Time to Stop CPR on ObamaCare

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This week’s Health Policy News Roundup, curated by Dr. Jane Orient

ObamaCare is dead, writes Kevin D. Williamson. “It doesn’t work because it couldn’t work.” He explains how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempts to change insurance, which is a prospective financial product, into a retrospective arrangement that pays for things that have already happened (pre-existing conditions). Insurance calculation methods don’t apply; instead of insurance, we have a badly structured cost-sharing program. ACA created nothing but chaos.

”Right now, the Republicans and the Democrats are two political coroners arguing over what time and cause of death to put on the paperwork; rigor mortis set in long ago.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426550/obamacare-failures

Medical prices continue to rise three times as fast as other prices, writes John Graham. http://healthblog.ncpa.org/cpi-medical-prices-rose-three-times-faster-than-other-prices-hospitals-stand-out/

Premium costs are increasing ten times as fast as the real (inflation-adjusted) median American household income has risen in the past quarter of a century. And networks are shrinking to a “single provider.” So far, the CBO says, about 60 percent of Obamacare’s newly insured are on Medicaid. And Obamacare continues to be the most unpopular cornerstone legislation in memory.

The exchanges are becoming a Medicaid managed care marketplace, writes Scott Gottlieb. http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2015/11/19/uniteds-warning-shows-how-medicaid-is-taking-over-obamacare/

Republicans, fearing that the risk corridor (“training wheels”) program for insurers could turn into an open-ended government bailout in the event of industry-wide losses, included a provision in last year’s spending bill that limited the program, requiring HHS to pay out only from the pool of money collected. Insurers are not happy, writes Philip Klein. “And now the industry lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans—which happens to be helmed by Marilyn Tavenner, who previously oversaw the implementation of Obamacare as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—is aggressively fighting for more money.” http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/hhs-bailing-out-obamacare-insurers-an-obligation-of-the-federal-government/article/2576837

“Obamacare is on the ropes. It’s time to knock it out,” writes The Weekly Standard. “And it’s time for GOP presidential candidates, who have been strangely silent on this matter, to start talking about how they would land the decisive blow.” https://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/repeal-now-more-ever_1059379.html

A proposed partial repeal of ACA that the House suggests trying to pass as part of budget reconciliation would reduce federal spending by $289.6 billion over the next 10 years, but would leave 82 percent of the economic burden caused by Obamacare taxes still in effect, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. http://dailysignal.com/2015/11/18/exclusive-partial-repeal-keeps-82-percent-of-obamacare-burden-memo-says/

Yet there is hope, if Congress just refrains from CPR. A taxpayer bailout is needed to save Obamacare. “Let’s face it, Obama will do anything to protect his signature health care law, even if it means paralyzing the budget process,” writes Betsy McCaughey. “As long as Republicans keep their backbone and their eyes on the fine print, they can stop the bailout again. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to prop up the failures of ObamaCare.” http://nypost.com/2015/11/20/a-new-taxpayer-bailout-to-cover-up-obamacares-failure/

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