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OpenMarket: Health Care

  • Selfishness Underlies the Shutdown, At Home and Abroad

    October 4, 2013
    Americans aren’t the only ones talking about government shutdown this week. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi almost collapsed Italy’s government on Wednesday by threatening to pull his party’s support for the current left-right coalition government. Fortunately, he eventually relented. At their core, petty selfishness drives both President Obama and Berlusconi’s actions. The former, by defending his signature healthcare law at any cost, hopes to preserve his spot in the history textbooks. The latter will pull out all the stops to prevent his expulsion from the Italian Senate—after a tax fraud conviction this summer--that would signal an end to his longtime pursuit for political glory. I elaborate on their similar motives to gum up the political works in my recent...
  • Obamacare Quadruples Rates for Some, Subsidizes Some Wealthy Who Retired Early

    September 30, 2013
    Due to Obamacare, North Carolina "will see individual-market" health insurance rates "triple for women, and quadruple for men." In Tennessee, Obamacare will triple men's premiums, and double women's, in the market for individual health...
  • Massive Marriage Penalties in Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges

    September 26, 2013
    On the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, being married can cost you a lot. Get divorced (or avoid getting married, if you live together), and you save $7,230 per year if you are a fairly typical 40-year-old couple with kids (example: the husband working full-time, and the wife working part time, with the husband making $70,000, and the wife making $23,000). If you are a 60-year-old couple with equal incomes and no kids, and you make $62,041 a year, you save $11,028 a year by getting divorced or remaining unmarried. These are the amounts of money you will lose if you get married, since you will lose this amount of taxpayer subsidies due to Obamacare's discriminatory treatment of married versus unmarried couples. That's the reality confirmed by an Obamacare “...
  • MoveOn admits: "[I]f younger, healthier people don't participate, then costs will skyrocket and Obamacare will fail."

    August 30, 2013
    MoveOn.org yesterday sent me an appeal asking for $5 to help fund a $250,000 social media campaign supporting ObamaCare targeted to reach young adults. Here’s why they need my five bucks:
     [R]ight-wing groups have launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to torpedo Obamacare before it even gets started. Their plan: Mislead young people about how the law works so they get scared and don't enroll. The problem is that it really could work because if younger, healthier people don't participate, then costs will skyrocket and Obamacare will fail. [Emphasis in original]
    MoveOn.org footnotes a Washington Post article, which explains that last sentence. From the Post Wonkblog article by Sarah Kliff: “Young adults tend to have lower...
  • Let in More Foreign Doctors to Fix Looming Shortage of Physicians Aggravated by Obamacare

    August 16, 2013
    "Bring on the foreign doctors," writes Slate's Brian Palmer:
    If President Obama’s health care reform plan is implemented in its current form, the United States will face an estimated shortfall of 130,000 doctors by 2025.  . .There’s a simple solution to this problem: Import more physicians from abroad. And yet, it takes years for foreign trained doctors to earn a U.S. license. . .Even if a doctor has practiced for years in her home country, she must pass the same exams as graduates of American medical schools, then repeat three or more years of residency and fellowship...
  • More Economic Suffering Due to Obamacare

    July 24, 2013
    The Washington Post reports on the ever-growing number of people losing wages and facing pay cuts due to the 2010 healthcare law:
    For Kevin Pace, the president’s health-care law could have meant better health insurance. Instead, it produced a pay cut. Like many of his colleagues, the adjunct music professor at Northern Virginia Community College had managed to assemble a hefty course load despite his official status as a part-time employee. But his employer, the state, slashed his hours this spring to avoid a Jan. 1 requirement that all full-time workers for large employers be offered health insurance. The law defines “full time” as 30 hours a week or more. “We work so hard...
  • Unions Plead for Changes to Obamacare, Citing Lost Wages and Benefits

    July 15, 2013
    The Wall Street Journal reports today that the leaders of three major labor unions are asking Congress to make fundamental changes to Obamacare, saying that without such changes, it will "shatter" employee health benefits, cut employee hours and wages, and "destroy" a "foundation" of America's middle class:
    Since last year, union leaders have complained that many of the law’s requirements will drive up costs for union-sponsored health-care plans that are managed jointly by unions and mostly small employers, making unionized workers less competitive and potentially causing unionized employers to drop the plans that cover more than 20 million people. To offset the expected rising costs of these “multiemployer” plans, several union groups want their lower-paid members to be...
  • Obama Administration Discards Reporting Requirements in Obamacare

    July 9, 2013
    The Obama administration has illegally discarded the reporting requirements mandated by the 2010 healthcare law, which were designed to prevent countless billions of dollars in fraud by claimants seeking reimbursement for healthcare expenses in Obamacare's state health-insurance exchanges. Eligible participants in the exchanges can commonly claim thousands of dollars in federal subsidies for participating them. The reporting requirements, which require that exchanges verify participants' income and health insurance status, were designed to ensure that such people do not defraud the taxpayers by seeking subsidies even though they already have employer-provided health...
  • Another Federal Appeals Court Rules against Obama Administration's Contraceptive Mandate

    June 28, 2013
    Contraceptives are easy to obtain, and forcing employers to include a broad array of contraceptives in employee health insurance makes as little sense as forcing an auto insurer to cover routine oil changes. Actually, it makes much less sense, since without an oil change, your car will eventually break down, but some people have no desire to ever use any contraceptive (and get by just fine without them). But that did not stop the Obama administration from imposing a contraceptive mandate on employee health insurance, requiring even religious employers (with the exception of churches) to provide them (and not just contraceptives, but -- more controversially -- certain abortifacients). Some objectors, like Bishop Lori, have likened the administration's demand that Catholic institutions provide contraceptive and abortifacient coverage to forcing a kosher deli to serve ham. HHS...
  • Obamacare and Activist State Courts Drive Up Health Plan Costs

    June 18, 2013
    The so-called rate shock from Obamacare has hit Ohio. The state’s Department of Insurance announced last Thursday that the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will cost approximately $420," per month, "representing an increase of 88 percent.”  "We have warned of these increases,” said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. “Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014."  Projected costs ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health plans. "But for many experts who understand the economics of health...

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