Obamacare is horribly expensive

Note:  You might want to start at the Obamacare Index Page, especially if you arrived here by using a search engine.

Obamacare was developed by leftist politicians who were not very fastidious about telling the truth.  One aspect of socialized medicine that is never fully explained is the enormous cost.  Politicians speak about the cost in terms of some number of billions (or trillions!) of dollars "over the first ten years" as if socialized medicine will only be around for ten years.  No, it is a permanent solution and the cost will always increase every year if the government is involved.


Obamacare is horribly expensive.

Obamacare opens the door to tyranny

The Senate bill includes an unprecedented trap:  It can't be repealed!.

Obamacare  will be  is horribly expensive

"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."  (P.J. O'Rourke)  (Or maybe it was Phil Gramm.)

Long-term con: Obamacare was 'paid for' by nationalizing student loans.  It may be hard to recall these days when a Democratic White House proudly rejects any guiderails from things such as economics or the Constitution.  But back in the Obama years, they considered themselves the wonks.  And Obamacare was supposed to be the triumph of the wonks.  As the law aged, its rickety construction became clearer, which is why most of the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 ran on replacing Obamacare.  Among other problems, the bill's "pay-fors," the revenue enhancements that would supposedly dampen the law's effects on the deficit and on inflation, all evaporated.  More specifically, Democrats repealed them, showing that they never really intended for the bill to reduce healthcare spending or pay for itself.

Congress grapples with looming Obamacare premium hikes ahead of midterm elections.  Democratic lawmakers making a last-ditch attempt to pass a tax and spending bill are now weighing whether to extend pandemic-era Obamacare subsidies to avoid skyrocketing premiums that will hit just as voters head to the polls in November.  Senate Democrats negotiating the broad package are under pressure to include additional funding for the subsidies.  Democrats approved the subsidies in March 2021 as part of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.  The subsidies are set to expire on Dec. 31.  If the subsidies are not extended, health policy experts say, premiums in the 33 states that use the government health care marketplace will rise by 53% as people begin shopping for new plans in November.

Anybody watching what Obamacare's costs have been doing lately?  This wouldn't exactly be news to anyone who has to buy Obamacare health care insurance...  But for perspective, here's the latest on the 2010 government health care takeover that had been so vaunted in the press as Your-Government-Here-To-Help:  ["]The average family health insurance premium in the US has more than tripled since the 'affordable' care act was signed into law back in 2010.  The biggest beneficiaries:  health insurers.["]

Five Things to Know About Biden's $1.8 Trillion American Families Plan.  [#3]  Permanent Expansion of Obamacare Subsidy Increases:  The American Families Plan would make permanent a $40 billion expansion of Obamacare that Biden signed into law in March 2021, which is set to expire in December 2022.  This is a costly and unjustified government incursion that further subsidizes health insurance companies that neither appreciably reduces the number of uninsured nor boosts economic recovery.  It also does nothing to address the real problems behind Americans' top concerns over rising health care costs — simply sending more money to health insurance companies to benefit them at the expense of taxpayers.  The subsidies could also threaten employer-sponsored coverage for millions of Americans, forcing them into Affordable Care Act plans that generally have narrower networks, higher cost-sharing, and higher deductibles than their job-based insurance.

Supreme Court Puts Government On the Hook for $12 Billion in Obamacare Payments.  The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the federal government is on the hook for billions in payments to health insurers who sold coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.  The eight to one decision clears the way for insurers to collect upwards of $12 billion via an Obamacare program designed to help insurers manage risks they took by participating in ACA exchanges.  Congress has refused to appropriate federal money for the program since 2014, leaving insurers in the lurch.

Obamacare's 10th anniversary:  A trillion dollars and nothing to show for it.  President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law a decade ago on March 23, 2010, promising an era of affordable healthcare.  Instead, for the past decade, insurance premiums have skyrocketed while coverage options have declined.  Clearly, this anniversary is no cause for celebration.  Proponents of Obamacare point to increased rates of insurance coverage as proof the law achieved its goals.  They fail to mention these gains were largely the result of Obamacare expanding Medicaid to cover nearly 15 million additional enrollees.  They also leave out the fact that Medicaid expansion initially cost more than $6,300 per enrollee — and that the program has historically failed to improve the health of the previously uninsured.  Spending billions of taxpayer dollars to give people low-quality coverage is hardly an achievement.

Seven Big Problems with Universal Health Care No One Wants to Address.  Everyone on the political left seems overly eager to adopt a system of universal healthcare.  It's a make-or-break talking point, and for an understandable reason — healthcare costs in this country, especially when compared with other countries, are exceptionally high.  Sick and injured people often choose not to treat their problems simply because they can't afford to, and nobody wants this to be the case.

The 'Cadillac Tax' Repeal Will Sock Taxpayers With Debt And Increase Health Costs.  If press reports are to be believed, Congress later this week may repeal two Obamacare taxes — the "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health plans, and the medical device tax — as provisions included in a larger spending bill.  Capitol Hill newspapers are now reporting that Democrats agreed to repeal two Obamacare industry taxes — the health insurer tax, which costs approximately $150 billion over a decade, along with the medical device tax — in exchange for repeal of the Cadillac tax, which labor unions want because of their cushy health insurance offerings.

U.S. Supreme Court justices lean toward insurers on $12 billion Obamacare claims.  U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday appeared sympathetic to claims made by health insurers seeking $12 billion from the federal government under a program set up by the Obamacare law aimed at encouraging them to offer medical coverage to previously uninsured Americans.

The Democratic plan for a 42% national sales tax.  If you're a Democrat who supports "Medicare for All," pick your poison.  You can ruin your political career and immolate your party by imposing a ruinous new sales tax, a gargantuan income tax hike or a surtax on corporate income that would wreck thousands of businesses.  This is the cost of bold plans.  Supporters of Medicare for All, the huge, single-payer government health plan backed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and several other Democratic presidential candidates, say it's time to think big and move to a health plan that covers everyone.  Getting there is a bit tricky, however.  A variety of analyses estimate that Medicare for All would require at least $3 trillion in new spending.  That's about as much tax revenue as the government brings in now.  So if paid for through new taxes, federal taxation would have to roughly double.

Family health plan costs exceed $20,000 for first time.  The average cost of family coverage in employer health plans pushed above the $20,000 mark for the first time this year, according to a new report, as the 5% average increase in premiums exceeded the growth rate for wages and general inflation.  Low-wage workers face unique challenges, the study found, since they are less likely to be offered employer coverage and must pay a larger share of the premium when they have the chance to buy it.

Learn from the mistakes of others:
Finnish Government Collapses Due to Rising Cost of Universal Health Care.  The government of Finland collapsed Friday [9/20/2019] due to the rising cost of universal health care and the prime minister's failure to enact reforms to the system.  Prime Minister Juha Sipila and the rest of the cabinet resigned after the governing coalition failed to pass reforms in parliament to the country's regional government and health services, the Wall Street Journal reports.  Finland faces an aging population, with around 26 percent of its citizens expected to be over 65 by the year 2030, an increase of 5 percent from today.

One obamacare chart says it all.
The Obamacare Chart The Media Are Hiding From You.  While I'm not a mathematician by trade, I'm pretty confident the chart shows that President Barack [...] Obama's incessant promises that the Democrats' health care law would "cut the typical family's health care [costs] by $2,500 a year" was one of the most egregious lies by a politician ever.  Which is truly saying something.

Revealed:  How The CBO Saved ObamaCare With Bogus Forecasts.  How do you enact a massive new program, and then keep it from being repealed after it fails?  It's simple.  Just pull the numbers out of thin air.  That's basically what happened with ObamaCare.

Government report reveals CBO was scandalously off in Obamacare estimates.  A new report from government actuaries has revealed that the Congressional Budget Office was scandalously off in its estimates of the impact of Obamacare's individual mandate, a miscalculation that has had significant ramifications for healthcare and tax policy over the past decade.  CBO estimates about the importance of an individual mandate to a national healthcare scheme prodded President Barack Obama into including the unpopular provision into the law in the first place.  The mandate projections also played a key role in President Trump's two major legislative initiatives.  The fact that the CBO assumed 14 million could lose coverage mainly due to the elimination of mandate penalties helped kill the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, while its later assumption that 13 million fewer insured individuals would mean less spending on subsidies from the federal government helped get the 2017 Republican tax cut across the finish line by improving the budgetary math.  Yet those incredibly influential estimates now appear to have been wildly off.

Support For 'Pre-Existing Conditions' Protections Plummets When Costs Are Explained.  In making this the core issue, Democrats appear to be on solid ground with the public.  Poll after poll shows widespread support for protecting people who have pre-existing medical conditions when they buy insurance coverage.  But there are important caveats that never come up.  As we've noted in this space before, the entire issue has been wildly exaggerated.  Even before ObamaCare, the vast majority of Americans were protected from pre-existing condition restrictions, because they got insurance through an employer or the government, which can't impose such restrictions.  All ObamaCare did was extend this protection to the 7% who buy insurance on their own.

Obama administration gave out $434 million in improper Obamacare payments:  Watchdog.  The Obama administration improperly paid out $434 million to Obamacare customers to pay down the cost of insurance in 2014, the first year the law's health insurance marketplaces went online, a federal watchdog reported Monday [8/13/2018].  Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General released a report Monday that outlined the improper payments during Obamacare's first year.

Dems Complain About Massive ObamaCare Premium Hikes — After Ignoring Them For Years.  Since 2014, Democrats have greeted double-digit hikes in ObamaCare premiums with a yawn.  Now it's a crisis that must be fixed immediately.  What's changed?

ProPublica admits Obamacare the culprit driving insurance costs sky high.  ProPublica, the pro-Obama leftwing investigative-reporting website funded in part by George Soros' buddies, seems to have slipped up.  One of their reporters, a real good one named Marshall Allen, has written a bang-up, worth-reading-every-word, satisfying expose about why health insurance costs are so high and why so many patients get ugly surprises when it's time to pay the bill.  And buried within, in what should have been the lede, is not an indictment of the insurance industry, but of the perverse incentives embedded within Obamacare that are driving insurance costs through the roof.  It's the biggest unintentional argument for getting rid of the nightmare of Obamacare I've seen in ages, because the report is real good.

Donna Shalala calls for more taxpayer money to prop up Obamacare.  Firmly rooted in defense of a failing system, Donna Shalala, in her race to fill retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's congressional seat, has called for more taxpayer money-shoveling to prop up Obamacare. [...] Even if Obamacare is failing like any socialist regime, unsustainable as heck, a bottomless pit of costs, keeping the system in place is Shalala's priority.  No matter how bad Obamacare is, no matter how horribly designed it was, no matter how opaque, no matter how inefficient, no matter how larded up with useless requirements and crummy profiteers (it was designed to exact maximum pain, as Jonathan Gruber explained), no matter how expensive — Shalala is dead set on preserving the system and thinks it more important than anything those forced to buy it want.

Md. insurers seek double-digit rate hikes under Obamacare.  Maryland health insurers on Monday requested rate hikes on Obamacare plans averaging 30 percent, signaling consumers could be in for another round of sticker shock next year.  CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield is seeking a 18.5 percent increase on the HMO plan that covers the lion's share of its members, and a whopping 91 percent increase for one of its PPO plans.  Kaiser Permanente sought an increase of about 37 percent.

Here are 1,366 well sourced examples of Barack Obama's lies, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc..  [#24] Before Obamacare was passed, Obama promised "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future.  I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.  And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize."  However, after Obama signed it, the Washington Post reported that it would add more than $340 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.  In March 2012, the Congressional Budget Office said that over the next decade, Obamacare would cost twice as much as what Obama had promised. [...] [#132] Although Obama claimed that switching to electronic record keeping as part of Obamacare would make health care cheaper, it actually made it more expensive.

Is anyone saying happy birthday to Obamacare?  The biggest problem is that the Affordable Health Care Act was not affordable or delivered as promised.  I'm sure there is someone out there who got health insurance he didn't have before.  However, it all came at a massive cost to our health care system and President Obama's legacy.

Thank the Democrats for Upcoming Obamacare Rate Hikes.  When the health insurers announce their 2019 premiums, they will for the fourth year in a row be far higher than the exorbitant rates you have already been struggling to pay.  And, as is their standard practice, the Democrats and the "news" media will lie about the cause of the increases.  They will attribute the hikes to the "sabotage" of Obamacare by President Trump and his evil Republican accomplices in Congress.  In reality, you will have to pay more for health coverage next year because the Democrats refused to accept a generous GOP compromise on the omnibus spending bill released Wednesday [3/21/2018].  Indeed, the compromise offered by the Republicans was so generous that many conservatives and libertarians (including yours truly) denounced it as corporate welfare for the insurance companies.  In other words, the GOP offered the Democrats what they claimed to want — premium relief for Obamacare enrollees — and the response was a resounding "NO."  This was a slap in the face for Republicans, like Senators Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins, who have gone the extra mile to work with the Democrats to save enrollees from yet another premium increase.

Healthcare Spending to Reach $5.7 Trillion by 2026.  An article published earlier this month in the medical policy journal Health Affairs buttresses this simple point.  Medical inflation stands to outpace both economic growth and actual inflation.  Our spending — government, individual, business, etc. — on healthcare, projected to increase 5.5 percent annually over the next nine years, pushes the total to $5.7 trillion a year by 2026.  That accounts for 19.7 percent of the projected gross domestic product.  Put another way, American healthcare spending in 2026 equals the entire size of the 1990 U.S. economy and eclipses the current gross domestic product of every other country not named China.  It's not that we spend more on healthcare than every other country — we spend more on healthcare than every other country, save China, spends on everything.

