How California Would Handle the Striking Down of the Individual Mandate

By: Wednesday June 27, 2012 9:50 am

If the entire Affordable Care Act gets struck down tomorrow, that would trigger a fair bit of chaos, with lawsuits and scrambling for reauthorization of programs like the Indian Health Service expected. But if the Supreme Court just throws out the individual mandate – and even if they toss insurance regulations like guaranteed issue (the bar on denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition) – the nation’s biggest state is prepared to move forward with the law, and even prosper, according to a leading health advocate.


Republican Innumeracy and Half-Universal Health Care

By: Thursday March 15, 2012 4:00 pm

Republican innumeracy basically explains half of their policy prescriptions, but as these things go, this is a pretty good one.

The short story is this. The 2010 Affordable Care Act carried a price tag of $940 billion over ten years. This was mainly accomplished by delaying the implementation until 2014 to keep the 10-year budget window costs artificially low. Given how public opinion has lagged on the law, I’m guessing some Democrats would want that decision back.

New Health Care Regulations Close Exchanges to Many Offered Unaffordable Employer Coverage

By: Monday August 15, 2011 3:00 pm

The somewhat good news here is that the seamless coverage regulations proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services have been widely praised. They are designed to do all those calculations backstage, so that the consumer need only to visit one portal to figure out which program they slot into. And it sets up a process for annual eligibility review, so individuals are not responsible for flagging their increase in income. Individuals who end up making too much for Medicaid will get to keep their coverage until they get a new plan on the exchange.

The somewhat bad news is that because of the new rules, the tax credits just got less affordable.

The “Blended Rate” – A Dangerous Proposal in the Debt Limit Deal to Cut Medicaid or Render It Ineffective

By: Wednesday July 6, 2011 5:40 pm

The most dangerous plans I’ve seen coming out of the debt limit talks are chained CPI and the Medicaid blended rate. I’ve written extensively about chained CPI, which would cause a Social Security benefit cut of hundreds of dollars a year for the average beneficiary. The way that can be most easily combated is by calling it what it is – a tax increase. Only $100 billion of the $300 billion projected savings in chained CPI comes from Social Security; the other $200 billion comes from the effect of slowing the cost of living adjustment in other programs, including… tax brackets.

The Market in Old People

By: Sunday April 17, 2011 10:40 am

Shopping for insurance and medical treatment: fun for all ages.

Insurance Industry Switches Gears on Children’s Pre-Existing Conditions; Will Use Law as Excuse for Rate Hikes

By: Tuesday March 30, 2010 7:50 am

You can pretty much figure out AHIP’s game here. With no restrictions on cost until 2014, the industry can raise their premium prices almost at will. Even the bad publicity suffered from that 39% rate hike of Anthem Blue Cross plan has not stopped that scheduled increase from taking effect in May. And when outrage is expressed by families facing double-digit rate hikes, AHIP will clear their throats and blame the pre-existing condition exclusion for children, forcing the poor insurance companies to take on a sicker risk pool and raise prices to survive.

Late Night: Wanted: A New White House Communications Director

By: Friday December 18, 2009 8:00 pm

I call bullshit on Dan Pfeiffer.

No one that I know of in the Democratic party ever dreamed of passing health care reform “like this.” That’s a GOP dream if ever I’ve heard one.

Does House Health Care Bill Eliminate SCHIP?

By: Thursday November 5, 2009 5:00 pm

Jay Rockefeller is making a lot of noise about a provision in the House health care bill that would fold the SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) into the insurance exchanges when they begin running in 2013. Rockefeller, who changed the Senate Finance Committee bill to rescue SCHIP from the same fate, released this statement [...]

Republicans Still Dubious About Voting For Senate Health Reform Bill

By: Sunday June 28, 2009 1:45 pm

This New York Times article, Little Hope For GOP to Support Health Bill, illustrates the problem with bipartisanship and getting Republican votes. It’s like people haven’t paid attention to the GOP votes against the stimulus bill, against the ACES bill, and against the S-CHIP bill. Why would they vote for the health bill out of the Senate Finance Committee after showing such a consistent pattern of votes against President Obama’s agenda?

Employee Free Choice: Beware of the Big Lie Bill

By: Thursday February 26, 2009 1:35 pm

Opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act in Congress made their Big Lie into a bill Wednesday, when Republicans John DeMint (S.C.) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.) introduced the so-called Secret Ballot Protection Act.

Before we go further, let’s clear up the bill’s false implication right now:

The Employee Free Choice Act would not—repeat after me—would not, take away the secret ballot National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election process if workers seeking to form a union wanted to use it.

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