Monday, June 29, 2015

Why The Affordable Care Act Isn't 'Here to Stay'­­­­--In One Picture

Why is Obamacare still so unpopular? Why aren’t the working class and
middle-class signing up for it? Why is the Obamacare population sicker
and causing so many big rate increases a year earlier than expected? Is
Obamacare financially sustainable in its present form? Is it politically
sustainable as it is?

Here is one picture that tells you just about everything you need to
know to

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The King V. Burwell Decision

First, as any of us who know the market can appreciate, the Court just saved the Republicans from themselves. They were in no way ready to avoid the crisis that would have engulfed the individual market––half of those people on the exchange who would have lost their subsidies and the other half off-exchange that would have seen 30% to 50% rate increases––on top of the big increases already

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Republican Proposals to Extend the Obamacare Subsidies If the Supreme Court Ends Them Would Create a Huge Market Mess

While both the House and Senate plans would create a means for people to
continue to be covered in the wake of any Supreme Court finding that
ended the subsidies in the federally run states, what we so far know
about these proposals is clearly unworkable in the market and would lead
to very big and unfortunate unintended consequences.

See my post at Forbes

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why Are the Proposed 2016 Obamacare Rate Increases So Large?

Why The Big Obamacare Rate Increases Have Begun a Year Early?

One state after another is reporting big Obamacare rate increases––particularly from many high market share health insurers who have the best claim data.

Where are the rates going up and by how much?

Will regulators cut these rate increases back as they often did last year?

What is causing this a full year before the insurance

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Eye Popping 2016 Obamacare Rate Increases Are Out

The Big Rate Increases Are Coming a Year Early

The Obama administration has posted the 2016 rate increases in excess of 10% that the Obamacare health plans are requesting.

There are a lot of them.

All of the federally run states have been posted and some for the state exchanges as well. Both California and New York do not have their rates on this site yet.

Some will quickly argue that many

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Columbia Journalism Review: "Why We Need Stronger Coverage of Covered California"

The California Press Gets a Critique It Has Long Deserved

Covered California, the Obamacare state-run health insurance exchange, has long been the subject of occasional posts on this blog––none of them flattering.

The constant spin in the face of facts that comes out of Covered California and the way the press, particularly in California, has often just reprinted that spin hasn't been

Monday, April 27, 2015

Republicans Would Extend Obamacare Subsidies If the Supreme Court Strikes Down State Exchange Payments––But With Lots of Conditions

The Republicans should offer an unconditional subsidy extension if the Supreme Court strikes them down

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) has offered a plan to extend the Obamacare state exchange subsidies into 2017 if the Supreme Court strikes them down this summer. The Republican Senate leadership is supporting his bill.

But Johnson has some pretty big conditions:

Existing subsidies in the

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

$1 billion in Federal Tax Dollars and a One Star Rating on Yelp––Quite an Expose––Behind the Scenes at Covered California

California's Obamacare Insurance Exchange Posts Poor Results and is the Subject of an Expose

What a difference a year makes.

Last year the California Obamacare insurance exchange, Covered California, was touted as the poster child for the Obamacare launch. Supporters said it worked well, enrolled lots of people, and was off to the kind of start that proved how successful Obamacare could be.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's Medicaid Policy––and Now His Position Not to Save Insurance Subsidies if the Supreme Court Strikes Them Down––Says a Lot About How He Would Govern as President

Speaking to a conservative group in Wisconsin this week, presumptive presidential candidate Scott Walker said he would not move to establish a state exchange in order to preserve the Obamacare federal insurance exchange subsidies if the Supreme Court strikes them down in an expected June ruling:

We're going to push back. The President of the United States––they've got to come up with a solution.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Headline: "Exchanges Struggle to Enroll Consumers As Income Increases" It's Because of the Obamacare Dichotomy

Here is an excerpt from a post on this blog from June 21, 2014:

Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Finds Most People Who Bought Health Insurance on the Exchanges Are Happy With It

This week the administration reported that 76% of those who
received a subsidy paid less than the full premium for the plans they
selected. And, 69% are
paying less than $100 after the subsidies––46% are paying $50

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The New York Times: Has Obamacare Enrollment Stalled?

Readers of this blog know that I have made a number of points about Obamacare in recent months:

The number of people signing up for Obamacare is well below the level necessary to make the rates stable over the long-term––the longstanding insurance industry standard calls for getting 75% of an eligible group in order to have enough healthy people in the pool to pay the costs of the sick people. I

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Obamacare Supreme Court Subsidy Challenge––Surprising Comments From Anthony Kennedy and Maybe a Way Out for John Roberts

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the King v. Burwell case that would throw out the Obamacare subsidies for millions of people now receiving them in the federally run health insurance exchanges.

It sure sounded like perennial swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy is ready to save the subsidies and Obamacare given his comments suggesting a finding for the plaintiffs would end up

Monday, March 2, 2015

Republicans: "We Have a Plan For Fixing Health Care" If the Supreme Court Eliminates Subsidies in as Many as 37 States––It Won't Be So Simple

Key Senate Republican committee chairman Orrin Hatch (UT), John Barrasso (WY), and Lamar Alexander (TN) have an op-ed in the Washington Post today saying they have a plan if millions of Americans lose their Obamacare subsidies this summer.

First, I have no idea how the Court will rule, likely in late June. While it is hard for me to see Chief Justice John Roberts voting to strike a major blow to

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obamacare is "Working a Little Better Than We Expected"––Judge for Yourself

Here is what President Obama said in a recent video, "The Affordable Care Act is working. It's working a little better than we expected."

On Tuesday, the administration announced that 11.4 million people signed up for Obamacare in the second open enrollment.

That number is higher than the number that will ultimately pay for their coverage and complete the enrollment. Even after they complete

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Detailed Analysis of the Republican Alternative to Obamacare

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton along with Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch and Senator Richard Burr have outlined what is, at least for now, the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

Republicans will now argue they have a better health insurance reform plan and that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced by it––particularly if the Supreme Court plunges the new health law into

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rethink "Repeal and Replace" and Consumer Friendly Obamacare Fixes - Two Op-Eds in USA Today

I have no doubt Republicans will insist on proposing their own complex plan to reform the health insurance system that will include repealing and replacing Obamacare.

But I think it is going to get them into more political trouble than it's worth.

Here's the first of my two of op-eds in Thursday's USA Today: Rethink "Repeal and Replace"

Of course that begs a question, Just what should we do

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Will Tax Season Be Obamacare's Next Big Challenge? Is There Really an Individual Mandate?

Will tax-filing season be the next reason for consumers to complain about the new health law? Come tax time, will the Obama administration really enforce the individual health insurance mandate?

The IRS is out with a 21-page publication––Publication 5187––describing what taxpayers need to know about Obamacare in order to file their 2014 taxes.
On page six you will find this:

So, if the

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Single-Payer Health Insurance Failure in Vermont

For 25 years I've been saying that I wished a little state like Vermont would implement a single-payer Canadian-style health insurance system––"Medicare For All." My argument has always been that such a small and limited experiment would give us the opportunity to see the ideological arguments for such a system play out in the face of fiscal reality and the stakeholders fighting it out in the