Enrollment Growth in Obamacare Health Insurance Slower Than Expected

Reflecting slower than anticipated enrollment growth in health insurance purchased through the Affordable Care act, better known as Obamacare, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has lowered its estimate of how many people will get coverage through the law in 2016.

In any given month this year, about 13 million people on average are now expected to be enrolled in a health plan purchased on a marketplace created by the law, often called Obamacare.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

When All Else Fails Mention A Silver Lining

More from noted single payer healthcare critic Sally Pipes, President of the Pacific Research Institute. According to her new report in Forbes (online, May 4) the current view of the Obama administration when it comes to contemporary healthcare expenditures simply is “it could have been worse.” Pipes’ articles refers to an increase of “over 12 percent” – – since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) premiums for both individuals and families have soared. And, at the end of the day, “That’s a far cry from President Obama’s repeated 2008 campaign promise that Obamacare would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family,” says Pipes.

Pipes Forbes account also says “Plans with higher deductibles already dominate in many states. In Indiana, which uses the federally operated Healthcare.gov exchange, 24 of the 29 plans available have high deductibles – – defined as at least $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families. In South Dakota, 31 of 38 plans do.”

Pipes adds, “Instead Obamacare has made health costs worse – – much worse. It’s pushed both deductibles and premiums though the roof. As a result, millions of consumers have been forced to buy overpriced insurance – and yet still have to empty their wallets when they visit the doctor’s office.”

Read more at Forbes

Doctors Could Take Heat For Obamacare’s Shortcomings

How do you measure success or failure of a government program? Is it by how many people it helps? Is it by its costs; or savings – that is, if there are any?  Or, do other standards exist by which to judge its overall effectiveness? In the case of Obamacare, the only indicators mattering to many in need of healthcare is just how much money it has (or has not) paid out; and how much medical treatment it has dispensed.

According to a report in Human Events (online, Mar. 23, by Justin Haskins) an appreciable number of physicians are refusing both Medicaid and Medicare patients. The reason? Federal government levels of “reimbursement rates” (Human Events) are not sufficiently high enough for doctors to make the effort in this regard worthwhile.  Yet, what this does is give the stark appearance that doctors (as a group) act harshly against patients.

Haskins’s Human Events report adds, “It may seem counterintuitive to some since doctors spend their whole lives healing sick people, including many sick and poor people, but the reality is that doctors actually make easy political targets for the Democrat machine.”

Another component in the care versus cost conundrum (the Human Events report outlines) is that “[M]ost doctors are not politically active and are poorly represented in government.” Only 17 serve in Congress, for example, who are actually physicians.

Haskins further explains, doctors who are “specialists” are convenient targets.  Their annual earnings easily place them in the “1 percent.” Thus, they are lumped in with that more affluent segment of the population comparatively recently demonized by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Read more at Human Events

CBO Revises ACA’s Estimated Costs

If Obamacare is costing less than what was previously projected, it’s not because of the Affordable Care Act itself, or anything it may have done. It’s due to “factors outside of the law.” This is the current word coming from a report in The Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal. According to Alyene Senger’s article (online Mar. 11) “Yes, the March update to the Congressional Budget Office’s January 2015 estimates of the cost of Obamacare over the next decade contains some good news — overall projected costs have gone down,” Senger says.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has altered a significant number of its forecasts for Obamacare costs. A key point, these changes are only attributable, to a very small degree, to anything Obamacare may have done. Rather, “changes in Obamacare projections stem from changes CBO made to insurance coverage estimates before 2014, based on updated data from household and employer surveys. In other words, CBO has adjusted what the coverage landscape looked like before Obamacare, so Obamacare’s impact on this landscape now looks different.”

Read more at The Daily Signal 

Herman Cain: ‘Not Buying’ Positive Obamacare Projections

Herman Cain doesn’t believe this week’s report from the Congressional Budget Office that the Affordable Care Act will cost less than previously projected.

“The thing that is frustrating, that is disingenuous on the part of the Democrats . . . is that they don’t tell you about all of the negatives that are also out there,” the one-time Republican presidential candidate told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV.

Read more at Newsmax

CBO: Immigration Bill Could Add Billions to Cost of Obamacare

According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Senate immigration reform bill if enacted would place many of the 11 million newly legalized immigrants in competition with existing American workers, resulting in lower wages and higher rates of unemployment for people at the top and bottom of the income scale, as reported by The Washington Times.

Moreover, according to the CBO analysis, the U.S. government would lose billions of dollars legalizing the undocumented workers and expanding the guest-worker program because more people would become eligible for Obamacare. The Senate bill would entail additional subsidies of $87 billion for immigrants qualifying for insurance on the new Obamacare health exchanges. Newly legalized immigrants would not be eligible, but guest workers and several other categories of work visa holders would be.

Even so, increased tax revenue should boost the economy by adding $200 billion to the federal budget in the first decade and an additional $700 billion in the second decade.

Read more at Newsmax

Obamacare Will Send Costs Up

The author quotes the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which concluded that health insurance premiums for people who buy policies themselves will go up by as much as 13 percent in 2016 as a result of Obamacare. California state insurance regulators also wrote to Obama that “Rate and market disruption” is a concern.

Read more at the Salem (Ohio) News