2:30 PM, Feb 10, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Obamacare requires employers to provide "affordable" health insurance to full-time employees, and for the purposes of the law, the word affordable is defined very specifically:
Coverage is deemed to be not “affordable” according to the ACA if the employee’s share of the annual premium for self-only coverage is greater than 9.5 percent of their annual household income. An employer plan must cover at least 60 percent of total allowed costs to meet the ACA’s minimum value requirement, and offer “substantial” coverage for in-patient hospitalization services or physician services (or both). Employer plans are also required to offer certain preventive care services on a no-cost basis to participants, and a range of additional benefits, such as the age-26 adult dependent coverage requirement and no annual or lifetime limits on essential health benefits.
Given that the authors of Obamacare had a very specific idea in mind for what constitutes affordable insurance, the American Health Policy Institute is out with a new study that asks a very interesting question: Does Obamacare meet its own standards for affordability? The answer is no. Here are a couple of the key findings from AHPI's study:
Even now, under the Affordable Care Act’s own definition, over 105 million Americans will find plans in the ACA’s [Affordable Care Act's] public exchanges to be “unaffordable” when both premiums and deductibles are taken into account.
Over 13 million employees with employer based coverage – 3.0 million with individual coverage, and 10.4 million with family plans – are now facing the prospect of “unaffordable” health care.
You can read the full study from AHPI here.
Political Corruption 1016:15 AM, Feb 2, 2015 • By JAY COST
I have just finished a new book on political corruption. The book takes a broad overview of corruption, across the whole history of the nation, explaining its typical patterns over time.The most pertinent revelation is how the government captures private interests, which in turn capture the government right back. Indeed, reciprocity is a real phenomenon in government. It leads inevitably to conflicts of interests, and thus corruption.
7:53 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
One health insurer in Minnesota, once the top seller on the state' s Obamacare-mandated exchange, is expected to raise its premiums between 40 and 60 percent. Small-business health insurance rates are also expected to go up in Minnesota. KSTP-TV reports the story:
3:01 PM, Aug 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner is going after Democratic senator Mark Udall for voting for Obamacare in a new TV ad. The 30-second spot shows the GOP congressman holding up a cancellation letter he received from his health insurance provider.
"When Mark Udall voted for Obamacare, he promised us if we liked our health care plan, we could keep it. Well, you know how that worked out," Gardner says in the ad. "I got a letter saying that my family's plan was canceled. 335,000 Coloradans had their plans canceled, too."
2:03 PM, Jul 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A Democratic congresswoman told her colleagues at a House hearing Wednesday morning that the debate over a bill that would grandfather in otherwise canceled group plans under the Affordable Care Act reminded her of a comedy skit about "whiners."
"I don't know how many of you recall years ago on Saturday Night Live, there was a segment entitled, 'The Whiners.'" said Anna Eshoo of California. "You know, they sat on the sofa and all they did was whine. They were a broken record. And I can't help but think of that segment on Saturday Night Live."
5:03 PM, May 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
An Oklahoma woman signed up for a new health insurance plan--only to find that there's not a doctor that will accept that plan within 400 miles. KTEN-TV reports that Janet Grigg, a cancer survivor, moved to Durant, Oklahoma to care for her elderly mother. But after signing onto a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan via the Obamacare website, she discovered she would need to pay out of pocket for her annual cancer screenings.
6:55 PM, Apr 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Only two-thirds of the eight million enrollees into new health insurance plans as mandated by the Affordable Care Act have paid their first month's premium as of April 15, according to a report from the House Energy and Commerce committee. Here's an excerpt from the committee's statement:
3:01 PM, Mar 31, 2014 • By JAY COST
Today is the last day of open enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges. Last week the administration had announced six million enrollments, with about five days left to go. If they enroll new people into the system at the same rate as they had the previous 10 days, that would put the final, nominal number around 6.5 million. If there is a surge of enrollments, then that could place it higher still.
Does any of this really matter? Yes and no.
8:02 AM, Feb 19, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Americans for Prospertiy, a conservative tax-exempt organization, has a new 60-second television ad running in Michigan that criticizes Democratic congressman Gary Peters for his vote and continued support of Obamacare. The ad features Michigan citizen Julie Boonstra, who describes how she was diagnosed with leukemia but lost her health insurance coverage this year because of Obamacare's regulations.
10:52 AM, Feb 12, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new TV ad running in Louisiana from Americans for Prosperity focuses on how the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has negatively affected citizens' lives. Democratic senator Mary Landrieu, who voted for Obamacare in 2010, is up for reelection in Louisiana this year.
The ad features three people receiving letters in their mailboxes, with voiceovers from each reading out their letters informing them of changes to their insurance policies due to Obamacare.
1:02 PM, Jan 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Tennesseans who purchased health insurance policies under Obamacare are discovering their doctors and health care providers often don't fall in their new networks. WSMV, Nashville's NBC affiliate, has the story (via the Free Beacon):
3:01 PM, Jan 3, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon probably isn't the first sitting senator Republicans think they can defeat this November. After beating incumbent Republican Gordon Smith in 2008 by 3 percentage points, Merkley appears safe in his seat. In 2012 Oregon voted for Barack Obama by more than 12 points, and the Cook Political Report rates the Senate race as "solid Democratic."