed the Affordable Care Act's penalty on the uninsured, known as the individual mandate.  Now Obamacare's supporters are waging a nationwide campaign to revive this regressive and unpopular "tax."  Democrats in Maryland launched the first salvo when they introduced legislation that would impose a financial penalty of up to at least $695 per person on anyone who decides not to purchase health insurance.  Soon after, left-leaning legislators in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Washington, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia have started to discuss new taxes on the uninsured.

The Editor says...
Does the Washington Examiner have editors?  "Up to" means that the quantity specified is the maximum.  "At least" means the quantity is the minimum.  Thus the phrase "up to at least" means nothing.  All that aside, Obamacare should be implemented at the state level, if at all; however, the several states will inevitably find it unworkable.  Socialism fails everywhere it is tried.

Obamacare Bailouts Will Not Save Money and Lower Premiums, Despite Contrary Claims.  Congress appears poised to bail out Obamacare with new federal money in the omnibus package next week.  Advocates of this bailout say it's a good idea that will lower premiums and either "pay for itself" or "lower spending."  These claims are based on estimates that rely on questionable assumptions.  Lawmakers should not be fooled into thinking that throwing money at a problem — Obamacare — will somehow fix it.  Here are three dubious assumptions that form the basis of the Obamacare bailouts argument. [...]

20 states sue to kill Obamacare, citing Trump's mandate repeal.  Twenty states filed a lawsuit Monday [2/26/2018] arguing the new law President Trump signed last year revoking Obamacare's individual mandate actually makes the rest of the 2010 health law unconstitutional as well.  Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, the lawsuit says the individual mandate — upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012 — was the crux of the Affordable Care Act's legality.  Chief Justice John G. Roberts ruled that the mandate — and thus most of the ACA — was constitutional under Congress's taxing powers.  But the attorneys general say if the government isn't collection money under the mandate, it's not using the taxing power, so the law no longer has legal underpinnings.

Trump Throws A Lifeline To Millions Of ObamaCare Victims.  Middle class families who no longer can afford health insurance thanks to the "Affordable Care Act" — aka, ObamaCare — are one step closer to getting some relief, courtesy of the Trump administration, in the form of a new, low-cost, short-term insurance option.  Naturally, Democrats are furious.

Single Payer is Doomed Before It Starts.  I can't afford a private jet.  Price rationing limits those to people of substantial wealth, and their high price acts as a signal in the market to balance the supply of private jets with the market of willing buyers.  But suppose that the government declared that private jets were free.  Everyone would want one.  Suddenly there would be a shortage of hangars and runway space.  And to pay for the jets, taxes on workers would rise, because the workers who build private jets have to get paid.  The unintended consequences are mind-blowing.  Ultimately, the government would have to start limiting who could have private jets.  First, they would require a pilot's license.  Then, more secure hangars would be required.  Finally, you'd have to prove that you really, really need a private jet.  Substitute "Free Health Care" for "Private Jets" and you get the picture.  Nothing is free.

As Democrats Cave, More Obamacare Taxes [are] Put on Ice.  Lost in all the sound and fury that accompanied the recent shutdown of the federal government was some good news for Americans facing ever increasing health care costs.  Part of the price paid by the Democrats to get out of the hole they dug for themselves when they forced the shutdown was the suspension of three onerous Obamacare taxes — the medical device tax, the tax on premium (Cadillac) health plans, and the health insurance (HIT) tax.  All three were wildly unpopular with the voters, due to go into effect imminently, and would have made medical care even more expensive.

Trump's First Year vs.  Obama's Eight Years.  Here are President Obama's main accomplishments over eight years:  [#1] Obamacare:  This 2,000-plus page law with more than 10,000 pages of regulations and over 20 new taxes has not increased life expectancy but has taken away freedom of choice on what type of insurance everyone has to buy with greatly increased costs and deductibles.

Progressives Whine about Obamacare Premiums.  Seven years ago conservatives predicted that Obamacare's provisions, particularly those involving community rating and essential health benefits, would force insurers to raise premiums.  But progressives wrote these predictions off as the ravings of racist Republicans who hated Obamacare because it was the "signature domestic achievement" of our first African-American president.  They actually believed former President Obama when he said that "reform" would reduce premiums by 3,000 percent.  Most adults smelled a rat when he talked like that, but progressives tend to have a rather childlike view of the world.  Their reward for ignoring the grown-ups has been a series of premium increases.  Progressive self-delusion notwithstanding, 2018 is not the first year in which Obamacare rates spiked.  In fact, as Avik Roy points out at Forbes, "The most profound hikes took place in 2014, Obamacare's first year, when the health law's thicket of insurance regulations drove up the cost of coverage by an average of 49%."  And premiums have gone up every year since.  It should be obvious, even to a progressive, that neither President Trump nor the GOP could have caused those increases.

ObamaCare's Individual Mandate Is Unfair And Doesn't Work — So Kill It Already.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, eliminating the individual mandate will save more than $300 billion over the next decade, which is money Republicans can use to "pay for" other tax cuts.  Critics argue this is just another attempt by the GOP to "gut" ObamaCare, which might be true if the mandate worked at all.

Trump Says 'I Can't Support Bailing Out' Insurance Companies Profiting From Obamacare.  The Trump administration announced last week that it will no longer fund a crucial feature of Obamacare that helps low-income Americans purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act state exchanges, known as cost-sharing reductions.  The president and a number of conservative members of Congress label these subsidies as welfare, or bailouts, for insurance providers.

On ObamaCare, Trump Is Being Attacked For Upholding The Law.  There is no question that stopping payments for ObamaCare's "cost sharing reduction" subsidies will have serious implications.  Insurance companies have been warning state insurance regulators that they'll have to jack up premiums even higher next year if these subsidies go away, and the Congressional Budget Office reported that it could push up premiums by 20%.  But there's an important element missing from the lamentations coming from the insurance industry, from Democrats, and even from some Republicans about Trump's decision.  The ObamaCare law, as written, plainly doesn't allow Trump to make these payments.  Here's why: [...]

Dems Sue Trump for Abiding by Obamacare on Subsidies.  Beltway Democrats never tire of telling us that Obamacare is "the law of the land."  It appears, however, that their state level accomplices failed to get the news.  One day after the White House announced that cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers would stop, Democrat attorneys general from 18 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit for the purpose of forcing the Trump administration to pay the subsidies.  A federal court has ruled these CSR payments unconstitutional, and the U.S. Attorney General has concluded that they violate the statute itself.  Thus, Trump is merely upholding the law.

Sorry Everybody, But Trump Hasn't Instigated The Obamacare Apocalypse.  Eight years ago, much was made of the 2,000-plus page length of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now simply abbreviated as the "ACA."  But the reason Obamacare weighed in at 2,000 pages is because the law passed by Democrats detailed, in highly specific language, how Washington would run the health care system from here on out.  While the HHS Secretary — in those days, Kathleen Sebelius — would have the authority to determine exactly how to implement Obamacare's rules, the Obama administration was (in theory) bound by the statutory law passed by Congress.  Now, in reality, the Obama administration was highly selective in enforcing the Affordable Care Act as written.

Trump exposes the fake math of Obamacare.  The Affordable Care Act had one big problem:  It was unaffordable.  So Congress did what it always does, and threw money at it — other people's money.  You see, everyone always knew that the Affordable Care Act was a Ponzi scheme, but the Congress of 2010 figured it would be a decade or two before the scheme collapsed and the bills came due.  That's because they counted on Democratic presidents playing along with the scheme — first Barack Obama and then, oh I don't know, maybe Hillary Clinton.  Congress gave the president the authority to spend as much money as necessary to keep health insurance "affordable" for everyone being forced to buy it.  Oh yes, and to make it possible for insurers to do the impossible and offer low-cost health insurance to people who were already sick.  This goes against the very concept of insurance — which is a gamble offered by someone with money to someone with the potential to need money.

It's About Time Trump Ended Obamacare's Illegal Insurance Company Subsidies.  A day after signing an executive order that offered a small break for consumers, we learned that the White House also plans on stopping the unconstitutional subsidy payments of Obamacare.  You will now hear Democrats accusing the president of "sabotaging" the Affordable Care Act (ACA), when in reality, nothing has ever been quite as damaging to Obamacare as Obamacare itself.  And the same people who lament the breaking of norms, the end of the constitutional democracy, and all the presidents tweets will now hypocritically demand that these unconstitutional payments continue.  For Democrats, following the law as written is now a crime against the law.  But Obamacare, as you may recall, was implemented in lawlessness from the get-go.  Nothing was more emblematic of this problem than the implementation of so-called "cost sharing reduction" payments, also called CSR subsidies, which are direct payments to insurance companies that were designed to hide the true cost of Obamacare by shifting cost to taxpayers while bribing insurance giants to participate in the law's exchanges.

Dems Want To 'Save' ObamaCare By Closing All The Exits.  According to multiple news accounts, [President] Trump is expected to sign an executive order as early as this Thursday that, among other things, would make it easier to join "association health plans."  These plans let small businesses and individuals band together to buy large-group coverage, and like plans offered by multistate businesses, these association health plans would be exempt from state regulations, as well as from ObamaCare's burdensome mandates.  They could also be sold across state lines.  Association health plans aren't a new concept.  They exist today, but their ability to expand is severely limited by state and federal regulations.  In theory, lifting some of these regulations would allow greater access to low-cost alternatives to overpriced, over-regulated ObamaCare plans.

As Deadline Approaches, Anthem Pulls Out Of Obamacare Exchange In Maine.  Anthem decided to pull out the Maine Obamacare exchange at the last minute.  The insurer made the announcement today.  The deadline for deciding what counties each insurer will cover is Wednesday [9/27/2017] at midnight.

The Middle Class:  Uninsured and Hurting.  The Affordable Care Act added millions of mostly poor people to the insurance rolls.  But the law is driving premiums so high that middle class people can no longer afford insurance.  Several million are expected to drop coverage in 2018. Under Obamacare, poor lives matter — middle class lives, not so much.  With GOP lawmakers paralyzed about how to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) are swooping in with a plan to keep the floundering health law afloat.  Senate hearings begin Wednesday [9/6/2017].  The Senators cloak themselves in the mantle of bipartisan reasonableness, but don't be fooled.  There's nothing bipartisan about their scheme.  The big losers are middle class buyers priced out of the individual insurance market and taxpayers footing the bill for the billions in extra spending these fixers are proposing.

Defining Success Down for Obamacare ... Again.  Obamacare was sold to a skeptical public based on three promises:  It would bend the cost curve downward, provide access to care for most of the uninsured, and improve quality of the care we all receive.  As many of us predicted, and every honest observer now admits, it has failed to deliver on any of these promises.  The "Affordable Care Act" has exacerbated health care inflation, the number of uninsured Americans remains essentially unchanged from the 30 million cited by former President Obama in his September 9, 2009 address to a joint session of Congress, and the life expectancy of the average American has declined since the law was enacted.

Why are most of the Republicans in Congress so spineless?  Obamacare was passed in 2009 without a single Republican vote.  Everyone who paid attention to its details knew that it was designed to fail, miserably.  Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragged about how getting it passed depended on the stupidity of the American people.  But people would not be able to keep their own doctors as promised.  No one's premiums went down by $2,500.  They all went up and up and up.  Those who are paying for it cannot afford to use it because the deductibles are too high.  It is a monstrosity of catastrophic proportions.  The insurance companies were on board; they knew they would reap billions of taxpayer dollars, and they have.

Those of us who had decent health care in 2009 have been ripped off.  In 2009, the healthcare system was working reasonably well for around 85% of us.  Instead of trying to address the problems of those that weren't covered, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the American Medical Association, hospitals, and insurance companies chose to rework the system for all of us.  They wrote a 2,000-plus-page law with over 10,000 pages of regulations and 20 new taxes.  On order to pass the bill they continually lied to the people that if they liked their plan and doctor they could keep them and it would lower premiums.  They knew this wasn't true because they dictated exactly what had to be in the policies to please the government.  The CBO dutifully estimated that 26 million would be covered by 2016 and that the 10 year cost would be less than $1 trillion.  Within three years, the estimate was over $2 trillion and only 11 million were covered.  The government bribed the states with 100% coverage of Medicaid expansion for awhile.  The media gladly repeated the lies about Obamacare and supported it every step of the way[.]

Let's Not Forget:  Obamacare is Destroying American Healthcare for All of Us.  One of the great tragedies of the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act was its intricately-designed fangs that would sink deep into the flesh of America's healthcare system, ensuring that any later effort to repeal the beast would result in holes that could be exploited politically for maximum damage.  That's what Republicans are facing these days; and as expected, they are failing miserably to stand firm and keep their promises to the American people.  It's not like Republicans should have any trouble firing back or making a mockery of the hyperbolic rhetoric coming from those fierce defenders of Obamacare, a law that caused premiums to skyrocket across the country, countless thousands to lose an insurance plan they liked, businesses and employers to dramatically cut workers' hours to avoid draconian government penalties.

No, Obamacare's Rising Rates and Evaporating Access Are Not Trump's Fault.  As the story now goes, the reason why Obamacare premiums are soaring by double digits across most of the nation is that Trump-caused "uncertainty" is spooking the market.  Let's be clear:  There is some truth to that analysis, which some insurers have cited as a factor behind their rate hikes.  And because the Trump administration keeps pushing off its decision on whether to continue President Obama's unlawful cost-sharing "stability" payments, carriers are operating in the dark, in terms of anticipating whether a major source of taxpayer funding might suddenly get yanked away.  In order to hedge against this possible outcome, insurers say, they're exiting markets (in which they've already been racking up major losses) and raising their prices.

Disturbing Trends in Obamacare's Collapsing Health Care System.  Doctors are recognizing trends in the health care market that don't bode well for patient care or patient costs.  The middle class and upper middle class, those Americans who actually foot the bill for the rest of us by paying inflated insurance premiums, are under-utilizing services because of the comparatively extraordinary costs of their deductibles.  Yet even with these people intentionally avoiding care, the costs are skyrocketing.  If Obamacare did nothing else, it seems to have taken away affordability for the insured, cornered the Republicans into an unwinnable situation with the ACA's collapse, and made otherwise sane people seriously consider single-payer, government-run options.

Obamacare Lives But Your Hospital Is Dying.  Obamacare is destroying the foundation of our medical delivery system.  During 2016, twenty-one hospitals were forced to close.  During the first two months of 2017, another five went under.  The facilities that you count on for major medical care are closing at a rate of two per month, and the pace of hospital closures has been steadily accelerating since Obamacare was launched.

ObamaCare Fines Nailed The Working Class In 2017 And Other Unpopular Truths.  While ObamaCare has been a big help to the near-poor and those with major medical needs, it gives a bad deal to nearly everyone else.  Even among working-class households earning 150% to 250% of the poverty level, supposedly among the law's biggest beneficiaries, just 1 in 3 people who lack insurance from other sources are getting silver coverage that will protect them from financial disaster.  Most of the other two-thirds are uninsured, either because they or a spouse work full time and don't qualify for exchange subsidies, or else they've spurned subsidized bronze plans that carry $6,000-$7,000 deductibles — despite the threat of an individual-mandate penalty.

Obamacare is bankrupt.  Who is going to bail it out?  The Republicans did not have the votes in the Senate to repeal Obamacare.  The Republicans did have the votes in the House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare, so the House so voted.  The House of Representatives forms and votes on spending measures and the budget.  The Democrats simply do not have enough votes to fund Obamacare, nor to formulate economic policy.  They simply haven't enough swat to vote Obamacare out of its "insolvency," not even to fund it with evermore worthless money.  The public corporations that funded Obamacare are broke.  The insurance companies that sell the insurance mandated by Obamacare simply cannot afford to market it.  In most states, there is only one insurance company struggling to fill the "market" mandated by Obamacare.  The insurance companies that do sell the coverage are loosing [sic] money, because no one will market it.  In short, (despite the bleating of the lefties, there is no market for "Obamacare.")  If there are no buyers, and there are no buyers for the stuff in spite of government funded "incentives," by definition there is no market.

The Editor says...
Capitalization was added by The Editor to the article above.  The omission of capitalization, in an article such as the one above, is an affront to the U.S. Congress as well as the English language itself.

Obamacare Death Spiral:  At Least 2 Million Adults Ditch Coverage In 2017 Amid Soaring Premiums.  As Democrats continue to defend an obviously failed Obamacare system, the effects of soaring rates and collapsing coverage options seem to be taking a toll on the number of people actually buying health insurance these days.  According to the "Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index," the percentage of uninsured adults in the U.S. bottomed out at 10.9% in Q4 2016 but has since increased to 11.7% in just the first two quarters of 2017.

Obama Is Wrong:  ObamaCare Has Failed to Meet Its Goals.  To start off with, the most glaring problem with the former President's critique is that he calls it "a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America."  This is laughably hypocritical because that is exactly what ObamaCare was.  It was written by and with the support of the health insurance lobby, doled out subsidies to large corporations, allowed for bailouts of the health insurance industry, and reduced competitors in the healthcare market (which means less plans and options for consumers).

19th Obamacare Co-Op Folds, Leaving Only 4 Operating in 2018.  Minuteman Health of Massachusetts and New Hampshire announced it is withdrawing from the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2018, leaving only four co-ops in operation.  The co-op will stop writing business on January 1 and organize a new company, Minuteman Insurance Company, instead.  The company cited issues with Obamacare's risk-adjustment program, which is the program that shifts money away from those with healthier customers to those with sicker enrollees.  Minuteman Health said that the negative impact of this program had been "substantial."  "Unfortunately, the program has not worked as intended," the company said.  "It has been difficult for insurers to predict their risk-adjustment obligations, which has led some to withdraw from the ACA market."

Does Sen. Schumer Even Know How ObamaCare Works?  After having conceded to Democrats that the federal government should ban insurance denials based on pre-existing conditions, the GOP replacement bill needed some mechanism to prevent people from simply waiting until after they get sick to buy insurance.  The House bill included a 30% premium penalty for those who went more than a few months without coverage in a given year, but the first draft of the Senate bill had no way to push people to buy insurance while they are healthy.

8 of 11 Remaining Obamacare Co-ops on Verge of Collapse.  Of the 11 remaining health insurance co-ops created under Obamacare, eight of them could collapse in less than a year.  Moreover, the 11 remaining are less than half of the original twenty-three that were established in 2012 to compete with for-profit, private insurance companies.  This from Mandy Cohen, one of the top federal health officials in charge of overseeing the implementation of Obamacare.  As COO of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Cohen's responsibilities not only cover the physical presence of Obamacare throughout the country but its disastrous virtual presence in the form of healthcare.gov.  In addition to the possible collapse of the healthcare co-ops, Cohen hinted that there was much more at stake than just the loss of insurance for consumers.

Sole Health Insurer Left In Iowa Obamacare Raising Premiums At Least 43 Percent.  For the last few weeks, Iowa's individual health insurance market showed signs of collapse as companies pulled out one after another.  The state started to panic, even asking "the federal government to let it alter parts of the Affordable Care Act in an effort to entice insurers into selling plans in the state."  The small insurance company Medica has come to save Iowa after the company's officials decided to remain in the state, making it the only company in the market.  But officials said it has to charge higher premiums in order to stay afloat.

Anthem will drop out of Ohio's Obamacare market; 18 counties could be left with no ACA plan.  A big Obamacare shoe just dropped in Ohio.  Health insurer Anthem said Tuesday it will effectively exit its Obamacare individual plan business in Ohio, leaving potentially 18 counties in the Buckeye State with no insurer selling plans in 2018.  Anthem, which sells Obamacare plans in 14 states this year, left open the door to dropping out of other states next year.  The company this year sold individual health plans in all 88 counties in Ohio, the only Obamacare insurer to cover the whole state.  But next year, Anthem said, it will sell just a single plan in Pike County, and that will only be available outside of the Obamacare federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov.

The News Only Gets Worse For ObamaCare — And Democrats.  It is becoming extremely difficult to disguise or defend the Affordable Care Act's collapsing individual health insurance marketplace, but that isn't keeping the left from trying.  For example, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, an ObamaCare architect who used to revel in that fact (and the money the government paid him), recently told Fox News, "Since President Trump has been elected ... premiums are going up and insurers are exiting."  While that claim is true, recent decisions to exit the ObamaCare exchanges are based on years of losses from providing ObamaCare-qualified coverage.

ObamaCare must either die or take over completely.  Democrats are crowing over the Congressional Budget Office projection that the House-passed health-care bill would leave 23 million fewer Americans with insurance as of 2027 than if ObamaCare stayed intact — while ignoring the fact that ObamaCare can't remain intact.  That is, the CBO guesstimates are comparing the GOP bill to a fantasy.  We've written before of how insurers are fleeing the ObamaCare exchanges because they're losing too much money.  If the law goes unchanged, the nation will soon start seeing "insurance deserts" where no one's offering exchange coverage.  The CBO doesn't account for that.  Nor for the fact that premiums in the individual market have doubled since 2013, when ObamaCare started kicking in.  Few beneficiaries feel the full impact, because taxpayer subsidies shield them from the hikes.  But there's just no room in the federal budget to keep increasing the subsidies forever.

Obamacare Doomed by CBO and HHS Reports.  In late 2009, while the Obamacare debate raged, a Gallup poll found that the public's top concern about the bill was its potential cost.  Seven years later, long after "reform" became law, Gallup found that Americans still named cost as the most urgent health care problem.  Consequently, the combined effect of last week's reports from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is lethal to Obamacare.  HHS reported that insurance premiums have doubled since 2013 while the CBO found that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will produce lower premiums "than current law."  "Current law," in the vernacular of the CBO, means the "Affordable Care Act."  AHCA is, of course, the GOP "repeal and replace" bill that passed the House in early May and is currently under review by the Senate.  The CBO's assertion that AHCA would produce lower premiums than would Obamacare precipitated an inevitable propaganda campaign by the "news" media.

Trump administration encourages states to ask for Obamacare waivers.  The Trump administration on Tuesday [5/16/2017] encouraged states to ask for Obamacare waivers to set up high-risk pools, creating a pathway for interested states to begin to adopt key parts of the GOP's repeal plans even before they pass a bill through Congress.  Officials said the flexibility is needed to save Obamacare from its own shortcomings, saying states need to start experimenting with what works for them, rather than being bound to the top-down model of the Affordable Care Act.

Aetna Is Latest Health Insurer to Quit Obamacare Markets.  Aetna Inc. will leave the few remaining states where it had been selling Obamacare plans next year, making it the latest health insurer to pull out of the health law as Republicans attack the program as failing and work to dismantle it.  While the move is likely to attract outsize political attention, the decision affects just Delaware and Nebraska.  The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer already said last year it would pull out of 11 states, and in the last month announced plans to exit Iowa and Virginia.

Walls fall in on Obamacare.  It's not just a Republican talking point that Obamacare is falling apart.  Democrats' efforts to shift all blame to President Trump and his party are misleading.  Obamacare is crumbling because it was poorly made.  Further proof of that arrived Thursday [5/11/2017] when Aetna said it would quit Obamacare in the last four states where it has been participating.  Other insurers are abandoning the law's insurance exchanges or requesting eye-popping premium increases for next year.  These facts demolish Democrats' insistence that the law is working just fine.

Running The Numbers On Mortality Rates Suggests Obamacare Could Be Killing People.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, a.k.a.  Obamacare) has been an utter mess.  From passage in 2010 with procedural gimmicks to implementation in 2013 with unworkable software, from the loss of doctors and health plans millions wanted to keep to escalating premiums and insurers dropping out of the market, Obamacare has fallen short of nearly every conceivable goal of health-care reform.  There's one single exception:  Obamacare has dramatically expanded health insurance coverage.  This single remaining reason explains why it retains the support of progressives and a significant chunk of the electorate.  All other considerations are secondary, if not irrelevant.  More people have health insurance, so more people are benefitting from improved health outcomes and access to care.  There is only one simple flaw in this reasoning.  It does not appear to be true.

Waiving Objections.  Obamacare forbids insurers from overt discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.  That provision of Obamacare polls very well, in isolation, and it is an especially important issue to the many Americans, of all political stripes, who suffer from chronic conditions.  But the provision has also been thought to necessitate one of Obamacare's least popular provisions:  the fines on people who do not buy insurance.  When the law guarantees that people can get insurance at the same rate when they are healthy as when they are sick, it gives them a reason to wait until they get sick to buy insurance.  But if healthy people avoid insurance, its price goes up — and then additional healthy people start avoiding insurance.  When people talk about a "death spiral" in insurance markets, that's what they mean.

Hard Truths about Health Care.  Coverage is not access.  Democrats like to pretend that giving everyone a piece of paper called insurance guarantees them access to the care they need.  It's sort of like magic.  Say the right words, and poof, medical care appears.  But in the real world it doesn't work that way.  For example, take Medicaid, which is responsible for more than half the increase in coverage under Obamacare.  Nearly a third of primary-care physicians won't accept Medicaid patients.  And when doctors do see Medicaid patients, they tend to be slower in granting appointments.

Is health care a right or a good?  The regulatory structure of ObamaCare orders every primary care physician to keep all medical records on personal computers, to which the Department of Health and Human Services has access.  Thus, the long-revered and uniquely American value of the patient-physician privilege — the certain knowledge that your doctor will not reveal what you tell her or him — has been obliterated.  The statute also has given the secretary of HHS unreviewable powers to regulate intricacies of the delivery of health care in America.  Along with this expensive and bitter medicine — which has caused hundreds of thousands of folks to downgrade to part-time work, reduced the wages of millions more and driven thousands of health care providers into retirement or new occupations — ObamaCare also has provided some sugar.  The statute orders insurance carriers to cover pre-existing conditions, children on their parents' policies up to the age of 26 and expensive elective procedures, such as abortions and sex reassignment.

The Truth About Health Care.  This is an iron law of economics.  All goods and services are rationed.  This is true for health care too.  There are no exceptions to this law.  Thus, the First Truth of Health Care:  No health care plan or system can ever be taken seriously unless it addresses, up front, how it will say "No, you cannot have it" to people who want it.  At some point, someone has to tell the patient they cannot have whatever it is they want or need.  In America, rationing is mostly done by price, but increasingly the state is taking over this role.  In Britain, most people are denied services by the long lines for those services.  The long wait times for basic services is a form of rationing.

Ryancare Will Destroy The Republican Majority.  For seven years Republicans have campaigned against Obamacare.  They've recited its manifold deficiencies and depredations so many times that voters know them by heart:  It imposes an unworkable and morally objectionable requirement on Americans to buy health insurance whether they want it or not, it raises costs, reduces choice, and leads to rationing.  All of these things are true and ordinary Americans have felt the consequences.  Premiums have skyrocketed, people have lost coverage, businesses have closed as a result of the Obamacare mandates, the exchanges have gone bankrupt, and insurance companies still haven't figured out how to make money in the individual market.

Democrats fiddle while Obamacare burns and crashes.  Here's an inconvenient question:  Do Democrats have any new ideas to fix the objectively failing Obamacare health care reform?  Let me save you some time:  The short answer is no.  I have seen no major Democratic legislation filed this Congress to "fix" Obamacare.  Nothing to address rising costs, or the declining quality of coverage, or the increasing lack of choice in the market.

Democrats' Sudden Amnesia about Obamacare's Many Ills.  The American Health Care Act has serious problems.  But let's also not forget that Obamacare is not working, and that without major changes it's not going to work.  Enrollment in the law's insurance exchanges has come in significantly below projections, causing major insurers — UnitedHealth, Humana, and Aetna — to scale back their participation, citing massive losses.  Meanwhile several smaller insurance co-ops have shut down altogether.  As coverage has become monopolized — about one-third of U.S. counties have only a single insurance provider, and 16 counties in Tennessee probably will not have any provider in 2018 — premiums are climbing, and that's likely to continue, without competition and without a more diverse insurance pool.  The sicker the overall population the insurers must cover, the higher the costs.

Don't Trust Those CBO Health Care Numbers.  Shortly before President Obama signed ObamaCare into law, the CBO announced its findings that the health reform would cut the deficit in the first decade by a modest $119 billion, and possibly slash them by a trillion dollars in the second decade.  The CBO also predicted that 23 million people would be enrolled in ObamaCare exchanges this year, and that the number of uninsured would have gone down by 30 million.  None of that came to pass.  ObamaCare didn't cut the deficit in its first decade — a combination of the failure of parts of the reform to work as expected, unrealistic cuts to Medicare, and politically-motivated changes made unilaterally by the Obama administration.  Now, costs for Medicaid and the insurance subsidies are climbing faster than the CBO had expected.  As a result, the law is on track to add to deficits in its second decade as well, a fact we reported in this space recently.  As for enrollment, the number that actually signed up in the exchanges was less than half the CBO's projection.

Obamacare was 'meant to explode' in 2017 Trump says 'because Obama won't be here'.  President Donald Trump urged lawmakers Friday [3/10/2017] to support the GOP health reform plan if they want to 'save Americans from imploding Obamacare disaster.'  Health insurance premiums are doubling, and in some cases tripling, he declared during a meeting at the White House with committee chairs, as he predicted that 2017 'would be a disaster for Obamacare.'  'That's the year it was meant to explode, because Obama won't be here.  That was when it was supposed to be,' he proclaimed.  'As bad as it is now, it will get even worse.'

GOP should look up the definition of 'Obamacare' before claiming to repeal it.  At its core, Obamacare is the imposition of actuarially insolvent regulations, which spike the cost of premiums and chase out choice, competition, and innovation (which further raises costs).  This, in turn, engenders a need for mass subsidization, which in itself is not only costly to the government (taxpayers), but further distorts the insurance market.  That is because insurers now negotiate with government within the confines of regulations and subsidies to box out competition rather than working directly with market demand of consumers, unencumbered by price-hiking regulations and artificially inflated demand from subsidies.  This is also why the customer service of insurance companies has been horrible; there is no ability or incentive to work with consumers.  Either way they are regulated.  Either way they get subsidized.

The Left Is Approaching a Tipping Point.  We all heard the president's speech the other night, and I must say that I was surprised at the degree with which he seemed to be reaching across the aisle, even conciliatory to a degree I had never heard.  Trump was still rock solid on most of his campaign promises but seemingly open to finding common ground to attack America's myriad problems.  Chuck Schumer, of course, heard it differently, and in a diatribe resembling a grandfather confused by the complexities of some new technology he refuses to try to understand, stuck to his hard line that there is no good, no sanity and no future in anything President Trump proposes.  America never heard Schumer and the rest of his cohorts questioning Obama's health care plan, a little piece of socialism that was obviously designed to fail and bring about a single payer plan and putting a government that can't find its posterior with both hands in charge of one sixth of the American economy, not to mention red tape laden bureaucrats dispensing medical care.

The Five Worst Things about Obamacare.  In passing Obamacare, its supporters promised the moon.  Obamacare was allegedly going to cost $938 billion over ten years, result in 23 million people getting insurance through its exchanges as of 2017, reduce the typical family's premiums by $2,500 a year, and make sure that if you liked your health plan and doctor, you could keep your health plan and doctor.  Seven years later, Obamacare is projected to cost $1.938 trillion over ten years (exactly $1 trillion more), only 9 million people have insurance through its exchanges as of 2017 (just 40 percent of the original CBO projection), the typical family's premiums have exploded, and millions of people who liked their plans lost their plans, as Obamacare effectively banned them.  Many of them lost their doctors as well.

Five festering problems the Democrats cynically ignore.  [#2] Obamacare:  From its inception, critics argued that the Affordable Care Act was actuarially unsound.  They were right.  There's no doubt that a few people benefit from the program, but only at the expense of many other people.  There is even less doubt that the program cannot continue.  It has reached the predicted death spiral.  Obamacare must be undone before it causes irreparable damage to our health care delivery system.

Humana [is the] latest insurer to exit Obamacare exchanges.  Humana, a major health insurer, said Tuesday [2/14/2017] that it will pull out of the Obamacare marketplace after this year, delivering yet another blow to a program that was already on life support.  The Louisville, Kentucky-based company had already cut offerings for this year and pulled out of hundreds of counties last year.  It said Tuesday that it tried everything it could to make money but early returns from the just-closed enrollment period weren't promising.  "Therefore, the company has decided that it cannot continue to offer this coverage for 2018," the company said.

Ted Cruz exposed how millennials are defrauded by Obamacare.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is on a hitting streak in 2017.  First, he owned Deadspin on Twitter.  On Tuesday night [2/7/2017], Cruz destroyed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a CNN town hall debate on Obamacare.  And he did it by exposing the flawed health care law's treatment of millennials.  "There's no group in America that's been hurt by Obamacare more than young people," Cruz said in front of an audience at George Washington University.  "Young people were left on the chopping block."  The Texas Senator then continued to drop some facts.  "A recent study found that the Obamacare mandates... have increased."  Cruz then listed the three costliest mandates "have increased premiums by 44 percent."  "Without those mandates," Cruz explained.  "The typical 21-year-old would pay $1,100 a year less.  If you're 21, think about whether it would be easier to afford health care if it cost $1,100 a year less."

N.J. Obamacare insurance company start-up is gone for good.  A government-funded health insurance company launched to create more competition in the Obamacare marketplace is financially insolvent and will not make a comeback, state Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Richard Badolato announced Friday [2/3/2017].

Trump signs executive order that could effectively gut Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.  President Trump signed an executive order late Friday giving federal agencies broad powers to unwind regulations created under the Affordable Care Act, which might include enforcement of the penalty for people who fail to carry the health insurance that the law requires of most Americans.  The executive order, signed in the Oval Office as one of the new president's first actions, directs agencies to grant relief to all constituencies affected by the sprawling 2010 health-care law: consumers, insurers, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, states and others.  It does not describe specific federal rules to be softened or lifted, but it appears to give room for agencies to eliminate an array of ACA taxes and requirements.

Trump signs ObamaCare executive order.  President Trump on Friday signed an executive order directing federal agencies to "ease the burden of ObamaCare."  Trump signed the order in front of reporters at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, one of his first official acts as president.  The order did not direct any specific actions, instead giving broad authority to the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies to take actions available to them under the law to ease regulatory requirements from ObamaCare.

Trump issues executive order to start rolling back Obamacare.  Within hours of taking the oath of office, President Donald Trump on Friday night signed an executive order aimed at trying to fulfill one of his most impassioned campaign promises:  Rolling back Obamacare.  The multi-part executive order stated that the administration's official policy is "to seek the prompt repeal" of the Affordable Care Act — but at the same time emphasized that it must continue to uphold the law.