ObamaCare's Tax on the Poor.  Democrats claim to have a monopoly on caring for the poor and suffering, and this week the left is portraying a GOP health-care bill as an attack on society's vulnerable.  So check out the data on how ObamaCare is a tax on some low-income families.

Progressives Whine about Obamacare Premiums.  Seven years ago conservatives predicted that Obamacare's provisions, particularly those involving community rating and essential health benefits, would force insurers to raise premiums.  But progressives wrote these predictions off as the ravings of racist Republicans who hated Obamacare because it was the "signature domestic achievement" of our first African-American president.  They actually believed former President Obama when he said that "reform" would reduce premiums by 3,000 percent.  Most adults smelled a rat when he talked like that, but progressives tend to have a rather childlike view of the world.  Their reward for ignoring the grown-ups has been a series of premium increases.  Progressive self-delusion notwithstanding, 2018 is not the first year in which Obamacare rates spiked.  In fact, as Avik Roy points out at Forbes, "The most profound hikes took place in 2014, Obamacare's first year, when the health law's thicket of insurance regulations drove up the cost of coverage by an average of 49%."  And premiums have gone up every year since.  It should be obvious, even to a progressive, that neither President Trump nor the GOP could have caused those increases.

Don't Give Up The Fight To Repeal Obamacare's Individual Mandate.  Senators Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., recently introduced a bill that would effectively repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate, which fines people for going without health insurance.  Their effort has its share of fans.  President Trump has called on Congress to include repeal of the mandate in whatever tax reform bill emerges.  Fiscal conservatives tend to favor the move, too — the Congressional Budget Office announced November 8 that repealing the mandate would save the federal government $338 billion over the next decade.

Hits keep on coming:  Obamacare premiums rising by $1K per month.  Here's the number:  $2,171.  No, that is not the annual cost of a medical insurance policy, although it should be if we lived in a constitutional free market.  That is the monthly cost of the medical insurance premiums as announced by Blue Cross in a letter to my friend Mike from Houston County, Georgia, who has a computer programming business and is ineligible for a subsidy.  He also sent me the letter received by his friend Dr. Janet, who is an oral surgeon with six employees in Glynn County, Georgia.  Who in Washington is willing to speak for the forgotten men and women who want to live their lives and run their small businesses without being forced to pay the steep price of socialism?

This Is An ObamaCare Bailout, Pure And Simple.  Although pitched as a bipartisan plan to "stabilize" the ObamaCare insurance markets, the bill now being talked up in the Senate would hand $14 billion over to the insurance industry and do nothing to fix ObamaCare's underlying problems.  The proposal, developed by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, would restore the roughly $7 billion in annual "cost sharing reduction" subsidies paid to insurance companies through 2019.  This money is meant to offset the cost of providing plans with reduced deductibles and co-payments to low-income families.  Insurers say that without the subsidy payments, they'd have to hike insurance premiums on everyone in the ObamaCare exchanges even more.

In 47 of 50 Cities, Obamacare Coverage Will Be 'Unaffordable' in 2018 By Law's Own Definition.  In 47 of 50 cities in 2018, the cost of Obamacare's lowest-priced plan would be deemed "unaffordable" by the Affordable Care Act's own definition, according to a study from eHealth, Inc.  Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance becomes unaffordable when the lowest-cost plan costs more than 8.16 percent of a household's gross income.  Usually people who fall in this category can get an exemption from paying Obamacare's individual mandate.  "Government subsidies are available to people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, but middle-income households earning 401 percent or more of the federal poverty level are not eligible for subsidy assistance," eHealth explains.

Obamacare premiums in Florida to rise 45 percent on average next year.  Health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans in Florida will raise monthly premiums by nearly 45 percent on average next year, the state's Office of Insurance Regulation said Tuesday [9/26/2017].  Florida regulators said most of the average rate hike — 31 percentage points — came from standard plans sold on the ACA exchange at healthcare.gov.  Insurers raised rates for those plans due to the political uncertainty that has plagued the healthcare debate, specifically whether the Trump administration will stop paying subsidies that lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income Americans.

CBO: In 2018 Obamacare Premiums Projected to Increase 15%.  Next year, average benchmark premiums for Obamacare plans are expected to rise 15 percent more than they did this year, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office.  "In 2018, the agencies project, the average benchmark premium will be roughly 15 percent higher than it was in 2017, largely because of short-term market uncertainty — in particular, insurers' uncertainty about whether federal funding for certain subsidies that are currently available will continue to be provided," the budget office explains.  Additionally, premiums for benchmark plans are expected to rise an average of 5 percent each year from 2017 through 2027.  The budget office projects that average premiums will total $3,400 for a 21 year old, $4,800 for a 45 year old, and $9,800 for a 64 year old this year.

Obamacare premium costs in Maryland set to jump as state approves rates.  The cost of premiums for plans sold on the state's health exchange will soar for 2018, adding to questions about the stability and affordability of the health insurance program known as Obamacare.  State regulators announced Tuesday that they have approved average rate increases of just over 23 percent to nearly 50 percent, depending on the plan and carrier, increases that surely will burden consumers who get no government subsidies but also potentially still leave insurers in the red.  "Rates for individual plans have gone up well over 100 percent in 4 years," said Chet Burrell, president and CEO of the state's dominant insurer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.  "It's the worst of all worlds now with very high premiums and at the same time carrier losses continue."

HHS: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Makes Care Unaffordable.  Obamacare stipulations imposed on insurers stand as the primary reason premiums skyrocket within individual markets, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  HHS tasked the consulting firm McKinsey and Company with finding an answer to the question:  "What portion of the increase in premium is attributable to the effects of guaranteed issue and community rating?" As it turns out, quite a large portion.  The report presented to HHS earlier this year examined rates in Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Georgia between 2013 and 2017, and attributed between 41 percent and 76 percent of premium spikes to these onerous mandates of Obamacare.

ObamaCare, Not Trump, Is Causing ObamaCare's Massive Rate Hikes.  In Iowa, the state's sole remaining insurer announced on Thursday [8/17/2017] that it wants to boost ObamaCare premiums by 57%.  This isn't exactly the vibrant, competitive, low-cost market that Democrats promised.  But it is the inevitable outcome of ObamaCare's government-knows-best approach to health care.  Earlier this year, Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield announced that they were pulling out of Iowa's ObamaCare exchange, leaving only Medica, which was also threatening to leave.  Not surprisingly, Medica has used its newfound monopoly status to push for increasingly higher rates, while trying to pin the blame President Trump for the increases.  The media, of course, are happy to buy into it that claim.  Anything to bash Trump.

Beware The ObamaCare Bailout.  For seven years Republicans have solemnly promised to abolish the financially crumbling ObamaCare law.  But now that they have struck out, many in the GOP are working behind closed doors to bail out the very program they say they hate.  If they moderate wing of the party prevails and rescues the ObamaCare entitlement, the law will be permanently enshrined into the federal budget only to eat up more tax dollars year after year.  What is worse, the deal the Republican surrender caucus is negotiating does almost nothing to actually roll back ObamaCare, provide consumers with more choices, or lower insurance costs.

Covered California premiums to jump by double digits for second straight year.  Underlying uncertainty about the ongoing health-care fight in Washington, D.C., has bled into the premiums that Obamacare consumers will pay in 2018, California's health insurance exchange said Tuesday [8/1/2017].  Peter Lee — executive director of Covered California, which currently has about 1.4 million enrollees, released his organization's 2018 rate guide for pricing regions from the Oregon border to San Diego County.  Next year, the average premium is expected to go up by 12.5 percent, about one percentage point lower than the rise for this year but still three times higher than the 4 percent premium increases experienced by Covered California members in 2015 and 2016.

ObamaCare Fines Nailed The Working Class In 2017 And Other Unpopular Truths.  While ObamaCare has been a big help to the near-poor and those with major medical needs, it gives a bad deal to nearly everyone else.  Even among working-class households earning 150% to 250% of the poverty level, supposedly among the law's biggest beneficiaries, just 1 in 3 people who lack insurance from other sources are getting silver coverage that will protect them from financial disaster.  Most of the other two-thirds are uninsured, either because they or a spouse work full time and don't qualify for exchange subsidies, or else they've spurned subsidized bronze plans that carry $6,000-$7,000 deductibles — despite the threat of an individual-mandate penalty.

Sole Health Insurer Left In Iowa Obamacare Raising Premiums At Least 43 Percent.  For the last few weeks, Iowa's individual health insurance market showed signs of collapse as companies pulled out one after another.  The state started to panic, even asking "the federal government to let it alter parts of the Affordable Care Act in an effort to entice insurers into selling plans in the state."  The small insurance company Medica has come to save Iowa after the company's officials decided to remain in the state, making it the only company in the market.  But officials said it has to charge higher premiums in order to stay afloat.

Obamacare repeal is a $1.5 trillion tax cut.  By a 217-213 vote, the House passed a trillion-dollar tax cut on Thursday [5/4/2017] and sent it to the Senate.  Every Democrat voted against it, as did 20 turncoat Republicans.  You probably think I am daft for writing that, but that is exactly what happened when the House voted to replace Obamacare and replace it with something saner.  Rolling back Obamacare also rolled back the taxes the Democratic Party imposed.  Americans for Tax Reform added up the taxes repealed and the total was a trillion-dollar boost to the economy over the next decade.

Repeal of Obamacare Could Lead to $1.07 Trillion in Net Deficit Reduction.  Former President Obama promised the Affordable Care Act would not only guarantee health insurance coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, but that the law would lower health care costs and reduce the federal budget deficit.  The report notes that Obamacare failed to deliver on providing any fiscal benefits and that repeal of the law would substantially reduce the budget deficit.  "Repeal, effective in 2018, of the ACA's various spending and tax increases is expected to reduce federal deficits by a combined $586 billion through 2026, with plausible outcomes ranging from $228 billion to $1.07 trillion in net deficit reduction," the report states.  Savings might be reduced to $228 billion if the Obamacare exchange enrollment is larger than estimated, if the cost-sharing subsidies have been terminated, or if the Medicaid woodwork population has been underestimated.  Savings could be as high as $1.07 trillion, however, if Obamacare's insurance rules are repealed, if taxes remain uncollected, and if the Medicaid expansion costs are less than expected.

New Analysis:  Obamacare Regulations Drove Up Premium Costs by Up to 68%.  Until recently, the House was scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP leadership's proposal to repeal and replace parts of Obamacare.  That vote has been called off.  While the American Health Care Act would have repealed some Obamacare regulations, the bill does not go far enough.  Obamacare caused premiums to rise for various reasons, chief among them being the vast new regulations the law imposed on insurance markets.  A new analysis from Milliman backs this up.  The study provided estimates of the average impact that various Obamacare regulations had on premiums.

Trump administration starts the Obamacare rollback as officials scrap $5 million of ads for the flagship HealthCare.gov website.  The Trump Administration said on Thursday night [1/26/2017] that it is pulling back advertising promoting HealthCare.gov as open enrollment draws to a close for this year.  The Health and Human Services Department said in a statement that the government has pulled back about $5 million in ads as part of an effort to cut costs.  The statement said HHS has already spent more than $60 million to promote sign-ups this year under former President Barack Obama's healthcare law.  Former Obama officials immediately accused the new administration of 'sabotage'.

Obama's healthcare reforms will cost taxpayers an extra $10 billion next year because of double-digit premium hikes, new study finds.  Barack Obama's subsidized healthcare reforms will cost taxpayers an extra $10 billion next year, a new report has found.  Research by the Center for Health and Economy has found the sum will be needed to cover double-digit premium hikes.

ObamaCare Subsidy Costs Will Jump 30% Next Year.  Cost overruns are endemic to government health programs, and ObamaCare is turning out to be no different.  Not only are its Medicaid expansion costs exploding, skyrocketing premiums are now pushing insurance subsidy costs through the roof.  A new study from the Center for Health and Economy finds that because of the double-digit premium increases across the country, federal spending on ObamaCare's insurance subsidies will shoot up by nearly $10 billion next year

Record-High Health Care Spending Hits $3.2 Trillion in 2015.  Health care spending in the United States grew 5.8 percent in 2015, hitting a record high of $3.2 trillion, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Last year, health care spending in the United States totaled $3 trillion — or $9,523 a person.  This year, per-person expenditures went up to $9,990.  "The faster growth in 2014 and 2015 occurred as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage for individuals through Marketplace health insurance plans and the Medicaid program," the report said.  The federal government is the biggest driver of health care spending and in 2015, 29 percent of the nation's health care bill was due to the feds.

This is Your Medical System on Government.  In the floods of commentary following the election, a gigantic factor is being underreported.  Obamacare blew up in the weeks before the vote.  It's one of the great ironies of history that the legislation was called the "Affordable Care Act."  Once it was implemented, we saw several years of sharp increases in premiums, sometimes as much as 50% per year.  Insurers sent out millions of notices, just before the election, of coming increases between 20% and 90% starting January 1, 2017.  Keep in mind that people are forced to pay these charges.  And often people are afraid to actually use the services they are forced to buy, because the deductibles are so high.  And when they do use them, people encounter all kinds of soft resistance from insurers ("we need more documentation") who are reluctant to pay, because they are trying their best to survive in a world of mandates, bureaucracy, and price controls.

