June 29, 2012 |
Within minutes of the Supreme Court decision upholding "Obamacare 's" individual mandate as a valid exercise of Congress' taxing powers, there were rumbles in the blogosphere that conservatives would snatch victory from the jaws of their defeat. Sure, Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion saved "Obamacare" by choosing from Column B of the government's justification for the mandate. But (that crafty devil!) he also furthered the long-term conservative project of weakening Congress' power to regulate the national economy (and arguably un-national, un-economic conduct like racial discrimination at drugstores)
October 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The online insurance marketplaces created by President Obama's healthcare law got off to a bumpy start Tuesday as some consumers were kicked off web portals and several states reported glitches that slowed enrollment on the first day Americans were supposed to be able to sign up for coverage. The website for accessing federally run marketplaces - www.healthcare.gov - froze when some consumers tried to create accounts, the first step in selecting a health plan. Officials said the site got 1 million visits in the last day, five times more visitors than have ever been on the federal Medicare.gov site at one time.
August 5, 2013 |
The Wall Street Journal's editorial board opens its latest screed against the 2010 healthcare law Monday by paraphrasing H.L. Mencken as follows: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class. " I guess no one will go broke either underestimating the Journal opinionators' cynicism and misrepresentations in the face of a policy they oppose. The Journal's fusillade was prompted by the Obama administration's effort to keep congressional staff members from being hurt by a pernicious feature of the 2010 law. Added by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa during the Senate Finance Committee's mark-up, the provision requires members of Congress and their staff to obtain health insurance through the new exchanges established by the law. To the Journal, this is the sort of eat-your-own-dog-food requirement that forces lawmakers to experience what they impose on their constituents.
October 27, 2013 |
One of these weeks, now that the Obama administration has recruited a SWAT team of computer whizzes, Healthcare.gov will recover from its shambolic debut and turn into, well, just another website. After all, it's only a website, and websites can be fixed. But that's when a far more interesting chapter in the life of Obamacare will begin. We're about to witness a massive experiment in federalism to see whether the Affordable Care Act can succeed in two very different kinds of states: those where governments are actively working to help the law succeed, and those where they're working to make it fail.
October 31, 2010 |
Republican congressional candidates have declared war on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ? or Obamacare, as they call it. They have called for its repeal, and promised to work toward that end if elected. But the rhetoric is largely political theater. Even if Republicans were to gain control of both the House and Senate in the upcoming election, they would not have 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. And President Obama would surely wield his veto pen to prevent destruction of his signature legislative achievement.
March 14, 2014 |
The House is set to vote Friday on an important healthcare bill that has either been sabotaged by anti-Obamacare Republicans or (unwittingly) rescued by them. House Republicans have teed up a bill that would make a crucial change in Medicare, preventing a deep cut in doctors' fees scheduled to go into effect April 1. But it would pay for it by postponing Obamacare's requirement that all adult Americans buy health insurance until 2019 -- a move that, perversely, could drive up premiums in the individual market and leave even more people without coverage.
September 20, 2013 |
Republicans in Congress took their first vote Friday in a gamble that almost no one expects to end up going their way. The bet is that, to avoid a government shutdown, Democrats and President Obama would agree to gut funding for his signature domestic program, the nation's healthcare law. Even Republicans in the Senate have acknowledged that is not going to happen. But the measure passed anyway , largely because Obama's plan has become, for a hugely influential piece of the Republican Party, about something far bigger than healthcare.
March 21, 2014 |
Milk, bread and Obamacare. Ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline, the Covered California exchange said Friday that it reached a deal with pharmacy giant CVS Caremark Corp. and the Ralphs grocery chain to promote the healthcare law inside their stores. The state said it will have health insurance information displays at the front of CVS stores. At Ralphs supermarkets, shoppers can get brochures and other information, hear in-store announcements and see messages on their receipts about health coverage.
March 31, 2014 |
Flooded by last-minute demand for Obamacare coverage, California gave consumers until April 15 to enroll after thousands of people trying to meet Monday's deadline endured long lines and website troubles. Monday had been the deadline to start signing up for coverage, but as the day wore on, officials saw that many would-be applicants, enrollment counselors and insurance agents couldn't even log in to the Covered California exchange website. A similar outpouring of interest was seen nationwide as open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act was winding down.
May 2, 2013 |
A flurry of news reports, including one Thursday by my colleague Chad Terhune, has documented an unintended consequence of Obamacare: the decision by some employers to keep fewer full-time workers on the payroll or reduce the hours of near full-time workers to avoid having to provide health insurance. There's no telling how widespread the practice is, but analysts (including those at the Congressional Budget Office ) have been predicting it since before the law was passed.