HHS could issue blanket waivers to gut individual insurance mandate.  President Donald Trump's day-one move to begin eroding the Obamacare medical insurance law has been met with angry opposition from the House of Representatives' top Democrat.  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who pushed the Affordable Care Act through Congress when she was Speaker of the House, called Trump's largely symbolic executive order a sign of 'cut and run' cowardice.  Trump inked a directive Friday [1/20/2017] ordering federal agencies to weaken Obamacare's authority by taking every opportunity possible to limit its cost to consumers.

After Exiting Obamacare Exchanges, UnitedHealth's Profits Jump 56 Percent.  UnitedHealth Group's profits increased by 56 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, after the group dropped out of the Obamacare exchanges last year, the Chicago Tribune reports.  UnitedHealth, the largest health insurer in the United States, exited Obamacare markets in April saying that it was difficult to turn a profit because enrollees turned out to be more costly than expected.

Illinois Obamacare Co-op Becomes 16th to Collapse.  Sixteen Obamacare co-ops have now failed.  Illinois announced that Land of Lincoln Health, a taxpayer funded Obamacare co-op, would close its doors, leaving 49,000 without insurance.  The co-op now joins a list of 15 other Obamacare co-ops that have collapsed since Obamacare has been implemented.  Failed co-ops have now cost taxpayers more than $1.7 billion in funds that may never be recovered.

Another ObamaCare Promise Bites The Dust.  A report from the centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says that, left in place, ObamaCare would reduce the deficit by between $350 billion and $150 billion over the next 10 years, depending on whether or not you account for the economic harm caused by the law.  It might look like a big number, but it's far smaller than the $1 trillion Democrats promised.  What's more, a realistic accounting shows that ObamaCare is on track to substantially increase the federal deficits.  In its report, the CRFB assumes that ObamaCare's extraordinarily deep Medicare cuts would actually be made if the law remained in place.  In fact, it assumes (based on official estimates from government agencies) that ObamaCare will reduce Medicare spending a total of $1.1 trillion from 2018 to 2027.  Without these draconian Medicare cuts, ObamaCare would be a huge money loser going forward.

What Will America Look Like after Obamacare?  The analysis from the Center for Health and Economy estimates that the cost of premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will increase by $9.8 billion next year.  This is an increase on average of 25 percent, but some states like Arizona will jump as high as 116 percent.  Also expected is the loss of insurers, which will drop by 28 percent.  Remember the famous line:  if you like your insurance, you can keep it?  Not this year, where one in five consumers must choose from a single insurer after major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna scaled back their roles.

Hospitals warn repealing Obamacare without safety net would create 'crisis'.  American hospitals warned Tuesday [12/6/2016] that repealing Obamacare without a safety net for those who lose coverage would spawn a "crisis," dumping costs on clinics and hospitals that will be flooded with uninsured patients and raising costs for health care overall.  The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals said some 22 million Americans could lose coverage over the next decade if Congress scraps the expansion of Medicare, the individual mandate and taxpayer subsidies that push people to sign up.

GOP Senators Introduce Bill to Block 'Bailout' of Obamacare Risk Program.  On Friday [11/18/2016], four Republican senators introduced a bill that would prevent the Obama administration from paying certain insurers in what they say amounts to a "bailout" of Obamacare.  Sens.  Ben Sasse, Marco Rubio, John Barrasso, and Mike Lee wrote in a joint statement that their HHS Slush Fund Elimination Act would prevent the government from using "any... federal funds, to pay any final judgment, award or settlement compromise related to any lawsuits related to the [Affordable Care Act]'s risk programs."

GOP Moves to Block Illegal Obamacare Bailouts.  House and Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to prevent the Obama administration from executing a last-minute end run around Congress to bail out insurers that lost money on Obamacare.  Rep. Morgan Griffith put forward a bill in the House last Thursday.  Senator Marco Rubio and three colleagues introduced a similar measure in the upper chamber on Friday.  The purpose of both bills is to stop President Obama's creatures at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using an esoteric Treasury account called the "Judgment Fund" to make disbursements Congress hasn't authorized.

Obamacare Collapsing Nationwide One Week Before Election Day.  A look at what happened in Arizona shows the cascading effects of problems with the design and implementation of the ACA, combined with early missteps by insurers.  Some priced plans aggressively, angling for market share and betting special programs built into the law would protect them from losses.  Those protections didn't work as expected.  Enrollees' health-care expenses repeatedly overshot the projections of nearly all Arizona's insurers.  The result: a flood of red ink, then withdrawals and premium increases.

Obamacare's Open Enrollment Season Is a Healthcare Horror Show.  Obamacare's fourth open enrollment period begins tomorrow — and what a fitting epilogue to Halloween.  After all, when Americans log on to either their state or the federal health insurance exchanges, they'll be in for a fright.  What they'll discover is a witch's brew of double-digit premium hikes, restrictive provider networks, and fewer coverage choices.  Many exchange customers will have only a single insurance provider to pick from.  And more than a million enrollees will find that their current plans have vanished from the exchanges.  Even the rosiest projections expect the online coverage markets to be veritable ghost towns.

Why the Obamacare collapse is exactly what Obama and Clinton want.  This week, the administration implicitly conceded that Obamacare is being smothered by an array of existential problems.  Average premiums, they said, will spike by a whopping 25 percent next year.  And that's a low-ball estimate, given that premiums in places like Arizona are increasing by a staggering 116 percent and Oklahoma by a breathtaking 69 percent.  The administration also admitted that at least 20 percent of consumers will have only one health insurer from which to choose.  With less or no competition, costs will continue to rise while choice shrinks.  So much for keeping your plan and doctor.  You'll be lucky to even find a doctor at all.  Physicians are leaving Medicare in droves because of the pittances paid to them in reimbursement.  Subsidies are also disappearing, Obamacare co-ops are collapsing, fewer people are enrolling and loss ratios are soaring.  The long-anticipated death spiral is here.

The agony of ObamaCare's collapse has just begun.  With the announcement this week of massive premium hikes for health insurance purchased through exchanges, it has become impossible to pretend that the Affordable Care Act is itself healthy.  Figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services warn that premiums for the benchmark Silver plan in each state will rise by an average of 22 percent nationwide.  In New York the average weighted increase for all plans will be less, but a still substantial 16.6 percent.  Some popular plans will have higher increases.  UnitedHealthcare, for example, will see a 28 percent increase.

The worst of ObamaCare is yet to come.  Word that ObamaCare premiums will soar 25 percent in the 39 states that operate off the federal healthcare.gov system is only the tip of the iceberg:  The so-called Affordable Care Act is inflicting damage all across America's health-care sector — with no end in sight.  Just as critics warned from the start.  Premiums are rising in nearly all the states that run their own exchanges, too.

ObamaCare heading towards collapse.  It was always the Democrats' plan for ObamaCare to collapse once Barack Obama was out of office.

Hillary's Plot Against America.  What is Hillary Clinton plotting should she become President?  Wikileaks revealed an email that is a smoking gun.  Despite a massive media blackout, some of the emails see the light of day on social and conservative media.  Hillary Clinton wrote an email to senior policy advisor Ann O'Leary that disclosed she was working, behind the scenes (naturally since she has a public persona — or multiple ones, actually — and a private one) to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

Why 27 Million Are Still Uninsured Under Obamacare.  When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, it promised to extend health insurance to tens of millions of people.  And although the law has helped push the U.S. uninsured rate down to a record low, the ACA's new insurance markets are proving to be volatile, with insurers recording big losses and pulling out.  Meanwhile, there are still millions of people without health insurance.

Fewer Americans Have Private Health Insurance Now Than in 2007.  It turns out that median incomes aren't the only thing that have dropped since 2007.  There are currently about 320 million people living in America.  If the percentage who have private health insurance were as high now as it was in 2007, 3.8 million more people would now have private health insurance.  Meanwhile, the CDC figures show that the percentage of people living in the United States who have public health coverage has risen dramatically, from 18.1 percent in 2007 to 25.3 percent in 2015.  If that percentage had stayed the same as in 2007, 23 million fewer people would now have public health coverage.  In other words, Obamacare is a massive Medicaid expansion.

UnitedHealth profits grow with retreat from Obamacare.  UnitedHealth Group reported strong profits and boosted its earnings forecast on Tuesday (Oct 18) helped by its controversial pullout from the Obamacare health insurance programme.  Shares of the largest US health insurer and health benefits manager led the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher, jumping nearly six per cent on its third quarter earnings and a strong outlook 2017.  UnitedHealth scored gains across the business, with increases in both employer-based health programmes and those run through the US government Medicaid and Medicare programmes.

One Million Reasons Obamacare Made Things Worse.  During the last presidential debate, Hillary Clinton denounced Donald Trump for pledging to repeal the "Affordable Care Act" and take our health care system back to "the way it used to be."  The underlying assumption of this accusation is, of course, that the system works better now than before it was "reformed."  Many accept that as a given, but think about it.  Before Obamacare was foisted upon us by Mrs. Clinton's fellow Democrats, do you remember reading headlines announcing that more than a million people were about to lose their health insurance plans in one fell swoop?  Neither do I.

Now, even Democrats can see the ObamaCare death spiral.  Another day, another Democrat finally owning up to the fact that ObamaCare is a disaster.  And another state facing the implosion of its health insurance market.  Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton — once one of the Affordable Care Act's most enthusiastic champions — is the latest Democrat to publicly eat crow for that support.  With good reason:  Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are losing their coverage next year.  And premiums on individual plans — which enroll 250,000 North Star State residents — will rise an average 50 percent to 67 percent.  "The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people," Dayton admitted last week, calling the situation in his state "an emergency."

The collapse of Obamacare in North Carolina has been nothing short of spectacular.  These stories are now becoming so common as to be the norm, but there's yet another tale of the Obamacare exchanges essentially collapsing in North Carolina as we approach the next open enrollment period.  Keep in mind that health insurance is still mandatory under law and the grace period for not facing a hefty penalty on your taxes for non-compliance is over.  Also remember that if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor and the Affordable Care Act was going to reduce premiums.  Oh, wait... it was going to at least keep them about the same.  No?  Well, at least they'll rise more slowly.  Don't tell that to consumers in the Tar Heel State.  All but one of the previously available insurers have fled the exchange and the sole remaining participant — Blue Cross Blue Shield — almost left.  They're sticking around, but the already high premiums they charge will be jumping up by an additional 25%.

The Clinton Record.  [Scroll down]  Let's look, for a moment, at how successfully Obamacare has helped to cut the cost of insurance premiums.  When the law was being debated and formulated, President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that under his plan, the average family would save up to $2,500 per year in annual premiums.  The reality has been somewhat different:
  •   A 2014 study by the Brookings Institution found that "premiums in the individual health insurance market increased by 24.4 percent beyond what they would have had they simply followed ... [existing] trends."
  •   The S&P Global Institute found that between 2013-15, the average market medical costs per individual increased by 69%.
  •   Premiums for ACA-compliant Qualified Health Plans that were sold to individuals on the Obamacare exchanges, were $2,300 more expensive than premiums for non-Qualified Health Plans, i.e., plans that were in existence before 2014 and did not comply with the mandates of the ACA.
  •   In 2015, premiums for the lowest-cost plans across all tiers — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — increased by a median of 10-13%.
  •   By September 2016, fully 16 of Obamacare's 23 state exchanges had gone bankrupt, with another one — the Tennessee exchange — "very near collapse."
  •   It is expected that by the end of 2016, UnitedHealth Group will have exited 31 of the 34 Obamacare exchanges in which it has participated, while Aetna will have left 11 of its 15 state exchanges.
Meanwhile, Obamacare's insurance policy deductibles are skyrocketing in almost every state.

More Than 1 Million in Obamacare to Lose Plans as Insurers Quit.  A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise.  At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg.  That's largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law's markets for individual coverage.

Gov. Dayton Declares Affordable Care Act 'No Longer Affordable'.  Gov. Mark Dayton made a stunning admission on Wednesday [10/12/2016] about rising health insurance costs and the future of MNsure.

Feds will now pick plans for displaced Obamacare customers.  One of the biggest surprises of the Sunday debate was the moment that Obamacare came up as an audience-member question.  Hillary Clinton basically said she'll mend it, and Donald Trump vowed to end it.  Gone are the days of, "if like your plan, you'll keep your plan."

Why is Bill Clinton suddenly trashing Obamacare?  To usher in Single Payer, of course!.  The Clintons don't do anything by accident.  So when everyone started hyperventilating because Bill Clinton was trashing Obamacare, I knew I needed to sit back and wait for the other shoe to drop.  I didn't have to wait long.  Right on cue, uber-liberal NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) introduced the "New Jersey Public Option Health Care Act."  And Bill himself "pitched a new system that would allow people to buy into Medicare or Medicaid," while calling for "a government-run 'public option,' describing it as 'the change we need' to help working class people who aren't covered."  Because what's better than a botched government takeover of health insurance companies?  A government takeover of all health care!

Bill Clinton bashes Obamacare as 'crazy system' on campaign trail.  Former President Bill Clinton stumped for his wife's campaign on Monday in Michigan by deeming the Affordable Care Act a "crazy system."  President Obama's signature piece of legislation was framed as nonsensical public policy that punishes middle-class Americans by doubling their health-insurance premiums, according to video footage of the event.  "You've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half," Mr. Clinton told voters.  "It's the craziest thing in the world."

Bill Clinton Trashes Obamacare At Event, Calls It 'Crazy System'.  Former President Bill Clinton attacked President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation Monday [10/3/2016], calling it a "crazy system" that "doesn't make any sense" during a Michigan campaign event for Hillary.  "It doesn't many any sense.  The insurance model doesn't work here," Clinton said about the government-run marketplaces Obamacare set up.  Clinton said that Obamacare "works fine" for people with "modest" incomes or who are eligible for government subsidies, or Medicare.  But he added that, "the people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies."

Washington Post Botches Defense of Obama's Insurer Bailout.  Obamacare's "risk corridor" program was designed to redistribute money in the Obamacare exchanges from health insurers who made money to those who lost money.  Profitable insurers would pay in; unprofitable insurers would get paid out.  With so many insurers losing money under Obamacare, however, the program was positioned to become a bailout, as there was no guarantee in Obamacare's text that the money paid out wouldn't exceed the money paid in.  Marco Rubio sounded the alarm in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in November of 2013.

BlueCross will drop Obamacare in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville.  BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will not sell insurance plans on the Obamacare exchange in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville next year, as the health care giant grapples with hefty losses and ongoing uncertainty on the marketplace.  The insurer made "an extremely difficult but necessary decision" to leave the state's three largest metro areas as it tries to manage its number of members to hit a break-even point amid three years of losses, said Roy Vaughn, chief communications officer of BCBST.

Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville dropped from Obamacare by BlueCross.  BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will no longer offer insurance through the Affordable Care Act in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville starting in 2017.  A large taxpayer subsidy to insurance companies taking part in the ACA ends in 2016, which means they could incur large losses.

Liberals Have No Clue How to Fix Obamacare.  Obamacare enthusiasts have long been in denial that their beloved law is unworkable in anything resembling its current form.  But with the recent news that the insurance giant Aetna is joining the stampede of companies leaving Obamacare's exchanges, reality may finally be sinking in.  It may be too little, too late.  Worse, Obamacare has become such a quagmire that the proposed "fixes" may create an even bigger mess.  Aetna is bailing out of the individual exchange market in 11 of 15 states because, like its peers, it was sustaining losses to the tune of $300 million annually and sees no prospects of improvement.

The Slow Slide Into Single-Payer Health Care.  For decades, liberal Democrats have been advocating a single-payer health care system where government pays all the bills.  The public has never supported this idea, but it looks like the country is headed there anyway, slowly but surely.  The latest data from the Census Bureau show that just since President Obama took office, the number of Americans getting health care through a government program — Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, etc. — shot up by 32 million (an increase of more than 32%).

How dare they cut their losses!
Democratic Senators Attack Aetna for Withdrawing From Obamacare Exchanges.  Democratic senators including Sen.  Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have written a letter to Aetna, attacking the company for withdrawing from the Obamacare exchanges.  On Aug. 15, Aetna announced that it would drop out of 11 of the 15 states where it offers health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act because it had experienced a total pretax loss of $430 million since January 2014.  The Democratic senators called Aetna's retreat from Obamacare "inexplicable and irresponsible."  "You must now answer both to your shareholders and to the thousands of Americans who trusted Aetna with their health coverage," the senators said.

It's time to kill the ObamaCare penalty.  President Obama promised his law would provide an array of affordable health plans.  In 2017, consumers will get neither choice nor affordability.  In nearly a third of the nation, only one insurer will offer coverage — that's no choice at all.  And insurance premiums are skyrocketing across the country.  ObamaCare is broken.  Slapping ObamaCare refuseniks with hefty penalties (averaging almost $1,000) for not signing up would be unfair, like enforcing a parking ticket when the meter's broken.

Obamacare In Its Death Spiral Last Days — Insurers Are Jumping Ship In Droves!  Obamacare was always going to fail.  It was not intended to survive.  You can't run the numbers and make the leaps that Obama and the majority of the democrats did without knowing that bad numbers an guesses would catch up to us all.  When only the poor sign up for it and uses tax money to pay for it, that's a huge sign that you just created a leaning tower of jello.

Think Obamacare Is Broken Now?  Wait Till Hillary 'Fixes' It.  [T]he reality is that Obamacare is broken beyond repair.  Neither Hillary nor anyone else can make this unworkable admixture of mandates, taxes, and bureaucratic avarice into a success.  It has cost twice the money its authors estimated and insured half the people to whom they promised coverage.  It has reversed a decade-long downward trend in health care inflation while costing insurers so much money that they have been forced to abandon its exchanges.  Even the law's infamous individual mandate has failed.  Millions would rather pay a fine than buy the lousy insurance offered through Obamacare's "marketplaces."

The House That Barack Built.  [Scroll down]  As the president's economic policies unfolded, it became evident that rather than emphasizing economic growth, his philosophy was to redistribute wealth, using the IRS and the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) enacted in March of 2010 as instruments.  Intrusiveness by government became the norm.  Now dying a slow death, Obamacare has lived up to the expectations of critics who predicted that it was unsound public policy.  Since inception, the government's intervention in private markets has been a failure, with major insurers pulling out of numerous exchanges resulting in less freedom of choice, dramatically rising premiums, and insufficient subscription by healthy individuals who would rather pay a small and increasing fine.  The president's serial misrepresentations with regard to keeping one's doctor and hospital, as well as seeing lower premiums have proved to be preposterous.  Numerous amendments of Obamacare were made unilaterally by the White House, bypassing Congress whose role is to make the laws.

A Scary Obamacare Mystery.  Are the Obamacare exchanges a success?  Your answer should take into account three recent pieces of news about the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act:
  •   The U.S. Centers for Disease Control's latest report on the uninsured shows that 8.6 percent of the population was uninsured in the first three months of 2016.  This is a record low.
  •   A survey of Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies, the backbone of the exchanges, indicates that about half their customers in the individual market are buying insurance without subsidies.
  •   Arizona has managed to persuade its Blue [sic] to sell insurance in Pinal County.  That was one of a handful of localities nationwide that faced the possibility of losing all the providers in their Obamacare marketplaces after insurance giants like Aetna announced in August that they were pulling out.

Why Obamacare failed.  Come November, the grim trudge across the increasingly barren Obamacare landscape begins anew.  Illinois consumers likely face staggering price hikes for individual insurance policies.  Some types of plans could cost an average of 43 percent to 55 percent more.  Ditto across the country:  A first tranche of states approved 2017 rates with similarly cardiac-arrest-inducing premium increases.  Many Illinois consumers will find fewer choices because major carriers fled this market.  UnitedHealthcare bolted.  So did Aetna.  Land of Lincoln Health collapsed mid-year, leaving policy holders to scramble for coverage that could cost them plenty.  In many places across Illinois and the nation, people will find drastically fewer choices of plans than they did last year.

ObamaCare Costs Surge While Choice Shrinks.  Health care affordability and choice remains the top health care concern among registered voters two months before they go to the polls in November.  Unfortunately, ObamaCare has in its mission, only increased costs and decreased options for consumers.  The August Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Foundation, released this morning, found that two-thirds of voters (66%), consider health care access and affordability the top health care priority that presidential candidates should be discussing on the campaign trail.  Additionally, a majority continue to hold an unfavorable view of President Obama's signature law that is continuing to fail Americans daily.

ObamaCare's Problems Can't Be Brushed Off As 'Growing Pains'.  The individual insurance market existed long before ObamaCare came around.  In fact, when President Obama signed it into law in 2010, there were 15 million people who bought plans on their own in this market, without any help from the federal government.  It was competitive, and premiums for many were low.  In fact, as a Government Accountability Office report found, plans were available in almost every state that were far cheaper, and had lower deductibles, than what people can find in an ObamaCare exchange, in some cases even with subsidies.  The market had its problems, to be sure, particularly for those with expensive pre-existing conditions, but these could have been fixed without the massive, costly and intrusive ObamaCare machinery.  ObamaCare took what was a relatively healthy market and is now in the process of destroying it through government mandates, regulations and taxes.

The Obamacare Scheme may be Imploding Ahead of Schedule.  Yes, be happy that this fall Illinois Obamacare premiums will increase by an average of 48% — the Bronze by 44%, the Silver by 45% and the Gold by 55%.  What ever happened to that $2500 savings we were promised?  Well, some will save — in fact, make out like bandits.  Those being subsidized will see their subsidies increase, allowing plans to be offered for less than $100 per month — for every increase in our premium means an increase in the subsidy.  And if you think Illinois is an outlier, think again.  As one state's losses pile up, other states will follow.  Nationwide, insurers and exchanges are recording massive losses, which means the rest of us will be stuck holding the bag with 40-50 percent increases every year to pay for those losses and the subsidized.

Did the Justice Department Pressure Aetna On Obamacare?  Many Obamacare supporters have been taking solace in their belief that Aetna's recent decision to pull out of all but four government-run exchanges was a result not of Obamacare's slow-motion death spiral but of Aetna's playing politics with the Department of Justice, which has blocked the insurer's intended merger with Humana.  Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse, however, have written a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking whether it isn't the other way around.  The two senators ask Lynch whether the DOJ was in fact playing politics with Aetna, using its leverage to pressure the insurer to participate in Obamacare.

This May Be the Scariest Study on Obamacare Yet.  [Obamacare's] expansive requirements for minimum essential benefits were designed to protect the consumer, but they actually wound up causing millions of consumers to lose their pre-Obamacare healthcare plans.  This more comprehensive coverage also lifted premium prices.

McCain Warns Obamacare May Leave Thousands Without Any Options.  Arizona Republican Sen.  John McCain warned Thursday that Pinal County could soon be the first to have zero Obamacare marketplace options in the wake of Aetna pulling out of the exchange — leaving roughly 10,000 residents to fend for themselves in terms of seeking coverage.  The former presidential contender slammed the Affordable Care Act's failures, in an op-ed published on FoxNews.com, noting President Barack Obama's landmark health-care legislation failed to deliver on the promise of more choices and competition.  McCain said the issues the ACA caused will likely lead to more areas of the country without options due to insurers pulling out of Obamacare exchanges and raising premiums to make up for sizable losses since its implementation.

Obamacare Website No Longer Addresses 'You Can Keep Your Doctor'.  "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was President Barack Obama's signature catchphrase he used to sell the Affordable Care Act to the American people.  Now Obamacare's flagship website, healthcare.gov, no longer even addresses the issue.  Ironically, the section in question was the first public (if indirect) admission by the Obama administration that the president's promise was less than a "guarantee."

5 States, Nearly 700 Counties Don't See 'Choice and Competition' Promised by Obamacare.  Five states will be down to just one health insurer on the Obamacare marketplace next year, and consumers in 664 counties are projected to face that same situation under a law sold as providing "choice and competition."  The five states that will have no choice are Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming.  Two more states, North Carolina and Kansas, are close to having only one Obamacare insurer, health policy experts note.

Obamacare insurance market near collapse in Tennessee, state official says.  Tennessee's insurance regulator approved hefty rate increases for the three carriers on the Obamacare exchange in an attempt to stabilize the already-limited number of insurers in the state.  The rate approvals, while a tough decision, were necessary to ensure that consumers around the state had options when open enrollment begins in November, said Julie Mix McPeak, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.  BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the only insurer to sell statewide and there was the possibility that Cigna and Humana would reduce their footprints or leave the market altogether.

Obamacare's Collapse: The Weirdest Excuse Yet.  The speed at which Obamacare is now collapsing has exceeded the pace at which its advocates are able to produce plausible excuses.  For evidence of this, one need look no further than the latest conspiracy theory concocted by Andrew Slavitt, the paragon of public service who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Slavitt, best known to the public for lying to Congress about his agency's efforts to recover taxpayer-funded PPACA start-up grants misappropriated by state officials, has instructed his minions to issue a public information request concerning the "inappropriate steering" of patients to Obamacare exchanges.

Destroyer-In-Chief: Obama Finally Admits He "Accidentally" Shredded U.S. Healthcare.  Hillary Clinton is telling voters she wants "to build on" Obamacare.  But President Obama's signature healthcare law remains highly unpopular because many Americans believe it's not a good deal for them personally.  The president essentially laid out a case for his own law's failures in an article he wrote for the Journal of the American Medical Association.  He wrote:  "too many Americans still strain to pay for their physician visits and prescriptions, cover their deductibles, or pay their monthly insurance bills; struggle to navigate a complex, sometimes bewildering system; and remain uninsured."  It was a striking concession.  It also shows that the president still has no idea how much damage he's done to Americans' healthcare.

One-third of US won't have choice between Obamacare plans in 2017.  It's looking like a lot of people are going to have little Obamacare choice next year.  One-third of the United States may have just a single insurer to pick from on Obamacare marketplaces in 2017, an analysis released Friday [8/19/2016] suggests.  Seven entire states are projected to have just one carrier in 2017:  Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to research by the Avalere consultancy.

Reminder: Obamacare Is Still A Giant Cronyistic Disaster.  Any giant regulatory scheme bringing together big business and big government inevitably leads to cronyism and corruption.  Not long after the Justice Department blocked Aetna's merger with Humana, the company announced it would be scaling back participation in ACA. Now, Obamacare consumers in 11 states won't be able to keep their insurance even though, one imagines, they like their plans.  But choices are getting scarcer by the year.  Aetna is now one of around a dozen major insurance providers who've dropped completely out or scaled back participation in exchanges.

Aetna's Retreat From Obamacare Is More Than It Seems.  Aetna is pulling out of 11 of the 15 states it serves on the Obamacare exchanges.  Longtime readers of this column will be unsurprised at the reason:  It's losing substantial amounts of money on its exchange policies.  That's not necessarily the only reason, of course.  Companies in heavily regulated industries — and health care is now probably our most heavily regulated sector outside of nuclear power plants — spend a lot of time engaging in n-dimensional chess games with the various government entities that have jurisdiction over their operations.  Public statements and market moves may be exactly what they look like.  Or they may be part of a complicated strategy involving some third, fourth or eighth factor that does not, at first glance, appear to be much related.

ObamaCare Conspiracy Theories Are Looking More Plausible By The Day.  Consider what is happening right now with ObamaCare.  Enrollment is way below expectations.  Insurers are putting in for double-digit rate hikes across the country, with some as high as 60%.  UnitedHealth, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield are pulling out of several ObamaCare markets, and most of the nonprofit co-ops created by ObamaCare have gone bust.  As a result, the competition that was supposed to make ObamaCare exchanges the health care equivalent of Travelocity is evaporating.  And Democrats [...] are using these problems to push for a still bigger role for government in providing health insurance.

Aetna slashes Obamacare participation by two-thirds.  Healthcare insurer Aetna announced Monday that it would reduce its participation in Obamacare by more than two-thirds, after suffering a $200 million loss in the second quarter of this year, a loss caused by too many sick people signing up for President Obama's signature healthcare program.  "Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool," the company said in a statement.  "Fifty-five percent of our individual on-exchange membership is new in 2016, and in the second quarter we saw individuals in need of high-cost care represent an even larger share of our on-exchange population."

Aetna to pull out of most Obamacare exchanges.  In the latest blow to Obamacare, Aetna is vastly reducing its presence on the individual exchanges in 2017.  The insurer will stop offering policies on the exchanges in 11 of the 15 states where it currently operates, according to a press release it issued Monday evening.  Aetna (AET) will only sell Obamacare products in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.  Aetna said earlier this month that it was halting its exchange expansion plans for 2017 and reviewing its participation in President Obama's signature health reform program.  The company noted Monday that it has lost $430 million in its individual policies unit since the exchanges opened in January 2014.

Aetna deals latest blow to Obamacare, pulls out of most markets.  In a major blow to Obamacare, one of America's largest health insurers said it was pulling out of most of the markets in which it was participating, citing huge losses in the past quarter.  In a statement Monday [8/15/2016], Aetna reported that it lost $200 million in the second quarter of 2016 and as a result would participate next year in just four states' Obamacare marketplaces:  Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.  Aetna had been offering health-insurance plans in 15 states' Obamacare markets this year, but its retreat mirrors moves by several other major health-insurance providers in recent months.

Aetna Will Abandon Obamacare Patients In More Than 500 U.S. Counties.  Aetna said it will reduce by more than 500 U.S. counties its participation in public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.  In 2017, Aetna said it will be in just 242 counties, down from 778.  Aetna will remain on-exchange in just four states:  Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia, compared to 15 states where it operates this year.  Monday night's [8/15/2016] announcement comes after Aetna said earlier this month that it would evaluate all of its individual plans in 15 states.

Obamacare On "Verge Of Collapse" As Premiums Set To Soar Again In 2017.  If Obamacare enrollments continue their current trend and insurers continue to hike premiums at alarming rates then Republicans may not have to worry about "repealing and replacing Obamacare" as it might just work itself out "naturally".  The 4th open enrollment period for Obamacare begins on November 1, 2016 and industry experts are warning that another year of tepid demand from "young and healthy" Americans could force more insurers out of the exchanges effectively marking the end of Obamacare as we know it.

Next president faces possible ObamaCare meltdown.  The next president could be dealing with an ObamaCare insurer meltdown in his or her very first month.  The incoming administration will take office just as the latest ObamaCare enrollment tally comes in, delivering a potentially crucial verdict about the still-shaky healthcare marketplaces.  The fourth ObamaCare signup period begins about one week before Election Day, and it will end about one week before inauguration on Jan. 20.  After mounting complaints from big insurers about losing money this year, the results could serve as a kind of judgment day for ObamaCare, experts say.  "The next open enrollment period is key," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.  The Obama administration has struggled for several years to bring young, healthy people into the marketplaces, which is needed to offset the medical costs of older and sicker customers.  These problems are coming to light this year, as insurers get their first full look at ObamaCare customer data.  Some, like United Health Group, say they've seen enough and are already vowing to leave the exchanges.

Taxpayers are at risk as Obamacare crumbles.  The health insurance exchanges that are the beating heart of Obamacare are on the edge of collapse, with premiums rising sharply for ever narrower provider networks, non-profit health co-ops shuttering their doors, and even the biggest insurance companies heading for the exits amid mounting losses.  Even the liberal Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill is warning of a possible "Obamacare meltdown" this fall.  Three states — Alaska, Alabama, and Wyoming — are already down to just a single insurance company, as are large parts of several other states, totaling at least 664 counties.  UnitedHealth is pulling out completely, Humana is pulling out of 88 percent of counties it was in, and last weak Aetna strongly suggested it will be exiting, too, unless it gets bribed to stay with a huge, annual infusion of direct corporate bailout payments from taxpayers.

The big ObamaCare bubble.  "No one can see a bubble.  That's what makes it a bubble."  That was Christian Bale's character's summation of a market bubble in last year's hit movie "The Big Short," which chronicled the few investors who saw the signs pointing to the mortgage market collapse.  With terrorism, email scandals and race relations dominating the headlines, has a healthcare bubble been filling up quietly behind the scenes?  Since the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCar), the health care industry has seen record growth and increased revenues.  Why?  Illness, especially chronic, sadly is a moneymaking business.  Illness requires more office visits, more hospitalizations and inevitably more bills.  ObamaCare halted insurance companies' practice of rating premiums based on a customers illness history, or as more commonly known, preexisting conditions.

ObamaCare Is Failing Exactly The Way Critics Said It Would.  Aetna's decision to abandon its ObamaCare expansion plans and rethink its participation altogether came as a surprise to many.  It shouldn't have.  Everything that's happened now was predicted by the law's critics years ago.

Aetna: On second thought, we're backing away from ObamaCare.  Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice blocked Aetna's attempts to merge with Humana and purchase Cigna.  Today, Aetna announced that, without the economies of scale the merger would have provided, they will not expand its reach into new ObamaCare markets as originally indicated.  In fact, they may pull out of the ObamaCare business altogether, leaving almost a million customers in 15 states to find another carrier.

Aetna is latest big insurer to deliver blow to ObamaCare.  Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year, as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.

Philly Democrats Admit ObamaCare Has Been A Huge Failure.  [Scroll down]  But wait, wasn't ObamaCare itself supposed to fix the affordability problem?  Its official name is, after all, the "Affordable Care Act."  And didn't President Obama repeatedly promise that affordability is what this law would deliver?  Why, yes, he did. [...] In fact, two-thirds of the ObamaCare-created nonprofit co-ops have already gone bankrupt — taking with them close to $2 billion in taxpayer loans — and major insurers are pulling out of ObamaCare markets after losing truckloads of money.  Competition, in other words, is dwindling, not thriving, to the point where Democrats now fear that some markets will end up bereft of insurance choices altogether.

16 Obamacare Co-Ops Collapsed.  Here's How the Rest Are Faring.  Since Obamacare's rollout in the fall of 2013, 16 co-ops that launched with money from the federal government have collapsed.  The co-ops, or consumer operated and oriented plans, were started under the Affordable Care Act as a way to boost competition among insurers and expand the number of health insurance companies available to consumers living in rural areas.  Now, just seven co-ops — Wisconsin's Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative; Maryland's Evergreen Health Cooperative; Maine Community Health Options; Massachusetts' Minuteman Health; Montana Health Cooperative; New Mexico Health Connections; and Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey — remain.