Obamacare is Failing Before Our Eyes.  Health care insurance premiums will increase significantly next year as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and many consumers will be left with access to only a single insurance provider, according to administration officials.  Arizona will see the biggest spike in prices (a whopping 116 percent), while Oklahoma will see a spike of 69 percent and Tennessee, Minnesota, and Alabama will see spikes of around 60 percent.  The national average will be about 25 percent, the administration says.

Obamacare Victims Revolt: 'We Don't have that Kind of Money'.  Some users of Obamacare are finding the medical care they need to be too expensive to use due to high deductibles and high out-of-pocket costs.  Michelle Harris is one of those people.  Harris, a 61-year-old retired waitress in northwest Montana, has arthritis in both shoulders but is doing everything she can to avoid seeing a doctor due to the $4,500 deductible and $338 a month in premiums under her Blue Cross Blue Shield plan.

Is Obamacare really affordable?  Not for the middle class.  For the 85% of enrollees with lower incomes, federal subsidies make the premiums somewhat more affordable.  Those even closer to the poverty line can get additional subsidies that reduce the deductibles, which can run into the thousands of dollars.  But for many middle class Americans — a single person earning more than $47,520 or a family of four with an income of $97,200 — the pricey premiums and deductibles mean health care coverage remains out of reach.

Obamacare: The Last Straw?  The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period for 2017 began yesterday.  The timing couldn't have been worse for Hillary Clinton.  Across the country, exchanges opened with higher premiums, fewer carriers, less choice and smaller networks.  Did I mention higher premiums?

Obamacare Lies, [...] and Statistics.  During this transitional phase, as premiums continue to skyrocket and insurance companies drop like flies out of the unprofitable insurance exchanges, [Jonathan] Gruber appeared on CNN in order to whitewash the truth about Obamacare's premium hikes.  In the interview he stated that 85% of Americans obtaining their insurance through the government-run exchanges receive government subsidies in order to offset premium increases, so they are unaffected.  Besides the fact that 73.6% of all statistics are made up, Gruber's numbers leave out vitally important information, and they don't add up.  There are millions of Americans who don't get their insurance through the exchanges, which means they are ineligible for subsidies, and therefore, are paying the full cost of these ever-increasing premiums.

Curious Barry's October Surprise for Hillary.  The ACA is now visibly crashing and burning, with premium increases of up to 116% in Arizona along with access to far fewer insurance plans as insurance companies exit the market.  This always happens when a country allows its purported leaders to substitute partisan ideology for physical, natural, or economic science. [...] When I looked for an ACA plan, I discovered that I would have to pay more than $640 a month for an almost worthless Bronze Level policy.

Economist On Rising ACA Costs:  You're Going To Have 'Riots'.  Economist Chris Butler discussed the rising cost of health insurance plans rising next year under the Affordable Care Act, saying he expects the populace to express more outrage as they learn they will be priced out of health care options.  Butler told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT to expect more public demonstrations of anger as prices move upward.

Middle-Income Americans Take The Biggest Hit With Obamacare.  The October Surprise really isn't much of a surprise:  We have been expecting to learn the magnitude of Obamacare premiums increases just before Open Enrollment begins November 1 — and just before Election day.  But the size of the increases is a shock, averaging nearly 25% across 38 federal exchange states, and with some increases in triple digits.  The highest AVERAGE premium increases are in Arizona, 116%; Oklahoma, 69%; Tennessee, 63%; and Minnesota, 59%.  Millions of people in other states will find premiums for their current plans spiking at least as high.

HHS on 145% Obamacare Premium Hike: 'Reasonable,' 'Justified'.  The Obama administration has tried to put a good face on the news this week that Obamacare premiums are spiking an average of 25 percent for 2017.  The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the increases under the heading, "More Than 70 Percent of Consumers Can Find Marketplace Plans for Less than $75 Per Month."  The reason for this good news for consumers, of course, is the U.S. taxpayer:  Subsidies will absorb most of the cost of the 2017 increases.  Now, while some states have only single-digit increases (or even a slight decrease), Arizona residents are looking at a whopping 145 percent jump.  That number is based on the increase in the second-lowest cost Silver plan, the coverage level HHS uses to compare premiums from state to state.

The Editor says...
You can buy insurance for $75 a month, but you'll find that it doesn't pay for anything until after you've paid the first several thousand dollars of your medical expenses.  That's practically the same as having no insurance at all.  Except that "no insurance at all" doesn't cost $75.

Team Obama Confirms Big Obamacare Hikes, Reduced Choice.  If only someone had told us that this would happen due to the way the law was written and implemented. [...] Opponents of Ocare said that prices would go way up while killing off insurers, and that Dems would call for even more government control, up to a public option followed by pushing for single payer.  And that's what is happening.

ObamaCare hikes leave Dems exposed.  Democrats are increasingly acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act has an affordability problem.  Former President Bill Clinton said recently that people who are ineligible to get subsidies to buy ObamaCare insurance are "getting killed."  Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said this month that "the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people."  Even President Obama said in a speech last week that "there are going to be people who are hurt by premium increases."

Obamacare Benchmark Premiums to Rise 25% in Sharpest Jump Yet.  Premiums for mid-level Obamacare health plans sold on the federal exchanges will see their biggest jump yet next year, another speed bump in the administration's push for enrollment in the final months of the U.S. president's term.  Monthly premiums for benchmark silver-level plans are going up by an average of 25 percent in the 38 states using the federal HealthCare.gov website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a report today.  Last year, premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plans went up by 7.5 percent on average across 37 states.

'Affordable Care Act' premiums are set for double digit hikes next year averaging 22%.  Donald Trump said Monday night [10/24/2016] that the Obamacare system is at death's door, hours after the Obama administration confirmed double-digit rate hikes for consumers in the 39 states that participate in the government-controlled insurance marketplace.  'It's a disaster,' the Republican presidential nominee said during a rally in Tampa, Florida.  'In some areas they're paying 60, 70 and 80 percent more than they were paying last year,' he claimed.

Even Obama admits ObamaCare is about to be a ripoff.  ObamaCare premiums will soar by an average of 25 percent in 39 states next year, the Obama administration said Monday [10/24/2016], giving new ammunition to critics who warn of a "death spiral" in the national health insurance program.  In some states, the premium increases are staggering.  In Arizona, unsubsidized rates for a 27-year-old buying a benchmark "second-lowest-cost silver plan" were scheduled to jump by 116 percent, from $196 to $422 a month, according to the administration.  Oklahoma consumers face the next-largest increase — 69 percent.

Press grudgingly admit Obamacare hikes.  Mainstream media outlets were slow to cover the Obama administration's Monday [10/24/2016] announcement of a 25 percent average increase in federal Obamacare premiums for 2017, and for some, the news wasn't worth covering at all.  The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday at 5 p.m. that in addition to the price increase, there would be 36 percent fewer plans to choose from.  When data was used for the three state-run exchanges for which data was available, the average price increase dropped just a little, to 22 percent.  HHS released the news at 5 p.m., but even hours later, no trace of the story could be found on the websites of NBC News or MSNBC.

Clueless CBS Anchors on Obamacare Premium Hikes:  "What Happened?".  How did this happen?  Well, Charlie, Norah and Gayle:  You carried the water for your 'messiah,' Barack Hussein Obama, for eight years, you all hailed Obamacare as an amazing success, and you ignored the suffering of real Americans as Obamacare began to implode.

Liberal CBS Morning News Anchors Act Shocked at Totally Predictable, Huge ObamaCare Rates Increases.  Watch the liberal CBS Morning News Anchor crew act totally shocked at the totally predictable huge premium rate increases announced for ObamaCare.  Premiums are going up 25% on average, and many providers are dropping out of the system.  CBS' Norah O'Donnell acts like it is a total mystery.  Yet, conservatives said years ago this is what would happen with ObamaCare.  It is a total disaster.  [Video clip]

CBS Anchors Bamboozled by Obamacare Rate Hikes.  Have a look at the CBS This Morning anchors, totally mystified about why Obamacare premiums are rising.  I mean, do they administer IQ tests to these people before they put them on TV?  Listen to Norah O'Donnell — "The premiums are skyrocketing!"  She sounds like she just found out Martians had landed and opened up a chain of delicatessens.  [Video clip]

MSNBC: 'Democrats Are Going to Have to Answer' for Obamacare Premium Spikes.  MSNBC's Kasie Hunt said on Tuesday that Democrats are going to be in trouble for the coming spikes in Obamacare premiums.  Host Stephanie Ruhle was speaking with Hunt, who is covering Hillary Clinton's campaign, about the recent reports on how health care premiums under Obamacare are expected to skyrocket next year.  "'Nasty women' also have to provide their families with health care," Ruhle said.  "Can you talk about these Obamacare headlines?  With premiums set to go up double digits, this has got to be a problem for the Clinton campaign."

Obamacare premiums to rise by double-digit percentages for millions.  Obamacare premiums will soar in 2017, the administration acknowledged Monday, with the price of the most popular benchmark plans jumping an average of 22 percent as the law continues to rely on older, sicker customers than its backers had envisioned.  The number of insurers offering plans on the federally run exchange will also plummet as companies tap out, saying they can't figure out a way to make the economics work — and raising the risk of lower competition and worse premium increases.  Roughly one in five customers will have only a single insurer as an option next year after major players such as UnitedHealth Group and Aetna withdrew from most states and nearly all of Obamacare's co-op plans failed.

Obama administration confirms double-digit premium hikes.  Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday [10/24/2016].

Ready for sticker shock?  Obamacare prices revealed.  While the online marketplace at HealthCare.gov doesn't debut for its fourth year until Nov. 1, consumers and small businesses can now catch a glimpse of what they might pay in monthly premiums, deductibles and other components of health insurance.  In many cases, expect a hit to your wallet.  Illinois is among the states where premium rate hikes are "significant," the state insurance department cautioned two months ago.

'I Had Nothing to Do With That!' Obama Dodges Blame For Skyrocketing Premiums.  President Barack Obama offers multiple excuses for why health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket, including blaming Republicans and insurance companies for the problems.  He complains that too many reporters spend more time discussing premium increases than explaining why he isn't responsible for them.  "No, I had nothing to do with that," Obama said, calling it "complicated" despite the "hysteria" that was growing.  Obama traveled to Florida to argue that Obamacare was working well, but needed to be fixed.

Democratic governor expresses regret over Obamacare comments, requests emergency relief for rate hikes.  Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Friday [10/21/2016] expressed "regret" that Democrats are being attacked over his comment that Obamacare is "no longer affordable," and he called on his state to approve emergency measures to help people facing huge rate hikes next year.  Republicans across the country had seized on his remarks, which came just days after Bill Clinton raised similar concerns about Obamacare's ongoing affordability problems.

Now, even Democrats can see the ObamaCare death spiral.  Another day, another Democrat finally owning up to the fact that ObamaCare is a disaster.  And another state facing the implosion of its health insurance market.  Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton — once one of the Affordable Care Act's most enthusiastic champions — is the latest Democrat to publicly eat crow for that support.  With good reason:  Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are losing their coverage next year.  And premiums on individual plans — which enroll 250,000 North Star State residents — will rise an average 50 percent to 67 percent.  "The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for increasing numbers of people," Dayton admitted last week, calling the situation in his state "an emergency."

Rising Premiums Rankle People Paying Full Price For Health Insurance.  About 10 million Americans buy individual insurance coverage without cost-reducing federal subsidies on the marketplaces on the open market, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  In Georgia, consumers who don't get insurance through their employers or don't qualify for tax credits to help pay for policies they purchase are facing double-digit premium increases.

ObamaCare rates in MN skyrocket 60% to stave off "collapse".  Seems that Washington DC isn't the only place that's learned the art of the Friday afternoon news dump.  Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced yesterday afternoon [9/30/2016] that the state had approved health insurance premium increases that will average 60% in MNsure, the state's ObamaCare exchange.  The statement blamed big losses by insurers in the state, and bad predictions about utilization rates, for the decision.

Individual health plan premiums to jump at least 50 percent in Minnesota.  Health insurers are hiking premiums and limiting enrollment in Minnesota's individual market next year, with regulators saying the emergency measures were needed to avert a market collapse.  The moves are a clear sign that the market for some 250,000 people who buy coverage for themselves is dysfunctional and needs reform, said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman during a Friday news conference.  While rate increases of more than 50 percent aren't fair to consumers, Rothman said, things could have been worse.  He described a period this summer when all health insurers in the state seemed prepared to abandon that segment of the market.

ObamaCare Individual Mandate Fine Hit 8 Million People This Year.  Roughly 8 million people faced ObamaCare individual mandate penalties this year totaling more than $3 billion, an analysis of the latest IRS data reveals.  Despite the controversy and high-stakes legal battle that has surrounded the individual mandate, the scope of the penalties paid this year has gone unreported by major news outlets as attention has focused on ObamaCare's latest and most glaring problems:  weak enrollment, surging premiums, and insurer losses that have provoked the exit of UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana from most state exchanges.

