A Republican Party once unified and energized by the prospect of overturning Obamacare is now arrayed across a spectrum of positions that range from pursuing full repeal of the law to signing up for parts of it.
Senator Marco Rubio is shying away from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, following Scott’s controversial expansion of Florida’s Medicaid program. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is also distancing himself from the governor’s move, reportedly telling state lawmakers that he is against the expansion.
The authors quote one former state Medicaid director who says the uncertainty caused by Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid coverage, the decline in the subsidies to hospitals, and the need to cost shift to private insurance is already inflating health care costs. States and counties may need to funnel more taxpayer money to hospitals to make up the Medicaid shortfall, but states may not have the money.
Although the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) regulations can lower premiums for individuals, it can raise them for small groups — primarily small businesses — by restricting the number of rating factors that health insurers use in setting premiums, said Peter Forman, president of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s an ironic and tragic step, considering Massachusetts was the model for the Affordable Care Act,” said Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.
Gov. Chris Christie will expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover 300,000 uninsured New Jersey residents, The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger learned today (February 26, 2013). The governor’s new budget to be unveiled at a joint session of the Legislature this afternoon, also relies on state revenue growth of 4.9 percent and delays some property tax rebates for local taxpayers.
Under Obamacare, many physicians have been leaving private practice and opting instead for cash-only concierge medicine or salaried positions at hospitals. Author Sally Pipes (resident, CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute) claims that “a new era of assembly-line medicine is before us,” placing the traditional doctor-patient relationship on the path to extinction.
Obamacare will increase by $6.2 trillion the long-term federal deficit, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released Feb. 26, 2013. The report was requested by Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) who unveiled the findings at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. The report, Sessions said, “confirms everything critics and Republicans were saying about the faults of this bill,” and “dramatically proves that the promises made assuring the nation that the largest new entitlement program in history would not add one dime to the deficit were false.”
Some veterinarians may be increasing their fees because Obamacare imposes a 2.3 percent excise tax on certain medical devices, like anesthesia equipment, surgical tools and IV pumps, which are used on both humans and animals. Medical devices used only on animals are exempt from the tax.
Two decrees from Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s secretary of HHS, highlight Democrats’ principal healthcare goals for Obamacare: to redistribute money and to move away from insurance and toward pre-paid health care, preferably controlled by a federal government monopoly (“single-payer” health care).
This article quotes an Associated Press release from Lincoln, Nebraska. Karen Haase, a lawyer representing about 150 school districts in Nebraska, said districts are considering cutting thousands of part-time non-teacher employees’ hours in 2014 to avoid offering them health insurance benefits mandated by the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). The act requires employers with at least 50 full-time equivalent workers to cover at least 60 percent of health care costs for employees working more than 30 hours per week. Haase says thousands of non-teaching employees could be offered extended health benefits, have their hours cut or be laid off. Haase doubts many districts will offer benefits to part-time staff working more than 30 hours.