Virtually Every Remaining Obamacare Co-Op Is On The Verge Of Total Collapse.  [I]n March, it was reported that the last remaining Obamacare co-ops are on the verge of failing.  Two more co-ops in Connecticut and Oregon recently decided to close shop.  Right now, roughly one-third of the co-ops are left out of 23 that were set up.  Virtually every one that remains could fold this year.

Obamacare and the Private Practitioner: 2016.  Before Obamacare, the percentage of physicians owning their own businesses was around 70%.  It is now hovering around 30%.  The reason for the shift is not widely reported.  As costs to run their businesses have been going up, reimbursements to doctors are going down, making the margin for being able to stay open smaller and smaller.  Meanwhile, hospitals are doing comparatively better.  Why?  Because they can charge more for a service than doctors can charge.  Hospitals can do this because they have traditionally taken care of the uninsured, and states have written into their books a differential in the reimbursement to make things "fair."  This differential allows hospital corporations the ability to afford to buy doctors' practices.  This affects costs adversely.

ObamaCare Is Destroying The Co-Ops It Spent Billions Creating.  After providing $2.4 billion in loans to get them started, ObamaCare is now driving several nonprofit insurance co-ops out of business.  That, in turn, will leave tens of thousands of people scrambling to find other insurance, while making it unlikely that those taxpayer-subsidized loans will ever be repaid.  Of the 23 co-ops that started operations in 2014, only 10 remain, after Oregon's second co-op announced on Friday [7/8/2016] that it was going out of business at the end of the month.  By year's end, Connecticut's will be out of business as well.

Obamacare's 14th Co-Op Is Closing Its Doors, and at Least 2 More Could Close Soon.  Another Obamacare co-op, Connecticut's HealthyCT, is closing its doors, and at least two most could follow suit as the nonprofit insurers decide whether they will be able to remain on firm financial footing.  The nine remaining co-ops of the original 23 co-ops must make payments totaling at least $130 million through Obamacare's risk adjustment program, which could damage their viability.  The Connecticut Insurance Department announced Tuesday that HealthyCT was placed under state supervision, leaving approximately 40,000 Connecticut residents to find new health insurance during the next open enrollment period.  HealthyCT is the 14th co-op created under Obamacare to fail since the health care law's exchanges opened in 2013.

14th Obamacare co-op collapses.  Connecticut's taxpayer-funded Obamacare health insurer will close due to minimal federal funding, becoming the 14th consumer-operated and oriented plan to shut down.  The state's insurance regulator took over HealthyCT, the state's Obamacare co-op, on Tuesday due to financial problems.  The co-op, created to spur more competition on Obamacare's marketplaces, is the 14th out of 23 nationwide to shut down since they were created in 2014.  Now only nine co-ops remain.

ObamaCare Is Killing The Blues.  If any insurer could cope with ObamaCare, it should have been Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Blue Cross companies came into the ObamaCare exchanges with decades of experience writing individual policies.  Most of them are non-profits, which gives them an automatic leg up on the competition.  And their plans captured the largest share of the exchange markets across the country.  But as with everything else about ObamaCare, it hasn't work out that way.

Insurers Try to Sue Their Way Free of Faustian Bargain.  In Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, the sinful sawbones eventually thinks better of his bargain with the devil and does his best to weasel out of the deal.  A number of health insurers, having made similarly cynical arrangements with the Obama administration, are now attempting to use the court system to escape the consequences of their cupidity.  Knowing full well that they couldn't make legitimate profits selling coverage through Obamacare's exchanges, they relied on Democrat guarantees that their losses would be covered by the taxpayers.  But a funny thing happened on the way to easy profits.  Congress refused to appropriate the funds.

Minnesota Shows Everything That's Wrong With ObamaCare.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the biggest player in the state with 103,000 individual market customers, is the latest insurer to pull back from the state's ObamaCare exchange after piling up $500 million in losses.  The hit to Minnesotans buying coverage on and off the exchange is just the latest in a series problems for what ranks as among the least-stable markets in the nation.  In 2014, the dominant insurer in the marketplace, PreferredOne, dropped out of the exchange.  For 2016, Blue Cross and Blue Shield hiked premiums by 49%.

Obama Wants To Block All The Exits From ObamaCare.  President Obama is fond of saying that ObamaCare is a great insurance product:  coverage that can't be taken away, generous mandated benefits, and subsidized premiums for many.  But if ObamaCare insurance is so great, then why is Obama trying to outlaw a private sector alternative that has become hugely popular?  These plans, called short-term health policies, provide coverage for up to a year.  But they don't comply with ObamaCare's mountain of mandates and regulations — they don't cover pre-existing conditions, maternity care, etc.  As a result, they don't qualify as "insurance coverage" under the law, so anyone who buys such a plan still has to pay the ObamaCare penalty tax.

Thirteen of 23 Co-Ops Created Under Obamacare Have Failed.  Ohio's InHealth Mutual co-op announced last week that it is going out of business, making it the 13th co-op to fail out of the 23 that were created under Obamacare.  The Ohio Department of Insurance asked to liquidate the company, saying that the company was in a "hazardous financial condition."  The co-op served nearly 22,000 consumers who now have 60 days to find another policy offered by another company on the federal exchange.  "Our examination of the company's financials made it clear that the company's losses would prevent it from paying future claims should its operations continue," said Ohio Director of Insurance Lt.  Gov.  Mary Taylor.  "Under Ohio law, we acted with certainty to protect the consumers."

UnitedHealthcare to pull out of Illinois insurance exchange.  UnitedHealthcare will stop offering Affordable Care Act plans in Illinois in 2017, the [Chicago] Tribune confirmed Tuesday [5/31/2016].  The departure of the insurance company will reduce the number of coverage options for consumers in 27 counties.  UnitedHealthcare announced in April that it would pull out of nearly all of the ACA exchanges because of heavier-than-expected losses from covering a population that turned out to be sicker than it expected.  The ACA plans, which the company offered in 34 states this year, are a small share of UnitedHealthcare's total business.

Key ObamaCare Subsidy Program Suffers Another Blow.  The House Republicans' legal challenge to a key ObamaCare subsidy got a boost today from an unlikely source:  an IRS official who said agency officials had doubts about the legality of the subsidy payments.  The issue involves a second, little-known ObamaCare subsidy scheme that lowers out-of-post costs for lower-income families.  Under ObamaCare, the federal government pays insurers for the cost of this subsidy, as it does for the cost of subsidizing insurance premiums.

Bureaucracy, anarchy and the lost Constitution.  The power that anarchists crave is the power to do whatever they want while someone else pays for it.  The classic example of this is the far-left Cloward-Piven strategy of 1966 that called for overloading the public welfare system to the point where it would be impossible for the government to afford it, leading to a collapse that would result in the implementation of a new system altogether — in particular, a guaranteed minimum income for all people, whether they worked or not.  Since then, the "progressive" left has learned to follow the same strategy in every aspect of government.  Thus, Obamacare overloads the federal government with the impossible task of ensuring health care for everyone.  The real goal, as everyone knows, is for the system to collapse and be replaced by a single-payer system, again taking the burden off individuals and putting it on the government.

Conservatives Can't Let Obamacare's Collapse go to Waste.  All of the deficiencies in Obamacare's structure have been well documented.  High premium costs, unaffordable deductibles, narrow physician networks and very few choices in providers in many states have led millions of uninsured Americans to continue taking their chances and to just pay the individual mandate fine.  Since those who have enrolled in the exchanges are disproportionately older and less healthy, most insurers are taking net losses from their exchange plans.  United Healthcare just happened to have some of the worst losses (almost $1 billion over ywo years), and their withdrawal from the exchanges in most states likely means that their policyholders in those states will just move their red-ink-inducing medical needs to policies from other companies.

Obamacare disaster will be Obama's enduring domestic legacy.  Even before he leaves office, Obamacare has begun unraveling.  The law was passed over the objections of a majority of Americans, it is still opposed by a majority of Americans — and their opposition has been vindicated.  Last week, UnitedHealth Group announced that, after estimated losses of more than $1 billion for 2015 and 2016 under Obamacare, the company was pulling out of most of its ill-fated exchanges.

Obamacare Is Still a Disaster.  Like many Americans, I'm suffering from Obamacare fatigue.  Health Freedom Meter before ObamacareBefore the law was implemented, I repeatedly explained that more spending and more intervention in the health sector would worsen a system that already was suffering from too much government.  And since the law went into effect, I've pointed out — over and over again — the predictably negative effects of Health Freedom Meter after Obamacaregiving the government even more control.  So I'm tempted to wash my hands of the issue.  But that would be wrong, particularly since advocates of statism disingenuously might claim that silence somehow means acceptance or approval.

What's Obama Hiding In Those Secret ObamaCare Documents?  Being the "most transparent administration" in history apparently doesn't mean complying with a congressional subpoena to find out why more than half of the ObamaCare co-ops have failed.  That's what the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is learning, at least.  It has subpoenaed information relating to the 23 nonprofit co-op insurance companies that ObamaCare established with $2.5 billion in government loans.  The co-ops were supposed to provide price competition against commercial insurers, but last year many pushed for and got huge, double-digit rate hikes.  Even so, more than half of the 23 set up have failed already, and it's likely that eight more will collapse this year.

Obamacare's Teachable Moment.  Obamacare is collapsing.  UnitedHealth will abandon most Obamacare markets, it said Tuesday.  Giant insurers such as Aetna and the BlueCross Blue Shield Association are next.  They warned last week that losses trying to sell Obamacare plans are "unsustainable" — $3 billion a year, S&P says — and they'll either stop selling the plans or significantly raise premiums.

Citing Losses, UnitedHealth to Pull Back From Obamacare.  The UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest health insurers, told investors on Tuesday [4/19/2016] that it continued to lose hundreds of millions of dollars selling individual policies under the federal health care law.  The company said it planned to pull out of a majority of states where it offered coverage and would offer policies on the public exchanges in "only a handful of states" for 2017.  UnitedHealth, which was a late and seemingly reluctant participant in the public exchanges, surprised investors last year when it announced its sizable losses, now estimated at more than a combined $1 billion for 2015 and 2016, because of its poor performance in the public exchanges.  Policy analysts have been watching UnitedHealth closely as an indicator of whether the new individual market developed under the Affordable Care Act is sustainable.

UnitedHealth Pulling Out Of Most ObamaCare Markets.  The insurer UnitedHealth is pulling out of the ObamaCare marketplaces in all but a "handful" of states in 2017, the company announced Tuesday [4/19/2016].  The announcement, made by CEO Stephen Hemsley on an earnings call, follows up on the company's statement in November that it was considering dropping out of ObamaCare due to financial losses[.]  The moves by UnitedHealth, the nation's largest health insurer, have drawn attention for what they could indicate about the sustainability of ObamaCare as a whole.

United Health dropping out of most Obamacare exchanges after losing $1.1 billion.  The nation's largest insurer announced Tuesday [4/19/2016] it will be dropping out of the Obamacare exchanges in all but a handful of states.  The decision comes after the company lost nearly half-a-billion dollars on the exchange business last year and expectations it will lose even more this year.

America's Largest Health Insurer Bails on Obamacare.  If you like your UnitedHealthcare Obamacare plan, that doesn't mean you can keep your UnitedHealthcare Obamacare plan.  That's because the nation's largest health insurer is bailing on the central policy initiative of the Obama presidency.

ObamaCare Will Cost $136 Bil More, Cover Fewer People Than We Thought, CBO Says.  ObamaCare has been taking lots of hits lately, but a new report from the Congressional Budget Office is a gut punch.  It shows that ObamaCare's outlook has worsened considerably as fewer people sign up and costs rise more than expected.  To little fanfare and virtually no media coverage, the Congressional Budget Office sharply downgraded its forecast for ObamaCare in its latest report, issued in late March.  By just about every measure, things are looking worse than they did a year ago.

Obama-Care was built on lies and it is about to collapse under its own weight.  Well looks like the Republicans knew what they were talking about, doesn't it?  The Obama administration will tell any lie and break any law to prevent the president's signature health-care program from collapsing.  Insurance companies such as United Healthcare and Aetna are losing billions of dollars trying to sell Obama-Care plans, and it seems they'll drop out at the end of 2016.  No insurance companies means no Obama-Care.  President Obama doesn't care about cost, after all it's not his money, it's ours.  On Feb. 12, the administration announced that he will be shelling out a whopping $7.7 billion dollars this year alone.  But it seems it's not only expensive, but bailing out the insurance companies is also illegal.

ObamaCare Will Cost $136 Bil More, Cover Fewer People Than We Thought, CBO Says.  ObamaCare has been taking lots of hits lately, but a new report from the Congressional Budget Office is a gut punch.  It shows that ObamaCare's outlook has worsened considerably as fewer people sign up and costs rise more than expected.  To little fanfare and virtually no media coverage, the Congressional Budget Office sharply downgraded its forecast for ObamaCare in its latest report, issued in late March.  By just about every measure, things are looking worse than they did a year ago.

Run Against Obama.  As for President Obama's signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, nearly every promise he made regarding the law has proved false.  Remember the assurance that health premiums for the average family would decline by $2,500?  In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865.  The claim that "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" has entered the lexicon of "lying for justice."  What about the promise that the law would not add "one dime to the deficit", or the breezy assurance that signing up on Healthcare.gov would be just like making air reservations on Kayak.com?

Popular HSA Plans Face An ObamaCare Death Sentence.  Health Savings Accounts are a proven free-market health-reform idea.  No wonder the Obama administration has been trying to kill them off.  This year, it might finally succeed.

Why Is Obamacare Regulating Health Savings Accounts Out of Existence?  Almost six years to the day after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken steps to kill health savings accounts (HSAs) in the state health-insurance exchanges.  It was bound to happen at some point, although some may be surprised that it took this long.  In case you missed it, final regulations published on March 8 will make it impossible to offer HSA-qualified plans in the future.  Whether this is by accident or design, the outcome is clear.

ObamaCare's 'Cadillac Tax' Could Kill Popular HSA Plans.  HSA plans combine a high deductible health plan with a tax-exempt savings account, into which individuals and employers can contribute money each year.  Any interest earned in the HSA belongs to the individual, any money spent out of the account on health care isn't taxed at all, and any funds left at the end of the year roll over to the next.  The idea is to encourage consumers to be more frugal in their use of health care by making them more directly aware of costs and rewarding them for being prudent shoppers. [...] So why will ObamaCare's Cadillac Tax bring this HSA train to a screeching halt?

The emerging disaster of Obamacare.  Seven years on, the size of the Obamacare disaster is only beginning to emerge.  Fixing it won't be as easy as some of the candidates for president seem to think it will be.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that over the next decade Obamacare will add $1.4 trillion to the nation's debt.  Many of the so-called cures are utterly unrealistic.  Hillary Clinton, for example, after proposing new and expensive additions to Obamacare, now suggests a solution concocted of one part fantasy and two parts nonsense.  She would impose a 4 percent tax on millionaires to pay for increased costs.  But her tax would yield only $150 billion over 10 years, a fraction of what her plan would require.  Even millionaires are not what they used to be.

Employers to drop millions from health care plans as Obamacare premiums spike, CBO projects.  Obamacare insurance premiums will leap 6 percent a year over the next decade, and companies will drop millions of employees from their health plans as insurers and employers calibrate their offerings for the new marketplace, the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday [3/24/2016].  The health law will continue to steadily grow in both cost and coverage, working toward President Obama's goal of expanding those with access to insurance — but the government will shell out tens of billions of dollars to pay for it, analysts said in their latest evaluation of the federal budget and the Affordable Care Act, which is driving much of the change.

The brutal facts about the tottering Affordable Care Act.  [#1] Twelve of the 23 Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (co-ops) in the U.S., which were intended to spur competition and lower prices, folded in 2015, costing American taxpayers more than $1.23 billion.  [#2] Risk corridors, which enable the government to compensate insurers that underestimated costs and undercharged their subscribers, paid out much less than the insurers expected because the funds dried up.  What's more, the program is due to expire after this year.  [#3] As a result, insurance premiums and deductibles have gone up dramatically, while the number of doctors patients can see has gone down.  [#4] The losses incurred by the major insurers in the past year have been staggering, and the likes of UnitedHealth, Aetna and others have signaled that participating in health insurance exchanges may no longer be sustainable.  [#5] The number of young, comparatively healthy people who were expected to sign up and balance out the insurers' payments to older, sicker people fell drastically short of expectations, which in turn compounded the problem of rising costs.

Obamacare Was Going to Lower Health Care Costs.  Hawking the Affordable Care Act (ACA) six years ago, President Barack Obama said, "Every single good idea to bend the cost curve and start actually reducing health care costs [is] in this bill."  Team Obama projected that their version of health care reform — replete with the bells and whistles of "investments" in health information technology, health care delivery and payment reforms — would translate into big cost reductions for individuals, families and businesses.  In his iconic health care "talking points", the president said that the "typical" family would see a yearly $2500 savings in their health costs.  Those family cost savings, of course, have not materialized.

Bernie's Doomed Democratic Socialism.  [Scroll down]  Free quality medical care cannot survive a population that converts every injury into an ambulance ride to the emergency room.  Similarly bad personal habits can quickly bankrupt "free" medical care.  Try sustaining socialized medicine where a population eats itself into obesity causing diabetes and heart attacks, slides into narcotics addition, practices dangerous sex, smokes and drinks to excesses and otherwise burdens the state with self-imposed tribulations?

ObamaCare Now Has Blue Cross Singing The Blues.  Fitch Ratings looked at nearly three dozen BCBS companies and found that 23 saw a decline in earnings that totaled $1.9 billion in the first nine months of last year, while 16 had net losses.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan lost $622 million from January through September last year.  Blue Cross plans in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Montana lost $442 billion.  And those in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia lost $266 million.  The reason is ObamaCare.

Official: 8 of 11 Remaining Obamacare Co-Ops on the Brink.  An official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told lawmakers last week that eight of the 11 remaining Obamacare co-ops have been selected for "corrective action plans" and "enhanced oversight."  Twenty-three co-ops were created under the president's health care overhaul, and so far more than half have collapsed and are no longer selling plans in the marketplace.  The 12 co-ops that went out of business operated in Arizona, Michigan, Utah, Kentucky, New York, Nevada, Louisiana, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina and a co-op serving Iowa and Nebraska.

A Naked Plot to Bankrupt America.  One topic of conversation in the Republican race for the White House has been whether President Obama has been incompetent, or actually knows what he's doing.  On the matter of Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare, self-declared socialist Professor Gerald Friedman seems to agree with conservatives that it can't and won't work.  Friedman, a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) "Medicare for All" single-payer plan, says that Obama and his advisers knew that the ACA was a "bad idea" that would not control costs, and that a total federal takeover of the health care system was inevitable.  The problem with a federal takeover of health care is that it would bankrupt the U.S., leading to left-wing demands for even more federal control.  This is how socialism is coming to America.

Obama is looting the Treasury to pay off insurers.  The Obama administration will tell any lie and break any law to prevent the president's signature health-care program from collapsing.  Insurance companies such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are losing billions trying to sell ObamaCare plans, and the risk is they'll drop out at the end of 2016.  No insurance companies means no ObamaCare.  In 2014, the White House tried to avert that disaster by promising insurers a taxpayer-funded bailout, but public outrage and quick action by Sen. Marco Rubio put a stop to it.  Now the administration is at it again.

Now Humana Says It Might Bail On ObamaCare.  We can't wait to see how [Wendell] Potter and other ObamaCare fans are spinning the law's "success," now that insurance companies are showing big, sustained losses and threatening to pull out of the program next year.  The latest to join the list is Humana, which just reported that profits fell 30% in the last quarter of 2015 and has set aside a reserve for expected losses this year.  It's now saying it "continues to evaluate its participation" in the individual insurance market.  A few days earlier, Aetna said it lost up to 4% on its ObamaCare policies in 2015 and said it had "serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges."

Insurer Obamacare Losses Reach Billions Of Dollars After Two Years.  After two years offering uninsured Americans subsidized products on public exchanges, health insurance companies have been hard-pressed to find financial success in this segment of the Affordable Care Act with losses reaching billions of dollars for the industry.  UnitedHealth Group lost more than $720 million on its public exchange business last year, and United is a small player in this market compared to Anthem, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in 14 states, and said money-losing Obamacare plans caused profits to fall 64% in the fourth quarter.  Aetna, which hopes to finalize its acquisition of Humana later this year, said last week individual coverage sold under the health law "remained unprofitable" last year.

Anthem Tells Customers to Visit Virtual Doctors, Therapists, and Psychologists.  A growing number of major insurers are pushing their customers not to visit the doctor in person, but via phone.  United Healthcare was among the first major insurers to make the switch, [...] but others are joining.

A Retrospective on the Obama Years.  [Scroll down]  It is not surprising that the one-size-fits-all, federally imposed reform known as "Obamacare" has significantly damaged healthcare delivery in America.  Indeed, the national media regularly reports critical stories and exposés that depict the law as oversold and underperforming.  What else is there to conclude in the wake of insurance premium sticker shock, higher deductibles, reduced consumer choice, co-op failures, sign-up shortfalls, medical device industry layoffs, and the rapid demise of independent medical practices?  The illuminating testimony of Professor Jonathan Gruber affirmed what many of us suspected:  that the architects of Obamacare took great pains to increase the bill's complexity and hide its true costs.

Obamacare's crumbling facade.  As the open enrollment period for Obamacare's health insurance exchanges comes to a close at the end of this month, grumblings from insurers indicate that part of the healthcare law is collapsing under the weight of the administration's desire to sign up as many people as possible, even if it means insurers lose money on the deal.  UnitedHealth, the nation's largest insurer, recently announced it expects to lose more than $500 million on the Obamacare exchanges this year — after losing $475 million last year.  In November, the insurer said because of higher-than-expected cost claims it was considering pulling out of the exchanges altogether in 2017.

Hillary's Healthcare Lies.  [Scroll down]  Humana is now the third major insurer — following UnitedHealthcare and Cigna — to report huge losses selling Obamacare plans.  Industry experts predict these insurers are likely to abandon Obamacare altogether at the end of 2016.  More bad news:  Enrollment figures for 2016 aren't looking good, with fewer young adults (profitable for insurance companies) are signing up than in the past.  Obamacare is in what the insurance industry calls a "death spiral."

UnitedHealth loses $720 million offering plans under Obamacare, may withdraw next year.  The nation's largest insurer said it booked $720 million in losses last year by offering plans under Obamacare, and warned Tuesday that it might still withdraw altogether from the health law by next year.  UnitedHealth Group told investors that it expects more losses due to Obamacare in 2016, countering an otherwise upbeat earnings report for the company, and serving as a challenge to President Obama, who wants to leave the law on firmer footing.

Kentucky moves ahead with plans to dismantle health exchange.  Kentucky's new Republican administration is moving forward with plans to shut down the state's health insurance exchange, becoming the first state to cut ties with one of the key pieces of President Barack Obama's signature health care law because of a political promise.

Aetna Quits Pro-ObamaCare Insurance Lobby.  On Tuesday [1/5/2015], Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the country, announced it was quitting America's Health Insurance Plan,(AHIP), the powerful lobbying group for the health insurance industry.  The company is the second to leave the group, after UnitedHealthCare quit the group in June.

ObamaCare's Not-So-Secret Plan To Force Everyone Into HMOs.  Despite the public's clear distaste for HMOs, Democrats have been trying to force-feed them into the market for decades.  It was Ted Kennedy who sponsored the HMO Act in 1973 to promote health maintenance organizations.  Among other things, the law exempted "qualified" HMOs from some state regulations and forced larger companies that provided health benefits to include an HMO plan.  The health legislation proposed by first lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 was also designed to institutionalize HMOs.  It makes sense, since HMOs are basically the private sector's version of socialized medicine — making health care look free to consumers but adding an elaborate behind-the-scenes rationing scheme to control costs.

The Left May Come to Loathe Obama.  Barack Obama's signature health care law is imploding with the slow and steady pace of a celestial body.  The Affordable Care Act is failing to meet enrollment projections, is losing one local cooperative after another, and is imposing unsustainable burdens on Medicare and Medicaid — making the case for entitlement reform that much more urgent.

Without any benefit cuts, Obamacare costs to rise.  President Obama has managed to defend his signature health care law's generous system of taxpayer-funded benefits from attacks in Congress and the courts, but Capitol Hill is finally beginning to eat away at Obamacare's financial foundations.  The year-end spending bill that Congress just approved and Mr. Obama reluctantly signed delays three taxes written into the 2010 law to pay for new benefits and to keep a cap on exploding health care costs overall.  The bill also puts a big kink in the safety valve that was supposed to help limit insurers' losses if they took part in Obamacare.

Omnibus Includes Lethal Rejection for Obamacare.  As Ronald Reagan — who signed several omnibus bills himself — famously said, facts are stubborn things.  And one of the most intransigent facts about this bill is that it imposes a deadly dose of fiscal restraint on Obamacare.  It requires the law's "risk corridor" program to remain budget neutral.  This is far more dangerous to the "Affordable Care Act" than most observers realize.  Specifically, it thwarts the Obama administration's plan to indiscriminately use taxpayer funds to revive Obamacare's moribund insurance exchanges.

Obamacare Loses the Bet.  I've been talking about the "arithmetical absurdity of Obamacare" and the common version of health "insurance" for nearly eight years.  Not long ago, I pointed out that the insurance that was available from the exchanges, for individuals, was excessively expensive and had poor coverage.  Since then, about half of the Obamacare co-ops — nonprofit insurance companies created with startup funds from the government to provide insurance on the exchanges — have failed and either have gone out of business, or are in the process of doing so.  What's killing these co-ops?  Oh, there's some fraud, and there's some Democratic Party cronies who made some big money, but what's really killing the co-ops is something much more unrelenting than fraud, much more insidious than cronyism.  What's killing the co-ops?  Arithmetic.

Obamacare Repeal Would Cut Deficit, Boost Growth — CBO.  A little-noticed report released Friday afternoon [12/11/2015] by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the Senate bill to repeal most of ObamaCare would cut the deficit by as much as $474 billion, while boosting GDP, investment and capital stock.  The findings stand in sharp contrast to promises by President Obama and other Democrats that ObamaCare would accelerate economic growth and lower federal deficits.  According to the CBO, repealing ObamaCare's subsidies and Medicaid expansion would cut federal spending by almost $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years.  And getting rid of its myriad tax hikes would reduce tax revenues by $1.1 trillion, resulting in $281 billion decrease in projected deficits over the next decade.

Obamacare Is Now on Life Support.  Democrats gained the political muscle to push the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through Congress on three basic arguments.  First, they argued that the United States had too many uninsured people, with estimates ranging from 30 million to 45 million.  Second, the rise in costs for health care outstripped inflation, and the market required an intervention that would bend the cost curve downward.  Third, Democrats claimed that insurance companies made too much profit and shorted most consumers on care, while those with generous health plans — so-called "Cadillac plans" — drove up utilization rates and costs for everyone else.

Obama Administration: Obamacare Has Driven Health Spending Up, While Covering Fewer Than Expected.  For years, we've heard from Obamacare's supporters that the law has been a success, because, they say, it has provided more people with health insurance, and slowed the growth rate of health spending.  Well, the returns are in.  Last week, the Obama administration's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its official estimates of the uninsured population and of health spending.  And in 2014, we learned, Obamacare's coverage expansion fell between 6 and 12 million short of expectations, while driving the growth of health spending to its highest rate in 7 years.

Chaffetz Panel Wades Into Obamacare Healthcare Co-op Collapses.  Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform want to know why half of the 23 Obamacare health insurance co-ops have failed, and they are demanding documents from the Obama administration that may offer answers.  Utah Republican Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz and three subcommittee chairmen sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Nov. 20 demanding it turn over documents about the co-ops by December 4.  CMS is part of the Department of Health and Human Services and manages Obamacare.

Obamacare Endures the Death of a Thousand Facts.  The problem is that "reform" distorts the market by burying both insurers and the insured beneath a mountain of mandates.  Probably the worst is Obamacare's benefit mandate.  Most health plans must now include 10 "minimum essential" benefits — whether customers want them or not.  This mandate has inevitably caused the cost of providing coverage to skyrocket.  The only way a company like UnitedHealth can keep premiums under some modicum of control is to offer plans with very high deductibles.  Meanwhile, the law's individual mandate has utterly failed as an incentive for healthy individuals to purchase insurance.  This has led to a "lose-lose" situation for insurers and for patients.

ObamaCare's imploding even without repeal.  It's looking like ObamaCare won't survive even if Congress can't manage to repeal it.  The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, said last week that it's losing too much — $425 million — from policies sold on the health exchanges, and may have to pull out by 2017.  The company admits it's "a potentially huge blow" to the new system:  "If a major publicly traded insurer bows out, others may follow and destabilize the entire individual market."

Major Blow To Obamacare: Nation's Largest Health Insurer May Exit Obamacare Exchanges By 2017.  In what may turn out to be a major blow against Obamacare, United Healthcare, the nation's largest provider of health insurance, announced Thursday [11/19/2015] it is scaling back marketing of its plans sold in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges, and may stop selling individual exchange plans altogether after 2016.

A new taxpayer bailout to cover up ObamaCare's failure?  Thursday [11/19/2015], just hours after giant insurer UnitedHealthcare said it's losing money selling ObamaCare plans and will likely exit the health exchanges next year, the Obama administration quietly promised to bail out insurers for their losses — using your money.  Nearly all insurers are bleeding red ink trying to sell the unworkable plans.  Without a bailout, more insurers will abandon ObamaCare, pushing it closer to its demise.  A bailout would benefit insurers and the Democratic Party, which is desperate to cover up the health law's failure.

United Healthcare may exit individual insurance exchanges after 2016.  The nation's largest provider of health insurance announced this morning [11/19/2015] that it may choose to stop offering individual coverage after 2016, and will "pull back on its marketing efforts" immediately in this market.  If the losses continue and United pulls out of next year's exchanges, it will set up a very bad moment for ObamaCare — and for Democrats just weeks before the election.

If UnitedHealth Can't Make It Under ObamaCare, Who Can?  The nation's largest health insurance provider surprised the markets Thursday [11/19/2015] by saying losses from its 550,000 individual ObamaCare exchange enrollments were sharply cutting its bottom line.  That's notable because ObamaCare exchange participation only forms a small slice of the $105 billion company by market capitalization.  Yet it was enough to make the giant company and all the value it creates throughout its many operations suffer enough to trigger, as IBD market reporter Jed Graham wrote, "a surge of red ink."

Health Scare.  The [Obamacare] law was written so that its least attractive features would kick in toward the end of Obama's presidency, and after it.  The Medicare rationing board has yet to come online.  The tax on some employer-provided plans — a tax that is, in modified form, defensible, but still has to be reckoned a downside for voters — has not yet been imposed.  The tax on the uninsured is already in place, but set to escalate.  Now UnitedHealth Group, the country's largest insurer, is indicating that the law's vaunted exchanges may also be seeing their best days.

Humana Will Yank Obamacare Plans Serving 100,000 Patients.  Humana said it will discontinue several products offered on government-run exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, impacting about 100,000 individuals currently covered by the insurer's plans across the country.  The move, disclosed this morning in the company's third-quarter earnings report, comes due to higher-than expected medical costs from sick newly insured patients covered under the health law.

Obamacare: The Gift That Keeps on Taking.  The brain dead proponents and cheerleaders for Obamacare reveal themselves to be nothing more than liberal control freaks who care not for the people they supposedly are helping with "free" healthcare.  They need to falsify enrollment figures in order to prove how successful they've been in destroying the health system.  They only care about press releases and winning the PR battle with the Republicans.  It's all about votes.  It's not about what is best for the uninsured.  Families being forced into the limited number of Obamacare plans are seeing weekly costs of $300 to $400 for barely acceptable coverage.

Collapsing Obamacare Co-ops Signal Big Trouble to Come.  In the original plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, Democrats wanted to include a "public option" in the health insurance exchanges — a government-run plan that advocates claimed would guarantee affordable access.  To critics and consumers, it looked like an end run to a single-payer health care system. [...] When it became clear that the public option would be a non-starter, Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress settled on a compromise:  health insurance co-ops.

Obamacare Is Dead.  Regardless of whether there is a President Cruz or a President Rubio in January 2017, regardless of the existence or size of a Republican majority in Congress, the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has failed.  The grand vision of an efficient pseudo-market in health insurance under enlightened federal management — the heart of Obamacare — is not coming to pass.  Obamacare, meaning the operating model that undergirded the law that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed with great fanfare — is dead, and it will not be revived.  What remains is fitful chaos.

ObamaCare's death spiral, stage one: Denial.  Enrollment is falling short.  The Obama administration projects that it will have roughly 10 million people on the state and federal exchanges by the end of next year, a staggering climb-down from prior expectations.  The Congressional Budget Office had predicted that there would be roughly 20 million enrollees.  If the administration is to be believed, enrollment will only increase about another million next year from its current 9 million and only sign up about a quarter of the eligible uninsured.

Nearly Half of Obamacare Co-Ops Have Failed.  Ten of the 23 health insurance co-ops created under Obamacare have gone out of business, and experts say more will follow.  Utah's Arches is the latest co-op to fail, along with others in Kentucky, New York, Nevada, Louisiana, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina and a co-op that served both Iowa and Nebraska.  Experts say that the co-ops are failing because of artificially low premiums, strict regulations, and too many people requiring payouts.

Obamacare Is A Disaster: Co-Op Insurers Across America Are Collapsing, And Now There Is Fraud.  Two weeks ago we reported that in what at the time was still a rather isolated incident, Colorado's largest nonprofit health insurer (aka co-op), Colorado HealthOP is abruptly shutting down, forcing 80,000 Coloradans to find a new insurer for 2016. [...] Fast forward to today, when we learn that another co-op, this time New York's Health Republic Insurance — the largest of the nonprofit cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act — is not only shuttering, but was engaging in fraud.

Arches Health Plan to stop operations.  About 45,000 Utahns who use Arches Health Plan will need new health coverage beginning in 2016 because of a severe shortfall in expected federal funding, the Utah Department of Insurance announced Tuesday [10/27/2015].

ObamaCare is entering its dreaded 'death spiral'.  The Obama administration is having trouble selling insurance plans to healthy people.  That's a big problem:  When the young and healthy don't enroll, premiums have to be hiked to cover the costs of older, sicker people, discouraging even more young people from signing up.  Last Thursday [10/15/2015], the administration predicted enrollment for 2016 will be less than half what the Congressional Budget Office predicted in March.  Despite subsidies to help with premiums and out-of-pocket costs, most of the uninsured who are eligible for ObamaCare are saying "no thanks."  Only one in seven is expected to sign up.  That's despite a hefty increase in the financial penalty next year for not having insurance.