Health care costs rise by most in 32 years.  Prices for medicine, doctor appointments and health insurance rose the most last month since 1984.  The price increases come amid a broader debate about climbing health care costs and high premiums for Obamacare coverage.  A recent report by Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits forecasts that the average family health care plan will cost $18,142, up 3.4% from 2015.  That's faster than wage growth in America.  Medical care costs altogether rose 1% just in August from July, according to the Consumer Price Index, a report on price inflation from the U.S. Labor Department.

It's time to kill the ObamaCare penalty.  President Obama promised his law would provide an array of affordable health plans.  In 2017, consumers will get neither choice nor affordability.  In nearly a third of the nation, only one insurer will offer coverage — that's no choice at all.  And insurance premiums are skyrocketing across the country.  ObamaCare is broken.  Slapping ObamaCare refuseniks with hefty penalties (averaging almost $1,000) for not signing up would be unfair, like enforcing a parking ticket when the meter's broken.  Consumers will be clobbered starting Nov. 1, the beginning of the open-enrollment period.  They'll want to know what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton intend to do about it.  In swing states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, premiums are rising 30 percent and even as high as 40 percent.

ObamaCare Costs Surge While Choice Shrinks.  Health care affordability and choice remains the top health care concern among registered voters two months before they go to the polls in November.  Unfortunately, ObamaCare has in its mission, only increased costs and decreased options for consumers.  The August Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Foundation, released this morning, found that two-thirds of voters (66%), consider health care access and affordability the top health care priority that presidential candidates should be discussing on the campaign trail.  Additionally, a majority continue to hold an unfavorable view of President Obama's signature law that is continuing to fail Americans daily.

Obamacare Premiums Set to Rise, Even for Savvy Shoppers.  In the last few years, even though premiums in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces were rising, most customers could avoid a big price rise by shopping for a cheaper plan.  Next year, according to a preliminary analysis, that is going to be a lot harder.  Even someone who shopped wisely this year and is willing to switch plans to get the best deal next year is looking at an average premium increase of 11 percent, according to an analysis of rate filings in 18 states and the District of Columbia provided by the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform.  That's more than double the increase McKinsey measured last year for the same plans in the same group of states.

Massive ObamaCare Rate Hikes Are A Good Thing, White House Says.  Anyone shopping for ObamaCare coverage in Illinois this fall is in for a big shock.  The average increase for cheap Bronze plans is likely 44%.  It's 45% for the lowest-cost Silver plan, and 55% for the cheapest Gold plan.  These are the kinds of rate hikes individuals buying insurance will see across the country, as insurers who've suffered massive losses are getting huge double-digit premium increases approved by state regulators.  Fewer choices and higher costs are not what President Obama promised when he signed ObamaCare into law.  But now, in the face of this market meltdown, the Obama administration put out a report this week that says, if anything, massive rate hikes are good for ObamaCare enrollees.

Obamacare sticker shock hits key Senate races.  As insurers push large premium increases for 2017 Obamacare plans, some of the steepest hikes have been requested by insurers in crucial swing states that could determine control of the Senate.  In nine of 11 states with competitive Senate races, at least one insurer seeks to hike rates for Obamacare customers by at least 30 percent next year:  Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania wants to jack up average premiums by more than 40 percent.  In Wisconsin, three insurers have asked for rate hikes of more than 30 percent.  In New Hampshire, two of the five carriers want to sell plans with rate increase above 30 percent.

Illinois Department of Insurance:  Premiums for Plans on Obamacare Exchange Set to Skyrocket.  Although President Barack Obama has frequently promised ObamaCare would reduce health insurance premiums by $2,500 for the average family, health insurance costs continue to rise for everyday Illinoisans.  According to new data released Aug. 24 by the Illinois Department of Insurance, premiums for the cheapest silver-level plan on the ObamaCare exchange are set to rise by an average of 45 percent next year.  The cheapest bronze-level plans will rise by an average of 44 percent, and the cheapest gold-level plans will rise by 55 percent.

Consumers in 17 States Face Double-Digit Rate Hikes Under Obamacare.  Consumers in 19 states will see increases to their health insurance rates, most in the double digits, for 2017, according to publicly available data filed with state insurance regulators.  Since June, insurance companies have been submitting proposed rate requests to state departments of insurance for the 2017 plan year.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has to approve rates for insurers selling on Obamacare's exchanges.  States are now in the process of reviewing those requests and ultimately deciding whether to approve or alter the insurers' proposals for next year.

How to Escape Obamacare.  When open enrollment starts Nov. 1, the public will see they're going to be paying lots more for health insurance in 2017 and getting less.  Across the country, state insurance departments are announcing double digit premium hikes, often as high as 20 percent and occasionally even 40 percent.  People who earn too much to qualify for a subsidy will be forced to pay as much as a fifth of their income for health insurance.  And they'll get less choice of doctors and hospitals and less prescription drug coverage.  Annual enrollment begins eight days before voters go to the polls.  Donald Trump is vowing to repeal Obamacare.  Hillary Clinton is doubling down on keeping and expanding it.

Obamacare Sticker Shock:  Average 2017 Premium Surges 24%.  Now, courtesy of a new study by independent analyst Charles Gaba — who has crunched the numbers for insurers participating in the ACA exchanges in all 50 states — we can also calculate what the average Obamacare premium increase across the entire US will be: using proposed and approved rate increase requests, the average Obamacare premium is expected to surge by a whopping 24% this year.  As Politico notes, Cigna and Humana recently revised their rate requests in Tennessee, and the new filings are dramatically higher.  Cigna is now asking for a 46% average increase, up from 23%, and Humana is requesting a 44% increase, up from 29%, The Tennessean reported on Friday [8/12/2016].  Expect these numbers to rise even more as insurance companies exit even more states.

Taxpayers are at risk as Obamacare crumbles.  The health insurance exchanges that are the beating heart of Obamacare are on the edge of collapse, with premiums rising sharply for ever narrower provider networks, non-profit health co-ops shuttering their doors, and even the biggest insurance companies heading for the exits amid mounting losses.  Even the liberal Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill is warning of a possible "Obamacare meltdown" this fall.  Three states — Alaska, Alabama, and Wyoming — are already down to just a single insurance company, as are large parts of several other states, totaling at least 664 counties.  UnitedHealth is pulling out completely, Humana is pulling out of 88 percent of counties it was in, and last weak Aetna strongly suggested it will be exiting, too, unless it gets bribed to stay with a huge, annual infusion of direct corporate bailout payments from taxpayers.

Illinois' Obamacare plans seek big 2017 premium hikes.  Insurers want to crank up the cost of health insurance premiums by as much as 45 percent for Illinois residents who buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the most popular insurer on the state's Obamacare exchange, is proposing increases ranging from 23 percent to 45 percent in premiums for its individual health-care plans, according to proposed 2017 premiums that were made public Monday.  The insurer blamed the sought-after hikes mainly on changes in the costs of medical services.

Progressive leader says left is turning on Obamacare as costs soar.  Even progressives are turning against Obamacare as health care costs and premiums skyrocket.  Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said Wednesday there was strong support for a single-payer system on the Democratic platform committee, and one reason is that progressives blame the Affordable Care Act for rising costs.  "In a world in which people are facing rising costs and they kind of hear the ACA is over here, they're blaming the ACA for their rising costs," Ms. Tanden said during a panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention.

California's Obamacare premium sticker shock.  California's Obamacare health insurance exchange dropped a pretty big surprise on both supporters and critics of the Affordable Care Act earlier this week when it announced an average increase in premiums next year of 13.2 percent.  That's particularly large by California standards, given that the state's exchange — called Covered California — has earned kudos for keeping average premium hikes down to only about 4 percent the past two years.  No wonder an average 13.2 percent jump got everyone's attention.

Obamacare Premiums to Spike Again in 2017.  According to a study released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the 2017 increase for the "most common plan choices" made by individuals buying coverage through Obamacare exchanges will average about 10 percent.  The 2016 increase for these plans was 5 percent. [...] In the 14 cities whose data KFF used, Obamacare enrollees living in 10 are likely to experience large premium increases on top of this year's already-substantial hikes.  And the unfortunates who live in 6 of those 10 will endure double-digit increases.  Those big spikes will occur in Portland, OR (26%), Washington, DC (21%), New York City, NY (16%), Hartford, CT (13%), Richmond, VA (12%), and Baltimore, MD (10%).  Even in Denver, where individuals will enjoy a lower increase than in 2016, enrollees will be hit with a double-digit spike.  Their 14 percent increase is "lower" only when compared to this year's 29 percent hike.

Double digit rate hikes expected for Obamacare plans in 2017 as Trump claims Obama wants to delay bad news until after the election.  The Obama administration is scrambling to head off projected double digit rate hikes by insurers who participate in Obamacare, amid concerns that the hikes could be a political liability.  A new study by Kaiser Health News predicts an average rate hike of 10 percent in 14 metropolitan areas.  Several of these are in battleground states Colorado, Nevada, and Virginia.  Open enrollment begins under Obamacare in November just days before the Nov. 8 election.  Hoping to avoid the rate hikes, the administration is shoveling money to states to get them to study the problem.

ObamaCare Rate Shocks Are Here, And They're Getting Worse.  A new study shows that the average increase for low-cost ObamaCare plans in 2017 will be 11% — which is twice the rate from last year.  Will the "rate shocks are a myth" crowd finally admit it's wrong?

White House urges states to resist ObamaCare hikes.  The White House is urging states to be more aggressive against health insurance companies as it looks to prevent expected and widespread premium hikes of 10 percent or more this year.  The federal health department announced Wednesday that it will dole out about $22 million to boost state-level "rate reviews," considered one of the strongest weapons against premium increases.  Under the system, health insurers are required to justify rate increases to state insurance departments, some of which have the power to reject "unreasonable" increases.  With the new funding, federal health officials hope states can hire outside insurance experts to dig deeper into the proposed rates and prove the hikes are unjustified.

Even if you have health insurance, you may want to pay cash.  Five blood tests were performed in March at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.  The hospital charged the patient's insurer, Blue Shield of California, $408.  The patient was responsible for paying $269.42.  If that were all there was to this — which it's not — you'd be justified in shaking your head and wondering how it could cost more than $80 apiece for blood tests.  These weren't exotic procedures.  The tests were for fairly common things such as levels of vitamins D and B12 in the blood.  It's what happened next, though, that this makes this story particularly interesting.

Blue Cross wants to raise rates for Obamacare in Texas by 60 percent.  Fresh problems for Obamacare:  The largest health insurer in Texas wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60 percent, a new sign that President Barack Obama's overhaul hasn't solved the problem of price spikes.  Texas isn't alone.  Citing financial losses under the health care law, many insurers around the country are requesting bigger premium increases for 2017.  That's to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government's financial backstop for insurance markets.

The case of the $629 Band-Aid — and what it reveals about American health care.  Last January, Malcolm Bird took his 1-year-old daughter, Colette, to the local emergency room.  His wife had accidentally cut the young girl's pinky finger while clipping her fingernails, and it had begun to bleed.  They were nervous, first-time parents who wanted a doctor's opinion.  Colette turned out to be completely fine.  A doctor ran her finger under the tap, stuck a Band-Aid on her pinky, and sent the family home.  A week later, something else showed up at home:  a $629 hospital bill for the Band-Aid and its placement on Colette's finger.

Humana Seeks 50% ObamaCare Premium Hike In Michigan.  This year, the nation's fifth-largest insurer offers the cheapest bronze and silver plans in Michigan's largest market, including Detroit.  But Humana has filed for a 50% premium hike for its low-cost silver plan.  The unsubsidized cost for a 40-year-old will jump from $210 a month to $315, if approved.  On top of that, the maximum out-of-pocket cost for plan members will rise 9%, to $7,150 from $6,300 in 2016.  Meanwhile, Humana wants a 38% premium increase for its lowest-cost bronze plan, from $178 a month to $246.

Obamacare's expected double-digit rate increases boost Republicans' repeal efforts.  Insurers are preparing for Obamacare customers double-digit rate increases to be announced in coming months, handing Republicans a key talking point as they try to persuade voters to accept a repeal of the 2010 health care law.  The people signing up for Obamacare so far are sicker than expected, meaning insurers will have to raise rates to cover the costs, in what nonpartisan analysts said amounts to a "market correction."  Even as insurers grapple with a most costly population, they are about to lose some of the supports built into Obamacare that have helped mitigate their losses in the first couple of years of operation.

Clinton Dumbfounded by Rising Cost of Obamacare.  Hillary Clinton was stunned Monday [5/9/2016] when a small business owner told her that the cost of her health insurance had increased nearly two fold.  "A $400 increase, assuming you didn't have some terrible healthcare event, which it doesn't sound like you did," Clinton said at a campaign event in Virginia.  "I don't understand."  The voter told Clinton that her health insurance plan had a rigid income cut-off that was preventing her from qualifying for subsidies.  "I have seen our health insurance for my own family go up $500 a month in the last two years," the voter said.  "We went from $400-something to $900-something ... we're just fighting to keep benefits for ourselves." [...] Clinton offered numerous solutions but avoided addressing the source of the problem.

