Tag Archives: ACA

High Risk Pools Serve Patients Better Than Mandates

As Congress continues to advance the American Health Care Act, Democrats and the medical establishment have argued that the Republican health care bill will deny sick and vulnerable patients access to quality health care. But the reality is that patients with pre-existing conditions will receive better coverage through the AHCA than under Obamacare.

On paper, Obamacare offers patients with chronic conditions an iron-clad guarantee to health care. The law requires insurers accept anyone that’s interested in joining their pool. It prohibits insurers from charging sick patients higher premiums because of their health status. And it requires insurers to offer a suite of comprehensive services and benefits….

Read the rest at: Forbes

Obamacare Is a Horror Story for Young Americans

Obamacare has enmeshed many Americans in a bureaucratic nightmare. True, the law has helped some uninsured people obtain coverage. But millions of people have seen their health-insurance plans canceled, because the plans did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Others, particularly young Americans, have seen premiums rise to pay for the roster of newly added benefits.

Tommy Groves (not his real name), a young professional working at a small firm in Washington, D.C., was among the nearly 5 million Americans who received termination-of-coverage letters from their health-insurance providers because their plans did not comply with the ACA’s requirements. While about half the states offered to extend canceled plans for another year, later increased to two years, the District of Columbia required its residents to get new insurance.

Tommy had no choice but to grudgingly visit D.C. Health Link and attempt to sign up for an insurance plan on the ACA exchange. He did not get very far. Besides the embarrassing computer difficulties that became infamous on the state and federal exchanges, massive technological problems with “back-end functionality” also plagued the site. D.C. Health Link was unable to verify Tommy’s identity, and after hours of back-and-forth on the phone with an ACA help center, he was told to send in a paper application.

After many phone calls and countless hours on hold over a period of weeks, and despite multiple assurances to the contrary, Tommy was informed that his paper application had been lost. Finally he was directed to a place where he could sign up in person.

This attempt, too, did not succeed, as the “navigators” there had been instructed not to accept paper applications any longer. After he had spent hours more on the phone with D.C. Health Link over several additional weeks, the online system was finally able to verify his identity, and he met the deadline for purchasing health insurance. “I don’t want other people who are thrown off their employer’s health insurance to go through what I did,” Tommy told us.

“It was miserable and a complete waste of my time. Nobody listens to you. Nobody takes responsibility. The only advice I give people who are going to be stuck dealing with the health-care exchanges is, ‘Get ready for the bureaucracy.’”

Tommy’s premium for his “silver plan” went up to $225 a month from his $175 pre-ACA rate. Both plans cover the health-care services he wants, but his new plan includes services that he does not need, such as maternity care, pediatric dental care, mental-health coverage, and substance-abuse treatment. His deductible increased from $1,400 to $1,500 for in-network coverage, and from $2,800 to $3,000 for out-of-network coverage. Tommy is now paying more for coverage that is less valuable to him, and all after he was forced to spend dozens of hours on the phone.

Read the rest at National Review Online.

Three Economic Priorities for 2015

In 2014, the stock market reached record highs, GDP continued to grow, and the unemployment rate declined. The New Year offers many challenges and opportunities for U.S. policymakers to speed economic growth. Here are three priorities to help the economy improve on 2014’s performance.

End the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate

Unlike repealing the Affordable Care Act, ending the employer mandate has bipartisan support. The center-left Urban Institute advocates eliminating the employer mandate, which is only projected to increase the number of insured by tiny fractions of one percent (0.0007 percent). The additional number insured, 200,000, and the $4.3 billion the IRS is expected to collect annually in employer fines are not worth the disincentives to hiring.

President Obama understands the negative employment effects of the employer mandate. Businesses with over 49 full-time equivalent employees were originally supposed to offer insurance plans that met government requirements by January 1, 2014, but the president has delayed the mandate twice.

As the law currently stands, employers with over 100 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer an ACA-compliant will owe an annual penalty of $2,000 per full-time worker beginning in 2015. Employers with 50 to 100 full-time equivalent workers will owe the fine beginning in 2016. Once the full mandate goes into effect, growing from 49 to 50 full-time workers will cost a business an additional $40,000 (the first 30 workers are exempt). Since the first 30 full-time workers are exempt and employers do not have to offer healthcare to part-time workers, employers can avoid penalties if they keep 30 full-time workers and expand with only part-time workers.

This penalty is already discouraging hiring, especially of low-skill full-time employees, as successful businesses plan years into the future. Delays have not helped to calm businesses’ unease over expanding, and full repeal of the mandate would bring some much-needed certainty.

Increasing the number of insured was the original purpose of the Affordable Care Act, not the major disruption in labor markets that has ensued. With labor force participation at its lowest point since the 1970s, it is unwise to continue policies that provide few benefits while making it more costly to hire.

Read the rest at Economics21…

Advocate Jared Published in E21 on the Affordable Care Act

Advocate Jared Meyer was published in The Manhattan Institute’s E21 on the Affordable Care Act’s effect on hiring.

Newly released government data suggest that the Affordable Care Act is dragging down private sector hiring. Though the Act is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to cost nearly $1.5 trillion over the coming decade, it is important to keep in mind that the Act’s most serious costs might be found not in its price-tag, but in its labor market effects.

You can find the full piece here.

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