The Pitfalls of Affordable Care Act Implementation

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 8:30 am

All of this will happen during 2014, a midterm election year, where Democrats will struggle to hold the Senate, while trying a heavy lift of adding 17 seats in the House. What if the dominant story becomes the failures of Obamacare? Certainly that narrative is already being written in some circles? The ACA already indirectly led to one nightmare election for Democrats, in 2010. Could it lead to another?

Reducing Prescription Drug Costs Central to Administration Opening Bid on Medicare

By: Friday November 30, 2012 2:34 pm

Courtesy Think Progress, here’s a pretty good chart detailing the health program savings that were included in the White House’s opening bid on the fiscal slope. You can get this information from the White House’s FY2013 budget request. As you can see above, the plurality of the savings come from “Medicaid drug rebates for Part [...]

Contra the Deficit Scolds, We Can Keep Medicare and Medicaid Strong Simply By Keeping Them Intact

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 1:10 pm

This diatribe bestowed upon Rep. Raul Grijalva on CNBC, which has become Fiscal Cliff TV, is really priceless, with the anchor accusing Grijalva of tanking the market because he refuses to cut benefits for poor people and seniors. The means testing angle is really a joke here, too. Medicare is already means-tested. To means-test it [...]

Taming the Rube Goldberg Beast That Is Obamacare

By: Monday November 12, 2012 1:09 pm

A couple posts by Sarah Kliff over at the Wonkblog franchise underline the monumental task of putting together a clumsy, interlocking, state/federal, public/private, amorphous glob of a tweak to the nation’s health care system. In fact, we’re in the midst of the Obamacare cliff, a drop-dead point where states must decide whether they want to [...]

Health Care Law Faces Sprint After Election

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 2:39 pm

One signature consequence, perhaps the leading consequence, of last night’s electoral victory for Democrats is that the implementation of Obamacare will now proceed unfettered. At least at the federal level. But as we’ve noted for many months, the law’s facility will rise or fall on the willingness of the states to carry it out. After [...]

“New Public Option” Not a Public Option

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 10:49 am

The need to offer a substitute to placate those desiring a public option created this Frankenstein monster, which was admittedly not well thought-out. Those who did it ended up with the worst of all possible worlds; no public option supporter really even knew about these multi-state plans, and they have the potential to disrupt the exchanges and cause a race to the bottom.

Medicaid Cut Costs in 2012 by Making Its Insurance Less Effective

By: Friday October 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Medicaid spending slowed down in 2012 and similar slowing is expected for 2013. However, it’s being accomplished through precisely the same program that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan endorse for the program – by effectively taking beneficiaries off the rolls. The data comes from the respected Kaiser Family Foundation, and their annual survey of all [...]

The Very Interesting Eric Cantor Power Point on Bowles-Simpson

By: Friday October 26, 2012 12:41 pm

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has created a Power Point presentation about Bowles-Simpson, the recommendations of the two leaders of the deficit commission. And this offers a window into Tea Party preferences for the fiscal slope and deficit deals. This is actually the key swing bloc in Congress; with President Obama on board with a [...]

Greece Attempts to Pass Another Round of Austerity

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 7:45 am

The Finance Minister for Greece, Yannis Stournaras, claims that the country will be given more time by its international creditors to reach deficit targets, smoothing out the level of austerity required in the near term. But he might want to tell his international creditors about it. Greece had been asking for two more years to [...]

Mitt Romney’s Medicaid Claims Belie How Block Granting Would Affect the Program

By: Tuesday October 23, 2012 1:31 pm

As I’ve said before, the domestic policy area where the candidates truly differ in both their positions and their actions is clearly on Medicaid. Barack Obama signed a signature law that expands Medicaid to 16 million additional beneficiaries from current law; Mitt Romney would turn Medicaid into a block grant, eliminating the ability for the [...]

The Dividing Line Between the Presidential Candidates on Social Insurance Really Falls on Medicaid

By: Monday October 15, 2012 1:43 pm

Throughout the election campaign, when the two competitors talk about social insurance programs, they usually confine it to Social Security and Medicare, and really just Medicare. And it’s true that the Romney-Ryan plan for a voucher program instead of traditional Medicare would lead to higher premiums for most seniors. But the planned growth rates for [...]

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