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What’s Next For Health Care Policy?

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Ben Domenech writes:  Over the past few days we’ve seen an ever-increasing number of voices on the Left, most of whom laughed at the prospects of Obamacare as a train wreck a few months ago, gradually opening up about their concerns on the future of the law.  They aren’t saying it’s going to fail now, mind you – but they are gaming out a future where things just don’t work out as they had intended, where the combination of implementation failures and unfixable policy come together to make a real mess of things. It raises the possibility of the post-Obamacare era, with policy writers on the left finally recognizing that there will be another round of health care reform in the near future.

What might post-Obamacare health care policy look like?

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Double Down: Obamacare Will Increase Avg. Individual-Market Insurance Premiums By 99% For Men, 62% For Women

For months now, we’ve been waiting to hear how much Obamacare will drive up the cost of health insurance for people who purchase coverage on their own. Last night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally began to provide some data on how Americans will fare on Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchanges. HHS’ press release is full of happy talk about how premiums will be “lower than originally expected.” But the reality is starkly different.

The Obamacare Rate Map, an interactive tool for learning about health insurance prices under the Affordable Care Act, was produced by the Manhattan Institute. Click on the graphic to visit the map.

The Obamacare Rate Map, an interactive tool for learning about health insurance prices under the Affordable Care Act, was produced by the Manhattan Institute. Click on the graphic to visit the map.

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.

HHS releases a trickle of data and a load of spin

Earlier this month, I and two colleagues from the Manhattan Institute—Yevgeniy Feyman and Paul Howard—published an interactive map that detailed Obamacare’s impact on individually-purchased health insurance premiums in 13 states plus D.C. As the accompanying article described, Obamacare increased premiums in those states by an average of 24 percent.

But those states were largely blue states that had set up their own, state-based insurance exchanges. The big data dump that we’ve been waiting for, since then, is from the majority of states that didn’t set up their own state-based exchange. That data is the responsibility of the Obama administration, namely HHS. Finally, with less than a week to go before the exchanges are supposed to go on-line, HHS has released a slim, 15-page report and a press release that summarize some of the premium data. Read the rest of this entry »


Good News: Congress’ inability to multi-task and time manage will kill immigration

McImmigCainWhen it comes to immigration reform Senator John McCain has been a ray of sunshine.  Even during the toughest parts of the Gang of Eight’s negotiations he was upbeat and positive.  So when McCain recently said he was concerned  about  immigration reform, then I knew we are really in trouble.

The issue of immigration has yet again been pushed to the back burner.  In fact, some would claim that it’s not even on the stove but out of the kitchen.  Comprehensive immigration reform was supposed to be passed by now, or at the very least voted on.  But, this summer’s Marathon Bomber and now a potential strike on Syria in tandem with an upcoming debt ceiling battle have left immigration little oxygen. Read the rest of this entry »


Regulation nation: Obama expands the regulatory state

By Ben Goad and Julian Hattem 

President Obama has overseen a dramatic expansion of the regulatory state that will outlast his time in the White House.

The reach of the executive branch has advanced steadily on his watch, further solidifying the power of bureaucrats who churn out regulations that touch nearly every aspect of American life and business.

Experts debate whether federal rulemaking has accelerated under Obama, but few dispute that Washington — for better or worse — is reaching deeper than ever before into the workings of society.

“It would be difficult for anyone to pretend that this isn’t a high water mark in terms of regulation,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office who now heads the American Action Forum.

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