Liberal Groups Go on Offense on Obamacare

During the Congressional August recess, the liberal Americans United for Change and Protect Your Care, which focused on Obamacare, will use rapid-response messaging and town halls to talk up the benefits of Obamacare, attack Republicans for attempting to cut off its funding, and get involved in the huge effort to sign people up for Obamacare in the fall of 2013.

Read more at Politco

Who Can Deny It? Obamacare Is Accelerating U.S. Towards A Part-Time Nation

Part-time employment for economic reasons at least partly surged because of the Recession, and part-time employment has grown for decades, so again, we cannot be certain that the most recently increase in part-time workers is statistical noise or a signal of Obamacare’s impact. Moreover, researchers at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that although some workers are losing hours of work as employers seek to evade Obamacare, this impact is allegedly too small to worry about.

Even so,  there are an enormous number of stories about real-world employers who in fact have shifted to part-time workers precisely to avoid the Obamacare mandate. And when one compares the changes in part-time employment to the changes in full-time employment, for every new FT job added to the economy in the first six months of 2013, there were 4.3 PT jobs added! In most (non-negative) years, the ratio is the reverse: that is, there are typically 5 FT jobs added for every new PT job. Even in 2004—the year with the second-highest ratio during this time-frame–there were 2 FT jobs for every PT job, yielding a ratio of 0.5.

Obamacare is accelerating a disturbing trend towards “a nation of part-timers.””

Read more at Forbes

Mythbusters: Obamacare Edition

Article that attempts to resolve some Obamacare rumors and myths. Examples: The IRS won’t post your medical tests on the Internet. Premiums won’t double in the crucial swing state of Ohio. The Obamacare “data hub” won’t be used to spy on you (or at least, it’s not supposed to).  On the other hand, some businesses such as restaurant chains could, in fact, face a choice between health care costs they can’t afford and fines they can’t afford.

Read more at Politico

ObamaCare Bailout? Detroit Reportedly Eyes Health Care Law to Cut Costs

The bankrupt city of Detroit plans to reduce its $5.7 billion in outstanding retiree health costs by sending to the ObamaCare insurance markets retirees too young to qualify for Medicare. That would ease the burden on  Detroit by taking them off city coverage, but it would increase the burden on the federal government, with subsidies from ObamaCare being provided by federal taxpayers.

Read more at Fox News

Alternative Treatments Could See Wide Acceptance Thanks to Obamacare

About four in 10 adults (and one in nine children) in the U.S. use some form of complementary and alternative medicine such as meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care and homeopathic treatment.

Section of 2706 of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), requires that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any health provider with a state-recognized license. That means a licensed chiropractor treating a patient for back pain, for instance, must be reimbursed the same as medical doctors.

Read more at PBS.org

IRS Workers Want Out of Obamacare

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents workers at the Internal Revenue Service, is urging its members to write letters to Congress saying they are “very concerned” about legislative efforts requiring IRS and Treasury employees to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.

The  Treasury Employees Union’s complaint comes two weeks after representatives of three large labor unions sent of a letter to congressional Democrats, complaining that Obamacare would “shatter … our hard-earned health benefits” and create “nightmare scenarios” for their members.

Read more at Newsmax

 

Fox News Poll: Voters Say Repeal ObamaCare, Expect New Law Will Cost Them

According to a Fox News national poll, voters by a 47-11 margin expect the 2010 “Obamacare” health care law to cost rather than save them money in 2014. Another 34 percent believe the the law will not alter their family’s health care costs. Seventy percent of Republicans say ObamaCare will cost them money over the next year, as opposed to 23 percent of Democrats. One Democrat in five expects the law will result in savings for their family (21 percent). On an up-or-down vote on ObamaCare, 40 percent say they would vote to keep the law in place, while just over half — 53 percent — would repeal it.

Read more at Fox News

Who Loses Out Under Obamacare

Many low-income adults in the 21 states that aren’t expanding Medicaid will find that even with state-based insurance exchanges opening in 2014 under Obamacare, they won’t be eligible for either the long-standing government health insurance program for the poor, or for premium subsidies in the new exchanges. About 4.9 million people will not be covered in 2016 if these states don’t expand, and another 1.5 million uninsured are in six states that are considering expansion, but have yet to approve it.

Under the original Affordable Care Act, all adults with incomes below 138 percent of the poverty level — $15,850 for an individual and $32,500 for a family of four — were to be covered by Medicaid. Those with incomes between 138% and 400% of poverty would receive federal subsidies to defray the cost of buying insurance on the state-based exchanges. But a Supreme Court ruling in June 2012 left it up to each state to decide whether to expand Medicaid and only 23 states and the District of Columbia chose to do so. In the other states that don’t expand Medicaid, the law does not allow those under the poverty level to receive subsidies for the exchanges.

Read more at CNN Money

Obamacare’s Waning Popularity

Obamacare’s effects are beginning to be felt. Some businesses are cutting back workers’ hours because they can no longer afford to employ them full time. Other businesses are laying off workers or cancelling expansion plans. Health care is becoming more expensive – not more affordable – for many, if not most, Americans. Indiana, for example, expects to see a 72 percent increase in the cost of individual insurance plans under Obamacare. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office expects 7 million Americans to lose their existing employer-based health insurance.

Read more at National Review Online

White House Tries to Calm Nervous Democrats on Obamacare

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and a team of aides has since May 2013 worked with Democrats to quell their anxieties by conducting more than 20 briefings with House and Senate lawmakers and staff (including some Republicans) about the administration’s progress and plans for rolling out the new “Obamacare” healthcare law. They are trying to bolster Democrats’ confidence about the healthcare law as glitches occur during Obamacare’s implementation. The briefings open communication lines between lawmakers and the White House so that concerns can be privately aired and resolved.

Read more at Newsmax