White House concealing list of a dozen dying Obamacare insurers.  Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.  Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to eight barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.  All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers.

In Case You Were Wondering, Obamacare is Going Great.  [T]he Obamacare rollout is an ongoing dumpster fire that is going to be a political liability for the Democrats again in 2016, if things do not turn around quickly.  In the first place, the health insurance co-ops, which were propped up by massive tax friendly loans, are self-destructing faster than any of the dozens of taxpayer-backed "green energy" companies that have cratered under Obama's watch.  Of the 24 such co-ops that were started under the program, 9 have already gone under (in less than two years) and 11 more are on the brink of insolvency.  It doesn't take a mathematical genius to predict that, come election day on 2016, there might not be a single Obamacare co-op operating in the country — which was one of the program's key components to get low income, higher risk people insured.

Eight ObamaCare Co-Ops Failed; Are 11 More On The Way?  Last week, the total number of failed ObamaCare-created insurance co-ops reached eight, as co-ops in Colorado and Oregon announced that they were closing doors at the end of the year.  These co-ops got a total of about $900 million in low-interest loans, most of which are unlikely to be repaid. [...] Now we learn that 11 of the remaining 15 co-ops could be at death's door too, but the administration is hiding information about their health.

King v. Burwell helps repeal ObamaCare.  Public opposition to ObamaCare has lasted far longer than its authors imagined.  Unsubsidized consumers avoid ObamaCare coverage.  Twenty states have rejected its Medicaid expansion.  Congress wants to repeal it.  President Obama and the Supreme Court have repeatedly amended and expanded it, transforming the statute Congress enacted into an illegitimate law that no Congress ever had the votes to pass, and making repeal not just an economic imperative but necessary to restore the Constitution's system of checks and balances.

Feds Hide Secret List Of 11 Staggering Obamacare Insurers.  Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.  Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.

Two More ObamaCare Co-Ops Fail.  It's hard to keep up with the failure of ObamaCare co-ops these days.  As IBD noted yesterday [10/15/2015], a total of six of these nonprofit, government-subsidized insurance companies had gone belly up.  Today, two more got added to the list.  Colorado HealthOP announced that it would cease operations at the end of the year.  According to the Associated Press, Colorado HealthOP was the largest insurer in the state, with 83,000 members. [...] The same day, Health Republic, which covers 15,000 people in Oregon, said that it too would not last past the end of this year.

CO-OP Flop: The Biggest Obamacare Disaster You've Never Heard About.  It's an Obamacare story with every imaginable outrage — blatant conflicts of interest, millions of tax dollars going to political cronies, thousands of Americans left without health insurance, lavish pay for incompetent executives, federal funds diverted illegally, multiple congressional investigations, insider trading convictions and big decisions made behind closed doors.  Tragically, there is even a child abuser.  But search the New York Times web site for "Obamacare co-ops" and nothing comes up.  Just three entries appear for the same search on the Washington Post web site.

ObamaCare Enrollment Flatlines As 6th Insurance Co-Op Fails.  With less than a month to go before ObamaCare open enrollment starts, the Health and Human Services Department has massively downgraded how many it expects will sign up.  In a report released Thursday [10/15/2015], HHS said that enrollment will be between 9.4 million and 11.4 million by the end of next year.  In other words, enrollment will be about half what the Congressional Budget Office projected.

Two more Obamacare co-ops fail: Tennessee and Kentucky both announce closures.  Approximately 27,000 Tennesseans who had coverage through the Tennessee Community Health Alliance will be receiving cancelation notices soon.  Just yesterday [10/14/2015], the CHA announced that it had entered a voluntary state-approved runoff and will no longer offer insurance plans in 2016.  This decision comes just weeks away from the next Obamacare Open Enrollment period beginning on November 1, 2015.  Policyholders who continue to pay their premiums will keep their coverage through December 31, 2015, but will be forced to choose a new plan from the four remaining carriers participating in the state's Exchange.

Fifth Obamacare Insurance Co-Op This Year Shuts Down.  Kentucky Health Cooperative, an insurance co-op created by Obamacare, is closing its doors after massive losses.  This is the fifth co-op to go under this year, following the failure of insurers in Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, and the largest co-op in the nation, New York.  The "risk corridor" program, what was supposed to reimburse insurance companies for part of their losses, simply isn't paying out enough money to offset the massive amount in claims being paid off.  This is because less money is coming into the program than was expected.

Obamacare payment to insurers $2.5 billion less than expected.  Reneging on previous promises and guarantees, the federal government has decided to short insurance companies out of billions of dollars agreed to under Obamacare.  The Washington Examiner reports that, "Insurers learned late Thursday [10/1/2015] that they'll receive just $362 million out of the $2.9 billion" they had requested from Obamacare in 2014.  Why?  Because Obamacare "hasn't brought in nearly as much money as it needs to pay out."

Obama: Nihilist or Just Incompetent?  Take Obamacare.  Only the incompetence and impracticality of the Affordable Care Act will render it irrelevant.  After visiting a number of doctors' waiting rooms in the impoverished San Joaquin Valley, I can attest that most of Obamacare patients have little idea of what a deductible, copayment or premium is, have less desire to find out, and prefer going back to the ER or free federal and state health clinics whenever possible.  Does signing up once for Obamacare ensure that the user continues to pay premiums on time and has cash for deductibles?  And if not, then what?  Otherwise, most who had their own insurance just shrug that it is now far more expensive for less care, and move on.  They are apparently relieved that higher costs for their plans are worth them not devolving entirely into Obamacare coverage.

The Plot To Use Illegal Aliens To Bail Out ObamaCare.  In the wake of last week's papal visit, Rep. Luis Gutierrez wants to extend the Affordable Care Act to 11 million illegal aliens.  It's nothing but a taxpayer-financed rescue for the increasingly unsustainable program.  The Illinois Democrat is known as a left-wing extremist who'd do anything to succor illegal aliens.  So the "Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015" that he introduced Wednesday to extend ObamaCare to 11 million illegal immigrants will be dismissed as a nonstarter.  After all, when asked in 2012 whether illegals would have access to the new health care system that he was selling, the president explicitly promised, "Those individuals will not be covered."  Nor should they.

Rep. Gutiérrez Introduces Bill to Open ObamaCare to Illegal Immigrants.  Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) says illegal immigrants should not be barred from Obamacare.  Gutiérrez says access to Obamacare is a moral imperative for all, regardless of legal status.  He's introduced legislation that would expand access to President Obama's signature healthcare law to illegal immigrants.

Democrat pushes ObamaCare coverage for all immigrants.  Congress's most vocal immigration reformer introduced legislation Wednesday [9/30/2015] that would extend ObamaCare to the millions of people who are in the country illegally.  Rep. Luis Gutiérrez said his bill serves both a moral and economic purpose.  Invoking the recent visit of Pope Francis, the Illinois Democrat said expanding the law's health benefits would help the nation's most vulnerable.

The Editor says...
Those who are in the country illegally should be deported without regard to emotional appeals from left-wing opportunists.  Illegal aliens do not merit our help sign up for federal handouts.  The money for these half-baked ideas has to come from somewhere, and that's a hard fact the Democrats hope you don't consider.  And since when is government immigration policy prescribed by the Pope?  Where are the "separation of church and state" people now?

Largest Obamacare Healthcare Co-op to Close.  The financial benefits and savings touted by Obama and his allies on the road to Obamacare's passage are still failing to live up to their promise.  In fact, the largest non-profit co-op created under the law is about to fold.

Health Premiums Have Climbed $4,865 Since Obama Promised to Cut Them $2,500.  Since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865. [...] "We will start," Obama said back in 2008, "by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family."  That $2,500 figure was Obama's mantra on health care.  You can watch the video if you don't believe it.  And Obama wasn't talking about government subsidized insurance or expanding Medicaid or anything like that.  He specifically focused on employer provided health care.

With Everyone Focused On Presidential Politics — We Quietly Slip Past ObamaCare Stage 6.  The Democrat and Republican politicans are certainly providing us with a bounty of shiny things to keep us occupied.  Meanwhile, perhaps it's prudent to note we are entering the final stages of ObamaCare's intended structure, the creation of "single-payer" solutions.

ObamaCare's Big Cost-Saving Idea Isn't Working.  The idea was to encourage doctors and hospitals to coordinate care with an eye on keeping patients healthier and lowering spending.  These "Accountable Care Organizations" would get bonuses if they were able to keep costs below what traditional Medicare would have spent.  That was the idea, anyway.  But it turns out that almost half the 353 ACOs in the program last year spent more on seniors than would have been the case had they stayed in regular old Medicare, Kaiser reports.  Oregon's North Bend Medical Center, for example, spent 12% more than expected, and then dropped out of the ACO program this year.

ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' Will Cost Workers Their Flexible Spending Accounts.  Workers across the country will soon learn just how big President Obama's "keep your plan" lie was when ObamaCare costs them their beloved Flexible Spending Accounts.  FSAs were designed to help level the playing field between the tax treatment of out-of-pocket costs (which had to be paid with after-tax dollars) and bills paid by insurers, tax free.  Millions of workers use these accounts to put aside money each year for bills they expect to incur.  ObamaCare already struck a blow against FSAs when it limited contributions and further restricted what the money could be spent on.  Now the law's Orwellian Cadillac tax threatens to kill them off entirely.

Welcome to the United States of Alice.  In 2012, ACA was challenged for the first time before the Supreme Court.  The majority of justices invalidated the administration's argument that the law does not impose a tax, but then turned the rejected contention into the reason for the law to stand.  "That carries verbal wizardry too far, deep into the forbidden land of sophists," wrote the four dissenting justices.

Let's face it... the only winners from Obamacare were the insurance companies.  For anyone who has been paying attention since roughly 2008 this really shouldn't be any sort of surprise.  We had plenty of warning from conservative critics and it was at least suggestively supported by Democrats who kept changing their story on what the Affordable Care Act was really supposed to do.  Originally it was going to lower rates.  Then it was going to keep them roughly the same.  Then the Democrats admitted that the rates would go up, but they would go up more slowly than they would if we never passed the legislation. [...] But there's a bit more to the story here than is reflected in just the premium increases.

Another ObamaCare Co-Op Bites The Dust, As Taxpayer Costs Mount.  After getting $69.5 million in government-sponsored startup loans, Nevada's co-op saw enrollment come in far lower than expected, and claims costs far higher, resulting in a $15 million loss last year.  CEO Pam Egan said the co-op was seeing the same dismal results this year, making it impossible to provide "quality care at reasonable rates."  Democrats who designed ObamaCare created these nonprofit co-ops in the belief that they could provide price competition in ObamaCare exchanges.  To get them off the ground, the federal government pumped more than $2.5 billion in startup loans and $355 million in solvency loans when things started to turn sour last year.  The costly experiment has largely been a failure.

ObamaCare's True Cost.  Privacy is available, but at a huge premium, for out-of-network physicians.  Few can afford this.  The upshot is that the majority, needing someone, lose the ability to pick their doctor.  If you have any of what they call "modifiable factors," like obesity or diabetes, smoking or drug habit, co-morbidities, irresponsible sexual habits (with or without prophylactics), instead of being scheduled to see a physician in 18 weeks, you're waylaid, VA-style, months.  Years.

Obamacare 'Cadillac tax' to hit 1 in 4 employers that offer health care benefits.  Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" will hit one in four employers that offer health care benefits, a leading industry analyst says in a report being released Tuesday [8/25/2015], socking companies with a massive levy that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say is unfair to those who have negotiated high-quality plans as part of their jobs.  The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 26 percent of companies will be affected by the tax when it takes effect in 2018 and 42 percent of employers will be paying the levy a decade later, signaling just how quickly health care costs are expected to rise — and how valuable the Cadillac plans are.

Almost 3 Million Could Lose Their ObamaCare Subsidies Next Year.  Fully 40% of taxpayers who received ObamaCare subsidies last year haven't filed their taxes yet and are at risk of losing their subsidies for next year, according to the American Action Forum.  An update on ObamaCare that the IRS recently sent to Congress said that out of the 4.5 million taxpayers who got ObamaCare's "advance payment" subsidies last year, only 2.7 million had filed the required tax forms as of the end of this May.

ObamaCare's Huge Iowa Co-Op Failure May Be Just First.  A few years ago, the idea of nonprofit co-ops was music to ObamaCare advocates' ears.  Freed from the need to deliver profits to investors, these nonprofits would provide competition and choice to the individual market.  That was the theory, anyway.  And there were few places better suited to the success of this concept than Iowa and Nebraska, states that had little competition, where uninsured rates were high and businesses were dropping coverage.  So with millions in federal low-interest startup loans, CoOpportunity was one of the first ObamaCare co-ops to get off the ground.  It was also the first to fail.

Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends in Failure.  Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday [7/24/2015] that Louisiana's Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015.  It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.

Why Is ObamaCare Punishing Companies That Try To Make Health Care Affordable?  Back in 2013, the IRS issued a startling new rule.  Any business that doesn't provide insurance but does help employees with the cost of their own insurance will be fined $100 per day — which works out to $36,500 a year — per employee.  In the bizarre logic of the Obama administration, a company that offers such help is actually providing a group plan, one that doesn't meet ObamaCare's ridiculous array of mandates and regulations.  Allegedly, the goal of the penalty — which went into effect this month — was to keep businesses from dumping workers into the ObamaCare exchanges.

Time to drive a stake through heart of ObamaCare.  Pushed through against popular will by using obscure parliamentary tricks and dispensing old-fashioned "favors" with key lawmakers, ObamaCare has been an unmitigated disaster rife with price hikes, website crashes, lost coverage and corruption.  The American public's reaction to ObamaCare has been loud and clear, as it has led to two cycles of Republican sweeps at the congressional level.

ObamaCare 'Reform': 34% Fewer Doctors, Double-Digit Premium Hikes.  A new report from Avalere Health finds that enrollees in ObamaCare plans have access to 34% fewer providers than those who buy a commercial plan outside the exchange.  On average, it found, ObamaCare enrollees had 32% fewer primary care doctors and 24% fewer hospitals from which to choose.  Worse, ObamaCare plans covered 42% fewer oncologists and cardiologists than non-ObamaCare plans.  What this means is that lots of patients will end up going out of network to get the care that they need, which means paying far more out-of-pocket costs.

ObamaCare's Mandate Penalty Tax Brings In 40% Less Than Expected.  The IRS reported this week that 6.6 million people paid the ObamaCare mandate penalty for not having insurance last year, which the administration says is 10% higher than they'd expected.  This isn't exactly good news, given that the entire point of the mandate penalty tax is to encourage everyone to buy coverage.  Even if it were, the number comes with two big caveats.

Obamacare Fine Paid by 6.6 Million Taxpayers, Above Estimate.  The penalty of as much as 1 percent of income was implemented under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and was meant to encourage people to sign up for health insurance.  The Treasury Department had said in January that as many as 6 million taxpayers would pay the fine.  The average penalty was $190, the National Taxpayer Advocate, the in-house ombudsman of the Internal Revenue Service, said Wednesday [7/15/2015] in a report.  About 300,000 taxpayers overpaid the penalty by a total of $35 million.  Most should have been exempt for their low income, according to the agency.

House Committee Demands Emails About Oregon's Failed $305 Million Obamacare Exchange.  The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform earlier this month demanded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hand over all documents related to Oregon's failed $305 million Obamacare exchange, known as Cover Oregon.  The Letter sent to HHS "questions about the use of federal funds to develop Cover Oregon remain" amid allegations that control over the exchange was given to campaign consultants concerned with getting then-Gov. Kitzhaber reelected, not fixing the many faults of the system.

Obamacare Is Here to Prey.  Saturday morning [6/27/2015], fresh from his latest victory over the rule of law, President Obama delivered his weekly address to the bored technicians and sycophantic aides who make up most of the audience for this anachronistic performance.  His theme was as predictable as it was Orwellian:  "The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay."  The first half of this assertion fails to pass the laugh test. [...] That it is a failure by every standard set forth by its apologists is of no importance to the President or his fellow Democrats.  They never cared what effect the law would have on the cost, quality, or availability of American medicine.  It was never really about health care.  This is why they have been willing to revise it more than 50 times to keep it alive.

America's Obamacare Nightmare Is Just Beginning.  [Scroll down]  And what about those big "savings" from the Medicare payment reductions?  They were earmarked to help cover the costs of the insurance subsidies. Yet the Medicare Actuary and the CBO have both routinely dismissed the massive Medicare payment cuts as either unrealistic or unsustainable.  Meanwhile, other problems mount.  The state exchanges are financially troubled.  Coverage is still insecure, especially when loss of employment is tantamount to a loss of a health plan.  Bureaucracy, red tape and paperwork plague the system, increasing costs and frustrating doctors and patients alike.  All of those problems are getting worse, not better.

ObamaCare Unleashes Anti-Consumer Merger Mania In Health Care.  Does anyone remember President Obama promising that ObamaCare would create a few giant health care oligopolies?  Well, it's heading that way.  This week, IBD's Ciaran McEvoy reported on Tuesday [6/23/2015], health insurers are the latest to catch the health industry's merger mania.  Anthem is trying to take over Cigna.  Humana is being pursued by Aetna, which in turn is a target of United Health Group.  "It could be just Anthem and UnitedHealth when the dust settles," McEvoy notes.

Hospitals Are the Latest Victims Of ObamaCare's False Promises.  President Obama recently claimed that ObamaCare is working even better than anticipated.  That would be a tough sell to all those hospitals that thought the law would help them make ends meet.

$200 million Hawaii Obamacare exchange bites the dust.  After months on life support, the Hawaii Obamacare exchange will shutter operations due to the site being economically unsustainable.  The state sought more cash from the federal government — after spending more than $200 million — but when that option fell through, Hawaii had little choice but to close it down.

Obamacare on the critical list.  The future of Obamacare teeters, waiting for a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, and many Americans are concerned over budget-breaking rate increases in their health insurance coming in 2016.  Proposed rates from major insurance companies look to be arriving on a runaway train and those Americans appear to be tied up and lying across the tracks.  This was not the way President Obama promised it would be.

Hawaii abandons troubled state ObamaCare exchange.  Hawaii is taking its troubled ObamaCare insurance exchange off life support, the governor's office announced Friday [6/5/2015], the latest addition to a growing number of state exchanges forced to close after operations became unsustainable.  The once-highly praised Hawaii Health Connector has been "unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations," Gov. David Ige's office said in a statement.  The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) informed the exchange last week that federal funds were no longer available to support long-term operations.

Obamacare Induces Emergency Room Trauma.  Three-quarters of the 2,099 doctors responding to the nationwide survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians indicate they have seen an increase in emergency room (ER) visits since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, went into effect on January 1, 2014.  In the same survey, 28 percent of the respondents say ER use has "increased greatly."  What providers are witnessing daily in the ER is not what the Obama administration promised would happen, says Dr. Richard Armstrong, a surgeon who practices in Michigan and serves as a board member of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation.

Insurers Anticipate Significant 2016 Obamacare Premium Hikes.  [Scroll down]  "Things just haven't worked out" sounds like a plausible slogan for the law.  [Philip] Klein notes that based on the administration's own data, sign-ups among healthy young adults are nowhere near White House projections, and that overall enrollment is lagging far behind the pace needed to hit stated goals.

Obamacare's Dirty Secret: 31 Million Still Can't Afford Treatment.  The president's healthcare law sliced America's uninsured rate down to historic lows by expanding coverage for tens of millions of Americans.  At the same time, however, the number of insured people who still lack affordable, robust coverage is rising sharply as more people buy into high-deductible policies.  A new study from the Commonwealth Fund reveals that about 23 percent of Americans with coverage are considered underinsured — up from 12 percent in 2003.  That means roughly 31 million Americans who bought health insurance still have trouble affording treatment under their policies.

Killing ObamaCare Subsidies Could Benefit Millions, Study Finds.  To hear ObamaCare backers, striking down those subsidies will be a devastating blow to the nation's health and well-being. [...] But a new report co-authored by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who now heads up the American Action Forum, says that these critics are looking at only one side of the equation.  Even if Congress does nothing to restore those subsidies, millions could benefit in other ways.

The dire ObamaCare threat to New York's hospitals.  City Comptroller Scott Stringer laid out the grim facts last week on how the most progressive law in decades means disaster for New York City.  The bottom line of Stringer's report:  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, Uncle Sam will cut more than $800 million in payments to the city's Health and Hospitals Corp, by Fiscal Year 2019.  The president's signature law slashes federal payments that long helped out hospitals serving lots of patients who lack insurance.  The idea was that the law would boost coverage so dramatically the aid would be unnecessary.  Except that illegal immigrants don't qualify for ObamaCare coverage — and they make up a big chunk of the city's uninsured population.

100 Unintended Consequences of Obamacare.  Ever since its passage, supporters of the law have made countless attempts to convince the American people of its viability, dismissing predictions of lost jobs, decreased hours, and rising costs, among others.  Yet from major corporations to local mom-and-pop shops, from entire states to tiny school districts, a wide range of companies and institutions have seen Obamacare's negative impact on their workers, budgets, and production.  Here are 100 examples of how Obamacare is falling short of what was promised.

Hawaii's $205M ObamaCare system on life support, critics fear 'complete waste'.  Federal taxpayers dumped more than $205 million into Hawaii's ObamaCare insurance exchange, but after a steady downward spiral the once-highly praised Hawaii Health Connector is on life support.  The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already restricted grant funds to the Hawaii Health Connector, after telling officials in March it was out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act because of fiscal instability and ongoing IT issues.  With state lawmakers also blocking additional funds, the system is struggling to stay afloat.

Hawaii Says Aloha To Its $205 Million ObamaCare Exchange.  After taking $205 million in federal grants to build its own ObamaCare exchange, Hawaii is making plans to shut it down before the next open enrollment.  The exchange, called Hawaii Health Connector, never had much of a chance.  In addition to its huge startup costs, its operating costs were far too high, given that only a little more than 12,000 people are enrolled.

Nurse Confessions: Don't Get Sick in July.  Politicians and other VIPs, it turns out, can get special access to critical care.  Hospitals across the Washington area — and, indeed, across the country — have exclusive rooms and sometimes even separate floors for treating the rich and famous.

Learning from Obamacare's Spectacular Failures.  Federal taxpayers spent a shocking total of $5.4 billion — with a B — on grants to establish what ended up being just 13 state Obamacare exchanges.  In some states the failures have been spectacular enough to embarrass officials and imperil political careers, and in far too many places, Republicans who should have known better went along. It's an object lesson in keeping your fingerprints off the other party's very bad ideas, and should be front of mind not just if the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell sparks new Obamacare exchange fights in state capitals, but also as states decide whether to cooperate with the Obama administration's equally misguided global warming regulations.  In both cases, the playbook is the same.

ObamaCare Exchanges Are A Model Of Failure.  [S]tate-run exchanges were supposed to form the beating heart of ObamaCare.  And the Obama administration dumped almost $5 billion in an effort to make it a reality.  The results have been a disaster.  Of the 37 states that received $2.1 billion in grants to establish an exchange, only 17 did so, and they got an additional $2.7 billion from the feds.  Of those 17, two went bankrupt in the first year.  One of them, Oregon, had received a $60 million "early innovator grant."  Residents of those states now use the federal Healthcare.gov site.

Emergency room visits up, despite Obamacare.  Too many Americans get care in emergency rooms instead of doctors offices — and expanded health coverage is making the problem worse rather than fixing it.  Three in four emergency room doctors said patient visits have increased since the Affordable Care Act's requirement to have health insurance went into effect, in an email survey released Monday [5/4/2015] by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The Chart that Could Undo the Healthcare System.  This chart looks remarkably similar to a chart that tracks the growth of the administrative class in higher education.  And that's no accident. [...] The more an industry becomes like a regulated utility, the more administrators are required to enforce the regulations and administer the programs.  And they, as well as the programs they administer, are expensive.  All manner of distortions follow, and the costs of healthcare go up proportionally.

Yet Another ObamaCare Promise Bites The Dust As ER Visits Spike.  The argument seemed to make sense.  The uninsured can't afford to see a doctor, so they put off health care as long as they can, then head to the ER knowing that they won't have to pay.  "It's why those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it — about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else's emergency room," President Obama explained in his 2009 speech to Congress on a government takeover of health care.  By expanding insurance coverage, ObamaCare would cut this waste.  That was the promise, anyway, made again and again by the White House, Democrats in Congress, academics and liberal advocacy groups.  In the real world, the opposite has happened.

Nearly half of ObamaCare exchanges face financial woes, report says.  Almost half of the 17 ObamaCare state insurance exchanges are reportedly suffering financial difficulties, posing a significant challenge to state officials just five years after the passage of President Obama's signature health care law.  The Washington Post reports that many of the marketplaces set up by the states and the District of Columbia are being hit by high costs and tepid enrollment numbers.  In response, officials at state level are mulling raising fees on insurers, sharing costs with nearby states, and are calling for more money to be infused into the system.

Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future.  Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District under President Obama's health law are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act.  Many of the online exchanges are wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer call centers — and tepid enrollment numbers.

Obamacare Exchanges are Dysfunctional.  Right now, 34 states rely on the federal government to operate the exchanges, meaning a significant amount of subsidies are on the line.  If the Supreme Court strikes down the federal subsidies, some Governors and State Legislatures may rush to set up an exchange in order to retain them.  Before making any decisions, however, they should be well aware of some of the miserable conditions state exchanges are currently imposing on officials.

Emergency-Room Visits Continue to Rise Under Obamacare.  Emergency-room visits continue to rise in the second year of Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.  The visits are up despite claims by President Obama that the law would reduce emergency-room visits because Obamacare would increase access to other kinds of care.  "There was a grand theory the law would reduce ER visits," Dr. Howard Mell, a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians, told the Journal.  "Well, guess what, it hasn't happened.  Visits are going up despite the ACA, and in a lot of cases because of it."

Two in three Obamacare beneficiaries had to repay subsidies.  Nearly two in three Americans who bought subsidized health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges this year had to pay some of the federal dollars back, according to new data from H&R Block.  That's because they presumably collected more federal aid than their income qualified them for.  In that case, consumers must either pay some of it back or — in most cases — the IRS will subtract it from their tax refund.

Red ink could kill Covered California.  Indeed, there's no more money coming from Washington after the state exhausts the $1.1 billion it received from the federal government to get the Obamacare exchange up and running.  And state law prohibits Sacramento from spending any money to keep the exchange afloat.  That presents an existential crisis for Covered California, which is facing a nearly $80 [sic] budget deficit for its 2015-16 fiscal year.

California Points To ObamaCare's Grim Future.  Back in 2013, ObamaCare supporters couldn't talk enough about how California was a showcase for how the law would succeed.  Isn't it funny that nobody is making such claims any more? [...] Despite spending more than $1 billion in federal taxpayer grants to build it, the "Covered California" exchange gets an average one-star rating on the popular review site, Yelp.  Customers complain about extreme hold times, wrong information, the inability to cancel or update plans, and so on.

Insiders Detail Culture of Secrecy at California's Obamacare Exchange.  Aiden Hill's introduction to the secretive culture at Covered California came in his first days on the job.  He had just been hired to head up the agency's $120 million call center effort when he emailed a superior April 18, 2013, and got a text message in reply:  ["]Please refrain from writing a lot of draft contract language in government email ... And don't clarify via email ... No email.["]

The ObamaCare Effect: Hospital Monopolies.  During the 2008 financial crisis, "too big to fail" became a familiar phrase in the U.S. financial system. Now the U.S. health-care system is heading down the same path with a record number of hospital mergers and acquisitions — 95 last year — some creating regional monopolies that, as in all monopolies, will likely result in higher prices from decreased competition.

ObamaCare's Financial Crisis Is Fast Approaching.  Earlier this month, the Obama administration reversed course on spending cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program.  Instead of a nearly 1% cut in payments, private health insurers that offer Advantage plans to seniors would get a 1.25% boost.  The turnabout hardly made news, which isn't surprising since it was the third year in a row that the administration said it was planning to cut payments only to reverse course.  It is, however, emblematic of the fiscal trouble ObamaCare has planted in the federal budget.

California Won't Be Able to Pay for All That Free Healthcare for Illegals.  California is working hard to facilitate illegal immigration while other states are looking at immigration enforcement.  They're giving away freebies, including healthcare.  California is a one-party government, like the old Soviet Union, and there's little in the way of effective opposition.  They like to spread around other people's money especially to poor illegal aliens.  Californians already offer health services free or at low cost to the uninsured, low-income residents who don't get it under Obamacare.  Several counties offer the same healthcare to illegal aliens.

The Greatest Setback for Cancer Research Is Obamacare.  [Scroll down]  One of the prevalent myths about cancer is that environmental factors — such as air pollution — have caused a cancer epidemic.  The truth is that improvements in air and water quality over the past 30 years have contributed to the decline in cancer death rates.  Another myth is that the decline in cancer deaths is happening for the "haves" but not the "have nots." [...] Yes, minorities and blacks have higher rates of cancer deaths than whites and wealthy Americans.  But for many types of cancer, the rate of death of cancer is falling faster for minorities than for whites.

Obamacare Has Led to Higher Insurance Premiums.  It's been five years since the Affordable Care Act became law, but only two since most of its provisions went into effect.  As its detractors predicted, Obamacare's implementation led to a large, immediate rise in health insurance premiums.  This is hardly surprising:  The law required that a broad swath of treatments be fully insured, thus deepening the moral hazard problems that have long plagued the American health insurance system.  Heritage Foundation microsimulation analysis of the 2015 health insurance offerings on the ACA exchanges found that the sharp 2014 price spike was not reversed.

Oregon abolishes its hopelessly bungled health insurance exchange.  Cover Oregon was plagued by problems almost from its onset.  No Oregonian was ever able to enroll online in a private plan under the Affordable Care Act because the state exchange never had a functioning website, forcing insurance seekers to file paper applications.  In April, state officials voted unanimously to switch over to the federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov., citing the high cost of trying to fix the problematic state marketplace.  The Oregon exchange had cost the state $248 million.

HHS Shifts Money From Cancer To Pay For Health Insurance Exchange.  In their latest attack on the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans question why the Obama administration transferred money last year from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pay for the operation of the federal health insurance marketplace.  "Now it appears that we are robbing Peter to pay Paul in order to finance the disaster that is healthcare.gov," said Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican congressman from suburban Atlanta.

When Health-Care Reforms Don't Add Up.  Health-care lobbies are powerful, and Congress is almost uniquely easy to lobby, so ideas like controlling the growth rate of physician payments fell by the wayside once those payments actually had to be cut.  The larger problem, however, is finding what to measure — and making sure that your measurement doesn't introduce perverse incentives into the system.  The fundamental problem is that while we want to pay for "health" or "outcomes," we can't really measure those very well.

Obamacare Vs. Cancer Cures.  Even Republicans gushed with enthusiasm when President Barack Obama announced funding for personalized medicine during the State of the Union last week.  "I am launching a new precision medicine initiative," Obama said, to usher in a "new era of medicine, one that delivers the right treatment at the right time."  Sounds good, but don't be fooled.  The biggest impediment to these cures is Obamacare, and the loudest critic of personalized medicine is Obamacare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.

The Greatest Scam in American History Is About to Hit Home.  John Roberts was right:  of course Obamacare was a tax.  And not just a tax, but a massive new welfare program balanced on the backs of the kulak middle class in the guise of "health care reform."  Like all modern Democrat-led expansions of government, it came as a wolf in sheeple's clothing, a nasty measure passed by stealth with malevolence aforethought.

Obamacare is beyond repair.  [T]he law's effects go far beyond the doctor's office, weighing down our economy and discouraging hiring.  The law requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to give them health insurance. But because the law defines "full time" as 30 hours or more, employers are keeping employees below that threshold to avoid the mandate entirely.  The worst of the law is yet to come.  This year, the individual mandate kicks in for real.  Anyone who doesn't have health insurance in 2015 will have to pay a tax of $325 or 2% of taxable income.  And this year's tax season will be even more stressful than usual:  H&R Block estimates that up to half of the 6.8 million people who got subsidies last year might have to pay some of those subsidies back.

The Obamacare soap opera gets better and better.  You can't make this up.  Like some of the labor unions, the Harvard faculty is learning that "universal care" is a better speech than governing.  It sounds great until you implement it and throw supply and demand into disarray.

Obamacare's Christmas surprise.  If you like your health care plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a Christmas surprise for you!  When will this new present arrive?  December 25th.  In an ongoing effort to keep Obamacare numbers elevated, CMS has embarked on the next step of its government takeover of healthcare.

An Obamacare Christmas present.  New rules being proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will give that agency enormous new powers over consumers who use the healthcare.gov website to purchase their insurance.  The proposed rules would allow CMS to automatically renew consumers' policies every year if they don't visit the website to do it themselves.  Without any knowledge of an individual's health care situation, their financials, or anything else that might affect what kind of policy they may need, the government wll choose and force you to pay for a policy that they think works best for you.

Obamacare, so successful that people can't afford to use it.  Hey Obamabots, what good is "affordable" health insurance if it costs you too much to use it? [...] Obamacare will never cut costs.  It can't.  Not with all of it's [sic] mandates and required coverages.  So to artificially lower the up-front cost of health insurance it had to hike the back-end copays and deductibles that kick in when we actually go to use it.  The result?  Pay through the nose, or go without medical care.

Obamacare Co-Author: Law Is 'Convoluted,' Needs 'Corrections'The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, one of Obamacare's co-authors, regrets passing the law:  ["]"We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn't do it," Harkin told The Hill.  "So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.["]

You Can't Fix Government with More Government.  Senator Chuck Schumer made some people on the left cringe this week when he said that lawmakers were wrong in pushing and passing Obamacare when it was obvious the American people didn't want it.  Millions of Tea Party activists told ya so.  In fact, in 2010, when the law was signed, Tea Party activists sounded the alarm and mobilized ordinary citizens to get out and eject leftists from office.  If anything the Senator's realization could have been pointed out in 2009 when ordinary Americans went to town hall meetings and let their feelings be known.  It could have been pointed out during every twist and turn of the corrupt path the bill took in order to gain favor.

