Posts Tagged ‘health insurance exchanges’

December 13, 2012

Health Care News

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Deadline for States to Claim Their Role in Obamacare

Tomorrow is an important day for Obamacare. It’s the deadline for states to declare their intentions about setting up their own health insurance exchanges for residents to purchase insurance under the new regime.

If a state does not set up an exchange, the federal government will come in and set it up, according to the law. So far, 22 states have said they are not going to set up state exchanges. Only six states have received conditional approval from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to operate their own exchanges.

Why leave it up to the federal government? Well, to begin with, it’s an extremely costly undertaking. Heritage health care experts Nina Owcharenko and Ed Haislmaier explain:

[T]here will be no steady flow of federal dollars to the states. The law specifies that starting in 2015, any state implementing a state exchange must develop its own revenue source to fund the exchange’s annual operations. That puts the long-term costs squarely on the states. Moreover, the recent announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that it will levy a 3.5 percent administrative fee on coverage sold through the federally run exchanges indicates there are significant costs if a state agrees to run its own exchange.

And what would be in it for them? Certainly not increased control over how the exchanges are run. Owcharenko and Haislmaier explain that “regulations promulgated by HHS allow states no meaningful flexibility or advantage by operating their own exchanges, relative to a federal exchange. Those states would simply be acting as vendors to HHS.”

Read the rest on The Foundry…

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March 31, 2011

Health Care News

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Accepting Federal Exchange Funding for Obamacare: A Dangerous Proposition for the States

Right now, states across the country are trying to figure out what to do in response to Obamacare and its health insurance exchange architecture. In Oklahoma, the question has gone even further as the state government debates whether or not to accept federal funding, appropriated in the Obamacare statute, to create a state information technology system for a health care exchange.

In Ed Haislmaier’s recent paper, he describes this dilemma:

Trying to shoehorn patient-centered, market-based reforms into the bureaucratic architecture of Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges is not a viable strategy, either practically or politically. But refusing to create an Obamacare state exchange, while politically appealing, would leave state health insurance markets vulnerable to even more federal interference and disruption over the next two years. (Read the rest at The Foundry…)

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February 15, 2011

Health Care News

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Trusting but Verifying on Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

On the subject of arms treaties with the Soviet Union, President Reagan famously said, “Trust, but verify.” Now many Members of Congress want to do the same with public funding of elective abortion under Obamacare, but they are meeting new resistance from congressional Democrats, some of whom, nonetheless, insist they have the same goal.

The battle dates back to 2009, when the abortion funding issue held up the passage of the massive health care bill known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In March 2010, the PPACA was finally adopted when a small group of House Democrats backed away from a proposal known as Stupak–Pitts, which would have plugged the abortion funding loopholes in the PPACA and established a strict standard governing the use of the new affordability tax credits created by the bill.

The House Democrats voted for the PPACA after receiving assurances that President Obama would issue an executive order that would plug the loopholes, or, as the President put it, impose “strict compliance with prohibitions on abortion funding in health insurance exchanges” and apply the fund restrictions to separate categories like community health centers. (Read the rest at The Foundry…)

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March 30, 2010

Health Care News

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Heritage President Ed Feulner Responds to President Obama’s Claims

President Obama this morning cited The Heritage Foundation’s research in an attempt to sell his health care package as a “middle of the road, centrist approach.” We take great exception to this misuse of our work and abuse of our name. This is but the latest act in a campaign to sell this big-government program as a moderate law that incorporates conservative ideas. Americans should not be fooled.

Let’s be very clear: We oppose this new law because it is a radical new intrusion into the daily lives of all Americans and a massive takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. We view the President’s health care law as inimical to our national interests and offensive to the historic American dedication to the principle of self-government.

Our research has shown that President Obama’s health approach is financially unsustainable and will ultimately lead to health care rationing, a lower quality of care and a greater degree of dependence on government. We deplore those outcomes and are committed to making the intellectual case for this law’s repeal.
What part of that does President Obama not understand?

Specifically, President Obama told NBC’s Today Show host Matt Lauer that a centerpiece of his health care package, “in terms of the exchange, just being able to pool and improve the purchasing power of individuals in the insurance market—that originated from The Heritage Foundation.”

But the President knows full well—or he ought to learn before he speaks—that the exchanges we and most others support are very different from those in his package. True exchanges are simply a market mechanism to enable families to choose their health insurance. President Obama’s exchanges, by contrast, are a vehicle to introduce sweeping regulation and federal standardization on health insurance. (more…)

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