What Do Government Subsidies Provide?  Higher Prices And More Overhead, Mostly.  While [President Bill] Clinton didn't get his [wife's] plan enacted, health care has become increasingly "free" to consumers, as the share they pay out-of-pocket dropped from 47% in 1960, to 23% by 1980 to less than 11% today.  This trend has been driven almost entirely by government policies — either through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, or because of distortions caused by the tax code, which heavily subsidizes generous employer-provided insurance.  And because health care looks like a bargain, this trend has fueled health care spending, which has outstripped growth in the economy for decades.  The problem is that much of this extra health care spending didn't buy better health care.  Much of it went instead to increased overhead costs, as doctors and hospitals were forced to cope with increasing paperwork demands from Medicare, Medicaid, managed care plans, and other third-party payers — paperwork that, by the way, was supposed to hold down costs.

Obamacare's November surprise.  The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare.  But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.

Lies, Lies and More Lies.  Obamacare was passed in 2009 and began to be implemented in 2010.  Obama declared that families could expect $2,500 of savings per year.  I know for a fact my annual medical expenses were $2,000 higher in 2015 than they were in 2010.  The lies of the government and their minions at the BLS are revealed to anyone who cares to open their eyes.  The BLS reported inflation rates for health insurance since 2010 is beyond laughable.  They must have triple seasonally adjusted, massaged, and tweaked these figures to arrive at the absurdly false inflation figures they are feeding to the sheeple.

Get Ready for Huge Obamacare Premium Hikes in 2017.  Amid rising drug and health care costs and roiling market dynamics, the spokesperson for the nation's health insurers is predicting substantial increases next year in Obamacare premiums and related costs.  Without venturing a specific percentage increase, Marilyn Tavenner, the president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said in an interview with Morning Consult that the culmination of market shifts and rising health care costs will force stark increases in health insurance rates in the coming year.

bamaCare Premiums Rose A Lot More Than HHS Says.  New data out from the Obama administration on Tuesday seemed to suggest that all the hand-wringing over double-digit ObamaCare rate hikes in 2016 was much ado about not that much:  The average exchange premium on plans selected via HealthCare.gov rose a less-jarring 8.4% from 2015.  Yet a close look at the data shows that HealthCare.gov rates actually did rise at least 10% after all, with the average premium rising less, in part, because people were buying less coverage for their money.

Chelsea Clinton: My Mom Could Use 'Executive Action' to Handle Obamacare's 'Crushing Costs'.  On the campaign trail for her mother, Chelsea Clinton is both giving Hillary Clinton credit for Obamacare's basic framework and distancing her from the boondoggle's massive increase in costs to average Americans. [...] However, Truth Revolt observed last week that Chelsea Clinton told voters that something needed to be done to deal with Obamacare's "crushing costs" and said her mother was prepared to consider "executive action" as a means to bring down those costs.

Health insurance premiums rising faster than wages.  Health insurance premiums have increased faster than wages and inflation in recent years, rising an average of 28 percent from 2009 to 2014 despite the enactment of Obamacare, according to a report from Freedom Partners.  President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, and Wednesday is the law's sixth anniversary.  The Obama administration expressed concern in 2009 about skyrocketing health care premiums in a report entitled, "The Burden of Health Insurance Premium Increases on American Families."  They were concerned that premiums had increased by 5.5 percent from 2008 to 2009.

Why Obamacare Premiums Are Climbing All Over U.S..  On the third year of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, it is becoming more apparent that the promises of cost saving and premium reduction may only be reserved for people that are able to capture the most subsidies.  Exchange premiums are climbing all over the country.  For example, plans increased rates by 25.1 percent in Kentucky, 14 percent in Ohio, and nearly 11 percent in Michigan.  In Idaho, the largest insurer, Blue Cross of Idaho, had a rate increase of 23 percent.  Some plans, as is in the case of New Mexico, had to pull from the exchanges due to high costs.  For the country as a whole, through modelling at The Heritage Foundation, we estimate that a premium increase of roughly 15 percent is in order for 2016.

Obamacare Insurers Could Get Billions From Controversial Government Fund.  A $5 billion lawsuit filed by a nonprofit insurer against the Obama administration for a program implemented under Obamacare is raising questions about the use of a fund available for settlements with the government and whether Congress can, and should, intervene.  According to legal experts, if the Obama administration decided to settle its class action lawsuit with Health Republic Insurance of Oregon, one of 23 co-ops started under Obamacare, and other insurers for all or part of the $5 billion it's seeking, the money would come from the Judgment Fund, an indefinite appropriation created by Congress and administered by the Department of Treasury.

ObamaCare's 'Cadillac Tax' Will Hit Chevy-Class Families Hardest, Study Finds.  When it kicks in, it will impose a huge, non-deductible 40% surcharge on insurance premiums above $10,800 for individuals and $29,100 for families.  The tax effectively caps what is today an unlimited tax exemption offered to employer-provided insurance.  MIT economists Jonathan Gruber, who helped design the tax, claimed that only "the top few percent of health plans" would be affected.  The implication of it all was that only the rich would notice any changes.  But a new study published in the International Journal of Health Services shows that middle class families — those with incomes between $38,000 and $100,000 — will bear the brunt of the Cadillac tax.

How Much are Obamacare Deductibles Up in Your State?  Find Out Here.  Americans across the country are paying higher health care deductibles under Obamacare.  Freedom Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting freedom and expanding opportunity, released an analysis of data tracking the weighted average of 2016 Obamacare deductibles in all 50 states.  A total of 41 states saw an average increase in deductibles.

The Obama Administration's $5 Billion Obamacare Problem.  One of the more than 20 failed or struggling "consumer-oriented" insurers created by Obamacare is suing the U.S. government for as much as $5 billion in payments it claims are owed to itself and other insurers.  Health Republic Insurance of Oregon filed a class action complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., seeking $2.5 billion.  Dawn Bonder, CEO of Health Republic, told the Portland Business Journal the company hopes to win as much as $5 billion for insurers.

Surprise! Health Insurance Costs To Spike 60 Percent, Thanks To Obamacare.  A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report [...] states that, over the next 10 years, private health insurance premiums will increase by about 5 percent annually — a rate that outpaces the gross domestic product by 2 percentage points.  By 2025, employment-based coverage (health-care insurance an employer offers) will cost 60 percent more than it does today.  For a family, that increase costs to an average of $24,500 per year.  For those with an individual plan, health-care costs will increase to cost an average $10,000 per year.  What's driving these price increases?  Obamacare.

Senate report: Illegal immigrants benefited from up to $750M in ObamaCare subsidies.  Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.  The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums.  It found that as of June 2015, "the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence."

Feds foresee $30 trillion debt, blame looming tax hikes and Obamacare.  The federal government will be flirting with $30 trillion in debt within a decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday [1/25/2016], blaming an aging population, new spending and tax cuts approved on Capitol Hill, and the growing burden from Obamacare for erasing the progress Washington had made over the past few years.  Analysts said Obamacare will chase more workers out of the labor force over the next five years, adding pressure to an economy still struggling to spring to life more than seven years into the Obama recovery.

No health insurance? Californians face tax bite of up to $10,000 per family.  Sign up for health care coverage or pay the price.  That's the message from Covered California officials, who urged consumers Wednesday [1/13/2016] to sign up for Obamacare coverage by the Jan. 31 deadline or face stiff tax penalties.  This year, the penalties are hitting harder, ranging from a minimum of $700 for an individual to as much as $10,000 for a family of four, depending on income.  The average penalty in 2016 will be $969.  That's a 47 percent increase from last year, according to a recent analysis by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

More than ten percent of your income is going to Obamacare.  The law that promised to reduce our costs has instead inflated them beyond anything we could have imagined.  Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and overall health care spending continue to escalate faster than ever, piling increase upon increase, with no relief in sight.  This, of course, on top of the tax hikes needed to subsidize Obamacare for the Taker class so they'll keep on voting Democrat.  Which only means we'll see more stories [...] describing how average Americans can't afford to use their mandatory health insurance.

Despite Subsidies, Poor Spending 10-20 Percent of Income on ObamaCare.  A new study from the Urban Institute finds lower income Americans paying 10-20 percent of their income on ObamaCare health benefits.  These high costs come after generous federal subsidies covering premiums for individuals making up to $55,000 a year are considered.  Of course, the least healthy are paying even more of their income for ObamaCare, providing an overdue lesson on how insurance works.  While the ObamaCare law caps the premium costs of those receiving federal subsidies, beneficiaries can still face high costs due to co-pays and deductibles.

The Biggest Threat To Obamacare Is Already Written Into Law: No Insurance Industry Bailouts.  When Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency in 2008 and when he was selling Obamacare to the public in 2010, he made insurance companies the villains.  In fact, on the eve of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, every Democratic spokesperson who appeared on TV to support the health reform legislation had one and only one argument to make:  We needed Obamacare to protect ordinary people from ruthless, profit mongering insurance companies.  They said almost nothing about insuring the uninsured or controlling costs or making health care delivery more efficient.  Instead, every advocate produced at least one example of what they claimed was insurance company abuse — usually from their home state or district.  How things have changed.  Today, Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration are desperate to do something you may find surprising:  give the insurance companies more than about $2.5 billion in bail out money.  That's not a misprint.  They want to take tax money from people who already think their premiums are too high and their coverage too skimpy and give it to the very "villains" they were excoriating only a few years ago.

ObamaCare Mandate Penalties Spike In 2016, But Will Anyone Care?  First, the administration recently downgraded enrollment expectations for next year, despite the fact that the mandate penalty for being uninsured will more than double.  Rather than signing up 22 million or so, the White House says it will be more like 10 million.  In addition, even with the sharp penalty increase — it goes from $325 per individual this year to $695 in 2016 — most uninsured will still find it cheaper to go uninsured than buy the cheapest available ObamaCare plan.  The Kaiser report says that of almost 11 million uninsured who are eligible to enroll in an ObamaCare plan, just 34% could buy a plan that costs less than the tax penalty.

Spending And Overhead Costs Explode Under ObamaCare, Official Report Shows.  President Obama has repeatedly credited the dramatic slowdown in health spending as proof positive that ObamaCare was "bending the cost curve" down in health care.  He conveniently ignored the fact that the slowdown started long before he took office.  And now that the law has actually taken effect, spending has shot up.  That's what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows in its annual report on national health spending.  For more than a decade, annual spending growth was on a steady downward trend, going from 9.6% in 2002 to just 2.9% in 2013.  Then came ObamaCare.  In 2014, national spending climbed 5.3%.  A separate CMS report says that it will stay at this elevated level for decades.  More troubling is where these spending hikes are coming from.

ObamaCare Is Failing To Make Care More Affordable.  The promise of ObamaCare wasn't just that insurance would be cheaper.  It was that health care itself would be more affordable.  It's an important distinction.  Insurance that doesn't cover anything, strictly limits the doctors you can see, imposes fantastically high deductibles, or costs too much to buy, does nothing to improve access to health care.  Nor do insurance plans — like Medicaid — that doctors refuse to accept.  So far, that's all ObamaCare has delivered.  Premiums are sky high and deductibles for a Bronze plan average more than $5,000.  To keep costs down, insurers skimp on provider networks, making it more likely patients will end up paying out of pocket for care they need.  Medicaid enrollment has exploded while the number of doctors willing to take Medicaid shrinks.

A new taxpayer bailout to cover up ObamaCare's failure?  Thursday [11/19/2015], just hours after giant insurer UnitedHealthcare said it's losing money selling ObamaCare plans and will likely exit the health exchanges next year, the Obama administration quietly promised to bail out insurers for their losses — using your money.  Nearly all insurers are bleeding red ink trying to sell the unworkable plans.  Without a bailout, more insurers will abandon ObamaCare, pushing it closer to its demise.  A bailout would benefit insurers and the Democratic Party, which is desperate to cover up the health law's failure.

US defends Obamacare after top insurer threatens pullout.  US officials rushed to defend President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms Friday [11/20/2015] after the country's largest insurer said it might pull out due to large financial losses.  UnitedHealth Group on Thursday [11/19/2015] said it expects to lose up to $500 million next year from its participation in exchanges providing insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

HHS: Bailing out Obamacare insurers an 'obligation' of the federal government.  The Department of Health and Human Services attempted to reassure private insurers on Thursday [11/19/2015] that they'll be able to recover losses from participating in Obamacare by claiming it was an "obligation" of the U.S. government to bail them out.  At issue is a provision within the law known as the risk corridors program. Under the program, which runs from 2014 through 2016, the federal government is to collect money from health insurers doing better than expected and use those funds to provide a federal backstop to other insurers who incur larger than expected losses from rising medical claims.  The idea was to provide training wheels to insurers in the first years of Obamacare's implementation, and to take away any incentive for insurers to cherry pick only the healthiest customers.

As Obamacare collapses, HHS claims taxpayers have 'obligation' to bail out crony health insurers.  One critical element in selling the Obamacare legislation to the Democrats, who passed it into law without a single Republican vote, was the lobbying of the health insurance industry.  The insurers were made into cronies by the inclusion of the so-called "risk corridor" payments, guaranteeing them profits should premium revenue fail to cover expenses.  The deal was thus presented to them as a no-lose proposition that would expand the market for their products by forcing consumers to buy them on pain of hefty fines (later redefined as "taxes" by Chief Justice Roberts).

Health Care Still Unaffordable, Despite ObamaCare — Gallup Poll.  The official name of ObamaCare is the "Affordable Care Act."  So, as it enters its third year, how is it living up to its moniker?  Not every well, according to a new Gallup poll.  Cost and access to care remain the top concern of 42% of Americans, which is actually up from 2013, the year before ObamaCare went into effect, when 39% cited these as top concerns.  And it's far above 1997, when just 22% listed cost and access as top health concerns. [...] Even those getting generous subsidies through ObamaCare exchanges often find that they can't afford treatments because of the health plans' high deductibles.