Liberalism in Ruins.  [Scroll down]  The legacy of the ACA will not be the diversion of the indigent from the emergency rooms and state and federal public clinics (which, after all, are largely still free in the sense of no premiums or deductibles), but the spiking of health-care costs through bureaucratic bloat and the rising deductible.  The latter should be redefined as a premium, given that middle-class families will now be assessed, in addition to their premiums, hundreds of dollars in health-care costs each month until their much higher yearly deductibles are met.

How to Replace Obamacare.  In the 2014 midterm elections, opposition to the Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare — was a clear political winner.  That's obvious from the election results themselves but also from polling that consistently finds that far more of the electorate disapproves of the law than approves of it. [...] The electorate is deeply uneasy about the ACA's approach to reform, for good reasons.  It cedes massive new authority over the health system to the federal government.  That will lead, inevitably, to more regulation and a lowering of the quality of American health care.  The law is also terribly expensive and a wet blanket on the American economy at a time when middle-class incomes are stagnant.

Gallup: Peak Number Of Americans Delaying Medical Care Over Costs.  One in three Americans has put off seeking medical treatment in 2014 due to high costs, according to Gallup — the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.  Thirty-three percent of Americans have delayed medical treatment for themselves or their families because of the costs they'd have to pay, according to the survey.  Obamacare, of course, had promised that it would help make health care more affordable for everyone, but the number of people who can't afford a trip to the doctor has actually risen three points since 2013, before most Obamacare provisions took effect.

Like your Obamacare plan? HHS may re-enroll you in a different one.  When President Obama's healthcare law went into effect and millions of Americans had their plans canceled despite promises to the contrary, the administration argued that the new law would provide those who were displaced with better options.  But under changes being contemplated by the Department of Health and Human Services, people who like their Obamacare plans might not get to keep their plans.  Or at least, not by default.

Patient-Centered Medicine and the Struggle to Survive Obamacare.  Obamacare, the "free" health care envisioned by the most naïve among us, is a massive bureaucracy, sold to us as a cost-cutting, fairer alternative.  The bill described 247 new departments to manage the process.  Hospitals and insurance companies have created departments to pry monies away from this colossus.  (These are dollars that could have been used to treat the sick.)  The only way that costs are in any way slowing is the added factor of high-deductible insurance scaring patients away from treatment in the first place.  And the ultimate result of this well-intentioned but predictably bad policy is that the rich will have the good hospitals, and the poor will not.  The rich and relatively healthy patients will have the happy doctors, and the poor and sick will not.

The Vindication of John Roberts.  Suppose that the IRS calls you in for an audit, and the IRS agent conducting the audit tells you that you owe an additional $1,000 in tax, payable by a certain date, and if you miss that date, you will be assessed a five-percent penalty.  In other words, you can pay $1,000 by the due date or let the date pass and pay $1,050.  Clearly, the extra $50 is a penalty for not paying the $1,000 you are legally required to pay.  But suppose, instead, that the IRS agent tells you that your must pay $1,000 by the due date or $50 if you are late.  Never mind the IRS; given the choice of paying the $1,000 or $50 for anything, what sensible person would consider $50 in lieu of $1,000 to be a penalty?  But that is precisely what happens under the ACA.  Even the maximum "penalty" of $695, when it kicks in, is less, and probably far less, than the cost of insurance.

What did the press know and when did they know it?  ObamaCare passed without a single Republican vote.  The lies and deception described by Gruber fooled only Liberals.  Liberals who were fed the story the Obama administration was feeding to its media accomplices.  No tax, lower cost, better coverage, no changes if you were happy.  But were Liberals in the media really fooled, or were they simply promoting the Obama/Gruber/Democrat lies because they were being Good Germans?  I mean, really.  What non-comatose human being believes you can insure 30 million more people, provide more services, cover pre-existing conditions, and reduce the cost to the average family by $2500?

Congressional investigation finds federal government health care websites fail to give older Americans basic information.  With many seniors facing high medical bills, a congressional investigation has found that federal government websites meant to give Medicare patients basic consumer tools instead fail to provide adequate information on out-of-pocket costs, and even quality of care.

Obama's Peculiar View of Economics and Law.  The Germans, Dutch and others with insurance based payment systems have taken such radical approaches to drug and medical appliance pricing, while still rewarding innovation, but the Affordable Care Act does not.  A principal architect of the law, economist Jonathan Gruber, has admitted the ACA paid scant attention to cost controls, even as the Administration touted it would indeed lower costs.  And the White House recruited the Congressional Budget Office to put over the ruse.  Now Medicare's actuaries project the nation's total health care costs will rocket the balance of this decade — witness the big insurance premium increases for 2015.

This year's glitch — how ObamaCare will screw you now.  For instance, the administration was supposed to mail notices to some 7.1 million Americans by Nov. 1, notifying them that they may be eligible for subsidies next year.  Fewer than a million notices went out on time.  And testing still isn't finished for parts of the small-business exchange program, known as SHOP — a program that was supposed to be ready last year, but never got off the ground.  The administration thinks the consumer part of the SHOP system will be fully operational by Saturday [11/15/2014].  But other parts, such as the ability to relay premium information back to employers, need up to a month more testing.

How to Prepare for Obamacare's Collapse.  Several million Americans could find their health insurance becoming vastly more expensive if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration in a pending case.  That's what the court should do [...] but the elected branches of government need to develop contingency plans to deal with the affected people.  The problem is the fault of the administration and its supporters.  Obamacare, their most cherished accomplishment, authorizes tax credits to help people buy insurance on exchanges established by state governments.  Because political resistance to the law has been longer-lasting and more widespread than advocates anticipated, however, 36 states didn't establish exchanges.

Death spiral? Short-term health plans grow as cheap alternative to ObamaCare.  A fast-growing, short-term alternative to ObamaCare that allows customers to get cheap, one-year policies could put the government-subsidized plan into a death spiral.  The plans, the only ones allowed for sale outside of ObamaCare exchanges, generally cost less than half of what similar ObamaCare policies cost, and are increasing in popularity as uninsured Americans grapple with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare may not have enough enrollees to stay solvent.  "Under the president's health care law, Americans have experienced broken exchanges, canceled coverage, higher premiums and unaffordable deductibles," said Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House oversight committee, which investigated last year's botched rollout.  "Despite the administration's habit of moving the goal posts, the fact is Obamacare is simply not delivering the results Americans were originally promised by the president."

It's How They Wrote the Law.  The Democrats argue that if the Supreme Court insists on the letter of the law, then the results will be absurd.  Of course they will:  This is an absurd law, a Frankenstein's monster sewn together from spare parts gathered from the graveyard of big-government health-care schemes.  The Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote and without Republican input — it says what it says because that is the way they wrote it.  Even if Democratic legislators are not very deft at crafting legislation, it is not the responsibility of the Supreme Court to bail them out.

50 Things Barack Obama Has Done Wrong:  [#22]  Even Barney Frank admits Barack Obama shamelessly lied to the American people to get Obamacare passed — and lie, he did.  He promised that Americans could keep their insurance plans, that they could keep their doctors, and that Obamacare would save the average family $2500 per year.  Not only were all of those lies, Obama knew they were lies when he made those promises.  [#23]  Barack Obama has broken the law repeatedly by making at least 23 unilateral changes to Obamacare.  [#24]  Obama has been illegally trying to force Christians to pay for abortifacients via Obamacare.  [#25]  Obamacare has been a disaster that cost millions their insurance and sent health care costs spiraling into the stratosphere.  [#26]  Obama is taking 700 billion dollars out of Medicare to put into Obamacare.

Better value, or just more health spending?  The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) did nothing to slow the growth of health spending — it was all the result of private sector changes and, regrettably, the recession.  The ACA includes some initiatives that might promote more efficient health, but those ideas (including accountable care organizations) barely chip at a system with deep structural flaws.

Will a growing economy waste health dollars?  Has Obamacare succeeded in taming the health care cost monster where so many other policies have failed?  Not according to the latest figures from the government's top experts.  In an October report, actuaries from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that national health spending will accelerate sharply.  By 2023, health spending will grow to over $5 trillion — more than $2 trillion above what we are spending this year.

Government slashes 2015 Obamacare sign-up forecast by 30 percent.  The Obama administration dramatically moved Obamacare's second-year goalposts on Monday [11/10/2014], saying that it expected no more than 9.9 million Americans to be enrolled in medical insurance through a government-managed system by the end of March.  The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan organization that advises federal legislators, assumed that the number would be a much higher 13 million in April, when it built the financial projections under-girding the law's implementation.  Now the number could be as low as nine million.

Obamacare enrollment unlikely to meet 2015 goal.  Fewer than 10 million people are expected to enroll in "Obamacare 2.0" for 2015, the Obama administration said Monday [11/10/2014].  That's a significant drop from the original goal.  The Congressional Budget Office had projected 13 million, but officials said they expect the ramp up to be slower than the CBO originally thought.

A Government Bureau Is The Nearest Thing To Eternal Life We Will Ever See On This Earth.  Consider Obamacare, federal legislation mandating that all people purchase health insurance or be penalized with a fine.  In addition to being forced upon the American people, Obamacare is a job killer, it has negatively impacted the American economy, and it is crushing our small businesses — the backbone of America.  And, after three years of preparation, the federal government couldn't even get its own Obamacare website to work properly.  Nonetheless, Obama demands that all Americans allow the government — which cannot even create a functioning website — to control the most personal aspects of their lives, their health.

HHS-Funded Study: Obamacare Will Suffer 'Death Spiral' If Subsidies Fail.  The Obama administration has funded a new study by top consulting firm RAND Health that startlingly finds that if taxpayer subsidies are eliminated, Obamacare exchanges will fall into a "death spiral."  The study comes in the wake of a number of lawsuits which are challenging the Obama administration's implementation of Obamacare subsidies.  Three lawsuits have made it to U.S. Circuit Courts, just one step from the Supreme Court, arguing that the text of the Affordable Care Act allows premium subsidies for state-run exchanges only.

The Courage of our Cultural Convictions.  It should come as no surprise to most thinking people that Wal-Mart, like many other large employers, recently announced it would be suspending health-care benefits for part-time workers.  This is really a double hit on workers:  In many cases, they previously had full-time jobs with 40-hour workweeks before being reduced to part-time status and now losing their health benefits.  The "Affordable Care Act," which probably seems less affordable to most Americans as we find out more about it, is the cause of this unnecessary misery.  When the employer mandate, which is part of Obamacare, is activated early next year, tens of millions more Americans will face dramatic hikes in the cost of the health care they currently receive or will lose it altogether.

More than a dozen states plan to cancel health care policies not in compliance with ObamaCare.  More than a dozen states plan to cancel health care policies not in compliance with ObamaCare in the coming weeks, affecting thousands of people just before the midterm elections.  "It looks like several hundred thousand people across the country will receive notices in the coming days and weeks," said Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.  The policies are being canceled because states that initially granted a reprieve at the request of President Obama are no longer willing to do so.

After One Year, Obamacare's Biggest Achievement: Hiding Its Cost.  It's been a year this week since the launch of healthcare.gov, the health insurance exchange website through which millions of Americans were supposed to purchase subsidized coverage under Obamacare.  To the delight of the law's critics and the chagrin of its champions, the site promptly crashed on October 1 last year, the day it launched.  It took months to get it up and running.  At around the same time, insurers began canceling plans that didn't comply with the new law's new rules.  We may never know how many people lost their coverage, but it was most likely in the millions, perhaps as many as six million.

Oregon pols battle over when to pull plug on costly ObamaCare website.  Cover Oregon was supposed to be a shining example of ObamaCare at its best.  The state insurance exchange for the state of Oregon received $300 million in federal grants to launch a state-of-the-art website.  But it never worked, and not a single Oregonian was able to sign up for health care from start to finish.  So now, Oregon is in the process of pulling the plug on the site and switching over to the federal exchange and HealthCare.gov — but the question is, how quickly they can do it.

Rationing Is Coming! $2.1 Billion for Obamacare Enrollment System Alone.  According to a Bloomberg Government Analysis, the Obamacare enrollment system didn't cost the roughly $834,000 claimed by our administration.  It cost a whopping $2.1 billion.  I guess we should be grateful it's not a trillion.  People have to understand that it's not just wasteful, it's money that would have been used for our healthcare that won't be used for its intended purpose.  The government will have to ration care because of their inefficiency and overall problem with corruption.  The government figure was untruthful.  They don't count all the money they spend.  They spread it around to hide their inefficiency.

The Utter Failure of Obama.  Pew Research reports that 55% of Americans disapprove of Obamacare.  A clear plurality of Americans believe that they will be worse off because of Obamacare.  CBS News lists the "strongly approve" of Obamacare at 16%, while "strongly disapprove" is a whopping 47%.  Every polling organization, no matter how the question is worded, shows the same public disdain for this law.  The fear conservatives had that a new entitlement will create a permanent constituency may not happen this time, because Obamacare, unlike Social Security or Medicare, helps almost no one and hurts a lot of people.

Obamacare's Next Open Enrollment Starts In Two Months — And It Will Be Awful.  If there is one thing that the Administration and Democratic candidates have in their favor going into the mid-term elections, it is that election day is November 4, and Obamacare's second open enrollment begins on November 15.  If the dates were flipped, there is little doubt that voters affected by Obamacare would wreak havoc on the politicians who imposed the Rube Goldberg contraption of exchanges on them.

Obamacare's 'family glitch' could affect 2 million Americans.  Nearly two million Americans could be affected by what's been termed the "family glitch" within President Obama's healthcare law, according to a new study by the American Action Forum.  In theory, Obamacare is supposed to offer fully or partially subsidized health insurance to Americans below a certain income threshold if they do not have the option of obtaining affordable coverage through their employers.  "Affordable" is defined as coverage cheaper than 9.5 percent of household income.  But under a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service, an employer is only required to offer affordable coverage to individuals.

10 Ways Obama Has Failed as President.  [#4] The disastrous launch of ObamaCare was a reminder of everything that's wrong with big government.  It turns out that when we warned health insurance would be run as well as the Department of Motor Vehicles, we were too optimistic.  And no one was ever held accountable for that fiasco.  When ObamaCare was passed, we were assured that it would provide insurance for 32 million people who didn't have any coverage.  Four years later, it looks like ObamaCare has covered far fewer new people, between 10% and 20% of what was promised, and about half of those were through an expansion of Medicaid — a burden that will eventually bankrupt the states — rather than through ObamaCare's insurance exchanges.

Obama's Health Care Vietnam.  Talk to the average physician about trying to care for patients in the United States today, and you'll hear exactly the same sorts of sentiments as those expressed by American soldiers faced with the task of "winning the war" in Vietnam some fifty years ago.  For those on the front line of fighting illness, it is apparent that the Democrats' war on American medicine is not a path to cheap quality care, but a quagmire of rules and complexity that can make even the most basic care difficult to deliver.  Now that ObamaCare has directly or indirectly wormed its way into every aspect of care and payment, many patients are beginning to feel the pain as well.

Early Preview of Obamacare Premiums Show a 40% Spike in 2015.  It is my sincere hope that one day conservatives will kick teachers' unions to the curb and retake the nation's educational system.  One of the first orders of business then would be to teach not only the genius of the American founding but also the utter, repeated and unbroken failures of collectivism.  Which brings me to Obamacare, a socialistic plan sold on a panoply of lies and doomed from the outset to failure.  Failure that even the Obama administration acknowledges, with its serial and unlawful rewrites of the statute, along with delays and modifications to shield a complicit Democrat Party from enraged electorates.

What If There's No There There?  [Obamacare] is quite unlike Medicare or Social Security.  Both programs — despite their shortcomings — are conscientious mixes of policy ideals and political realities, crafted by men with clear visions. Look carefully at both programs, and you can see that vision, not only of what the proper policy is, but how to get it through Congress and build public support.  Obamacare exhibits none of these qualities.  It is a bizarre Rube Goldberg contraption with no clear idea at its core.  The exchanges are intended to promote competition while the Medicaid expansion doubles down on single payer.  It reins in the insurance companies while the risk corridor program shovels billions to them in bailout cash.  It expands coverage for prescription drugs for seniors while simultaneously granting drug companies some exceedingly generous rents.

Don't look now but ObamaCare's troubles are starting again.  [T]he critics of ObamaCare have turned out to be right:
[#1] The people who signed up were older and sicker.  At the same, the young just didn't show up;
[#2] President Obama's promises of "lower premiums" just isn't going to happen; and,
[#3] ObamaCare's regulations, taxes, mandates and subsidies are distorting the marketplace and raising costs.

Obamacare tax forms may pose challenge for enrollees, exchanges.  Obamacare customers won't be able to file their tax returns next year until the government sends them a form detailing their coverage and tax credits, and if those forms are late some taxpayers could face a delay in seeking their refunds.  Federal and state officials said they're working on the forms, known as the 1095A, and vowed to meet the Jan. 31 deadline for issuing them.  But some tax professionals are skeptical, citing the administration's iffy track record on being able to meet other deadlines in the massive health overhaul law.  "It really strains credulity to think 1095A is not going to be a big problem," said George Brandes, vice president for health programs at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

ObamaCare tax not meeting revenue target because companies not paying, audit finds.  An ObamaCare tax on medical devices is falling short of its revenue target because thousands of companies aren't paying it, according to a government audit released Tuesday [8/19/2014].

Big Government Worked Better in the Industrial Age; Not So Much in Digital Era.  [Scroll down]  Cohn in 2010 and Gruber in 2012 evidently really believed that almost all states would set up their own exchanges because their residents would get more money than if the feds ran the exchange.  That's how federal powers have increased over the years.  Congress can't order states to adopt policies, but it can dangle money in front of them if they meet certain conditions.  That's how we got the 21-year-old drinking age even though the 22nd Amendment recognizes states' powers to regulate alcohol.  As Cohn notes, that's how Medicaid, passed in 1965, worked, too.  Forty-nine states signed on by 1972.  Only Arizona held out until 1982.  So why did 36 states refuse to create their own health exchanges?  One reason is that Obamacare turned out to be massively unpopular.  Another is that conservative policy experts argued it would weaken the law.

One of Obama's big ideas for reforming health care failed a test in California.  "We need to bundle payments so you aren't paid for every single treatment you offer a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes, but instead paid well for how you treat the overall disease," Obama told the crowd of physicians.  Obama was articulating what would become one of the key payment reforms in his health care law — a proposal aimed at giving incentives to providers to control costs by rewarding them for providing less expensive care.  But a study published in the journal Health Affairs looked at an ambitious three-year pilot program of bundled payments in California that was funded by a $2.9 million grant from Obama's 2009 economic stimulus package — and found that the program was such a massive failure, it could hardly get off the ground.

Obamacare architect caught in web of contradictions on subsidies.  [Jonathan] Gruber has neither the pigmentation nor the office to qualify him for the get off the front pages-free card that the press has issued Obama.  Gruber is a health economist at MIT and a big-time insider present at the creation of Obamacare and its predecessor in Massachusetts.  Until last week, Gruber was a willing expert commentator on the subject of Obamacare subsidies.  From now on, he's going to be an unwilling one — a star hostile witness for the plaintiffs of Halbig v. Burwell, a lawsuit that, if successful, would deal a body blow to Obamacare's already badly stressed financial side.

Obamacare's Prognosis Worsens.  A while back, I suggested in this space that Obamacare might go the way of McCain-Feingold. That campaign finance "reform" law was not, you will recall, killed by a single lawsuit or act of Congress.  Indeed, the general consensus at the end of 2003 was that McCain-Feingold was in perfect health.  Less than seven years later it was, for all intents and purposes, dead.  It had succumbed to a long series of attacks by determined opponents who were convinced that it was unconstitutional.  Much the same thing is obviously happening to PPACA.

Questions for Obamacare Now.  The big question is, first, how many states decide to create exchanges?  I've heard from several people today who thought it was obvious that most of the 36 states now on federal exchanges would simply withdraw and build their own in order to keep the subsidies flowing.  This seems quite possible, because voters hate losing stuff, and especially subsidies.  And state legislators do love them some free money.  On the other hand, that outcome is hardly inevitable.

Phony numbers still haunt Obamacare, just like immigration.  An update on the misnamed Affordable Care Act is in order since many Americans are likely to face a surge of higher insurance premiums this fall.  Speculation said that President Obama would issue executive actions this summer to delay legal deadlines, hoping to push back premium hikes until after the fall elections.  But he may be deterred by the lawsuit being launched by House Republicans.  They're about to sue him for exceeding his authority when he directed a delay in implementing the mandate for employers to provide health insurance coverage.  That delay and the high costs of Obamacare coverage are part of the reason why the law is only reducing the number of uninsured by half as much as promised, even though costs of the law are now doubling.  In short, it's twice the cost for half the benefit.

Your health care: Obama's $18,000 broken promise.  During his 2008 campaign, one of then-Senator Obama's most audacious promises was that his health plan would reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average family.  His repeatedly made his pledge on videotape; you can view those promises here.  But health insurance premiums have continued to rise — not just despite ObamaCare, but in many cases because of the law's new regulations and mandates.

New ObamaCare Rules Mean Less Care, More Paperwork.  On July 3, when Americans were preparing to celebrate freedom, the Obama administration reduced freedom by adding 1,296 pages of regulations to ObamaCare.  The burdensome rules were published in the Federal Register on Independence Day eve, when few were likely to be watching.  So much for transparency.  ObamaCare regulations compel doctors and their office staff, restaurateurs, business owners, local government officials and virtually everyone subject to the law to spend hours filling out paperwork without getting paid for it.  It's a colossal theft.  As of 2014, ObamaCare regulations impose 159 million hours of paperwork a year on the public, up 48 million from last year.  And there's more to come.  The figures don't include paperwork requirements of the law's employer mandate, yet to go into effect.

Side effects: Half of brokers consider leaving post-Obamacare.  A potential exodus of brokers could make it more difficult for large and small businesses to lose that expertise just as things are getting really complicated.  Brokers help companies give employees the best and most affordable coverage and insure they comply with the complexities of the ACA.  Brokers have been on the front lines of the ACA changes that are forcing businesses, hospitals and insurance companies to adapt.  Basically, it's the brokers who are experts in the complex and legal nuances of insurance law.  They also typically connect employers and consumers with the most affordable coverage.

Obamacare's Prognosis Grows Dimmer.  A nightmare for Affordable Care Act supporters has been the possibility that only the sick would be left to purchase insurance through its exchanges, driving premiums up and insurers out.  While the law's boosters have been quick to dismiss the possibility that such a so-called death spiral could occur, data published in the Wall Street Journal suggest that this chain of events may not be so far-fetched after all. [...] At its base, the data show that people insured through the law's exchanges have higher rates of serious medical conditions.  Of the enrollees who have seen a doctor or other health-care provider in the first quarter of this year, 27 percent have significant medical problems, including diabetes, cancer, heart trouble and psychiatric conditions.

Here Comes the Hardest Part About Obamacare.  The White House and its apologists in the left-wing media have propagated two myths.  First, that the law is a success — full stop — merely because millions of people signed up for health insurance rather than pay a penalty tax.  Second, only anti-Obama's partisans harbor concerns as the ACA moves toward full implementation. [...] What can Obama and his team do about all this?  They've already delayed the mandate twice.  A third time would further diminish the credibility of the law and of the administration.

The Federal Octopus.  [Scroll down]  No one has any idea to what degree the Affordable Care Act is working, largely because we do not receive data about how many have paid or are paying their premiums, or how many people are simply transfers into the system from other state and federal health plans.  We still do not know how many lost their insurance because of Obamacare, or what are the actual costs for those forced into new plans.  Data about enrollees are now hopelessly politicized, in the sense that federal employees know that the more they report new signees into the system and the less they disclose about the circumstances of such enrollees, the better off will be their own careers.

Data problems found with 2 million ObamaCare sign-ups, document shows.  About 1 in 4 people who signed up have discrepancies, creating a huge paperwork jam for the feds and exposing some consumers to repayment demands, or possibly even loss of coverage, if they got too generous a subsidy.

The Hidden Failure of Obama's Health Care Overhaul.  At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call.  Those delays — due to technological snags with enrollment websites, bureaucratic tangles at state Medicaid programs and a surge of applicants — betray Barack Obama's promise to expand access to health care for some of the nation's most vulnerable citizens.

Now application 'inconsistencies' vex health law.  A huge new paperwork headache for the government could also be jeopardizing coverage for some of the millions of people who just got health insurance under President Barack Obama's law.

Fiscal Diagnosis Only Gets Tougher for Health Care Law.  Four years after enactment of what is widely viewed as President Barack Obama's key legislative achievement, however, it's unclear whether the health care law is still on track to reduce the deficit or whether it may actually end up adding to the federal debt.  In fact, the answer to that question has become something of a mystery.  In its latest report on the law, the Congressional Budget Office said it is no longer possible to assess the overall fiscal impact of the law.  That conclusion came as a surprise to some fiscal experts in Washington and is drawing concern.

The Doctor Won't See You Now.  Proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insist that the law will extend health insurance to millions, expand access to health care, and improve Americans' overall health.  But, as the New York Times recently reported, at least 20 percent of the new enrollees have not paid their premiums.  They therefore do not really have insurance.  But even for those enrollees paying premiums, having health insurance is not the same thing as getting good health care, or any health care.  In fact, it doesn't matter how many Americans obtain insurance under the ACA.  Most will have difficulty finding a physician.

How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession.  Nine of 10 doctors discourage others from joining the profession, and 300 physicians commit suicide every year. [...] Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking.  Indeed, many doctors feel that America has declared war on physicians — and both physicians and patients are the losers.  Not surprisingly, many doctors want out.

Obamacare Turns 4, Just 1.4% of Uninsured Americans Covered.  According to CNBC, of the 5 million people the Obama administration claims have enrolled in Obamacare, just 715,000 are previously uninsured Americans who have chosen and paid for new insurance.  As the Washington Post notes, there are 48.6 million uninsured Americans.  That means that after four years of being the law of the land, Obamacare — whose purported purpose was to cover the uninsured — has provided coverage for just 1.4% of uninsured Americans.

Vermont Democrats Labeling State's Single-Payer Health Plan a Failure.  In 2011, Vermont passed the nation's first single-payer healthcare system, "Green Mountain Care."  While the law was supposed to be fully enacted by 2017, it has become apparent that there's no solid plan in place to actually pay for the healthcare of all Vermont residents.  Democratic lawmakers, citing missed deadlines and past failures, have begun to call for Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to "shelve" the plan.

ObamaCare's future after law's disastrous debut, low enrollment.  President Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, has been off to what can be described, at best, as a rocky start.  Thanks to a terribly designed website, far from the Amazon.com-like experience promised by the administration, the first day of open enrollment saw a grand total of six people enroll.  By day two, that number had jumped exponentially to an "astounding" 248.  Glitches, crashes, problems with the payment system, less than stellar enrollment by millennials and all sorts of other tech failures have led to the administration paring down its estimate of 7 million enrollees by the end of March, 2014.

Lawmakers push probes of two state Obamacare exchanges.  Members of Congress want to know how Obamacare exchanges in Oregon and Maryland could have spent hundreds of millions in federal money on websites that don't work.  "The catastrophic breakdown of Cover Oregon is unacceptable and taxpayers deserve accountability," House Energy and Commerce Committee leadership wrote to the General Accountability Office Thursday [2/13/2014].

Unwinding Obamacare.  Obamacare is no longer a theoretical proposition.  It is now being implemented, if with some notable exceptions for the portions of the law the Obama administration finds particularly inconvenient.  Millions of Americans are experiencing its consequences directly, and millions more are forming their opinions of it based on what they are hearing of its effects.  Those opinions are generally not positive.  The fact that many of the law's congressional supporters are now running scared for fear of voter backlash is a good indication of how poorly the rollout is going.

A Failure in Progress.  [Some Democrats] are convinced that those of us who oppose the law can do no more than temporarily obstruct it, and that the benefits it is starting to bring to the American public will ultimately make it popular and then unchallenged.  In reality, Obamacare remains an unpopular law with deep flaws.  It is performing much worse than the advocates predicted as recently as September.

New Obamacare glitch.  Another day, another Obamacare "glitch" destined to make life unbearable even for those who have been able to sign up. [...] The Associated Press reported yesterday [1/3/2014] — and the White House confirmed — that the HealthCare.gov website can't handle baby updates — or any other change in status for that matter.

ObamaCare's four biggest lies.  President Obama's famous vow — "If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan.  Period." — isn't the only broken promise of ObamaCare.  Now that the Affordable Care Act has actually been in effect for a week, Americans are discovering more pitfalls associated with the massive overhaul.

Obamacare Contractor Blamed for Slow Medicare Payments to Hospitals.  The contractor building the financial management system for Healthcare.gov is being blamed by a Houston hospital for delayed Medicare reimbursements that have caused the hospital to miss payrolls for weeks.  Novitas Solutions is the federal government's new Medicare payment processor for the south-central region of the country hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.)

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2022 by Andrew K. Dart

How Obama Plans To Dictate To Doctors How They Treat Patients.  2013 was the year of ObamaCare whoppers.  But the nastiest truth about the health law is still to be exposed — the tightening hold the federal government will have over your doctor, even if you're paying with private insurance.  Obama said:  "You're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision-making."  It was a lie from day one, just like the president's other sales pitches.

Doctors, hospitals expect some confusion as Obamacare plans start.  Hospitals and medical practices across the United States braced for confusion and administrative hassles as new insurance plans under President Barack Obama's healthcare law took effect on Wednesday.

Iowa to thousands: HealthCare.gov didn't work, you're uninsured, please try our site.  When we were coming up on the doldrums of the December news cycle, I knew we could count on Obamacare to keep breaking down in new and spectacular ways.  This time, there are a bunch of Iowans who think they're being processed by Iowa's Medicaid system, but they're not.

Starting the new year in Obamacare limbo.  Planning to use your new Obamacare insurance benefits early in the new year?  If you don't have your brand spanking new ID card, you'd better bring along your wallet.  Insurers and health care providers are bracing for some chaos at the start of 2014 when the newly insured begin to use their Obamacare health coverage.

Thousands Scramble to Get Medical Procedures Before Obamacare Begins.  With Obamacare coverage beginning in earnest on Wednesday [1/1/2014], the Wall Street Journal reports that thousands of people for which Obamacare plans will block some health care access are rushing to get medical tests and procedures done before their pre-ACA coverage is eliminated.  Those who were receiving medical care before being forced to sign up to a new plan on HealthCare.gov will, in many cases, be locked out of hospitals and prevented from seeing doctors who they had typically used.

Late surge in ObamaCare sign-ups not enough to quiet critics now concerned about costs, coverage.  The Obama administration said Sunday a late surge in sign-ups resulted in 1.1 million Americans enrolling in ObamaCare before last week's deadline to get insurance coverage starting Jan. 1. — a sign the federal website is getting fixed but not enough good news to sway critics of the health care law.  "A million Americans?" Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said to Fox News.  "I don't think that's anything to celebrate.  It was a failed [website] launch, a flawed law and it needs real change."

Excedrin headache No. 2013: 2-in-3 call it a 'bad year,' 4-in-10 a disaster for their family.  Obamacare is a failure.  "There are almost no issues where a majority of Americans have seen improvement.  Only a quarter say health care coverage is better today than it was a year ago; more than half say it has gotten worse, reflecting the continued poor assessments given to the Administration's health care reform.

Predictable: Obamacare Website Crashes on Deadline Day!  Apparently the many months of constant "fixes" didn't help put the website on stable footing so that last minute insurance hunters could scoot in under the law's deadline.  Obama has spent billions of tax dollars selling this failed website and hundreds of millions on faulty website code-writers who have not been able to get much of the site in working order.

A very nervous New Year's for Obamacare.  So January has finally arrived, maybe New Year's Eve didn't end so well for you, and you've decided to take your brand-new Obamacare coverage out for a test drive.  Except — oops — maybe your new health insurer doesn't have any record of you.  Or you didn't get the coverage you thought you were getting.

Here comes the real Obamacare test.  Obamacare has been defined by delays, broken promises and growing disillusionment with President Obama's signature domestic achievement.  Yet for all the problems and political headaches caused by the health care law, the real test for the White House begins on Jan. 1.  That's when Americans for the first time will visit their doctors with expectations of being enrolled in new health plans.  And if the rocky last few months were any indication, that's hardly guaranteed.

Cover Oregon: If you don't hear from us by Monday, seek coverage elsewhere.  Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange began robocalling applicants Friday [12/20/2013], warning them that if they don't receive enrollment confirmation by Monday, they should seek coverage elsewhere for Jan. 1.  "If you haven't heard from us by Dec. 23, it is unlikely your application will be processed for Jan. 1 insurance coverage," a woman's voice on the pre-recorded call from Cover Oregon says.  "If you want to be sure you have insurance coverage starting Jan. 1, you have other options."

Mr. Obama, it's not the software that's the problem, it's Big Government liberalism.  The ObamaCare website is just the latest illustration of how liberalism promises to fix problems if we just spend enough money, but actually leaves a bigger mess than when it started.  The fact is Big Government liberalism is crashing all around us, not just in America but around the world (just ask anyone living in Greece or France or Venezuela).  When a computer system crashes beyond repair, it produces what software programmers call the "blue screen of death."  We are now living in the era of Blue Screen Liberalism, and this website debacle epitomizes the Obama administration's record on virtually everything else.

Obamacare's Rollout Is a Disaster That Didn't Have to Happen.  Obama promised open innovation and transparency.  Yet startups and hackers are forced to take a backseat to state-run websites, a mediocre government contractor secured the lucrative deal to build the federal exchange, and both HealthCare.gov's code and enrollment numbers are locked up by tight-lipped bureaucrats.

The Editor says...
Obamacare will inevitably implode, because Marxism fails every time it is attempted, and the Obamacare scheme is just a collectivist middle man between you and your health insurance company.  There is no value added by Obamacare — it is a tax collection mechanism that siphons money out of the health care industry, and it does this under threat of imprisonment.  Obamacare is a meddling parasite at best, and heavy-handed tyranny at worst.  In that regard, it is a reflection of Obama himself.

Forget the Obamacare Website, the Real Crisis is With the Insurers.  Presumably, the healthcare.gov website will be more or less operational after a few months.  But that's not even the biggest problem with the program.  Insurers are getting bad information from the enrollments.  The federal data hub that is supposed to tell consumers how much of a subsidy they will get is so dysfunctional that insurers have no confidence in the data.  And come January 1, insurers believe there will be lots of outraged consumers who were misquoted on coverage and cost.

