Obamacare Watch

Galen's new AmericanHealthCareChoices.org website is still in development, but we are continuing our weekly newsletter, starting today.  
 
Our invaluable editor of ObamaCareWatch, Kara Jones, will keep her vigilant watch for papers and important commentary and news articles about the latest developments on the pro-market side of the debate, maintaining the new website and preparing the weekly newsletter.  
 
Stay tuned.  It’s an exciting new era of reform.  ObamaCare was Wrong for America because it centralized control with Washington bureaucrats over crucially important personal decisions about our health care. It’s time the American people had real choices of affordable health coverage and care that are right for them.  
 
And here are the articles this week that we think are most important to keep you current and informed about what’s coming with American Healthcare Choices!



HSA changes will ease Obamacare's sticker shock
By Ryan Ellis 
Washington Examiner, July 12, 2018 
 
The House Ways and Means Committee advanced a series of bills this week to expand health savings accounts and give direct assistance to families suffering from Obamacare’s price spikes. Among these bills is the Health Savings Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess, R-TX.  Dr. Burgess’ bill would allow any person or family enrolled in a “bronze” or a catastrophic Obamacare plan to make an HSA contribution.  Today, the most affordable health insurance plans in the individual market have cost exposures too high even for an HSA. It’s the worst of all worlds: an expensive premium, a high deductible, and no HSA eligibility despite sky-high out of pocket exposure.

House Panel Advances Bill That Would Temporarily Halt Obamacare's Employer Mandate
By Jessie Hellmann
The Hill, July 12, 2018

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would further chip away at ObamaCare, including a measure that would temporarily repeal the law's employer mandate. The bill sponsored by GOP Reps. Devin Nunes (CA) and Mike Kelly (PA) would suspend penalties for the employer mandate for 2015 through 2019 and delay implementation of the tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans—the “Cadillac Tax”—for another year, until 2022.

Short-Term Plans Would Increase Coverage, Protect Conscience Rights & Improve ObamaCare Risk Pools
by Michael Cannon
Cato Institute, July 2, 2018

Giving consumers the choice of purchasing renewal guarantees, either in conjunction with a short-term plan or as a standalone product protecting enrollees from re-underwriting in that market, would produce significant benefits well in excess of any costs. It would increase the number of Americans with health insurance, allow Americans to purchase insurance that respects their religious beliefs, and improve ObamaCare’s risk pools.

The Health Insurers Squawk
By Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would suspend $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments, which are designed to compensate insurers that enroll sick, expensive patients. Unlike with other ObamaCare subsidy programs, risk adjustment payments shuffle money from insurers with relatively healthy populations to others. Some co-ops have sued on grounds that the funding formula is unfair to small insurers. In January a federal court in Massachusetts ruled the formula wasn’t arbitrary and capricious. But a month later a federal judge in New Mexico said it was. The left is complaining that HHS halted the payments too casually, but on all the evidence the Trump Administration is trying to abide by the ruling while the courts resolve the dispute. This is called following the law.

Democrats Cast Kavanaugh Pick as a Battle for the Future of Obamacare
By Susan Ferrechio
Washington Examiner, July 11, 2018

Obamacare will play a starring role again in Congress this summer, this time helping determine the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats said Tuesday they plan to make the confirmation of Kavanaugh a fight over the future of Obamacare, which is under yet another lower court challenge that is winding its way toward possible consideration by the Supreme Court.