Obamacare Enrollees Reeling From Exploding Deductibles.  Make sure you're sitting down before you read the next sentence:  Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums, deductibles and fees to skyrocket.  I know, that's startling news.  Who could have predicted such a catastrophic failure on the part of DMV-care?

Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless.  [F]or many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick:  sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage.  "The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor," said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain.  "We have insurance, but can't afford to use it."

Obamacare: The Gift That Keeps on Taking.  The brain dead proponents and cheerleaders for Obamacare reveal themselves to be nothing more than liberal control freaks who care not for the people they supposedly are helping with "free" healthcare.  They need to falsify enrollment figures in order to prove how successful they've been in destroying the health system.  They only care about press releases and winning the PR battle with the Republicans.  It's all about votes.  It's not about what is best for the uninsured.  Families being forced into the limited number of Obamacare plans are seeing weekly costs of $300 to $400 for barely acceptable coverage.

The 7 Keys To Trapping As Many Americans As Possible In Poverty.  [Scroll down]  Exploding medical costs are also helpful and Obamacare has done an amazing job of this.  Medical costs are skyrocketing for the middle class and helping to drive them towards poverty.  As an extra added bonus, middle class Americans who can no longer afford to pay for their medical care because of Obamacare will also be hit with a tax penalty.  If your goal is to hurt middle class Americans financially, you could not do much better than Obamacare.

For some, Obamacare does not seem so affordable.  The third year of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act began this week.  Premiums are up and some people have decided they are not so affordable.

Obamacare Premiums Jump, But Insurers Still Struggle for Profit.  Many people shopping for health coverage this weekend on the websites created by Obamacare are going to see double-digit percentage increases in their premiums.  That's still not enough for some insurers.  Anthem Inc. says there remain competitors in the government-run marketplace offering premiums that aren't enough to profitably provide the coverage patients will require.  Prices in some areas probably will have to climb in 2017 and even 2018 to reach levels that make sense, according to Chief Financial Officer Wayne Deveydt.

Direct-Pay USA Cures U.S. Healthcare System.  The U.S. spends more on our healthcare system than anyone else on earth, over $8700 per person per year.  Yet, there is not enough money to provide patient care.  Why is that?  Where is all that money going?  Estimates range from 31 percent to 40 percent for the cost of healthcare system BARRC:  bureaucracy, administration, rules, regulations, and compliance.  Those numbers were calculated before we were hit with the cost of ObamaCare:  $2.6 trillion in new spending.  In 2012, the U.S. spent $3.4 trillion on healthcare, which means that the federal bureaucracy diverted $1.5 trillion (40 percent of $3.4 trillion) from care services to itself.

ObamaCare's Rate Shock Now Includes Its 'Cheap' Plans.  The Obama administration recently announced that ObamaCare enrollment would be flat — a stunning admission of failure.  An IBD report Tuesday [10/27/2015] suggests even that could be too optimistic.

Insurance premium increase of 85 percent a stunner.  "When you're doubling the cost, it's threatening," said Eric Gil, co-owner with his wife Ellen of the longtime downtown business.  Ellen, with 2016 quotes from the insurance agent in hand, said, "One choice is the nuclear option — don't offer insurance."  This is not what they expected from the Affordable Care Act.  They thought rates could go up 10 to 12 percent, hoping as more people got health coverage, costs would come down, but that's not happening.

Latest Obamacare Fiasco: Most Low-Income Workers Can't Afford "Affordable Care Act".  Just ten days ago we described the latest unintended (we hope) consequence of the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, when Colorado's largest nonprofit co-op health insurer and participant in that state's insurance exchange, Colorado HealthOP, announcing it was abruptly shutting down ahead of the November 1 start of enrollment for 2016, forcing 80,000 Coloradans to find a new insurer for 2016.

Insurance premium increase of 85 percent a stunner.  The owners of the Sockshop & Shoe Co. face a stunning 85 percent increase in the cost of their group health insurance plan for their employees.  "When you're doubling the cost, it's threatening," said Eric Gil, co-owner with his wife Ellen of the longtime downtown business.  Ellen, with 2016 quotes from the insurance agent in hand, said, "One choice is the nuclear option — don't offer insurance."

How Congress Stopped a Massive Obamacare Bailout.  Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that insurers who lost money selling Obamacare would not get a $2.5-billion bailout.  It was great news for taxpayers, but it didn't happen by chance.  Both chambers of Congress worked very hard to make those savings possible.  And lawmakers will have to continue working hard to keep bailouts like this from happening in the future.

Grant Theft Obamacare.  Between 2010 and 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $4.6 billion in Obamacare start-up grants to 16 Democrat-controlled states and the District of Columbia.  $1.4 billion of this taxpayer largesse was spent on exchanges, many of which imploded upon launch or operated so inefficiently that enrollees have been left to the tender mercies of Obamacare.gov.  The rest of these states also appear likely to abandon their exchanges in favor of federal "marketplaces."  Yet, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), they have kept all but $1 million of the grants.  Where's the rest of our money?

Health Premiums Have Climbed $4,865 Since Obama Promised to Cut Them $2,500.  Since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865. [...] "We will start," Obama said back in 2008, "by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family."  That $2,500 figure was Obama's mantra on health care.  You can watch the video if you don't believe it.  And Obama wasn't talking about government subsidized insurance or expanding Medicaid or anything like that.  He specifically focused on employer provided health care.

ObamaCare Enrollment Tumbles As Huge Price Hikes Loom.  In its latest enrollment report, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says 9.9 million were still enrolled in ObamaCare exchange plans.  That's almost 2 million fewer than the administration claimed in the spring, when it bragged that 11.7 million had signed up, and way below the Congressional Budget Office's earlier forecast of 13 million.  And if this year is anything like last year, that 9.9 million will dwindle further as the year goes on.

ObamaCare Rates Going Up Everywhere — A LOT.  Rates are going up everywhere and in some states, every plan — every policy is going up a lot.  All of the plans in Delaware, South Dakota and West Virginia are rising by double digits. In Montana, Utah, Louisiana and North Carolina, three-quarters of the plans will see double-digit rate hikes.

Welcome to the United States of Alice.  Whether or not one supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is anything but "affordable."  Most premiums are increasing steeply, government subsidies are growing, and the number of health providers is shrinking.  This has to produce less health care as health coverage increases.

Yes, Those Shocking ObamaCare Rate Hikes Are For Real.  In Alaska, the state regulator approved a 39.6% rate increase for Moda Health, and Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska got a 38.7% hike.  BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee asked for and got a 36.3% boost in premiums.  Oregon's insurance commissioner approved a 25.6% increase for Moda, the biggest insurer on its ObamaCare exchange.  In Kansas, ObamaCare enrollees will face increases of up to 25.4%.  In the pre-ObamaCare days, rate hikes of this magnitude, no matter how rare, would have been cited as proof positive of the need for ObamaCare-type changes.  But these eye-popping jumps are showing up across the country, and ObamaCare itself is to blame.

Obamacare curves
The best thing about Obamacare is all that bending of the cost curves.  [The state's health care commissioner approved a] 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.  She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.

Another ObamaCare Co-Op Bites The Dust, As Taxpayer Costs Mount.  After getting $69.5 million in government-sponsored startup loans, Nevada's co-op saw enrollment come in far lower than expected, and claims costs far higher, resulting in a $15 million loss last year.  CEO Pam Egan said the co-op was seeing the same dismal results this year, making it impossible to provide "quality care at reasonable rates."  Democrats who designed ObamaCare created these nonprofit co-ops in the belief that they could provide price competition in ObamaCare exchanges.  To get them off the ground, the federal government pumped more than $2.5 billion in startup loans and $355 million in solvency loans when things started to turn sour last year.  The costly experiment has largely been a failure.

The Obamacare Tax Everyone Will Pay.  So much for "affordable" health care.  Yet another Affordable Care Act tax is on tap for September, starting at $8 billion a year and increasing to more than $14 billion annually by 2018.  In short, every health plan with more than $25 million dollars of premiums has to pay a portion of that giant tax.  That means that even Americans who are not covered by Obamacare, but instead have private insurance plans, will still pay this tax through premium increases and other fees.

Obamacare 'Cadillac tax' to hit 1 in 4 employers that offer health care benefits.  Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" will hit one in four employers that offer health care benefits, a leading industry analyst says in a report being released Tuesday [8/25/2015], socking companies with a massive levy that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say is unfair to those who have negotiated high-quality plans as part of their jobs.  The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 26 percent of companies will be affected by the tax when it takes effect in 2018 and 42 percent of employers will be paying the levy a decade later, signaling just how quickly health care costs are expected to rise — and how valuable the Cadillac plans are.

Obamacare Exchange Customers: Health Care Still Costs Too Much.  Many Americans who bought health insurance through exchanges operated by states or the federal government have a good understanding of how their plan works, but also are afraid they can't afford medical services, according to research published Monday [8/3/2015] by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.  Health insurance exchanges, or "marketplaces," were created as part of President Barack Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act.  They are used to help Americans shop for health insurance when they do not qualify for a government health program and do not have insurance through an employer.

Health Spending Leaps Upward As ObamaCare Takes Effect.  After trending downward since 2002, national health spending jumped 5.5% in 2014 — the steepest climb in seven years — as ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies took effect, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Spending by the federal government jumped 10.1% last year, compared with 3.5% in the private sector, the report shows.  The finding runs counter to repeated boasts by President Obama that ObamaCare had ushered in the lowest rate of health spending growth in decades.

Solyndra II: ObamaCare's $3 Billion Co-Op Program Is Failing.  When government-supported solar cell manufacturer Solyndra failed in 2011, it was headline news for weeks — a prime example of the dangers of crony capitalism.  But Solyndra's demise cost taxpayers just $500 million.  The ObamaCare co-ops could wind up costing close to $3 billion.  ObamaCare created these nonprofit, "consumer directed" co-ops to provide stiff price competition in the ObamaCare exchanges.  And to get them off the ground, the Obama administration handed out $2.6 billion in low-interest loans and startup funding.  Administration officials claimed that the resulting 23 co-ops were carefully selected because they showed a "high probability of financial viability" and an ability to repay those loans.  Did they mean that as a joke?

High costs plague some state-run health insurance markets.  State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama's health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment.

Remember the 'Affordable' Care Act? Suckers!  You remember how the average family was going to save $2,500 a year on "health care," and how if you liked your plan and your doctor, you could keep them, right?  After all, the president of these United States looked us right in the eye and told us so.  Well, that was then — the baited hook to get us to fall for the scheme — and this is now.

ObamaCare blamed for insurer mega-mergers amid premium hike fears.  A new wave of insurance mega-mergers is fueling fears that ObamaCare is crushing competition.  Despite initial claims that the law would bring down costs, Republican critics and others say it's driving the industry to consolidate — which could end up costing consumers more.  "Without question, the enactment of ObamaCare has prompted increased consolidation in the health care industry," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement Thursday [7/23/2015], announcing hearings on health care industry competition.

The newest Obamacare fail: penalties of $36,500 per worker.  Hey, employers, don't even think about reimbursing your workers' health-insurance premiums.  Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm.  This Internal Revenue Service penalty is not written into the Obamacare law.  The amount is over 12 times the statutory amount in the Affordable Care Act of $3,000 per worker per year.  That is what an employer is charged when one of its employees gets subsidized care on one of the health-care exchanges.  It's 18 times the $2,000 penalty for not offering adequate health insurance.

Where did billions in Obamacare grants go?  The Government Accountability Office charged the Obama administration and many state-run healthcare exchanges with not adequately tracking federal funding, according to a report in the libertarian Reason magazine on Monday [7/20/2015].  The GAO report, which is still in draft form, comes as the administration is taking heat for not properly screening fake Obamacare applications.

Obama Tries to Blame Insurers For Coming ObamaCare Rate Shocks.  President Obama is already pointing the finger of blame at greedy insurance companies for what many expect will be huge ObamaCare premium hikes when people go to sign up for their 2016 health insurance.  On his ObamaCare victory tour last week after the Supreme Court ruling on insurance subsidies, Obama bragged at an event in Tennessee about the many wonderful aspects of the law, including the fact that "we're actually seeing less health care inflation."  But then a questioner had the temerity to ask Obama about massive rate hikes in the state: [...]

Why Is Humana's CEO Praising ObamaCare As Rate Shocks Loom?  Across the country, health insurers are asking for huge ObamaCare premium increases, blaming new costs imposed by the law.  So why is a top industry CEO praising ObamaCare as being great for consumers?

Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016.  Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected.  Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.

House Committee Demands Emails About Oregon's Failed $305 Million Obamacare Exchange.  The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform earlier this month demanded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hand over all documents related to Oregon's failed $305 million Obamacare exchange, known as Cover Oregon.  The Letter sent to HHS "questions about the use of federal funds to develop Cover Oregon remain" amid allegations that control over the exchange was given to campaign consultants concerned with getting then-Gov. Kitzhaber reelected, not fixing the many faults of the system.