Before glitches, administration foresaw nearly 500,000 health care signups in the first month.  For the first month alone, the Obama administration projected that nearly a half million people would sign up for the new health insurance markets, according to an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press.  But that was before the markets opened to a cascade of computer problems.  If the glitches persist and frustrated consumers give up trying, that initial goal, described as modest in the memo, could slip out of reach.

The Editor says...
"Could slip out of reach"?  I doubt if 500,000 people will ever willingly sign up for Obamacare.

Obamacare: The good, the bad, and the ugly.  From a pragmatic basis, it is difficult to conceive how a 2,700 page bill that created 159 new boards and committees, which have since added over 20,000 new pages of regulations, can reduce costs.
  ·   The infrastructure associated with 159 new boards and committees creates a cost;
  ·   The entire healthcare system needs to assimilate major change to comply with the evolving regulations, and such change inherently adds cost; and
  ·   The private sector has to absorb the costs of determining the impact of the new regulations and conforming to them.
"Affordability" may be more of an issue than the administration anticipated.  Even "Patient Protection" may be at risk since there isn't a provision to address the supply-and-demand healthcare provider issue that inherently will arise with a surge of 30 million new "patients."

Obamacare is in Crisis Now. Right Now.  It's time to panic.  Now.  Why?  Because the exchanges are the way to sign up young, healthy people and prevent the fabled "death spiral," in which only older, sicker people sign up for insurance, causing rates to rise and healthier people to drop out, causing rates to rise even more, etc.  Young people won't make the effort to look up insurance companies on their own when they don't really care that much about getting insurance anyway.  They won't try 50 times to use a balky web site.  "Without the exchanges, the death spiral seems almost assured."

Obama's leadership proves presidency is no place for amateurs.  With ObamaCare, he allowed Nancy Pelosi and her liberal Democratic cohort to ram through the most sweeping — and flawed — piece of social legislation in more than four decades without a single Republican vote, guaranteeing that the unpopular law will be challenged for years to come.  Compounding this mistake, he then handed out waivers and exemptions to the law to politically connected businesses, including restaurants and nightclubs in Nancy Pelosi's district.

Obamacare: Don't trust anyone over 60?  As everybody with a pulse must know by now, if the only folks who buy Obamacare coverage are the sick and those in late middle age, the system will be self-supporting only at very high premiums, hardly a recipe for cementing popular support.  That's why candidate Obama reluctantly accepted the individual mandate as part of his health insurance plan, adding a spoonful of sugar for those who are poorly paid (but Medicaid ineligible) in the form of need-based subsidies.

Georgia business weighs Paying ObamaCare fine, instead of coverage.  Debbie and Larry Underkoffler launched a boutique staffing agency in what they call the worst economy ever, doing anything they could to stand out to potential clients. [...] But under ObamaCare, the Georgia company now faces a tough choice — cover all of its temporary workers as well, or pay a hefty fine.

'So much wrong' with Obamacare sites: Aetna CEO.  Aetna's CEO gave a harshly critical review of the federal government's Obamacare marketplace Tuesday [10/15/2013], saying "there's so much wrong, you just don't know what's broken until you get a lot more of it fixed."  Asked on CNBC's "Squawk Box" if he knew the roll-out of the federal Healthcare.gov website would be problematic, Aetna chief Mark Bertolini said his giant insurance company's role as an alpha tester for the system gave it a sense of how many problems the health insurance marketplace was facing on the eve of launch.

ObamaCare Will Enrich Insurers At Taxpayers' Expense.  The Affordable Care Act may give health insurance companies a virtually limitless power to tap the U.S. Treasury, thereby lifting insurers' profits to undreamt-of heights.  This power derives from the mathematical formula for calculating individual subsidies.  The subsidy formula promises, for example, that a family of four with $30,000 in income will pay no more than 2% of that income (or $600) for its health insurance.  If an insurer charges $10,000 for a family policy, then, the family will pay $600 to the exchange, and the federal government will pay the remaining $9,400.

Obamacare discourages income, penalizes work, and encourages fraud.
Lower 2014 income can net huge health care subsidy.  People whose 2014 income will be a little too high to get subsidized health insurance from Covered California next year should start thinking now about ways to lower it to increase their odds of getting the valuable tax subsidy.  "If they can adjust (their income), they should," says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation.  "It's not cheating, it's allowed."

ObamaScare.  [Scroll down]  The most important thing for people to realize is that they are not "breaking the law" by failing to purchase health insurance.  [Chief Justice John] Roberts's ruling means you can freely choose whether or not you want to buy health insurance, and either choice is perfectly legal.  Now, the Obama administration wants you to think you're a lawbreaker if you don't buy the insurance, as do the pimps of the dinosaur media and the companies who are peddling health care insurance and other health care products.  The words "mandate" and "penalty" are frightening, but the law is toothless here.

Britain shows what Obamacare means for US.  President Obama's refusal to sign a bill defunding or delaying his health care law and Republicans' insistence that such measures be a part of any bill to continue funding government are what precipitated the ongoing government shutdown.  Both sides are staking out firm positions because they are operating on the same assumption — that once Obamacare starts to roll out subsidies on Jan. 1., it will be impossible to undo, no matter how much of a disaster it is.  Based on the experience across the pond, this may be exactly right.

Young and healthy needed to make Obamacare mandate work.  What insurance companies will save on medical costs for the healthier population will help pay for the older, sicker people who are entering into the insurance market for the first time.  But because they're young — and don't foresee getting sick any time soon — some Millennials may decide to skip insurance and risk paying a fine.

The Editor says...
Any socialized medicine scheme depends on large numbers of young healthy people to pay for more services than they use, to counterbalance the old (and poor) sick people who swamp the system.  The only alternative is to arrange for something bad to happen to the old and feeble population, which is what death panels are about.  Similarly, any Marxist wealth-redistribution scheme depends on large numbers of productive workers to earn money and pay taxes, to counterbalance the lazy and stupid people who collect government checks as they sit at home watching television, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.  The wealth-redistribution scheme becomes permanent and expands constantly as long as the sponges are allowed to vote.  If they had to choose between welfare payments and voting rights, the gravy train would come to a halt in a few years.

Video: "Is Obama forcing Americans to get health insurance?"  This amazing CNN news story by reporter Zain Asher should be required viewing for the GOP House caucus.  It's about efforts to educated uninsured families in New Jersey about Obamacare, and it illustrates how little the Affordable Care Act's biggest beneficiaries know about the new program.  To put it another way, folks aren't exactly jumping up and down at the prospect of access to health care.  [Video clip]

Why Opponents Won't Accept Obamacare.  Universal health care was promised, not to address a high-profile crisis, but because President Obama's twenty-something speechwriter wanted an applause line for a campaign speech.  The poorly drafted bill was passed almost entirely on party lines by exceedingly narrow margins — and in the face of majority negative public opinion.  So it's not surprising that opponents won't accept its legitimacy or permanence.

ObamaCare's Bitter Irony: It May Increase Number Of Uninsured.  ObamaCare has three key parts intended to greatly expand the number of Americans with health coverage:  (1) The individual mandate requiring nearly every American to have insurance or pay a penalty tax; (2) health insurance exchanges, where people below 400% of the federal poverty level will get federal subsidies (i.e., tax dollars) to help pay for coverage, and (3) a massive expansion of Medicaid up to 138% of the poverty level.  What has become clear is that all three legs of the ObamaCare stool are wobbly and could collapse as more pressure is applied.

ObamaCare vs. Affordable Care Act.  [Scroll down]  The same poll found that 30% of respondents didn't know what the Affordable Care Act is — while "only" 12% didn't know what ObamaCare is.  This after years of relentless debate, and both a midterm and presidential election in which ObamaCare was one of the central issues.

Obamacare Website Quietly Deletes Reference to 'Free Health Care'.  Even as President Obama and his administration are making a last minute push to encourage enrollment in Obamacare, a quiet change was made on the Healthcare.gov website regarding those who will still not be able to afford coverage after the program kicks in.  From at least June 26, 2013 to as recently as September 15, under the topic, "Where can I get free or low-cost care in my community?" the following statement appeared:  "If you can't afford any health plan, you can get free or low-cost health and dental care at a nearby community health center."

Barrasso: 'Duct tape and chicken wire' holding ObamaCare together.  Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Sunday that ObamaCare insurance exchanges set to go live this week "are being held together right now with duct tape and chicken wire."  The physician said on CNN's "State of the Union" that consumers are in for a case of sticker shock, adding that Americans will have difficulty finding a doctor to care for them.  "The president made a couple of promises.  One with the exchanges, and he said it would be cheaper than a cellphone bill.  And I don't expect a lot of people to be able to find something less than $71 a month on the exchanges," he said.

Under fire, 'Obamacare' going live — with glitches.  Contentious from its conception, President Barack Obama's health care law has survived the Supreme Court, a battle for the White House and rounds of budget brinkmanship.  Now comes the ultimate test:  the verdict of the American people.

Politico to Media: Ignore ObamaCare Launch Problems.  Essentially what you have here is an outlet that likes to present itself as objective, begging its media colleagues not to report on any problems the American people might have with Tuesday's ObamaCare launch.  This, despite the fact that the White House has already admitted there will be "glitches."  Again, because Politico is always trying to fool people into believing it is an objective news outlet, the piece also warns the media not to declare ObamaCare a "success" based on the first few days.

Businesses must FAX their Obamacare exchange applications in.  Yes, faxes are still a thing, apparently.  You can even do them from your computer.  And if you're a small business owner wanting to get Obamacare coverage, you're going to have to!

The Washington Post finally discovers the obvious:
Reports of problems precede launch of Obamacare.  Buying health insurance will be as easy as purchasing a plane ticket or shopping on Amazon, the president has promised.  Maybe, but perhaps not on Tuesday — the day that millions of Americans are supposed to be able to start buying coverage under the sweeping law referred to as Obamacare.

The Logic of the Alamo.  Nothing is certain about the future, though some things are highly probable.  It is virtually certain, for instance, that Obamacare will be a dog in its initial years, if not indefinitely:  the software supporting it is bug-ridden; none of its tested parameters have shown any sign of coming close to the promised spec; the premiums are costing more than predicted; and just complying with its rules has proved "unexpectedly" crippling.  These problems are concretely reflected in the delayed rollout of the individual mandate.  Obamacare is no different from any other Federal project that is beset with overruns, underspec performance, and scandal.

19% of health care pros say Americans 'will die earlier' due to Obamacare.  A unique new survey of health care professionals finds that 56 percent oppose Obamacare, with more than nine in 10 believing that there could be major negative impacts such as a drop in quality care.  A shocking 19 percent believe Americans will die earlier.

ObamaCare's scope, rocky intro signals problems for Tuesday's start.  Administration officials say ObamaCare is ready for its close-up, with enrollment in the newly created insurance "exchanges" set to start on Tuesday.  But the road to the launch has been littered with glitches and setbacks, and in all likelihood the confusion is not over yet.

Race to get Obamacare online sites running goes to the wire.  Officials working on the sites have acknowledged that information technology (IT) failures will prevent many of them from functioning fully for weeks, and perhaps longer.

Cruz Crushed Pro-ObamaCare Arguments In Marathon Speech.  Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, spoke for more than 21 hours Tuesday evening [9/24/2013] and Wednesday morning in an effort to get the Senate to defund ObamaCare before it goes into effect on Oct. 1.  The effort, of course, will likely come up short.  But his remarks were a devastating indictment of ObamaCare and its many flaws.  Here are just a few excerpts from his marathon speech:  [...]

DC Obamacare Exchange Delayed, Can't Calculate Tax Subsidies.  The Washington, D.C. Obamacare exchange announced on Wednesday [9/25/2013] it will not be ready on October 1 to calculate the taxpayer-funded subsidies people can receive to purchase health insurance.  It will also be unable to determine Medicare eligibility.  Officials say determining eligibility will now need to be delayed until November but that people will still be permitted to apply.

American's ObamaCare Crisis.  No one seems to think Obamacare is ready for prime time, except perhaps for the Obama administration and Democratic Party officials.  An ABC/Washington Post poll shows 9 of 10 Americans don't believe that the federal government, their state governments, and the health insurance industry are fully prepared to implement Obamacare.  It is worth noting that in 16 ABC/Post polls since August 2009 Obamacare has never received majority support.  Moreover, six in 10 Americans (60%) now believe the federal government already has too much power, according to Gallup polls.

ObamaCare Technology Glitches Mount as Launch Nears.  Since the beginning of this year, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius insisted that the ObamaCare exchanges would be ready next Tuesday, when they officially open their virtual doors to those wanting to buy insurance.  "We are determined and on track to meet the Oct. 1 deadline," she said back in April.  Given the incredible IT requirements involved in getting the exchanges ready, the bureaucratic delays, and the government's dubious track record in managing big technology projects, it always looked like a long shot.

The mysteries of Obamacare.  State officials visited the [Chicago] Tribune editorial board Tuesday [9/24/2013], equipped with charts and graphics and website mock-ups.  They spelled out how people will get information.  They offered some favorable price comparisons to other states and some highs and lows for insurance plans.  We appreciate their outreach effort.  But the fact is that, five days before the launch of this massively ambitious redesign of national health care, the insurance policies to be offered in Illinois are still a mystery.  Copays?  Deductibles?  Premiums?  Still a mystery.  Will your doctor and your hospital be included in the insurance networks?  Still a mystery.

HHS Watchdog Unsure If Obamacare Will Work.  The inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services has not assessed whether Obamacare will be ready to roll out on Oct.v1, a spokesman for the inspector general said on Tuesday [9/24/2013].  The inspector general's office has not done in-depth inspections of specific parts of the law, the spokesman said.

Administration Has Not Verified Obamacare Security Claims.  Congressmen raised strong doubts about the security of the infrastructure undergirding the Obamacare exchanges in interviews with the Washington Free Beacon on Monday [9/23/2013], undermining the administration's claims that Obamacare is secure and will be ready to go on schedule.  The administration's claim that the "data hub" is secure, for example, has not been independently verified, leaving Congress and the public reliant only on the administration's word for updates on the law's status and security.

The Editor adds...
And we all know how good the administration's word is.

Obamacare: One blow after another.  The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation.  Millions of low-income Americans won't receive coverage.  Many workers at small businesses won't get a choice of insurance plans right away.  Large employers won't need to provide insurance for another year.  Far more states than expected won't run their own insurance marketplaces.  And a growing number of workers won't get to keep their employer-provided coverage.

Speeding toward the collision.  One has to wonder why Mr. Reid, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate Democrats so vehemently defend a law that has been a revolving door of procedural failures and harmful unintended consequences.  To date, there have been more than 20 delays, exemptions and revisions to Obamacare, including a delay of the employer mandate for businesses.  Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, one of the law's primary architects, predicted that implementation of the 2,000-plus page law would prove a "train wreck."

The Great Healthcare Bamboozle.  In his years prior to running for federal office Barack Obama made clear his ultimate desire to see the United States healthcare system set up and run as a "single-payer" system.  That single-payer being the federal government.  Such a system would, by necessity, eliminate private-payer insurance plans and companies; if the government is the only payer they wouldn't be necessary.  There's no doubt this is a Marxist-utopian view wherein a governmental structure is the ultimate power and decision maker.  Everything funnels into and through a centralized governmental entity that has control over most or all decision making.

Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices.  Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama's health care law.  But they rarely mention one big reason:  many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.

One Weird Trick to Expose the Truth About ObamaCare.  There's every reason to believe that ObamaCare will ruin America's fine health care system; weaken our already shaky economy; cause more people to go without health insurance; and is widely unpopular.  Even though most citizens seem quite uncertain of all its provisions, surveys repeatedly show that it is unpopular and grows more unpopular as the time for implementation of more of its provisions nears.  And the law opens the door for — completely foreseeable — widespread abuse, some of which is already starting.

Two Weeks Out: Mystical, Magical O-Care Exchanges' Software Can't Determine Price.  Honestly, I really can't believe that there are so many elected Republican officials who still aren't ready to go to the mat over this law.  There has been no part of its implementation that hasn't been problematic and there is no reason to believe that it will get any better once these initial troubles are figured out.

Obamacare Software Glitch Providing Wrong Prices.  An Obamacare software glitch is now incorrectly tabulating how much people must pay for health insurance, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.  "There's a blanket acknowledgment that rates are being calculated incorrectly," a senior health insurance executive told the WSJ.  "Our tech and operations people are very concerned about the problems they're seeing and the potential of them to stick around."

Home Depot Sending 20,000 Part-Timers to Health Exchanges.  Home Depot Inc., the world's largest home improvement retailer, plans to end medical coverage for about 20,000 part-time employees and direct them to government-sponsored exchanges scheduled to open next month as companies revamp benefits to fit the U.S. Affordable Care Act.  Employees with fewer than 30 hours a week will no longer be offered limited liability medical coverage, Stephen Holmes, a spokesman, said today by telephone.  About 5 percent of Atlanta-based Home Depot's 340,000 employees are enrolled in that plan.

Massive Targeted Obamacare Ad Buy May Hurt Vulnerable Democrats.  Obamacare is set to become the fully implemented law of the land in October unless something stops it. [...] So far, it's proving effective at halting hiring and forcing employers to cut worker hours.  Doctors have accelerated retirement.  Large insurance carriers like Aetna have announced their intention to stay out of the Obamacare state insurance exchanges.  Citizens in many states will see major increases in their health insurance premiums.  It's also proving so popular that even President Obama's Big Labor allies want out of it.

Is there a con man in the Oval Office?  The media headlines should be about ObamaCare — a fast moving train wreck about to destroy the entire U.S. economy.  It's so bad that Congress exempted themselves a month ago.  It's so bad that union leaders met with Obama at the White House to demand they all be exempted, or ObamaCare be repealed.  Yes, unions are asking for the repeal of ObamaCare, the signature achievement of the man they elected President.  Shouldn't this story be in the headlines?

ObamaCare Subsidies: Not For Low-Income Young People.  Young people making as little as $20,394 won't be eligible for any ObamaCare subsidies, thanks to the way that the subsidies are calculated, according to a study released on Monday [9/16/2013].  The study also found that, overall, young people will get far less generous subsidies from ObamaCare than older people.

Union Boss Rips Obamacare.  Big Labor strongly backed Obamacare before its passage.  Now unions say the law threatens to destroy union workers' health insurance plans if changes are not made soon.  Last week, the AFL-CIO passed a strongly-worded resolution blasting Obamacare despite the Obama Administration's attempts to quell union opposition to aspects of the government healthcare overhaul.

Minnesota ObamaCare exchange breach exposes 2400 agents to identity theft.  [N]o one was laughing yesterday [9/13/2013] after an employee at the exchange e-mailed out confidential information on 2,400 agents to an insurance broker — reminding everyone that data security in the ObamaCare exchanges isn't exactly a top priority.

Aetna pulls out of 'Obamacare' health exchange.  Aetna announced today [9/12/2013] that it no longer plans to offer health insurance on the new health care exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act.  The announcement comes just weeks before hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans will begin enrolling.

ObamaCare Costs Will Explode; Trader Joe's Shows Why.  When Trader Joe's announced it was dropping health benefits for part-time workers, it reassured them that they'd be no worse off as a result.  "We believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe's and the tax credits available under the (Affordable Care Act), many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you," noted CEO Dan Bane in a memo to employees revealed this week.  In other words, Trader Joe's — like some other companies — has decided to shift its health care costs onto federal taxpayers via the subsidized ObamaCare insurance exchanges.

Obamacare Could Be a Fraudsters' Free-For-All.  Have any idea where to find a health insurance exchange?  Up to speed on what a healthcare "navigator" is?  Know whether you'll need a new government-issued ID card to qualify for Obamacare when it goes live on October 1?  Scam artists hope you're as clueless as possible, because they're counting on widespread confusion about the Affordable Care Act to tap fresh opportunities for milking the unwary.

Four Years Ago Today, Barack Obama Offered America a Pile of Empty Promises.  Obamacare's 30-hour work week has made America a part-time nation.  Forced with the choice of paying for Obamacare's mandates or dropping insurance for their workers, many employers are dropping coverage and cutting work hours down to less than 30 hours per week.  Nearly all of the jobs created during Obama's presidency have been part-time jobs.  Unemployment among the young and minorities is at crisis levels, but Obama is ignoring this crisis. [...] So, rather than scrap the law that clearly isn't working, the Obama administration is going to spend 12 million taxpayer dollars advertising.

America, we must stop ObamaCare before it becomes hazardous to our health.  How will ObamaCare — a 2,700-page law passed by a single vote over bipartisan opposition — harm Americans' health?  Well, here are five of its worst side effects.

Citing costs, IBM to move retirees off health plan.  International Business Machines Corp. plans to move about 110,000 retirees off its company-sponsored health plan and instead give them a payment to buy coverage on a health-insurance exchange, in a sign that even big, well-capitalized employers aren't likely to keep providing the once-common benefits as medical costs continue to rise.

Creative Destruction.  Nancy Pelosi waxed rhapsodic in 2010 as she imagined the benefits of Obamacare:  "Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance."  Well, that was the economy we used to have.  But as Obamacare begins to kick in, artists, photographers, writers, and other members of the "creative class" who have access to health insurance programs through numerous professional organizations will lose that coverage.

Is This Train Wreck Unstoppable?  More bad news for Obama-Care this week:  Another state announced huge rate increases, and another labor union rebelled over the harm it will do to members.  Yet, this train wreck just keeps on rolling.

Technical snafus confuse charges for Obamacare plans.  Technical glitches still plague the display of new healthcare plans to be offered to millions of uninsured Americans starting in 26 days, including how medical charges and deductibles are listed, industry officials say.

Five Groups At Risk of Losing Plans Under ObamaCare.  "We will keep this promise to the American people.  If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.  Period.  No one will take it away."  That was President Obama selling ObamaCare in 2009, and it was a promise he repeated on numerous occasions.  As recently as this spring, Obama claimed that "for the 85% to 90% of Americans who already have health insurance ... they don't have to worry about anything else."  But this week, a survey of big businesses provided additional evidence that it's a promise Obama won't be able to keep.

The Obama Administration Is A White House Of Historic Incompetence.  Barack Obama has already said the administration will not enforce the employer mandate, will not verify eligibility for insurance subsidies and will not require employer-provided policies to cap employees' out-of-pocket costs.  The Constitution's requirement that the president take care to faithfully execute the laws apparently does not apply.  ObamaCare administrators continue to miss deadlines set by the health care law — 41 of 82 of them, according to Forbes' Avik Roy's reading of the Congressional Research Service report.

Sorry, Obamacare Isn't Better Than 'No Plan'.  As they watch Obamacare shudder and smoke through the final countdown to its January liftoff, some of its advocates have discreetly eased away from the launch pad to avoid political injury when the ramshackle contraption finally explodes.  Yet the perversity of progressivism is such that, even now, most supporters of the law refuse to admit that the countdown should stop.

How Obamacare Makes Theft Of Your Identity More Likely.  Last week, the Obama Administration doled out tens of millions of dollars to "community groups" across the country, with few strings attached.  These groups — and those posing as them — could gain access to consumer addresses, Social Security numbers, and medical information.  It's the President's gift to some of his grassroots allies.  And it could be a bonanza for identity thieves.

Is Obama the worst president ever?  "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." — President Obama, Aug. 11, 2009.
So said President Obama again and again through 2009 and 2010 as he sold Obamacare to the country.  He promised.  He put his personal integrity on the line.  His word.  How many UPS employees voted for the president in 2008 and again in 2012? Because on Friday [8/23/2013], UPS announced it was dumping 15,000 spouses of UPS employees from their UPS health plans despite the president's many, many promises to the contrary.

Ted Cruz on Obamacare: The wheels are falling off.  "We all know President Obama promised the American people:  'If you like your health insurance you can keep it,'" Cruz said.  "And yet, every day that's proving less and less true.  And I think the American people are ready to stop this, to stop the biggest job killer we've got in our economy."

Lawlessness in the Executive.  Shortly before July 4, Obama unilaterally suspended for a year Obamacare's employer mandate — its requirement that most businesses provide government-sanctioned health insurance. [...] Asked whether his successor could "pick and choose whether they'll implement your law and keep it in place," Obama offered an astonishing reply:  "I didn't simply choose to delay this on my own.  This was in consultation with businesses all across the country."  Apparently, Obama has rewritten Article II of the Constitution; henceforth the president shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed unless he and some businessmen decide differently.

UPS drops health benefits for 15,000 spouses.  UPS cited the impact of Obamacare on health-care costs in announcing the move, which deprives the 15,000 spouses of the option of keeping their current coverage, an Obama promise.

The arguments that justified Obamacare are already being discredited.  The technological architecture of the exchanges appears to be behind schedule and below expectations, and concerns about fraud and identity theft are especially grave.  Some provisions of the law (most notably the employer mandate, some reporting requirements, and verification of eligibility for subsidies) have been found too difficult to implement and have been put off, at least temporarily, while others (like the CLASS long-term-care insurance scheme) have been found unworkable and abandoned altogether.

ObamaCare Delivers Bad News To UPS Workers.  Thousands of UPS workers have found out what's actually in that ObamaCare package Democrats shipped out in 2010.  Their company decided to drop coverage for spouses to avoid the law's added costs.

Obamacare: UPS drops coverage for 15,000 spouses.  Today's [8/21/2013] ObamaCare triumph is the announcement by United Parcel Service that it will drop working spouses from its health care plan, loudly and repeatedly citing the Affordable Care Act as the reason.

UPS won't insure spouses of many employees.  Partly blaming the health law, United Parcel Service is set to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere.  Many analysts downplay the Affordable Care Act's effect on companies such as UPS, noting that the move is part of a long-term trend of shrinking corporate medical benefits.

NBC News: Negative Obamacare Effects 'From Maine to California'.  The only surprise here is the source.  The details are all too familiar.

'Young Invincibles' Better Off Without ObamaCare.  Nearly 4 million young people will be much better off financially if they refuse to buy an ObamaCare insurance policy and instead pay the fine for going without coverage next year, according to a study released Thursday by the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Pizza Chains Suffer Under Obamacare's Third Most Onerous Regulation.  The Obama administration's massive federal power grab has the National Restaurant Association (NRA) — and the American Pizza Community (APC) — feeling something of buyer's remorse for their part in lobbying for Section 4205, which is an onerous regulation that calls for restaurant chains with more than twenty locations to label their menus with nutritional information.  For example, it's going to cost each Domino's location around $5,000 a year.  There are 5,000 locations.  You do the math.  It's also sucked in convenience and grocery stores into this maelstrom of government idiocy.

Can Obama write his own laws?  [Scroll down]  Indeed, the very next day, it was revealed that the administration had unilaterally waived Obamacare's cap on a patient's annual out-of-pocket expenses — a one-year exemption for selected health insurers that is nowhere permitted in the law.  It was simply decreed by an obscure Labor Department regulation.  Which followed a presidentially directed 70-plus percent subsidy for the insurance premiums paid by congressmen and their personal staffs — under a law that denies subsidies for anyone that well-off.

Obama's Political Incompetence.  Obamacare, enacted more than three years ago, has been unraveling for over a year.  And there's a good reason for that:  it was never intended to become law at all.

ObamaCare's Hazardous Subsidy Cliff.  Millions of families could be facing a bizarre situation:  If they earn one extra dollar a year, their insurance costs will climb by thousands.  It's just one of the many perverse outcomes ObamaCare will create.

The Rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  As we advance toward the much anticipated rollout of Obamacare on October 1, the true horror of what Congress and the president have wrought is beginning to sink in.  There is a growing nervousness that the state insurance exchanges not only won't be ready, but may harbor a dangerous vulnerability that would allow hackers access to the personal information of consumers who sign up for insurance via the sites.

Totalitarianism is always implemented in small steps.
Reid says Obamacare just a step towards single-payer system.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Friday [8/9/2013] that Obamacare isn't the final word in government health care reform, it's just a big step toward the real solution, which is a single-payer system.  The Las Vegas Sun reports that Reid made that statement during an appearance on a Nevada PBS news discussion program.

Blue Cross, Aetna, United, Humana Flee Obamacare Exchanges.  Major health insurance companies — Blue Cross, Aetna, United, Humana — have decided not to participate in various states in the Obamacare health-insurance exchanges that will be the only place Americans will be able to buy a health insurance plan using the federal subsidies authorized under the Obamacare law.

Obamacare Months Behind in Testing IT Data Security: Government. The federal government is months behind in testing data security for the main pillar of Obamacare:  allowing Americans to buy health insurance on state exchanges due to open by October 1[.]

Obamacare Privacy Protections Way Behind Schedule; Rampant Violations Of Law Possible.  In order for Obamacare to work, the government will need to know a lot about your financial, medical, and employment situation.  Has the Obama administration set up adequate safeguards to protect Americans' privacy under the law?  According to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the answer is no.  Based on OIG's analysis, Obamacare's exchanges may end up illegally exposing Americans' private records to hackers and criminals.

Chicago Dumps Retirees and America Into ObamaCare.  "I was promised health care for myself and my wife for life," said Michael Underwood, 62, who retired from the Chicago Police Department after 30 years of service.  However, in May, the city of Chicago announced they needed to remove some of the city's 11,800 pensioners, making them ineligible for Medicare coverage by 2017.  Frightened and angered, Mr. Underwood is suing the city of Chicago in order to keep his promised benefits.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel has not respond to Mr. Underwood's lawsuit or the additional lawsuits brought on by other retirees.  Instead, he employed a bureaucrat to explain Chicago's philosophy and assistance.

How ObamaCare Hurts Patients.  President Obama promised to mend the failings in the American health-care system, and yet for cancer treatment, ObamaCare is taking a rotten feature of the old system and making it worse.  The Affordable Care Act expands a program called 340B, which siphons money from drug makers and insurers to subsidize certain hospitals.

Detroit Shows How ObamaCare Will Bankrupt the Country.  Looks like Detroit might get a federal bailout after all, by offloading its retiree health costs onto federal taxpayers via ObamaCare.  It's a window into why Obama-Care costs will quickly spiral out of control.

Detroit Bankruptcy Could Flood Obamacare Exchanges, Increasing Costs.  The retirees that cities like Detroit are trying to push into Obamacare's health insurance exchanges could drive up the premiums in the exchanges and swell costs to the federal government, experts say.  Detroit, which has filed for bankruptcy, is trying to reduce its liabilities by pushing retirees who are too young for Medicare onto the federal healthcare exchange set up through the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times reported on Sunday.  The retirees could then buy their own insurance with help from federal subsidies.

Is ObamaCare Destined to Become a Parking Lot?  Perhaps the nearby little hospital which you love is consolidated with the bigger one a drive away, or the average doctor's appointment falls from to ten minutes or five, followed by the choice in doctors being narrowed so that you have to accept the one assigned to you by the government.  Or certain tests or treatments which were once ordered automatically will be denied because they don't fit the metric of some anonymous advisory panel — as all the while the amount families pay for medical insurance doubles, then doubles again.  So what happens then?

The imminent health-exchange scandal.  [Scroll down]  In reality, the beta version [of the Affordable Care Act] jammed through a few months ago will, unless delayed and fixed, inflict on the public the most widespread violation of the Privacy Act in our history.

Retired city workers file lawsuit over shift to Obamacare.  Retired city workers are asking a judge to block Mayor Emanuel from making them rely on Obamacare for their health insurance.  It could cost Chicago taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

IRS Employees Union Is 'Very Concerned' About Being Required To Enroll In Obamacare's Health Insurance Exchanges.  Two weeks ago, representatives of three large labor unions fired off a harsh letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, complaining that Obamacare would "shatter... our hard-earned health benefits" and create "nightmare scenarios" for their members.  Today, we learn that the National Treasury Employees Union — the union that includes employees of the Internal Revenue Service — is asking its members to write letters to their Congressmen, stating that they are "very concerned" about legislative efforts requiring IRS and Treasury employees to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.

National Treasury Employees Union Urges Members to Oppose Obamacare ... For Themselves.  The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents Internal Revenue Service employees, is urging its members to oppose legislation that would force federal employees off their government healthcare plans and onto the state and national healthcare exchanges established under Obamacare.  Members of Congress and their staffers are already required to participate in the exchanges, which will go into effect next October 1st under the Affordable Care Act.

Unworkable ObamaCare.  Yes, the White House has a law with thousands of pages, but the closer we get to Oct. 1, the day government-mandated health-insurance exchanges are supposed to open, the more we see that the administration doesn't have a legitimate plan to successfully implement the law.  Unworkable.  That word best describes ObamaCare.  Government agencies in states across the country, whether red or blue, have spent countless hours and incalculable dollars trying to keep the ObamaCare train on its track, but the wreck is coming.  And it is the American people who are going to pay the price.

Obamacare is falling apart.  Three union presidents have sent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a scathing letter decrying Obamacare, showing just how out-of-control this law has become. [...] The fact is that the crater of Obamacare is getting deeper, with sharper edges.  The unions are first-tier political allies of President Obama and the Democratic Party, and it was surely their last resort to put their grievances with Obamacare in writing in the public sphere.

10 Ways ObamaCare Is Not Working As It's Supposed To.  [Scroll down]  Last summer the Supreme Court threw out a key part of ObamaCare designed to force states to vastly expand Medicaid by threatening all federal support for that program if they refused.  The court said the federal government couldn't dictate such terms, and nearly half the states subsequently refused to expand their Medicaid programs.  Other legal challenges continue, the most potentially damaging of which involves the employer mandate.

Obamacare, Simplified.  With open enrollment in Obamacare's exchanges set to start in fewer than three months, the law's supporters are attempting to change the subject from Obamacare's many delays and glitches.  Instead, they're mounting a campaign to sell the unpopular measure to the public.

Obamacare is a 19th-century answer to a 21st-century question.  Simply put, the digitization of social interaction, economic transaction, the political process and everything in between is decentralizing the world, moving it in the opposite direction of the massive centralization of Obamacare.

You union people should have thought of this before you gave the Democrats millions of dollars!
Labor Unions: Obamacare Will 'Shatter' Our Health Benefits, Cause 'Nightmare Scenarios'.  Labor unions are among the key institutions responsible for the passage of Obamacare.  They spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010.  But now, unions are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is heavily disruptive to the health benefits of their members.

