Scams, Fraud Among Obamacare Concerns

Few Americans understand how Obamacare works and there are many new regulations — especially the requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay federal fines — which is already leading to illegal scammers and legal products that consumers mistakenly confuse for legitimate health insurance. This includes many “discount medical plans,”  “fixed indemnity insurance” and “mini-med plans.”

Read more at Time

Where Obamacare Premiums Will Soar

While many residents in New York and California may see sizable decreases in their premiums, in states such as Florida, Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina (Republican-led states that have strongly opposed Obamacare), cost will go up because insurers were allowed to sell bare-bones plans and exclude the sick, which has kept costs down. Under Obamacare, insurers must offer a package of essential benefits — including maternity, mental health and medications — and must cover all who apply. More comprehensive coverage generally leads to more expensive healthcare insurance. 

Read more at CNN Money

Tea Party Troops Start August Offensive Against Obamacare

Though Obama has won a second term in office, he is stymied on every front by the GOP-controlled House and the filibuster-prone Senate Republicans.

After dozens of attempts to repeal Obamacare, conservatives in Congress now want to remove funding for it in the budget. Conservatives are enlisting help from tea party troops to create the illusion of a national uprising against expansion of healthcare to all people who cannot afford it. To counter this, Democratic Party activists’s counteroffensive will be piloted by two groups, Americans United for Change and Protect Your Care.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

Labor Unions’ Latest Problem: Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ Harms Their Gold-Plated Health Insurance Plans

For many years, labor unions’ did a great job negotiating gold-plated health benefits for their members. Because of the tax subsidies associated with health benefits, employers were more willing to offer more generous health benefits than higher wages. Now public-sector unions, representing government employees, are furious over the steep excise tax on these costly health insurance plans, also known as the “Cadillac tax.” State and local governments throughout America are rapidly discovering the value of dumping workers’ health coverage onto Obamacare’s exchanges. Detroit hopes to use its bankruptcy proceedings to offload retiree health benefits onto the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, saving $27 to $40 million a year.

Read more at Forbes

House Bans IRS From Carrying Out Obamacare

A bill by House Republicans, passed Friday, August 2, 2013, prohibits the Internal Revenue Service from carrying out any provision of Obamacare. Republicans point to the many scandals the IRS has been through in recent months — particularly, targeting conservative agencies — and saying the powerful federal agency is abusing its power and can no longer be trusted.

The bill has practically no chance of approval in the Democratic-controlled Senate. If by some chance it would get through the Senate, President Barack Obama has said he’ll veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

Read more at Newsmax

Can the GOP Ever Really Stop Obamacare?

On Friday, August 2, 2013, the Republican-led House of Representatives will vote for the 40th time to roll back the Affordable Care Act. After much effort, Republicans are divided over the best way to attack it. The House continues to hold symbolic votes to repeal the law, and some Senate Republicans want to defund Obamacare. Conservatives at the state level also have resisted implementing the law. Even so, for all practical purposes, it appears at this point that Obamacare is here to stay.

The most recent vote concerns a bill specifically to stop the IRS from implementing the portions of Obamacare for which it is responsible.  such as helping to enforce the individual mandate and giving consumers subsidies with which to purchase insurance. The bill, called the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013,” leverags both conservatives’ opposition to Obamacare and their recent concerns about the IRS in the wake of its targeting of tea party groups.

Read more at CBS News

Schools Keep Distance from Obamacare Enrollment

Schools are not a nationwide focal point of outreach and enrollment for Obamacare. Enroll America, an organization of Obamacare allies and health law stakeholders, has not as yet focused on schools. The PTA has no current plans to get involved, either. States or school districts can act on their own; Los Angeles, for instance, is training some high school juniors and seniors how to be Obamacare messengers to their families and communities. But there is no nationwide strategy involving students, educators and parents.

Read more at Politico