America's Obamacare Nightmare Is Just Beginning.  The driving force behind health reform has been the desire to control rising health-care costs.  From 2008 onwards, President Obama promised that his reform agenda would reduce the annual cost for the typical American family by no less than $2,500.  After a while, it became a rather tiresome talking point.  But it was pure nonsense from the start.  Health-care spending increases were slowing down well before Congress enacted Obamacare.  But with the onset of Obamacare, health-insurance premiums in the exchanges jumped by double digits, while deductibles increased dramatically.  If you liked your doctor, you would be able to keep you doctor, the president insisted, but maybe not, in reality, depending upon whether or not your physician networks narrowed.  Looking toward 2016, health insurers say premium costs will soar.

At California's ObamaCare Exchange, Failure Gets You a 27% Raise, Plus Bonus.  The 1.4 million who signed up for an ObamaCare plan through Covered California, and who are paying a $13.95 fee every month for the privilege, might be interested to learn that Executive Director Peter Lee just got a 26.8% raise, plus a $65,000 bonus, which is bigger than the $53,000 bonus he received last year.  To put this in perspective, Lee's base salary of $333,120 is 49% higher than the average health insurance CEO in the country, and 69% higher than all the CEOs in California, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.  We don't begrudge people for being well compensated for their success.  But in this case, Lee is being rewarded by Covered California for what looks like a rather astounding string of failures.

3 More Reasons To Get Rid Of ObamaCare, Hidden In The CBO Report.  ObamaCare advocates tout a new Congressional Budget Office report saying that ObamaCare's repeal would boost the deficit.  But read the actual report.  It tells a far different, more disturbing tale about this law.  The report found that repealing ObamaCare lock, stock and barrel would boost the deficit by $353 billion.  That was enough for news outlets like CNN to report that repeal would "blow out the deficit."  Actually, given that the CBO expects deficits to total $7.2 trillion over those same years, the increase is more like a rounding error than a blowout.  But what the CBO's latest analysis does is provide three more reasons ObamaCare is a bad deal for the American public.

However the Supreme Court Rules, ObamaCare Is In Deep Financial Trouble.  By 2025, the CBO says, ObamaCare will cut Medicare spending by $153 billion.  That's equal to 73% of what the CBO expects the exchange subsidies and the Medicaid expansion will cost in that year.  By comparison, planned Medicare spending cuts will cover only 24% of ObamaCare's subsidy costs in 2016.  No one believes these Medicare cuts — which involve mainly payment cuts to doctors and hospitals — will happen.  Medicare's board of trustees, the Government Accountability Office and Medicare's chief actuary have all warned they are unrealistic and unsustainable over the long term.

ObamaCare plans headed for 'modest' rate hikes, report says.  The average insurance premium under ObamaCare is probably not headed toward a double-digit hike next year, new data shows.  Premiums for silver plans on the federal insurance exchanges are slated to increase an average of 5.8 percent in the eight states where all data is available, according to an analysis by Avalere Health.  For the lowest-cost silver plans, that increase will be 4.5 percent, or an average of $378 per year.

Obamacare's loss would be Americans' gain.  Last week health insurers announced they will hike premiums on Obamacare plans by double digits in 2016.  That's not a problem for consumers eligible for Obamacare's taxpayer-funded subsidies.  Their cost is calculated based on their income.  It's you — the taxpayers — who get gouged when premiums are hiked, because you foot the bill for the subsidies.  That makes the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell, expected some day this month, even more consequential.  It will determine the fate of these subsidies.  Without them, Obamacare buyers in 37 states will have to pay the actual — and unaffordable — sticker price of Obamacare.  And taxpayers will be off the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

Kentucky Hospitals Say They Will Lose $1 Billion Due to State's Obamacare Exchange.  Hospitals in Kentucky are hemorrhaging money and laying off staff, all thanks to the KYNECT Affordable Care Act state health care exchange, according to a report from the Kentucky Hospital Association.  Those losses will only get worse over the coming years, the hospitals say.

Obamacare's Revenge.  New York City's unionized municipal employees and retirees enjoy some of the most expansive — and expensive — health-insurance benefits in the country.  But in 2018, Obamacare's tax on such generous plans will finally kick in, and public-sector union plans will be the first hit by the so-called Cadillac Tax.  How much the penalty will amount to remains unknown, but one thing's for sure:  New Yorkers will wind up footing the bill.

In Vermont, Frustrations Mount Over Affordable Care Act.  The online insurance marketplace that Vermont built to enroll people in private coverage under the law had extensive technical failures.  The problems soured public and legislative enthusiasm for sweeping health care changes just as Gov. Peter Shumlin needed to build support for his complex single-payer plan.  Finally, Mr. Shumlin, a Democrat, shelved the plan in December, citing the high cost to taxpayers.  He called the decision "the greatest disappointment of my political life."

Get Ready For The Unaffordable Obamacare Premium Rate Hikes.  Just as the deadline is about to hit for insurers to post their health insurance rates, Obamacare is ensuring that premiums skyrocket once again.  Already, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare, is back in the headlines as rates were announced to increase on Louisianians by about 24 percent.  On a dozen of select plans for health insurance, the Obama administration has already approved increases of 60.5 percent, 48.8 percent and 20 percent.  In Tennessee, Blue Cross Blue Shield is looking to hike health care premiums a whopping 36 percent.

Obamacare: 2016 sticker shock.  Health insurers are proposing to raise Obamacare rates more than in the past — some by more than 70 percent — now that they are finally equipped with all the information they need to price those plans.  Plans wanting to raise rates by at least 10 percent next year posted the proposed increase online Monday, as required by the 2010 healthcare law.  Insurers are allowed to raise rates each year, but they must publish significant increases ahead of time.

Double-Digit Hikes Prove ObamaCare Isn't Affordable.  It may be hard to remember it at times, but the official name of President Obama's signature health care legislation is the Affordable Care Act, not ObamaCare.  That moniker was affixed to the monstrosity passed by the Democratic Congress in 2010 in the hope that it would lower health care costs even though few of its architects had any idea of what it would actually mean.  For the initial period of its launch, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's famous comment about the bill needing to be passed before anyone knew what was in it, primarily applied to the impact that the various mandates it imposed on businesses, institutions, and individuals would have on the country.  But now it is increasingly clear that whatever it might have accomplished in allowing some to acquire insurance while causing millions of others to lose their coverage, the one thing we know for sure that it hasn't done is lower costs.

Huge ObamaCare Rate Hikes Are Sign Of Worse Things To Come.  When rate increases came in last year and seemed relatively mild, they were treated as proof positive that the law was succeeding. [...] But as IBD and others have noted, ObamaCare's insurance regulations virtually guaranteed a rate spiral.  The reason is that ObamaCare bans insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for those who have pre-existing conditions.  We pointed out that several states had already tried these "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" reforms, and they'd been a disaster.  Higher premiums encouraged the young and healthy to forgo insurance, knowing that they could sign up after they got sick, which drove premiums still higher.  ObamaCare was supposed to avoid this fate by heavily subsidizing insurance premiums and imposing a tax penalty for going uninsured, to get the young and healthy to sign up and keep premiums down.

Highmark seeks high premium increases for individual health plans.  Highmark Inc. wants to raise premium prices by as much as 39 percent for individual policies to offset steep financial losses from selling those plans under the Affordable Care Act.  The state's largest health insurer is asking Pennsylvania regulators to approve the rate increases, which range from 23 percent to 39 percent depending on the policy, for plans it would sell next year on the health law's online marketplace.

New Report Finds Obamacare Overhead to Cost $273 Billion.  Obamacare will be responsible for $273.6 billion in new administrative costs between now and 2022 according to a new report released by Health Affairs Blog.  As the researchers note, this means Obamacare overhead accounts for an average of $1,375 per newly insured person per year. [...] This is not the first time Obamacare has left the American people on the hook for billions of dollars in unneccesary costs.  Since 2011, $5.4 billion in taxpayer money has gone to the states to set up healthcare exchanges.  This money was given away with zero oversight and no strings attached and so it should not be surprising to hear that numerous states have wasted billions in taxpayer money on unworkable Obamacare websites.

As ObamaCare Premiums Spiral, Dems Push Costly New Mandates.  The list of states reporting enormous rate hike requests for ObamaCare plans next year grows by the day, as state commissioners release the rate proposals they've received from insurers for the next open enrollment.  Last week, IBD reported that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants to jack up its ObamaCare premiums by more than 36%; CareFirst in Maryland by close to 30%; and Moda Health in Oregon by almost 50%.  Since then, North Dakota has reported rate hike requests of 43%, Kansas 38% and Iowa 18%.

Obamacare advocates seek to fix problem they made worse.  The problem is that the deductibles on many Americans' health insurance policies have shot up so high that as a practical matter they can't afford care.  If a couple had a deductible of, say, $500 in the past, and it's now $3,000, that couple has to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket before reaping the benefits of coverage.  And the higher the deductible, the more likely a person is going to skip some sort of needed treatment or medicine because he or she can't afford the up-front costs.  "About a quarter of all non-elderly Americans with private insurance coverage do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay even a mid-range deductible, which at today's rates would be $1,200 for single coverage and $2,400 for family coverage," the Wall Street Journal reported in March.

Sticker Shock for Some Obamacare Customers.  So the proposed 2016 Obamacare rates have been filed in many states, and in many states, the numbers are eye-popping.  Market leaders are requesting double-digit increases in a lot of places.  Some of the biggest are really double-digit:  51 percent in New Mexico, 36 percent in Tennessee, 30 percent in Maryland, 25 percent in Oregon.  The reason?  They say that with a full year of claims data under their belt for the first time since Obamacare went into effect, they're finding the insurance pool was considerably older and sicker than expected.

Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike?  In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83 percent of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable.  Now, more than five years after the President's "signature domestic achievement" was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever.  And it's obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase.  The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016.  Why?  "All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act."

Insurers Anticipate Significant 2016 Obamacare Premium Hikes.  [Scroll down]  "Things just haven't worked out" sounds like a plausible slogan for the law.  [Philip] Klein notes that based on the administration's own data, sign-ups among healthy young adults are nowhere near White House projections, and that overall enrollment is lagging far behind the pace needed to hit stated goals.

Hawaii Says Aloha To Its $205 Million ObamaCare Exchange.  After taking $205 million in federal grants to build its own ObamaCare exchange, Hawaii is making plans to shut it down before the next open enrollment.  The exchange, called Hawaii Health Connector, never had much of a chance.  In addition to its huge startup costs, its operating costs were far too high, given that only a little more than 12,000 people are enrolled.

The Government Did WHAT With $300 Million?  As reported in the last "Oregon Trial" dispatch, it's not only possible but likely that the state of Oregon scuttled the launch of a functional Obamacare website for political reasons, after wasting $300 million in federal taxpayer dollars.   That's right:  the total earnings of 300 working American lifetimes just tossed aside like it was nothing.  This happened because a corrupt governor badly wanted to win reelection for a fourth term.  He pulled it off last November, and lasted all of 38 days of the new term before resigning.

ObamaCare Exchanges Are A Model Of Failure.  [S]tate-run exchanges were supposed to form the beating heart of ObamaCare.  And the Obama administration dumped almost $5 billion in an effort to make it a reality.  The results have been a disaster.  Of the 37 states that received $2.1 billion in grants to establish an exchange, only 17 did so, and they got an additional $2.7 billion from the feds.  Of those 17, two went bankrupt in the first year.  One of them, Oregon, had received a $60 million "early innovator grant."  Residents of those states now use the federal Healthcare.gov site.

Ohio Obamacare expansion costs $3 billion in first 15 months.  Americans' tax burden is already $3 billion heavier because of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.  By putting more able-bodied, working-age childless adults on Medicaid than Kasich projected, Obamacare expansion is reducing incentives to work and threatening traditional Medicaid recipients' access to care faster and at greater cost than anticipated.

ObamaCare's Tax Shock Is Far Worse Than Predicted.  H&R Block now figures that two-thirds of ObamaCare enrollees who got subsidies had to pay at least some of it back.  And the average payback was $729.  So roughly 5.5 million ObamaCare enrollees had to return, on average, almost a quarter of their premium subsidies.  Given that these subsidies are available only to families with modest incomes, that's got to hurt.  Why all the subsidy mistakes?  Because ObamaCare uses a Rube Goldberg subsidy scheme that requires enrollees to predict next year's income.

The 'Total Cost' to the Individual of ObamaCare.  The cost of healthcare in the U.S. as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 13.8 percent in 2000 and 16.8 percent in 2008.  So in eight years, spending on healthcare went from being less than one-seventh of the entire economy to being more than one-sixth.  Might it become one-fifth?

Math Is Hard For Obamacarians.  If you are masochistic enough to read the "reporting" of the legacy media on Obamacare, you will have noticed a spate of recent stories with titles like the following from CNBC:  "Health spending post-Obamacare seen $2.5 trillion lower."  This headline is not only awkwardly worded.  It is, like the article over which it appears, misleading.  It misrepresents a new study from the left-leaning Urban Institute concerning projected health care spending in a way that suggests the nation has saved enormous amounts of money thanks to the "Affordable Care Act."  This is absurd, of course, but it highlights an underappreciated element of the health care reform debate — the adversarial relationship that exists between Obamacare's partisans in the press and basic statistics.

Obamacare Caused Health Insurance Rates to Go Up By 50% On Average.  Remember how Barack Obama claimed that all our insurance rates would go down? Heck, at one point he even claimed he'd save Americans $2,500 a year.  Well, it turns out that his Obamacare law caused expenses to soar by over 50% on average and for some more than that.  Yes, Obama lied again.