California insurance commissioner: We could "have a real disaster on our hands" with identify theft, fraud, and abuse.  California rushed headlong into the implementation of ObamaCare, eager to be the first model state to show off the many wonderful ways in which the law was ostensibly meant to work. [...] Besides the very glaring problems of sharply higher insurance premiums and major insurers fleeing the individual insurance market for via-employer insurance only, their "Covered California" exchange's administrators are realizing that there's another predicament in the works.

Fraud fear raised in California's health exchange.  As California prepares to launch its health care exchange, consumer groups are worried the uninsured could fall victim to fraud, identity theft or other crimes at the hands of some of the very people who are supposed to help them enroll.

Latest Obamacare Foul-Up Favors Smokers.  [Scroll down]  Although we have been repeatedly told that Obamacare outlaws the practice of charging different premiums to different customers, smokers are not the only patients who can be discriminated against under the "reform" law.  It also permits insurers to charge elderly customers more than their younger policyholders.  In fact, PPACA allows them to charge an old person three times more than a young person.  And this combination of the smoker penalty and the age penalty is what seems to have stymied the brainiacs at HHS.

Hatch tells Obama to admit healthcare law is 'a dog'.  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called on President Obama to admit that his healthcare law is "a dog."  "What's the matter with this administration.  Can't they just live with the facts and admit that this is a dog," Hatch said on the Senate floor Thursday [7/11/2013].  "Everyday you hear more and more problems with it."  Hatch's comment was prompted by a recent announcement from the administration that it is delaying the employer healthcare mandate until 2015.

The ObamaCare exchange singularity.  The "affordability" of employer plans will now be based on the word of employees, while income eligibility will be subjected to random testing.  That's assuming the public exchanges don't just blow up on the launch pad, which is a distinct possibility, since they're still far behind schedule.  It's funny how just about every new ObamaCare story ends with more people tumbling into those "public exchanges," isn't it?  Those exchanges wiil devolve into a titanic welfare program that much of the "middle class" becomes hooked on.

Obamacare's Dirty Dozen Implementation Failures.  Last week, the Obama Administration attempted to spin its announcement of a one-year delay in Obamacare's employer mandate as an effort to implement the law "in a careful, thoughtful manner."  Don't be fooled.  Even Democrats have admitted the law has turned into a massive "train wreck," with delays, glitches, and problems aplenty.  Here are a dozen more Obamacare implementation failures.

Health insurers fear young people will opt out.  Persuading young, healthy adults [...] to buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act is becoming a major concern for insurance companies as they scramble to comply with the law, which prohibits them from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and limits what they can charge to older policy holders.

Obama exports jobs!
British Company Is Awarded Contract to Administer Health Rollout.  Racing to meet an October deadline, Obama administration officials said Thursday that they had awarded a contract worth as much as $1.2 billion to a British company to help them sift applications for health insurance and tax credits under the new health care law.  The company, Serco, has extensive experience as a government contractor with the Defense Department and intelligence agencies, and it also manages air traffic control towers in 11 states and reviews visa applications for the State Department.

ObamaCare's Success Depends On The Young Being Stupid.  ObamaCare's efforts to expand insurance coverage and bring down costs depend entirely on convincing young people to buy coverage, while the law gives these people every reason not to.

GOP: Turns out, folks, you can't really keep your healthcare plan if you like it.  Health care as you know it will change.  Do you know how much your new plan will cost?  Do you know what it will cover?  Will you be able to see your family doctor?  Will your personal health information remain private?  Private and safe?  Will you lose the health insurance plan you like?  Will the high costs force your employer to make you a part-time employee, change your plan or just drop your coverage altogether?  Simply put, will you and your family have the health insurance you need to ensure your well-being?  Right now, you can't answer these questions and neither can the Obama Administration.

Lipstick on the Obamacare Pig.  It's been one year since the Supreme Court decision that allowed Obama administration officials to begin implementing the Affordable Care Act, and the frequency and volume of reports about the challenges facing those reforms — and the difficulties they are visiting on those who were supposed to benefit from them — are increasing dramatically.

GOP warns of 'train wreck' ahead of ObamaCare rollout.  Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) warned of a coming "train wreck" when enrollment begins in ObamaCare insurance exchanges this fall in the Republican weekly address.  Roberts, an outspoken opponent of President Obama's healthcare reforms, said that important questions remain before the exchanges, part of what he called a "massive federal government takeover," go into effect in October.  "Too little is known about the exchanges.  The fear is that only the sick will pay to join the exchange without young healthy people to foot the bill, then all costs will further skyrocket," Roberts said.  Republicans and Democrats alike have complained that the White House hasn't done enough to inform the public about the law's advantages prior to its upcoming rollout.

It takes an army: Tens of thousands of workers roll out Obamacare.  From the chief actuary at the California health insurance exchange that President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law established to the legions of call center staffers who will help people trying to buy insurance through such state exchanges, the number of people working to implement "Obamacare" has reached the tens of thousands, a Reuters analysis has found.

Audit Finds ObamaCare Train Wreck Ahead.  After months of reassurances that the ObamaCare exchanges would be running by Oct. 1, it turns out they're well behind schedule.  Truth becomes an even rarer commodity in the Obama administration.  'Yes, we will be ready," said Gary Cohen, who is spearheading ObamaCare implementation at the Department of Health and Human Services.  That was in January.

ObamaCare Trail of Tears.  Set aside the IRS or the National Security Agency — the most secretive part of the government is the Health and Human Services Department and the black box that is implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  For years HHS has stonewalled the congressional oversight committees about its progress, and now we're starting to learn why.  On Wednesday [6/19/2013] the auditors at the Government Accountability Office released the results of two investigations and optimistically conclude that it "cannot yet be determined" if ObamaCare will be ready for enrollment a mere four months from now.

The Young Won't Buy ObamaCare.  Media outlets lately have emphasized the challenge of enticing healthy young adults to sign up for ObamaCare, "exactly the type of person insurance plans, states and the federal government are counting on to make health reform work," as the L.A. Times put it.  These pieces are useful as far as they go, but miss a key point that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito managed to convey in many fewer words during last year's Supreme Court argument on ObamaCare.  Mr. Alito pointed out that young, healthy adults today spend an average of $854 a year on health care.  ObamaCare would require them to buy insurance policies expected to cost roughly $5,800.

Obamacare's Insurance "Solution": Medicaid for All.  Even as the Left celebrates Obamacare's expansion of health coverage, a Reuters story highlighted what kind of "insurance" people will receive under the law.

Obamacare will share personal health info with federal, state agencies.  A new 253-page Obamacare rule issued late Friday [6/14/2013] requires state, federal and local agencies as well as health insurers to swap the protected personal health information of anybody seeking to join the new health care program that will be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.  Protected health information, or PHI, is highly protected under federal law, but the latest ruling from the Department of Health and Human Services allows agencies to trade the information to verify that Obamacare applicants are getting the minimum amount of health insurance coverage they need from the health "exchanges."

Issa subpoenas ObamaCare files.  House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) subpoenaed documents from a controversial ObamaCare program on Friday after charging that the Obama administration had denied his request several times.  Issa is seeking information on a federal attempt to boost nonprofit health plans, known as CO-OPs (consumer oriented and operated plans), which compete with traditional health insurance.  The Affordable Care Act created a $3.4 billion federal loan program for CO-OPs that Republicans say might never be repaid because of some applicants' financial troubles.

Coverage may be unaffordable for low-wage workers.  It's called the Affordable Care Act, but President Barack Obama's health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.

More Bad Obamacare News.  Forbes reports that Ohio is the latest state to announce a market-increase in healthcare premiums as a consequence of Obamacare.  According to an Ohio Department of Insurance press release, the average Ohioan currently pays $223 per month, but can expect premiums to surge to $420 with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

CBO: Uninsured Under Obamacare Never Falls Below 30 Million.  On Monday, CNBC reported on a new survey that found that two-thirds of Americans currently without health insurance don't know if they will purchase coverage by the deadline, the first day of 2014.  The survey was released by InsuranceQuotes.com, a company that offers comparison shopping for insurance, similar to the "marketplaces" envisioned by Obamacare.

California bill would fine big firms whose workers get Medi-Cal.  For years, politicians and labor unions have pilloried Wal-Mart and other large employers for paying workers so little that many qualify for government health insurance at taxpayers' expense.  Now critics fear the public will get stuck with an even bigger tab as California and other states expand Medicaid as part of the federal healthcare law.

Even If You Like Your Plan, You Can't Necessarily Keep It.  [Scroll down]  "Canceling" and "changing" do not equal "keeping," which was the promise.  The CBO estimated last year that up to 20 million Americans could lose their current coverage under Obamacare.  Other projections peg the number at 35 million, or more.  With the media focused on the administration's myriad scandals, the president is gearing up for yet another public relations tour on behalf of the law that he never sold to the public, despite delivering dozens of speeches.

Like your health care policy? You may be losing it.  Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall:  cancellation notices because their current policies aren't up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama's health care law.

ObamaCare Health Insurance Exchanges Are A Downgrade.  If you live in California and purchase health insurance on the newly created exchange called Covered California, don't expect care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the prestigious academic hospital in Los Angeles.  That top-drawer care won't be covered by exchange plans.  Many Californians will have to give up doctors and hospitals they currently use if they want subsidized coverage.  That's one of the truths omitted from last Thursday's [5/23/2013] fanfare when Covered California unveiled the plans it will offer starting Oct. 1.

Health Law Critics Seek to Gut It by Attacking Exchanges.  Opponents of President Barack Obama's health-care law are gearing up for a new round of attacks, this time targeting the legislation's insurance exchanges that would expand coverage to millions of Americans.

Unions, the reliable Democratic supporters, split from president on ObamaCare.  Labor unions that have solidly backed President Obama are splitting with him over ObamaCare — with one calling for the "repeal or complete reform" of the president's signature health-care law.  Union leaders argue insurance costs for millions of workers will increase under the president's health-care plan so they might have to drop their existing plan, despite Obama promising the opposite.

Are ObamaCare's 'Markets' Doomed To Fail?  What if government created an insurance "marketplace" and no one came?  As the launch of the ObamaCare insurance exchanges draws near, that could happen — bringing the reform crashing to the ground.

Nation's largest health insurer opts out of California's Obamacare exchange.  UnitedHealth, the nation's largest private insurer, will not participate in California's Obamacare health exchange, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday [5/23/2013].  Health insurance giants Aetna and Cigna will also opt out of Covered California, the state agency charged with implementing Obamacare.  All three insurers will still provide health insurance through large employers in the state.

Three Labor Unions, Including Teamsters, Want ObamaCare Repealed.  As the media, by and large, ignores the train wreck that is on the horizon with ObamaCare, yet another union has jumped ship on the president's health care overhaul.  Back in April, you may recall, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers officially said thanks but no thanks to the president's plan.  Well, now, a major labor union in the grocery industry is balking at the policy.

The Obama Crony in Charge of your Medical Records.  Who is Judy Faulkner?  Chances are, you don't know her — but her politically connected, taxpayer-subsidized electronic medical records company may very well know you.  Top Obama donor and billionaire Faulkner is founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which will soon store almost half of all Americans' health information.  If the crony odor and the potential for abuse that this "epic" arrangement poses don't chill your bones, you ain't paying attention.

Obamacare and Chicago's Unions.  Chicago's public-sector workers have a pretty good health care deal and enjoy a 55 percent subsidy.  They like their plan, but they may not be keeping it.  This week, the mayor's office announced that change is on the horizon.  City Comptroller Amer Ahmed wanted to reassure the city's 30,000 workers who "were worried we were gonna dump them onto some Obamacare thing we didn't know anything about."  Indeed, that is exactly what the mayor is planning to do.  According to the Chicago Tribune, all city employees will be asked to either pay for their own insurance, or seek subsidies under the Affordable Care Act as of January 1, 2014, as part of a three-year transition off of the current benefit.

Train Wreck Ahead.  Most Americans — even those who are legislators — know very little about the details of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, so-called Obamacare.  Next year, when it goes into effect, we will learn the hard way.  Many people lazily assume that the law will do roughly what it promises:  give insurance to the uninsured and lower the cost of health care by limiting spending on dubious procedures.  Don't count on it.

My Five Obamacare Anxieties.  Conservatives are talking about the implementation of Obamacare in the same thoughtful way they talked about its enactment — that is, as an impending apocalypse.  It won't be, as I've noted previously.  Most Americans get insurance through employers, Medicare, and Medicaid, and that will still be the case on January 1, when Obamacare's big provisions take effect.  But the minority who buy insurance on their own or have no insurance will see tremendous changes.

It's the legislative equivalent of "pump and dump."
Grassley: Baucus Retiring Because He's 'Fed Up' With Obamacare.  Democratic senator Max Baucus is retiring because he is "fed up" with the Affordable Care Act, according to his Republican colleague Chuck Grassley.  Speaking at Friday night's Lincoln Day dinner in Iowa, Grassley told the audience the Montana senator is leaving office "because he's so fed up with the possibility of the implementation of Obamacare being a train wreck."  Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, played a key role in writing the 2010 law.

Another Liberal Democrat: Obamacare Insurance Premiums To "Shoot Up".  Isn't it funny that when Republicans were pointing out issue after issue with Obamacare, Democrats were insisting that the bill was perfect.  However, now that Obamacare is about to go into effect, suddenly Democrats are seeing all sorts of problems that they never noticed before.

Wasn't enrollment in Obamacare supposed to be quick and easy?
HHS budgets $150m to teach people how to enroll in Obamacare.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that HHS will spend $150 million to teach people how to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges, after a Democratic senator scolded her for running a poor "public information campaign."

Applying for ObamaCare — Still Not Simple.  The three-page application is for people who don't get health insurance at work and are seeking coverage and subsidies for themselves.  One big reason the new form is shorter: the type is smaller, with less space for answers.  The much-derided 21-page application was for families.  It is now down to 11 pages, thanks to a trick.  Eight pages in the longer application called for filling in information for four additional family members.  The new form cuts these pages but says that if you have children, "make a copy of Step 2: Person 2 (pages 4 and 5) and complete."  The work required of the applicant remains the same.

Entitlements: What Difference Does it Make?  The RAND study done in the 1970s and reported in the 1980s found that giving people health insurance didn't make a difference to their health; it just increased their consumption of health care.

Bad news just keeps coming for Obamacare.  Obamacare goes fully into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, and the people who imposed it on a reluctant country — President Obama and congressional Democrats — are no longer celebrating their handiwork.  The first prominent Democrat to wring his hands in public was Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., who two weeks ago voiced his fear that implementation of the law was becoming a "train wreck."

The Latest Broken Promises of Obamacare.  In the last few days there has been a litany of information dropped on the continued failings of government health care and the implementation of Obamacare.  Remember, this law was supposed to bring costs down and provide coverage to more Americans, get rid of government waste and do it all without adding anything to the debt.  Well, three years into this law what are we finding out?

5 Ways the Immigration Bill Is Like Obamacare.  Remember President Obama's promise that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it"?  That's just one of the most famous (or infamous) broken promises of Obamacare.  The Congressional Budget Office projects 7 million people will lose their employer-sponsored coverage by 2022 because of the law.

More Money Won't Prevent An ObamaCare Train Wreck.  Sen. Harry Reid joined other Democrats in pleading poverty as an excuse for any ObamaCare launch failures.  That's rich, since the administration has wildly overspent to get this monstrosity off the ground.

Why Obamacare Will Be No More Successful Than Soviet Central Planning.  Markets find ways to make things better and cheaper.  Obamacare often forbids that.

Another Missed Deadline Ahead for Obamacare.  Under President Obama's 2010 health law, the government officials in charge of keeping Medicaid afloat have until Tuesday [4/30/2013] to report whether costs for the fiscally foundering program will exceed expectations.  But they won't have anywhere to send their report.  That's because the Independent Payment Advisory Board — perhaps the most controversial entity created under Obama's law — still doesn't exist.

New Obamacare Challenge: Lawsuit Says IRS Is Flouting the Law As Written by Congress.  Here comes another legal challenge to Obamacare:  On Thursday [5/2/2013], a group of small business owners and individuals in six states sued the federal government over an IRS regulation that they say goes beyond the "plain language" of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In a nutshell, the plaintiffs argue that federal subsidies intended to help lower-income people afford insurance are going to states that should not get them.  The way the Affordable Care Act is written, states that refuse to set up their own health care exchanges are not eligible for the federal premium subsidies.

Botched ObamaCare rollout tops Democratic fears for 2014 election.  Anxious Democrats fear a botched implementation of ObamaCare could dash their hopes of controlling the House and Senate for President Obama's last two years in office.  At his press conference Tuesday [4/30/2013], Obama acknowledged "glitches and bumps" in the law's rollout, but some congressional Democrats fear much worse.  One high-ranking Democrat told The Hill that it is his leading concern.

Obamacare off the rails.  Sen. Max Baucus, who as chairman of the Finance Committee guided Obamacare down the tracks in the U.S. Senate, is changing his tune now that he's about to retreat into Montana to hide in placid retirement.  He sees "a huge train wreck coming down" with the implementation of President Obama's health care takeover.  Now he tells us.

IRS Health Insurance Penalty Will Not Motivate Consumers To Buy Insurance.  A new HealthPocket consumer survey found that most people don't feel a penalty for remaining uninsured will motivate them to buy insurance starting in October.  When survey takers were asked, "Will the $95 IRS penalty motivate you to shop this October for an Obamacare health plan?" nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed answered "No."  Only 8 percent of respondents answered "Yes" and nearly 30 percent were unsure.

Top Democrat: Obamacare 'Huge Train Wreck Coming Down'.  Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) warned he sees "a huge train wreck coming down" with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known to its critics as Obamacare.  The candid comments came during a Wednesday [4/17/2013] hearing with Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  "I'm very concerned that not enough is being done so far — very concerned," said Baucus.  "Small businesses have no idea what to do, what to expect."

Pompeo to Baucus: ObamaCare 'train wreck' is your fault.  Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) was not impressed with Sen. Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) criticism of how the Obama administration has implemented its signature healthcare law.  Baucus said Wednesday [4/17/2013] that he fears the implementation will be a "huge train wreck" because people do not understand what the reform law does.  If it's a train wreck, Pompeo said, Baucus has no one to blame but himself.

10 things for Dems to worry about.  [#2]  Obamacare really is a "train wreck," causing its delay (another downer for the left) or further bolstering opposition to the bill.  This makes reelection that much harder for Democrats who voted for it.

The Wheels Come Off Obamacare.  [Joe] Klein isn't the only advocate of Obamacare to finally notice that this hopelessly Byzantine health care "reform" law is an implementation nightmare.  Even the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) has admitted as much.  But, whereas Klein correctly assigns responsibility to the President, Commissar Sebelius places the blame on evil Republicans:  "It is very difficult when people live in a state where there is a daily declaration, 'We will not participate in the law.'"

A totalitarian says she is surprised by the resistance.
Sebelius: Implementing Obamacare More 'Difficult' Than AnticipatedThe Hill noted that Sebelius, speaking at the Harvard School of Public Health, said Republican governors who have rejected the health exchanges and Medicaid expansion have frustrated the administration's efforts to smoothly roll out the law.  As a result, she said the administration faces "state-by-state political battles" they had not anticipated.

In the Rush To Obamacare California Dems Want To Redefine Who Is A Doctor.  Did you know that the California legislature is looking to erode the quality of everyone's access to healthcare, in their rush to implement Obamacare? [...] Three years after the bill was signed into law, the American public is only now beginning to understand the wide array of unintended consequences that this misguided reform effort will have on our nation's health care industry.

Reflections of a Medical Ex-Practitioner.  A fundamental principle in medicine is that if you get the diagnosis wrong, you'll probably apply the wrong therapy.  A corollary is that if the therapy isn't working, increasing the dose may make things worse.  That's where we are with ObamaCare.  There are shortcomings aplenty in the health-care field, and changes and improvements are required.  But never have I seen so many good intentions leading irreversibly to hell.

Obamacare Incompetence.  The key incentive for small businesses to support Obamacare was that they would be able to shop for the best deals in health care super-stores — called exchanges.  The Administration has had 3 years to set up these exchanges.  It has failed to do so.  This is a really bad sign.

It's time to delay Obamacare.  Opponents of the law should not relish the coming chaos because the damage it will do to our underlying health-care system will be lasting and significant.  And supporters should not underestimate the damage that the coming fiasco will do to their credibility.  This mutual dread at the law's 2014 rollout should point to a mutually appealing response:  Congress should delay the law's implementation by at least a year.

Fun with Obamacare.  The "ObamaCare tax," of course, is what was formerly called a penalty until Chief Justice John Roberts rechristened it a tax.  But whatever one calls it, the bottom line is, the federal government cannot punish anyone, in any way, for refusing to pay it.  It can only deduct the tax from your refund.  If you have one. [...] Indeed, in all my self-employed years, I have never gotten a refund.  And if I do not get a refund, the IRS has no source from which to seize the tax.

ObamaCare in Trouble? Exchange provision delayed, as lawmakers push to repeal another.  Parts of ObamaCare are starting to fray, even before full implementation.  The Obama administration now says a special system of exchanges designed to make it easier for small businesses to provide insurance will be delayed an entire year — to 2015. [...] The exchanges were designed to give workers a range of choices supported by dollars from their employers.  But now they will have only one choice until 2015, which could mean they can't shop for insurance that includes their current providers.

Obamacare is Obama's Iraq War.  Not even the most ardent defenders of Obamacare — aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — claim anymore that the law will lower health coverage costs for Americans.  How, then, will it achieve universal coverage, its central goal?  The short answer is, it won't.

What Obamacare Isn't.  If you would like to know what insurance really is, and why Obamacare (and much private "medical insurance") is not insurance at all, but an economic and humanitarian disaster waiting to happen, you cannot do better than Megan McArdle's delightfully jargon-free article in The Daily Beast.

Repeal Obamacare.  Liberals had hoped, and some conservatives had feared, that the legislative Frankenstein's monster known as Obamacare would become more popular as its sundry measures were implemented.  But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is no more popular now than when it was passed, as Americans have come to realize that it will neither protect patients nor provide for affordable care.

The Obamacare Nightmare.  Mitt Romney could not credibly oppose Obamacare, because he invented it.  If Republicans in 2016 are not enthusiastically selling an alternative, Obamacare will remain the default cure for what ails the U.S. healthcare system, even as it kills the patient.

Sebelius: Some Could See Insurance Premiums Rise.  Some people purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could see premiums rise because of requirements in the health-care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday [3/26/2013].  Ms. Sebelius's remarks come weeks before insurers are expected to begin releasing rates for plans that start on Jan. 1, 2014, when key provisions of the health law kick in.

The culture war is all Obama has left.  Obama's signature domestic accomplishment, Obamacare, remains highly unpopular.  Health care premiums are rising, as its opponents predicted, and numerous newspaper stories are now highlighting how the law is either discouraging new hiring altogether or forcing more Americans into part-time work involuntarily.  The key component of the law, the state-based insurance exchanges, are supposed to be up and running in just over seven months, and no one believes they will be functioning properly.

Harvest of uncertainty over Obamacare.  There are an estimated 600,000 crop workers and roughly 20,000 livestock workers in California at a given time.  For every job in farming, the industry creates two to three nonfarming jobs.  It's an industry that should thrive in California, where the climate is kind.  Yet, Obamacare adds more burdens on farmers, who already contend with onerous state and federal requirements that hamper production and harvesting.

Obamacare is Crumbling.  Obamacare is falling apart before our eyes.  The long-term care insurance program known as the CLASS ACT was deemed financially unworkable and shut down by the administration's own actuaries.  Taxpayer-funded health care cooperatives never got off the ground and were shut down in the fiscal cliff deal.  Last month the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan stopped accepting enrollment applications.

Unqualified medical providers cropping up under Obamacare.  Remember when we were told that there was no way that Obamacare would result in driving up costs of healthcare, and in fact would lower it?  Well, that ship has already sailed.  But there was another popular "myth" which many of us were accused of falling for.  It was the prediction that government meddling in cost setting would drive health care professionals out of business resulting in less available services and a subsequent decline in quality of care. [...] Unfortunately, the early projections show that precisely such a result is already kicking into gear.

Illinois' Obamacare Troubles.  Illinois wants to be the engine that pulls states toward the Affordable Care Act, yet a metaphorical "train wreck" is just around the bend. [...] Saving money in Illinois' Medicaid system has been an exercise in lowered expectations.  State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said Illinois hoped for more than $500 million in savings by simply trimming the Medicaid rolls.  That didn't happen.

Feds begin lowering expectations on Obamacare.  A month before the final passage of his health care law, President Obama convened a summit the Blair House.  During the staged event, which was aimed at resurrecting the bill, he touted the legislation's insurance exchanges.  Obama said, "[I]f you join one of these exchanges, you will have choice and you'll have competition.  You will have a menu of private insurance options that you'll be able to purchase ... " [...] Three years later, and just months before the exchanges are set to be operational, the Obama administration is starting to lower expectations.  Dramatically.

Three Years Too Late, Finally Some Honesty on Obamacare.  Now that the bill is safely passed and its namesake has been reelected, the [New York] Times small business section has come to a shocking realization:  Obamacare is going to very seriously, and very negatively, impact small businesses.  In two separate stories on their homepage the picture is clear:  business owners are facing tough decisions regarding their compliance and most of the possible scenarios will end up hurting the employees that the healthcare law was supposed to be protecting.

The Doctor Won't See You Now. He's Clocked Out.  Big government likes big providers.  That's why ObamaCare is gradually making the local doctor-owned medical practice a relic.  In the not too distant future, most physicians will be hourly wage earners, likely employed by a hospital chain.  Why?  Because when doctors practice in small offices, it is hard for Washington to regulate what they do.  There are too many of them, and the government is too remote.  It is far easier for federal agencies to regulate physicians if they work for big hospitals.  So ObamaCare shifts money to favor the delivery of outpatient care through hospital-owned networks.

Obamacare: First You Pass It, Then You Learn What It Does.  We're shocked, shocked to hear that there may be yet another way Obamacare is costing more than originally advertised.  One of the key features of the Affordable Care Act was the creation of a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan to help those with pre-existing conditions get and keep coverage.  According to MedPage Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently stopped enrolling people in the plan.  Even though far fewer people have signed up than expected and $5 billion had been budgeted for it, the program is already running into financial problems.

10 Things That Are Simpler Than Applying For Obamacare.  The draft application for health insurance under Obamacare is out, and it's long — 21 pages, to be exact.  That's close to ten times longer than an individual tax return, and significantly longer than an application for citizenship or a federal housing loan.  It's even longer than an application to establish a bank.

Few insurance plans cover all services mandated by new health-care law.  Only 2 percent of health plans available to consumers in the private insurance market offer all the coverage that will become mandatory next year under the federal health care law, a new analysis has found.  That means consumers and the federal government might end up paying the cost of the new requirements through higher premiums.

ObamaCare Kicks Wives Off Husbands' Health Plans.  An unintended consequence of the abomination that is called ObamaCare is the dropping of wives from husbands' employer-provided health care insurance.  It's a de facto war on women.

ObamaCare-supporting Congressman suddenly not so sure you can keep your insurance after all.  Are you as shocked as Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)?  Somehow, I rather doubt it, and I don't think Jason Mattera is as surprised as the front-page pic suggests, either.  Confronted with the new CBO analysis that shows more than seven million Americans will lose their present health-insurance coverage from ObamaCare despite his repeated assertions that no one would lose their coverage, Rep. Engel tells Jason in this Andrea Tantaros Show video debuting exclusively at Hot Air that Congress can always go back and fix what's not working.

Will Only Suckers Buy ObamaCare Insurance?  For years, ObamaCare critics focused on its least popular feature — the mandate that everyone buy insurance — taking their fight all the way to the Supreme Court.  But as ObamaCare's official launch date approaches, even its backers are beginning to admit that the law could actually create powerful incentives for millions of people and thousands of businesses to drop their coverage, despite the mandate.

Senate Democrats: Obamacare a 'Regulatory Health Coverage No Man's Land'.  At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on February 14th, The White House's top Obamacare regulator found himself dodging bullets from an unexpected source:  the very Democrats who passed President Obama's signature healthcare law.

ObamaCare's False Starts [are] A Blessing.  The feds missed their own deadline late last year for issuing all the rules for states on how their insurance exchanges are to operate.  They haven't yet finished the "data hub" states will need to determine eligibility for benefits.  And the federal government is now scrambling to put together dozens of exchanges in the 25 states that unexpectedly refused to set them up on their own.

With Election Over, Obama Announces Medicare Cuts to Fund ObamaCare.  During the 2012 election campaign, Democrats denied that ObamaCare made $716 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to provide funding toward $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years.  In an announcement on Friday [2/15/2013], however, the Obama administration revealed that it would be significantly reducing funding for Medicare, a move that one health insurance analyst said "would turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable."

Obamacare's Health Exchanges Are Customer Free Zones.  Last month, the CEO of the nation's largest health insurance company warned that he and his peers may balk at participating in Obamacare's insurance exchanges — online, government-run portals where consumers and small businesses without conventional employer-sponsored coverage may shop for policies starting next year.

ObamaCare's 'Baby Elephant' .  HHS will manage the exchanges in 32 states starting in October but has released only 19 pages of regulatory guidance.  ObamaCare is so convoluted, and HHS so incompetent, that the entitlement may explode on the launchpad.

Good News: Delay Of ObamaCare's Launch More Likely.  Now that ObamaCare appears unstoppable, the question is can it be delayed?  Thanks to bureaucratic bumbling combined with the law's massive complexity, delay appears to be increasingly inevitable.

ObamaCare is going to cost us 127 million+ hours a year.  Just a little midweek, midday roundup of a few of the most recent ways in which the Affordable Care Act is just not going according to plan.  "Unexpectedly," of course.  The House Ways and Means, Education and Workforce, and Energy and Commerce Committees have teamed up on a new report called the "ObamaCare Burden Tracker," meant to function as "a real-time online resource to help the public keep track of all of the new government mandates, rules, and red tape as a result of ObamaCare."

Seven million will lose insurance under Obama health law.  President Obama's health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday [2/5/2013].  CBO said that this year's tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so.  Instead, they'll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

CBO: Obamacare Will Force 7 Million Off Private Insurance.  In 2009, President Barack Obama promised Americans that Obamacare would not threaten citizens' individual healthcare plans.  "No matter what you've heard, if you like your doctor or healthcare plan you can keep it," said Obama in 2009.  "And everyone will have the stability and security that's missing today."

Obamacare Alchemy.  The Obama administration has found the policy equivalent of alchemy.  Employees of religious organizations will receive contraception coverage.  And neither the individuals nor the groups will have to pay for it.  It's magic.

Obamacare's Insurance Exchanges Are Already Turning Into A Disaster.  Devoted users of Internet radio apps like Pandora may soon hear unexpected sound bites on their favorite music channels — ads touting ObamaCare.  That's right.  In an attempt to drum up support for the law's health insurance exchanges, some states are planning advertising campaigns that could include everything from pro-ObamaCare coffee-cup sleeves to spots on popular music-streaming sites.

Higher health care premiums could cause Obamacare to death spiral.  The health care law aims to prevent insurers from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions, to make sure that policies cover a specified package of benefits, and to limit how much extra money insurers can charge older and sicker patients.  All of these provisions increase costs and decrease insurance industry profits.  But through the mandate forcing individuals to purchase insurance, the law hopes to push enough younger and healthier Americans into the insurance pool to offset theses [sic] cost increases.  This is where the problem with rising premiums comes in.

Can ObamaCare Be Stopped?  The Democratic Party forced ObamaCare on the American people, and we will struggle mightily in the coming years to deal with it.  There will be pain for everyone, except for members of Congress and government employees.  The ACA was passed on the promise that it would reduce health care costs and make health care available to more Americans.  ObamaCare will have the exact opposite effect.

ObamaCare Will Bring Bureaucracy, Endless Rules And Coercion, But Improve Nothing.  My friend pays $15,000 a year for health insurance.  In northern New Hampshire, that [...] will get an appointment with a nurse-practitioner in six months' time.  Why is it taking so long?  Well, because everything in America now takes long, and longer still.  But beyond that malign trend are more specific innovations, such as the "Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology," which slipped through all but unnoticed in Subtitle A Part One Section 3001 of the 2009 Obama Stimulus bill.

California's Blue Shield Seeks Up To 20% Rate Hikes.  ObamaCare was supposed to stop this sort of thing, wasn't it?  That's how Pelosi, Obama et al sold the law, but its plain effect has been to hike taxes and rates.

Obamacare Health Exchanges Won't Work.  There is a debate right now about whether to establish a state run health care exchange, or let the federal government administer the exchange.  It's a poor Solomon's choice.  Neither will work.

Post-election surprise: A slew of bad news.  So far, the health-care rules are brilliant.  Insurers are required to spend most of their income on health care, can't take massive profits.  If they don't, they have to refund their customers the difference.

Obamacare helps big hospitals, kills small practices, drives up costs.  When government gets bigger, big business typically benefits at the expense of smaller competitors, consumers, and taxpayers.  Obamacare is demonstrating this rule.  Bloomberg reports today on how Medicare payment rules have led to hospital consolidation, with small practices selling out to big hospitals.

This Is Your Life under Obamacare.  Have you sat in a doctor's office recently?  Doctors take in patients per hour at an alarming rate, just to pay their own bills.  I can hear their muffled voices in the mini-offices nearby.  I don't imagine he spends more than five minutes — and that's long — with each patient.  Doctors run through patients like cattle at branding time.  If you don't believe this will happen under Obamacare, you're naïve.

Annals of Government Medicine.  With President Obama's re-election, it is generally assumed that Obamacare is here to stay.  Which means that pretty soon, your health care will be run incompetently, like the postal service, and with an agenda, like the EPA and the Department of Energy.  Where does that lead?  Britain's National Health Service has shown the way.

Obamacare's Killing Jobs, Says a Guy Who Voted for it Twice.  Partially due to his votes on this issue, [Democratic Senator Evan] Bayh chose not to face voters in 2010.  He cashed out and joined a law firm that represents an industry that's going to be decimated by one of the many taxes and accounting gimmicks that Democrats — himself included — used to manipulate and hide the true cost of their partisan bill.

Obamacare Fines Start For Hospitals That Readmit Sick Patients.  Hospitals who re-admit patients within 30 days after they were discharged will now have to, under an Obamacare provision, pay fines as of October 1, 2012, which could force hospitals to slash programs that help the elderly, the poor, and the chronically ill.  According to a study, "about two-thirds of the hospitals serving Medicare patients, or some 2,200 facilities, will be hit with penalties averaging around $125,000 per facility this coming year."

