The bad design of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act has led some businesses to look at cutting part-time employee’s work to just under the 30 hour threshold, but that is not the only loophole business could exploit. Because the new law doesn’t apply the same standards to large businesses and self-insured companies they may theoretically avoid the mandate by offering what is basically just insurance in name only. From the Wall Street Journal:
|By: Jon Walker Monday May 20, 2013 9:25 am|
|By: Jon Walker Monday May 20, 2013 7:35 am|
The GOP is convinced that the Affordable Care Act will remain a winning political issue for them. On Meet the Press Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it will be the “biggest issue” in the next congressional election.
|By: Jon Walker Friday May 17, 2013 11:15 am|
For better or worse, during the 2014 election the Democratic Party is effectively all in on Obamacare and the GOP is all in against it. While this was mostly true in both the 2010 and 2012 election, the 2014 election will be very different. In the previous elections the law was just some theoretical future reform. At the best of times, it was a merely an intellectual policy debate about competing predictions. At the worst of times, it was a fight simply over buzzwords.
|By: Jon Walker Wednesday May 15, 2013 10:20 am|
House Republicans are having their 37th vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act today. As Speaker John Boehner explained the reason for the vote is purely political. While during the previous Congress voted repeatedly on repealing Obamacare, there are many newly elected Democratic and Republican members of Congress who are not officially on record.
|By: RH Reality Check Wednesday May 8, 2013 8:30 am|
Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times. — Niccolo Machiavelli
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan is part of a dangerous reframing of “religious liberty.” At a gathering of Catholics in his archdiocese last year, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, uttered a strategic point that would have done Machiavelli proud. The bishops, he said, are perhaps not the church’s best messengers.
|By: RH Reality Check Tuesday April 30, 2013 2:00 pm|
This week, the government filed an emergency motion in the New York Archdiocese’s lawsuit against the contraceptive coverage mandate, requesting that the court halt proceedings and dismiss the case. The emergency is that the government is hemorrhaging money defending a regulation it will never enforce against the Archdiocese.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday April 18, 2013 9:47 am|
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Sen. Max Baucus repeatedly expressed concerns that the administration has completely failed to do proper outreach and that most of his constituents are still very confused about the law. Baucus said small businesses have “no idea what to do” and he sees a “huge train wreck coming down.”
|By: Dean Baker Thursday April 4, 2013 6:02 am|
The New York Times ran a piece with a headline complaining “public misconception of government benefits makes trimming them harder.” The piece goes on to explain that the cost of the Medicare benefits received by a typical beneficiary vastly exceeds the taxes they will have paid into the system using standard discount rates. The piece tells readers that most readers do not recognize this fact, so they get upset at the idea of cutting benefits.
|By: RH Reality Check Wednesday April 3, 2013 8:30 am|
The Obama administration is accepting comments from the public until April 8th on the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making for the birth control benefit or contraceptive coverage rule. The proposed rule amends the exemption for houses of worship and their affiliates and adds an accommodation for other non-exempt non-profits opposed to birth control.
The accommodation requires that insurance companies offer separate contraceptive coverage directly to the employees of objecting organizations at no additional cost. To take advantage of the accommodation, an organization need only self-certify to its health insurer or plan administrator that it is a non-profit opposed to some of the required contraceptive services and that it “hold[s] itself out as a religious organization.”
|By: Jon Walker Tuesday April 2, 2013 9:25 am|
A big sign that the federal implementation of the Affordable Care Act is not going smoothly is the Obama administration delaying two big components of the law for at least a year.
Last week Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that the Obama administration will delay the Federal Basic Health Plan Option (FBHPO) until 2015. Cantwell is responsible for putting the provision into the law. It will allow states to create a program to cover people from 138% to 200% FPL instead of putting them on the new private insurance exchanges.