• White House Plans To Bail Out Obamacare And Fund Abortion Coverage

    White House Plans To Bail Out Obamacare And Fund Abortion Coverage

    The White House released its budget proposal this morning. Apart from the fact that the budget abandons any attempt to get to balance within ten years (or ever), a footnote buried deep in the document hides key proposals: Bailing out Obamacare health insurers to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, and taxpayer funding of abortion coverage.

    On page 141, footnote 6 of Table S-6, showing the president’s policy proposals, includes the following admission: “The Budget requests mandatory appropriations for the risk corridors program and for cost-sharing reduction payments.” READ MORE...

  • Inside The Giant Insurer Bailout In The Senate 'Budget' ‘Deal’

    Inside The Giant Insurer Bailout In The Senate ‘Budget’ ‘Deal’

    I noted in my prior summary of the Senate budget “deal” that, as with Obamacare itself, Senate leaders wanted to pass the bill so that we can find out what’s in it. And so it proved.

    My summary noted that the bill includes a giveaway to seniors, by accelerating the process Obamacare started to close the Part D prescription drug “donut hole.” I also pointed out that this attempt to buy seniors’ votes in the November elections by promising them an extra benefit in 2019 might backfire, because encouraging seniors to choose more expensive brand-name pharmaceuticals over cheaper generics will raise overall Medicare spending and increase premiums. READ MORE...

  • Obamacare Exchanges Fraud Costs Taxpayers Millions

    Obamacare Exchanges Fraud Costs Taxpayers Millions

    What do Obamacare and Haley Joel Osment have in common? They both see dead people.

    On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released another report into eligibility verification checks on the federally run Obamacare insurance exchange used by more than three dozen states. As with prior studies, GAO concluded that regulators still need to improve integrity efforts to ensure the federal government spends taxpayer funds wisely.

    Among the report’s most noteworthy conclusions: A total of 17,000 federally subsidized insurance policies studied during the 2015 plan year—the most recent for which GAO had complete data at the time of its investigation—began or continued after the applicant’s reported date of death. In 1,000 of those cases, coverage began after the applicant’s reported date of death. In a further 2,000, the application was submitted after the applicant’s reported date of death—in most cases because the exchange automatically re-enrolled applicants without checking to determine that they remained alive. READ MORE...

  • Does This Health Plan Rule Expand Affordability, DC's Power, Or Both?

    Does This Health Plan Rule Expand Affordability, DC’s Power, Or Both?

    Why would Sen. Rand Paul praise as “conservative care health reform” a proposed regulation that increases Washington’s power?

    A proposed rule released Thursday regarding association health plans (AHPs) will likely provide more affordable health coverage options to the self-employed, or individuals working for small businesses. However, it would do so by increasing the number of individuals purchasing health coverage regulated by Washington, making it a mixed bag for conservatives.

    A Look at Current Law

    Obamacare created multiple new requirements for insurance coverage, based upon whether that coverage was purchased in the individual, small group, (i.e., fewer than 50 workers), or large group (i.e., 51 or more workers) markets. Many coverage requirements in the law apply only to individual and small group plans, including: READ MORE...

  • Nobody Has Seen Obamacare ‘Stability Deal.’ It Could Make You Postal

    Nobody Has Seen Obamacare ‘Stability Deal.’ It Could Make You Postal

    Memo to Rand Paul: It’s time to fire up the copier again.

    On Tuesday, the simmering controversy over Obamacare “stability” legislation came to the boil, as conservatives increasingly voiced objections at bailing out Obamacare and giving tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion coverage in the process. But the controversy centers around a “deal” of which the precise contents remain a closely guarded secret.

    While Democrats deliberated on Obamacare in 2009 and 2010, Republicans frequently attacked the non-transparent process. Then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went so far as to call the law’s backroom deals “kind of [a] smelly proposition” that empowered Democratic senators “to extract some special deal for them at the expense of everyone else in the country.” READ MORE...

  • The Obamacare Settlement Would Cede All House Republicans Have Won

    The Obamacare Settlement Would Cede All House Republicans Have Won

    After filing a lawsuit to defend its constitutional “power of the purse” more than three years ago, the House of Representatives late Friday proposed a settlement in the case over Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers. In their fight to preserve the House’s constitutional authority, and stop propping up Obamacare, the proposed settlement would give conservatives precious little.

    The House originally filed suit to accomplish three objectives: 1) halt the cost-sharing reduction payments; 2) keep a future administration from restarting the payments; and 3) set the precedent that the legislative branch can file suit against the executive when the executive exceeds its constitutional authority. READ MORE...

  • 6 Reasons The Individual Mandate ‘Deal’ Is Rotten Health Policy

    6 Reasons The Individual Mandate ‘Deal’ Is Rotten Health Policy

    After their member lunch Tuesday, Senate Republican leadership announced they would work to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate as part of tax reform. The Senate leaders also announced they would bring the Obamacare “stability” legislation written by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to the floor for a vote.

    Repealing Obamacare’s tax on individuals who do not buy health coverage, and using the proceeds to reduce taxes overall, may represent sound tax policy. However, for several reasons, both the mandate repeal, and the “stability” legislation linked to it, represent unsound health policy. READ MORE...