The Flaws That Will Bring Down Obama's Health-Care Plan.  The debate over President Barack Obama's health-care law has taken another twist.  Now conservatives and libertarians are defending it, while the administration tries to toss part of the legislation out.  The reason for this role reversal is that the drafters of the law outsmarted themselves and handed their opponents a weapon.  Now they would like to pretend the law doesn't say what it does.

60% of firms to kill health insurance or charge more under Obamacare.  A majority of small business owners and manufacturers are mulling drastic changes to comply with Obamacare, with 21 percent set to drop health insurance to workers altogether and 38 percent planning to make employees pay much more.  In a poll done for the National Association of Manufacturers and National Federation of Independent Businesses, 59 percent said that they will have to consider changes once the full law kicks in because increased costs will jeopardize their operations.  According to the poll, 67 percent expect Obamacare to raise healthcare costs.

More than 2,200 hospitals face penalties under ObamaCare rules.  A provision of ObamaCare is set to punish roughly two-thirds of U.S. hospitals evaluated by Medicare starting this fall over high readmission rates, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News.  Starting in October, Medicare will reduce reimbursements to hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates — which refers to patients who return within a month — by as much as 1 percent.  The maximum penalty increases to 2 percent the following year and 3 percent in 2014.

Obamacare's Uneforceable Linchpin.  [Scroll down]  The day before the vote, however, the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony that highlighted another, more promising way to override the health care law:  Americans can refuse to comply with its command that they obtain government-approved medical coverage, which the Supreme Court has deemed a mere suggestion even though it is essential to the legislation's goals.  Furthermore, if Obamacare objectors take a simple precaution, they can opt out without paying the prescribed penalty.

The Doctor-Patient-Government Relationship.  With respect to medical care, far too many Americans make assumptions that have no basis in reality.  Two of the most pernicious ones will be greatly exacerbated now that the Affordable Care Act has been ruled constitutional.  The first assumption is the idea that having health insurance is the equivalent of having healthcare itself.  The second assumption is the idea that doctors will be beholden to the interests of individual patients above all else.  Both assumptions are wrong.

Obamacare's Empty Mandates.  Turns out, the government has no way to enforce the individual mandate — the tax that scofflaws have to pay for failing to get health insurance coverage.  That's right.  There is no penalty in the law for refusing to pay the tax.  So that unlike paying income taxes, if you don't get coverage, the IRS cannot seize your bank accounts or dock your wages.  They can't even charge you interest on unpaid penalties!  So how is the IRS going to enforce it?

This is your life under ObamaCare.  Doctors will weather the storm of ObamaCare even if we have to see a patient every five minutes and spend most of our time seeking test and treatment approvals, but what about you?  How will you feel when you hear about a brand new cure only to find out that your insurance won't cover it?

Obamacare is no care.  [Scroll down]  Most alarming are the testimonials of businesses who are witnessing Obamacare's effects firsthand.  One owner of 12 IHOP restaurants recently said that he cannot expand his business because he cannot afford the burden of Obamacare.  He simply can't afford to pay a $2,000 penalty for every part-time waitress, so rather than risk paying all of these new fees, this owner has instead canceled his plans to grow and expand his business.

Why Obamacare won't work: Reason #4,566.  The crisis in health care is manageable — without the radical, extreme measures passed in the Affordable Care Act.  USA Today reports that just 5% of patients account for 50% of health care spending.  And just 1% account for 22% of the spending.

More than half health care deadlines missed by Obama administration.  The Obama administration has failed to meet more than half of the new health care law's deadlines, from submitting plans for new, value-based Medicare purchasing programs to publishing criteria for determining the medically underserved.  A report requested by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, indicates that the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies missed 18 of 30 deadlines since the Affordable Care Act was passed in March 2010.

Obamacare is Self Destructing.  The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, a new entitlement for long-term care that was long a dream of Ted Kennedy, was officially nixed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week.  "Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time," she wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders. ... After 19 months of trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat, Sebelius had to admit what critics had been saying all along — it was unsustainable.

Despite ObamaCare, Costs Continue To Soar.  As soon as the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual report on insurance premiums was released, ObamaCare defenders dismissed its most troubling finding:  Insurance premiums for family coverage shot up an average $1,482 this year.  Nothing to worry about, they said, it's just a response to higher health costs and bad forecasts.  But wait a minute!  Didn't Obama promise his signature health reform plan would lower insurance premiums?

What We Don't Know About Health Insurance.  Advocates for universal health coverage frequently claim that they're out to improve health and save lives.  Just one problem:  Despite the trillions of dollars we've spent on public health insurance programs, there's very little strong evidence to suggest that subsidized health insurance actually improves health.  Indeed, the push for universal coverage may be preventing other, more effective health measures.

All Entitlements Are Not Created Equal.  Now comes the newest entitlement — the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 (PPAHCA).  Per its name, PPAHCA promises three entitlements:  1) protection and high quality; 2) access to health care; and 3) care that is affordable.  ... PPAHCA does not protect patients:  it increases medical errors and constrains learning.  PPAHCA spends a trillion or more dollars we don't have.  No sane person would call that "affordable."  PPAHCA provides no care at all.  Indeed, it reduces care.

Let's Not Forget About Obamacare.  Democrats will often get irritable when some clingy philistine refers to Obamacare as "socialized medicine."  It's simply not a precise phrase for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  In any event, it's not socialized yet, you ignoramuses!  Progress doesn't happen overnight.  No worries, though, recent signs portend that Obamacare will give us the state-run plan we proles deserve.  A new study published in McKinsey Quarterly claims that in 2014, the provisions of Obamacare will induce 3 in 10 employers to "definitely or probably" stop offering health coverage to their employees.  And we can only assume the companies have had the good sense not to read the legislation.

Opting out of Obamacare.  Even as yet another federal court ponders the constitutionality of Obamacare, the bad news about its impact just keeps on coming.  This week a report by the respected McKinsey & Co. found that at least 30 percent of employers are likely to stop offering their workers health insurance as a routine benefit once the federal law kicks in.

Government Death Panels Won't Kill You — Unless You're Sick And Weak.  ObamaCare supporters fervently believe that science will prevail in systems that are controlled by politicians.  It is usually the unstated assumption behind their arguments defending the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  They seem to believe it so blindly that they can't see evidence to the contrary even when it is right in front of their noses.

WHO Study Used to Justify ObamaCare was a Scientific Fraud.  Findings were skewed to show better performance from countries with socialized health care systems.

Top 10 Failures of ObamaCare After One Year.  President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010.  In just the year since, the law known as ObamaCare has already severely crippled the nation's economy and health care system.  Despite Obama's continued pride in his signature health care legislation, a new CNN poll shows that 58% of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling health care.

What is the worst thing about Obamacare?  It's almost impossible to say there is one worst thing — the list is just too long, from half a trillion in cuts to Medicare, half a trillion in new taxes, and mandates on individuals, employers, and the medical profession to follow Washington's rules.  Obamacare puts one-sixth of our economy under government control, and yet there's absolutely no evidence that the government will be able to manage this $2.5 trillion industry.

Runaway Trains of Bureaucracy.  ObamaCare will spawn hundreds of new bureaucracies, and every one of them will begin chugging down the tracks, picking up steam and finding new challenges that require broader powers and increased funding.  Each one will produce a billowing cloud of paperwork to justify its existence, and acquire Congressional engineers who believe its acceleration is a moral imperative.  Demanding restraint from any bureaucracy is considered an act of heartless cruelty to its intended beneficiaries.

Children Face Reduced Access to Coverage Under Obamacare.  While the Senate failed last week to pass a full repeal of Obamacare, the negative effects of the health care overhaul continue to build the case for scrapping it and starting over.  Americans were told that Obamacare would open the door to medical coverage for all children.  Those with preexisting conditions would become newly protected by a requirement that health insurance companies "guarantee issue" to all children 19 years old and under.  No child would be denied coverage.  But being able to get child-only coverage depends on the existence of child-only policies.  And under Obamacare, this is anything but certain.

Merry Christmas from ObamaCare.  ObamaCare is the gift that just keeps giving... whether you want it or not.  I just received a letter from my health insurance company informing me that they were "updating my plan to include additional coverage."  As a business owner, I directly pay for my own insurance, and last year I saw my rates rise significantly in anticipation of the new health care law.

Wasn't Obamacare Supposed to Stop Insurance Rate Hikes?  Kathleen Sebelius and the DNC would have you believe that Obamacare prevents rate hikes by cracking down on those demonic, profit-hungry insurance companies, and that repealing the law would allow insurers to once again run amok.  So, then, how to explain the news this month that Blue Shield of California was "seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers" this year?  Wasn't PPACA supposed to stop these supposedly abusive practices?

Who Decides?  The major difficulties of Obamacare are two.  Who decides how the healthcare industry should be architected or reformed?  Second, who's going to pay for it?  One thing appears to be true.  A Federal Government that can't pay the piper is in a poor position to call the tune.  To paraphrase Klein's Newsweek quote, "The majority of Americans are opposed to President Obama's health-care reform plan — until they learn the details — and then they become even more opposed when they realize the promised details cannot be afforded."  These are problems that won't go away, even if the decision is reversed by another judge.

The Littlest Victims of Obamacare.  It's time for America's youth to buckle up and take a rough ride on Reality Highway.  For the past two years, President Obama has promised our children the moon, stars, rainbows, unicorns and universal health care for all.  But the White House Santa's cradle-to-grave entitlement mandates are a spectacularly predictable bust.

Yes We Can Repeal.  The trouble with ObamaCare is that it cannot deal in the middle class.  The middle class already has health insurance.  Just like HillaryCare, the fundamental fact about ObamaCare is that the middle class is going to get stuck with the bill for the 30 million without health insurance.  If you don't understand that, I've got a bridge to sell you.  Leaving aside peace and justice and compassion and caring, the fact on the ground is that the 30 million don't need health insurance because they don't have any assets.  You can't lose your home to medical bills if you don't own a home.

The Progressive Mouse Trap.  Here is the essence of the "progressive" mousetrap in a nutshell.  The President and his party seized a vast amount of un-Constitutional power over the private sector with the health-care bill.  The bill is an absolute disaster, destroying jobs and driving up insurance costs, as the astonished members of the AARP just learned.  Its cost projections have already been revealed as transparent frauds, pushing us closer to discovering what happens when the dying red star of our federal deficit collapses into a black hole ... but all of that doesn't matter, according to the President, as long as half the population isn't clamoring for its repeal yet.

The Obamacare Disaster.  Earlier this year, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."  The act's supporters said it would achieve the long-sought goal of universal health insurance while preserving the high quality and freedom of choice that are the hallmarks of America's health care system.  Peter Ferrara says the act's supporters are wrong.  "Obamacare," he writes in the conclusion to this Heartland Policy Study, "is a disaster.  Rather than liberate the American health care system from bureaucracy and waste, it blankets it with more of both, suffocating innovation and destroying freedom.  The result is a system that is inconsistent with the freedom, prosperity, high living standards, and traditions of the American people."

The Unraveling Of ObamaCare.  We were told everybody had to be unconstitutionally forced to buy health insurance or the plan wouldn't work.  We were told health care costs would be lower, rates wouldn't rise and that if we liked our coverage we could keep it.  We were lied to.  The plan still doesn't work.  What we're seeing is ObamaCare revealed as the fraud that it is.  The waivers granted leave us with an "Animal Farm" version of health care in which everyone is equal, but the politically favored in an election year are more equal than others.

You Can't Keep the Plan You Have.  President Obama clearly hasn't visited a real doctor's office recently.  If he sat on my office couch, he would immediately discover that real patients are terribly worried about how dysfunctional and expensive all health insurance, public and private, is becoming under the new law of the land.  Of course, the problem of spiraling health-care costs and inadequate access to essential services was already happening before, but Obamacare is making it far worse.

Thanks, Mr. President.  Well, it's official:  President Obama has destroyed my health plan and those of two dozen of my employees.  Several media outlets are reporting this morning that Principal Financial, which sells health plans to the John Locke Foundation and nearly a million Americans, will exit the health-insurance marketplace.  The company is responding to the new costs and incentives created by Obamacare...

ObamaCare:  Will Someone Please Kill It Before It Kills Us?  A boondoggle is a "work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having or adding value."  That is a perfect description of HR 3590, disingenuously titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act and colloquially known as ObamaCare.  The Act cannot do what its title promises. In fact, it achieves exactly the opposite what the president said it would do.

Kids 0, Insurance 0.  This week Democrats threw a six-month birthday party for ObamaCare — and the timing was only appropriate since it occurred at the same moment their reform annihilated a corner of the U.S. insurance market.

Hospitals vs. ObamaCare:  Care to Guess Who's in the Middle?  For those who knew at the outset that ObamaCare was a deliberate means to curtail American health care, drive costs up, and destroy the best health care system in the world, the headline in the Modern Healthcare supplement of August 9, 2010 will come as no surprise.

Media Nearly Silent as ObamaCare Proponents Drop Deficit, Cost Savings Claims.  It has now been five days since Politico's Ben Smith published a powerpoint presentation created by an amalgamation of powerful left wing interest groups, conceding that two of the central arguments for passing ObamaCare — that it will lower the deficit and will reduce health care costs — have failed.

ObamaCare:  Dream Turned Nightmare  Key provisions of the president's health care reform are about to take effect.  Don't expect any of it to be pretty. ... Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Barrasso of Wyoming are the only two members of the U.S. Senate with M.D.s, and their prognosis in the report, titled "Bad Medicin:  a Check-up on the New Federal Health Law," is far from good.

Creating A Crisis.  The White House unveiled Tuesday [6/22/2010] its patients' bill of rights.  It is grossly misnamed.  Though some of its provisions might help a few sick Americans, conditions will be far worse for most.

Massachusetts Meltdown A Model For ObamaCare.  During the health care debate, President Obama claimed his proposal was similar to RomneyCare, passed in 2006 in Massachusetts under then GOP Gov. Mitt Romney.  Unfortunately, RomneyCare portends a bleak future for the U.S. under ObamaCare.  Little by little, the system is falling apart in Massachusetts under the weight of ever-increasing costs.

Economic Myths, Fallacies and Stupidity.  Having one desire fulfilled means having another unfulfilled.  For example, there's no solution to our health care issues.  Congress' health care law simply substitutes its judgment on the delivery of medical services in the name of helping the uninsured.  The tradeoff is that Americans have less of something else such as fewer personal choices, less after-tax income and very likely a lower quality of medical services.

Goodbye, Employer-Sponsored Insurance.  Companies are discovering that it's cheaper to pay fines to the government than to cover workers.

Health reform threatens to cram already overwhelmed emergency rooms.  A chief aim of the new healthcare law was to take the pressure off emergency rooms by mandating that people either have insurance coverage.  The idea was that if people have insurance, they will go to a doctor rather than putting off care until they faced an emergency.  People who build hospitals, however, say newly insured people will still go to emergency rooms for primary care because they don't have a doctor.

Obamacare's Danger Signs.  Not one of its major programs has gotten started, and already the wheels are starting to come off of Obamacare.  The administration's own actuary reported on Thursday [4/22/2010] that millions of people could lose their health insurance, that health-care costs will rise faster than they would have if the law hadn't passed, and that the overhaul will mean that people will have a harder and harder time finding physicians to see them.

Obama's Failing Presidency.  So we come to ObamaCare, the program that, so we're told, will see him carried about in a solid gold sedan chair for the rest of his life by an eternally grateful populace.  The sneak appointment of David Berwick to run the thing makes transparent a fact that was brought up continually and just as continually dismissed during the health-care debate:  that Obama wants a duplicate of the UK National Health Service, the sole British feature that he admires.  And that's an interesting development.  Because, according to studies by British health-care specialists, the NHS kills up to 95,000 patients a year through incompetence, mistakes, and accidents.  This number is ten times the international per capita average.  It is the highest in Europe, and twice that of the U.S., with six times the population.

Capping Insurance Rates:  Engineered Chaos.  President Obama's new proposal to cap insurance premiums should be viewed with suspicion.  Governmental price controls never work.  In the seventies during the oil crisis, Nixon and Carter spearheaded substantial wage and price controls aimed at hedging the U.S. economy against rampant consumer price inflation and mass layoffs.  What happened?  Domestic oil companies simply stopped producing oil to shield profits from the price caps.  This reduced available supply as consumption continued to increase, causing a spike in prices.

Alice in Health Care.  Most discussions of health care are like something out of Alice in Wonderland.  What is the biggest complaint about the current medical care situation?  "It costs too much."  Yet one looks in vain for anything in the pending legislation that will lower those costs.  One of the biggest reasons for higher medical costs is that somebody else is paying those costs, whether an insurance company or the government.  What is the politicians' answer?  To have more costs paid by insurance companies and the government.

Brits' Dirty Laundry:  American health care is not British health care, at least not yet.  But if Democrats get their way, this country will rush to adopt a system much like the one that is killing people in Great Britain.

Systemic Failure.  A government that takes over 16% of our economy promising to bring us good health at a reasonable cost is an instrument doomed to failure and at a catastrophic cost.

Big Brother, can you spare a dime?  [Scroll down slowly]  No, it was scary then for the same reason it is scary now... Not because it is "health care" but because it is "nationalized."  [M. Stanton] Evans demonstrated in his 1976 lecture that government spending on social problems does not make them go away; it just institutionalizes them.  In fact, it ensures that the problems will never go away because the problems become a magnet for federal dollars, and thus there is an incentive for the problems to grow rather than shrink.

The Health Bill Is Scary.  I recently suggested that seniors will die sooner if Congress actually implements the Medicare cuts in the health-care bill put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  My colleagues who defend the bill — none of whom have practiced medicine — predictably dismissed my concern as a scare tactic.

Pelosi Health Care:  Drill, Baby, Drill.  The way I see it, the Democrat health care plan is like a dentist hustling to pick up some extra bucks.  Dr. Pelosi tells you to open wide and she, with her fingers and sharp instruments in your mouth, tells you about your "old filling" problem and says that you must have a lot of work done.  In fact, Dr. Pelosi's plan does not aim at just your old fillings, but at drilling every tooth in your mouth.

What the Failure of the "Massachusetts Model" Tells Us about Health Care Reform:  When Massachusetts passed its pioneering health care reforms in 2006, critics warned that they would result in a slow but steady spiral downward toward a government-run health care system.  Three years later, those predictions appear to be coming true.

Government-Run Health Care:  A Prescription For Failure.  A 69-part series, so far.

There's No Free Health Care.  Obama may be unaware, but there are three programs — in Maine, Massachusetts, and Tennessee — currently testing his idea of get-more-pay-less.  The evidence is already in:  Expanded health care coverage costs more, an awful lot more.  There are no known exceptions.

And You Thought This Was All About Health Care...  The all-consuming debate over health care has effectively sucked all of the oxygen out of the policy world leaving little room for discussion, let alone action on other major elements of the progressive agenda — or so it would seem.  The mammoth bills winding their way through Congress will certainly upend our health care sector, if they are enacted.  Little known, however, are several provisions that will provide an enormous pay-off to one of the Democrat parties most loyal constituency — Big Labor.

Clunker Health Care?  The Obama folks plan to end their Cash for Clunkers program Monday — and good thing, since it was rap idly falling into chaos.  By contrast, if Congress passes President Obama's plan for health-care reform, Americans may be stuck with it forever.  No matter how much of a "clunker" it turns out to be.  And, indeed, judging by the car-subsidy program, ObamaCare may well be just that — if not worse.

Why Obama's Health Plan Gets It Wrong.  President Barack Obama says insurance companies make you pay too much for health care.  He wants the government to "limit how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses."  Sounds great — just make the insurance companies pay more, and then health care will become affordable.  After all, that's what insurance is for, right?  No.  When insurance companies pay the tab for everything — down to flu shots and sprained ankles — it makes health care more expensive for everyone.

The Slippery Slope of Health-Care Reform.  Those seemingly modest changes urged by the White House ... would necessitate a series of additional changes, each building upon the others so as ultimately to produce reform every bit as "robust" — and every bit as lethal — as the $2-trillion government takeover now being so loudly denounced in town halls throughout the nation.

Top 10 Reasons Obamacare Is Wrong for America:  [#1] Millions Will Lose Their Current Insurance:  President Obama wants Americans to believe they can keep their insurance if they like.  Proposed economic incentives, plus a government-run health plan would cause 88.1 million people to see their current employer-sponsored health plan disappear.  [#2] Your Health Care Coverage Will Probably Change Anyway:  Even if you keep your private insurance, eventually most remaining plans will have to conform to new federal benefit standards.

Impossible Promises.  Obama says his health care plan will cut costs and increase patient choice.  It won't.

Obama's Health Care Will Make It Worse.  One of the bewildering ironies of the health care debate is that President Obama claims to be attacking the status quo when he's actually embracing it.  Ever since Congress created Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, health politics has followed a simple logic:  Expand benefits and talk about controlling costs.  That's the status quo, and Obama faithfully adheres to it.  While denouncing skyrocketing health spending, he would increase it by extending government health insurance to millions more Americans.

Obama 'Impervious to Empirical Evidence'.  For months we were told that Obama's health care reform would save money.  Facts?  None.  Experience (on everything from Medicare to farm subsidies to the Post Office) and common sense tell us that if the government sets up a program and then chases the private sector out of business, it will cost more (e.g. for medical care, food or mail service) than it did before — and much more over time than was promised.

President Obama, Hawaii, and Dodgy Certificates.  On the island of Maui, there is only one acute-care hospital, the state-run Maui Memorial Medical Center.  For years, residents of Maui have complained that the hospital does not meet their needs — too few beds, not enough specialists, and long waits in the emergency room.  State bureaucrats finally cleared the way earlier this year for a small private hospital to be built, but only after scuttling plans to build a larger, more accommodating private hospital.  A larger hospital, they said, would have an adverse impact on "the existing health-care system."  In other words, it would compete too effectively with what is now a state-run monopoly.

10 Questions for Supporters of 'ObamaCare'.  The whole point of insurance is that the healthy buy it and thereby provide the funds to pay for the sick.  Demanding that insurance companies provide insurance to everyone at any time spells the end of the concept of insurance.  And if the answer is that the government will now make it illegal not to buy insurance, how will that be enforced?  How will the government check on 300 million people?

We Aren't Doctors, But We Know What's Best For You.  Democratic leaders say they are planning an August "offensive" but the reality is their government takeover of health care will increase the cost of Americans' health care, kill jobs, force millions of Americans to lose their current coverage, add hundreds of billions to the deficit, and let government bureaucrats make decisions that should be made by doctors and patients.  That is why more and more Americans are rejecting the Democrats' approach.

The Dangers of Fannie Mae Health Care.  There is no reason to expect a Medicare-like public plan to match the administrative efficiency of Aetna, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and WellPoint.  Medicare doesn't even try.  It outsources most administrative services to the private sector.  Turning to public plans like Medicare and Medicaid for more efficient administration is a fool's errand.

Government Health Care Won't Fly.  Let's look at the airline industry hypothetically as it would operate if the government had as much control over it as it does over health care.  To see how complex Medicare is we can turn to over 130,000 pages of regulations and penalties and contrast that with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations numbering about 1,000 pages.

'Shock the Monkey' Healthcare.  [Scroll down slowly] To carry this analogy further, observe the neolib obsession with government-run healthcare.  On the surface, it makes no sense that people would consciously desire poorer service at a higher price, but that will be precisely the outcome.  With the exception of national defense (which is powered by patriotism rather than the economic bottom line), government cannot do anything better or cheaper than private enterprise in a capitalist system.  Neolibs, however, will continue to pull that lever in the hopes that this time, despite all evidence to the contrary, government will be the solution to our problems.

The Editor says...
Wait a minute.  National defense isn't just "powered by patriotism."  National defense is authorized and mandated by the Constitution — medical insurance and medical care are not.

Obamaceuticals.  A reimbursement system that gives broader access to mediocre care as opposed to excellent care is not healthcare reform.

Democrats' Plan to Cost 23 Million Americans Their Private Insurance, CBO Says.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that a government overhaul of America's health care system would cost at least $1 trillion and would mean the loss of private coverage for an estimated 23 million Americans, according to a preliminary analysis issued Tuesday [6/16/2009].

How Obamacare Will Change Your Life:  Much of what you have long taken for granted about health care and the way it should be delivered is about to change in ways that you definitely will not like. ... Public opinion surveys have consistently shown that most Americans consider access and cost to be the most important problems facing the system.  Perversely, the primary changes Obamacare will bring to you and your family will be reduced access to care and significant increases in its cost.

Congress' Unhealthy Care Plan.  The CBO says a government-run health care system would cause 23 million Americans to lose private coverage, cost $1 trillion dollars and still leave 30 million uninsured.

Obama's Government Health Plan Will Look Like Public Schools.  In a seductive overture to private health plan stalwarts, Obama says the government health care system will not be a mandatory substitute for private health care preferences, only an option.  Of course those who remain in a private system will face double jeopardy — covering their own private medical costs while suffering higher federal taxes to pay for somebody else's — in the same manner that private school parents, opting out of horrible local public schools for far better independent alternatives, must pay private school tuition while still shouldering ever escalating property and state income taxes to educate those poor wretches who cannot escape the government's incompetence.

The smothering embrace of nanny government.  [Scroll down]  Let's say you carelessly drop Ted Kennedy's health care plan on your foot, and it breaks your toe.  In the old days, you'd go to your doctor (or, indeed, believe it or not, have him come to you), he'd patch you up, and you'd write him a check.  That's the way it was in most of the developed world within living memory.  Now, under the guise of "insurance," various third parties intercede between the doctor and your checkbook, and to this the government proposes adding a massive federal bureaucracy, in the interests of "controlling costs."

The Myth of Low Cost Obama Care.  Our new President has set aside more than $600 billion dollars as a "down payment" toward remaking the US health care system.  As liberals search for a model upon which to base our new socialized system they look toward other countries whose populations and demographic realities are very different from ours.  It is very feasible to build upon the excellent, though admittedly flawed system we currently have by adopting changes that would reduce government mandated oppressive regulations passed on from Medicare to private insurance providers.

Government care is an oxymoron.  The surgery that Drs. Kennedy, Waxman, Miller, Rangel and Chief of Government-Run Medicine Barack Obama propose has been done in socialist countries all over the world.  Here, though, it's considered experimental. ... If the desired results are freedom of choice, timely access to care, high quality of care, flexibility, innovation — the things the vast majority of Americans enjoy today — plus any chance at reducing cost and bureaucracy, the proposals the Democratic surgical team is pushing are exactly the wrong things to do.

Hello GovernmentCare, Goodbye Personal Privacy.  In the newly released Obamacare plan, section 3102 titled "Financial Integrity" makes provision for state and federal governments to be able to investigate any medical care provider at any time.  This provision gives government the right to look at any record that a doctor has in his files and that means your private medical information.  Worse, they may do so without court approval, without a warrant, with no cause stated.

Senators Respond to Obama on Health Care.  Mr. Obama says his plan would allow Americans to keep private coverage.  But Republicans say once a government insurance program is created, it will eventually dominate the market, driving private insurers out of business.

Shelby: Obama will destroy 'best health care system the world has ever known'.  "When the government is involved more and more in the details," Shelby said, "and you start the one-pay deal and you got the government competing with private enterprise with all the incentives the government has and the power, they can destroy the marketplace for health care and it will be a mistake and the American people better be careful in what they want."

The Coming Of Zerocare.  It would be naïve to think that we are not going to see Obama and his Democratic majorities impose a form of National Health Care (NHC) as early in this term as he can.  We will most likely see this just prior to the 2010 Congressional elections in an effort to keep his majorities by "buying" the votes of non-tax-paying citizens but before the system collapses under the price tag of whichever format he chooses.

A Budget Plan Good Enough To Read.  The president seems determined to establish a government health program that's sure to elbow out private plans, rob patients of their power of choice, and Frenchify American medicine.  Our inevitable entitlement crisis, festering beneath the rug under which politicians have kept it for so many years, is entirely unaddressed in the Democrats' massive tax-and-spend plans.  Congressional Republicans have countered all this irresponsibility and deceptiveness with their own detailed budget.

Two Forms of ID and Your Colonoscopy Report, Please.  I am not ideologically opposed to EMRs [electronic medical records].  When done well, they are much more efficient and easier to read and use.  However, it can take months to train an office in EMRs.  And if the computers are down, everything stops. ... I recently heard an expert on television claim that gathering everyone's EMRs on one big government server will solve that sterotypical problem — the doctor with indecipherable handwriting.  I have to agree that some of these doctors must be writing with their feet.  However, I employed a much simpler remedy than taking steps toward socialized medicine.  I called the doctor and asked him what he wrote.  True, there are practitioners out there who should not be allowed anywhere near a pen.  But if my records are going to be sent to Barack Obama, I'd prefer they remain illegible!

Take Two Aspirin and Call Your Congressman in the Morning.  As a nurse, I am always concerned when the government announces it has plans for our health care, so I decided to investigate Mr. Daschle's ideas.  I read his book Critical: What We Can Do about the Health-Care Crisis. ... In the introduction, the Senator recounts for us the many attempts by the federal government, beginning with Harry Truman, to guarantee health care to all Americans.  Since none of these attempts have succeeded, Daschle diagnoses American health care as "broken."

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan.  Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama's stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.  Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion.  These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.  Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health.

Fedzilla Goes Quack.  Legendary comedian George Carlin once joked that someone in the world has an appointment tomorrow with the world's worst doctor.  With President Obama ready to unleash Fedzilla to prey upon the nation's health care system, the American people may soon find Mr. Carlin's joke not so funny.  The first rule of medicine is to do no harm to the patient.  With Fedzilla as the nation's doctor, that rule will be tossed aside as Fedzilla brings irreparable harm, unnecessary pain, skyrocketing costs, and untold discontent to everything its bloated, unaccountable bureaucratic hands come into contact with.

Obama's LBJ Syndrome:  As Americans listen to the smooth assurances from President Obama that his health care plan would cost $634 billion over 10 years, a look back at how liberal assurances like these actually work out in practice is in order.  Specifically, let's take a look at the smooth assurances in 1965 from LBJ as to the costs he saw for Medicare.  Medicare, of course, was the liberal health care panacea for seniors enacted into law by LBJ and a Democrat Congress in July of 1965 and is a fixture of today's America.  So how much was Medicare supposed to cost the American people?  Promised a solemn LBJ:  $500 million a year.

Universal coverage?  First, look at the disaster in Massachusetts.  To much fanfare from both right and left in 2006, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to require all residents to buy health insurance. ... Then Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, promised that "every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance."  Yet just two years later, Romney's much-heralded "solution" — touted by many as the model for a national program — has become an embarrassing flop.

The Nanny State takes our choices away.  One of the key functions of modern government is to reduce, by law, the options people have, especially when they are facing challenges to survival.  A classic example of this is socialized medicine.  Like all socialist systems, government health care creates big shortages and surpluses, beyond the reach of market correction:  in this case, serious shortages of doctors, nurses and essential equipment, balanced by huge surpluses of administration and unspecialized support staff.

The Doctor Will See All of You Now.  Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama are planning that the new Democratic Congress' first order of business will be to extend the Massachusetts health-care mistake to all 50 states. ... If Kennedy succeeds in his goal of using the Massachusetts plan as a model for national health care, average Americans will no longer get immediate access to medical care.  They will have the long waits and massive new taxpayer costs that the Massachusetts plan has produced.

President Obama fiddles while health care burns.  After six months of trying to keep the concept viable, the White House is admitting what the old bulls of the Senate knew on day one.  It's too expensive and too socialist for the USA.  You can have universal coverage for 9 million healthy, wealthy, civic-minded Swedes.  Doing so in a country of 310 million doughnut-munching, upward-striving, liberty-loving Americans of every race and creed spread from Miami to Juneau is a non-starter.

ObamaCare's Prescription for Death.  In a free market health care system, the main barrier is financial, and that can be overcome far more easily than in the socialized system where lack of resources and centralized planning combines to close off all legal options.  That is why ObamaCare would not serve to expand American's access to health care, but rather close it down.

A glimpse into our Kafkaesque future under Obamacare.  For a taste of the Kafkaesque under ObamaCare, consider the 159 new boards, panels and programs in the 2,733 page Senate Health bill, as compiled by Senate Republicans.  These panels would be the face of ObamaCare for every aspect of every medical need of every American.  Now consider one citizen's prolonged run-in with the Social Security Administration, as described in a Wall Street Journal account of "the sometimes-Kafkaesque process debtors can face when challenging the validity of a claim."

White House to Unveil List of Free Preventative Services.  The Obama administration on Wednesday will unveil new rules specifying which preventive health services will be free to consumers under the new health law.  Cancer screenings, including mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as obesity prevention services, immunizations, blood pressure screenings and tobacco cessation services are among those that will be available to consumers without a copayment or other direct costs for consumers on new health plans after Sept. 23.

The Editor says...
Nothing is free.  If you believe that your flu shot, mammogram or colonoscopy isn't going to cost anything because the government pays for it, you're an idiot.

You're a Liberal/Progressive if You Believe...  a health care bill which completely ignores billions of savings that would have been produced by tort reform, collects ten years of funding for six years of spending, separates billion of dollars in physician payments into another bill, and insures an additional thirty-two million people — Americans and illegals alike — is really "revenue neutral."

Remember Obamacare in November.  As an orthopedic surgeon, I've spent years witnessing the often slow and painful process of healing.  I've watched patients struggle to get well, facing down personal, professional and financial challenges while fighting to recover their health.  It's too bad healing in the real world isn't as simple as healing in the political world — where it appears that a simple shift in the wind of public opinion and a few million dollars in campaign donations mends everything.

ObamaTax At 13,000 Pages Of New Regulations — And Counting.  ObamaCare, the legislation that replaced the "We the People" of the Constitution with the insidious phrase, "the Secretary shall determine," which appears in the bill a mind-boggling 1,563 times, is still being written.  "There's already 13,000 pages of regulations, and they're not even done yet," says Rehberg.  The Orwellian-named Affordable Health Care Act is a "delegation of extensive authority from Congress to the Department of Health and Human Services and a lot of boards and commissions and bureaus throughout the bureaucracy," adds Matt Spalding of the Heritage Foundation.  "We counted about 180 or so."

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Updated November 24, 2023.

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