coverage


Waivering on the Health Care Law

I have another new article up, at ObamaCareWatch, on how the regulatory tangles brought about by the health care law are already becoming apparent:

[A]fter just six months of implementation, it’s clear that even ObamaCare’s fiercest critics underestimated just how badly and how quickly the new law would distort decision-making in American health care.

The latest sign of how bad things are — and how bad they will get — came in the form of a New York Times story indicating that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued waivers to dozens of employers and insurers to allow them to avoid, for the next year at least, some of ObamaCare’s costly new insurance requirements. According to the Times, the HHS waivers have gone to companies such as McDonald’s and Jack in the Box, as well as to selected health insurers and union-sponsored plans. These companies and plan sponsors were warning HHS that the new health law’s ill-advised and inflexible burdens would force them to drop coverage altogether — a fact that the legislation’s critics had predicted before passage, but that the administration denied. All totaled, about one million Americans are enrolled in plans that are now exempt from the costly new requirements; it seems likely that number will only grow in coming weeks with more HHS waivers.

The Obama administration is trying to have it both ways here.

Read the whole article here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 9:46 pm
Tags: waivers, coverage
File As: Health Care

About Those Presidential Promises...

From my latest column today in Kaiser Health News:

Over the past three years, President Barack Obama made many promises to the American people about his health care plan. Among other things, he said it would reduce the federal budget deficit in coming years, promote better quality care and improve access to physicians.

But two promises stood out in the sales pitch because they were aimed at assuaging the deepest fears of a broad cross-section of the electorate: those who already have good health insurance today.

First, during the presidential campaign, Obama promised on numerous occasions that families with existing coverage would see their annual premiums fall, on average, by $2,500 per household. Jason Furman, an adviser to candidate Obama and now an economic aide in the White House, even said that the Obama campaign team believed this level of premium savings could be fully achieved, or nearly so, by the end of an Obama first term.

Second, throughout the campaign and many times since taking office, the president has promised to let Americans stay with the health insurance plans they are enrolled in today if they want to. In other words, the changes he favors in health care arrangements would not force anyone out of something they find entirely satisfactory.

The rest of the piece looks at how those two promises have been panning out. Short version: not all that well. Read the whole thing here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 2:24 pm
Tags: broken promises, costs, coverage
File As: Health Care