Obamacare Has Led to Higher Insurance Premiums.  It's been five years since the Affordable Care Act became law, but only two since most of its provisions went into effect.  As its detractors predicted, Obamacare's implementation led to a large, immediate rise in health insurance premiums.  This is hardly surprising:  The law required that a broad swath of treatments be fully insured, thus deepening the moral hazard problems that have long plagued the American health insurance system.  Heritage Foundation microsimulation analysis of the 2015 health insurance offerings on the ACA exchanges found that the sharp 2014 price spike was not reversed.

Obamacare hasn't aged well.  As time has gone on, more and more of the promises of the healthcare law have been proven false. When Obama pitched the legislation to lawmakers and the public in a speech to a joint session of Congress in September 2009, he said it would cost "around $900 billion over 10 years."  Yet that cost estimate depended on an accounting gimmick — because the major spending provisions didn't kick in until 2014, it was essentially a six-year cost estimate.  According to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections, the law is going to cost $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years.  That much spending, has, indisputably, increased the number of Americans with health insurance by millions, but that wasn't supposed to be the only purpose of the law.

ObamaCare Premiums Jumped 23% This Year — After Subsidies.  President Obama has talked a lot in recent months about how health care inflation has moderated in recent years, and he always manages to credit ObamaCare for the result.  But there is rampant inflation in one part of the health care system, and ironically enough it involves ObamaCare premiums.  According to official government data, the average premium paid by those signing up through the federal Healthcare.gov site this year was $101 a month, after factoring in the subsidies.  Last year, however, the average premium, net of subsidies, was $82.  That's a 23% increase.

At $340 million, Barack Obama owns world record for most expensive music videos ever.  Oregon's new governor, Democrat Kate Brown, dissolved Cover Oregon and transferred its duties to a state agency.  From its onset, though, Cover Oregon was a dismal failure.  It couldn't sign up Oregonians for months after its initial launch due to tech failures, which forced state residents to submit paper applications for coverage.  When the agency ironed out some of its tech problems, it only signed up less than a quarter of its goal.  The dissolution comes after $340 million in total spending, including $300 million in federal dollars.  But the saga's not done yet.  The state and federal government may pay up to $30 million to bring Oregon onto the federal exchange.

Obamacare premiums to significantly spike: CBO.  Obamacare exchange customers could see a significant spike in their premiums over the next few years as insurers face pressures from both the government and the marketplace, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday in a new analysis finding Obamacare is both cheaper and less comprehensive than predicted.  The CBO said the exchanges and other new medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act will cost the government slightly more than half a trillion dollars over the next five years, which is about $200 billion less than than the $710 billion projected when the law was enacted in 2010.

Supreme Court ruling could increase Obamacare premiums 700 percent.  If the government loses in a major Obamacare challenge before the Supreme Court, it will result in premium increases of up to 700 percent for nearly 8 million people, a new analysis claims. [...] If the subsidies are illegal, average monthly premium contributions for about 7.5 million people could increase between 122 and 774 percent, depending on the state, according to Avalere.  Residents in Alaska and Mississippi would have the highest increases, the think tank said.

Surprise: Poorest Obamacare Enrollees Face $530 IRS Tax Bill.  The majority (52 percent) of Obamacare enrollees receiving an advance premium tax credit to purchase Obamacare insurance is facing the prospect of paying back $530 of that tax credit to the IRS, according to a new study from H&R Block.  This clawback is reducing the refunds for these taxpayers by 17 percent this filing season.  Under Obamacare, taxpayers earning between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive a tax credit to help purchase insurance on Obamacare exchanges.  This tax credit is calculated using old tax data of the recipients.  The credit is advanced ahead of time to the taxpayer's insurance company.  The taxpayer must reconcile at tax time the advance credit received with the actual credit [he or] she is eligible for.

Yep, ObamaCare costs a fortune.  Whenever I write about ObamaCare's expansion of health insurance, most of the emails I get from readers include some version of: Sure, the premiums may be low, but who can afford to see a doctor?  A survey released [last week] by the Kaiser Family Foundation, tracking 2015 deductibles and copayments across most exchange plans, says those complaints are at least half right.  For all but the most generous ObamaCare plans, out-of-pocket payments are usually higher than for employer-based insurance — in some cases, drastically so.

Obamacare Co-Ops Cost Taxpayers $17,000 Per Enrollee.  More than 500,000 people enrolled in health plans offered by nonprofit insurance companies created under the Affordable Care Act.  And with the co-ops receiving an average of $108.7 million from the federal government, taxpayer-backed funding per enrollee topped $17,000.  Twenty-three co-ops received a total of $2.5 billion from the federal government and enrolled more than 520,000 people in plans through September.  However, an analysis conducted by The Daily Signal published yesterday found that just one, Maine Community Health Options, was profitable last year.

Buried In The Numbers: Obamacare's Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding.  Late last month, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the provisions within Obamacare expanding access to insurance coverage would cost 20% less than the agency estimated in 2010, when the law passed.  The White House was ecstatic.  "The estimates released today by CBO once again confirm the progress we've made," said deputy press secretary Eric Schultz.  Taxpayers, however, should worry.  A closer look at the CBO's numbers shows that Obamacare is growing much more expensive — and disruptive.

With taxes looming, time to repeal ObamaCare's individual mandate.  The individual mandate in ObamaCare has been able to lay low as the actual financial impact of this draconian, socialistic aspect of President Obama's signature policy, forced on the nation with the support of only Democrats, comes to fruition.  For the uninsured and underinsured, the new tax penalty will come as a surprise, or even a shock.

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance.  The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.  The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.  Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion — or $50,000 per head.

Obamacare costs $50,000 per taxpayer.  It will cost the federal government — taxpayers, that is — $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday [1/26/2015].  The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.

CBO: Obamacare To Cost $50,000 Per Person.  A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said it will cost about $50,000 per person to insure every American under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — otherwise known as Obamacare.

CBO Still Refuses to Score Obamacare, Ignores 15 Tax Hikes in Healthcare Law.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook which sets the budget baselines and estimates for the whole year.  Buried in Appendix B of the report is CBO's attempt to provide an updated score of Obamacare.  But that's not what they did.  They only scored the "coverage provisions" of the law, ignoring some fifteen tax increases which are also a part of Obamacare and its cost to taxpayers.

Californians received $3.2 billion in Obamacare premium subsidies.  Californians received $3.2 billion in Obamacare premium subsidies during the rollout of the federal health law last year.  That federal aid went to about 800,000 California households, state officials said Monday [1/26/2015].  Those individuals and families paid $1.1 billion in premiums themselves, meaning for every dollar they spent the federal government paid an additional $3 to their health insurer.  Nearly 90% of enrollees in the Covered California exchange qualified for financial help based on their income.  The average monthly subsidy was $436 per household, according to the state.

Harvard Professors Grumble About ObamaCare Costs.  It seems that ivory tower professors at Harvard, where health experts helped craft the law, are now grumbling about the impact ObamaCare is having on their pocketbooks. [...] As the New York Times reports, Harvard provided ridiculously generous benefits to its faculty, with no deductible and no coinsurance, features common to just about every other health plan on the market.  Now these poor souls face a $250 deductible and out-of-pocket costs that could top out at $1,500.

Obamacare: The Real Pain Starts This Year.  Obamacare was designed such that its most harmful provisions would not be implemented until after the President had been returned to office for a second term and his Democrat accomplices had been reelected to their congressional seats.  Fortunately for the nation, the latter part of that strategy was a spectacular failure.  Nonetheless, it did provide the public with a temporary reprieve from the health care law's most painful exactions.  That brief respite is now at an end.  This year, you will begin to experience the realities of "reform" first hand and you are not going to like how it feels.

Full Speed Ahead.  Among other recently revealed shortcomings — according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's Employer Health Benefits, 2014 Annual Survey ("Employee Cost Sharing" chapter) — the average deductible for individual plans has climbed from $826 in 2009 to $1,217 in 2014.  This is an average annual increase of approximately 8.1 percent on Obama's watch.  Also, a Commonwealth Fund survey discovered that 40 percent of working-age adults have skipped medical treatments because they cost too much.

Millions of Obamacare subsidy recipients may need to pay back-taxes.  [Scroll down]  No, the problem for Democrats here is that this is going to happen every year. The system is more or less designed to assume that people would twiddle with their coverage on a regular basis: as plans changed, improved, or degraded the consumer would be obligated to follow suit, in order to keep the subsidy.  This sounds perfectly reasonable... if you're not the one doing it.  But out in the real world? [...]

Dilemma over deductibles: Costs crippling middle class.  Physician Praveen Arla is witnessing a reversal of health care fortunes:  Poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through Obamacare and finally coming to his office for care.  But middle-class workers are increasingly staying away.  "It's flip-flopped," says Arla, who helps his father run a family practice in Hillview, Kentucky.  Patients with job-based plans, he says, will say:  "'My deductible is so high.  I'm trying to come to the doctor as little as possible. ... What is the minimum I can get done?'  They're really worried about cost."

Obamacare tax surprise looming.  Obamacare enrollees who received subsidies to help pay for coverage will soon have to reconcile how much they actually earned in 2014 with how much they estimated when they applied many, many months ago.  This will likely lead to some very unhappy Americans.  Those who underestimated their income either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.

Obamacare's Annus Horribilis.  President Candy Land promised that he'd "lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year."  But premiums for people in the individual market for health insurance have spiked over the last year.  In fact, Forbes health policy journalist Avik Roy and the Manhattan Institute analyzed 3,137 counties and found that individual market premiums rose an average of 49 percent.

Tax dollars at work: 87% of new Obamacare users given federal aid.  Some 87 percent of people who just signed up for Obamacare are getting financial assistance to lower their premiums, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.  That is a jump from 80 percent during the last open enrollment period.  The department did not say how much it was offering to new Obamcare enrollees or what the total bill to taxpayers would be.

Federal government fines for skipping medical insurance in America will climb in 2015.  Being uninsured in America will cost you more in 2015.  It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law.  Those who were uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.

Accenture wins $563M contract to run HealthCare.gov.  The Obama administration has awarded Accenture — the technology company that swooped in to help revive HealthCare.gov at the start of this year — a five-year, $563 million contract to continue its work on the federal Obamacare exchange, the company said Monday [12/29/2014].  Reeling from a disastrous rollout of the federal website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in January dropped a key contractor on the project, CGI Federal, and selected Accenture Federal Services to rehabilitate and build out the portal.

ObamaCare fines loom for uninsured.  People without insurance are running out of time to avoid the hefty ObamaCare penalties that the IRS will be handing down in 2016.  Consumers face a Feb. 15, 2015, deadline to buy insurance, after which those without coverage could be hit with fines of $325 per adult or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher.

Federal Spending by the Numbers, 2014.  Obamacare's new spending will cost more than $1.8 trillion over the next decade for its massive expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for those purchasing health insurance in the new exchanges.  There are 36 states currently relying on the federal exchange to facilitate their enrollment, for which the federal government has spent an estimated $800 million.  The 14 states and the District of Colombia that are operating exchanges have received over $4 billion in grant money to help build them.  However, the long-term costs of operating the Obamacare exchanges rest squarely on the states.

Obamacare sticker shock fears: Government pleads with Americans to shop around.  The administration is trying to preempt Obamacare sticker shock in 2015 by pleading with Americans to shop around in the marketplaces instead of automatically re-enrolling in the health plans they chose last year.  Officials said Thursday [12/4/2014] those who don't look around and compare plans during open enrollment could see their costs rise because the so-called benchmark plans are more expensive this year.

ObamaCare's whopping Cadillac tax under fire.  Of all the taxes in ObamaCare, none is more onerous than the whopping 40 percent Cadillac tax on the more generous employer-provided health care plans, which often are union plans.  The now-famous former outside adviser on ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber of MIT, spoke about the Cadillac tax before an audience at the Pioneer Institute in 2011, saying, "It turns out politically, it's really hard to get rid of.  And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans."

Another rude Obamacare surprise awaits.  Taxes are bad enough when you know they're coming — and much worse when they arrive unexpectedly.  As the Affordable Care Act enters its second year of operability, a key and controversial element of the plan will begin to affect several million Americans for the first time.  People who didn't have health insurance during 2014 may soon have to pay a penalty fee that starts at $95 and goes up based on how much you earn.  Some Americans know about the penalty, and they've budgeted for it or at least accepted its inevitability.  But several million others could be in for a rude surprise when Washington assesses a fee they didn't even know was coming.

Defending Jonathan Gruber, Badly.  The health care law assesses a hefty 40 percent tax on costly, so-called "Cadillac" insurance plans exceeding $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.  However, Obamacare is structured such that the Cadillac tax is pinned to CPI inflation rather than medical inflation.  Since the latter is much higher, over time the Cadillac tax would end up being a big tax hike on the middle class.

Obamacare fines for non-enrollment triple for coming year.  Recall that conservatives had been warning not enough of these young people have been signing up to pay for these more expensive enrollees.  The people who need to be forced to sign up are the young people who don't use health care.  These young people — especially young men — have to be forced to pay into the system while not taking anything out.  Young men almost never use health care, so they are the perfect serfs for this government controlled health care plan.

Obamacare 2015: Higher costs, higher penalties.  With the Affordable Care Act to start enrollment for its second year on Nov. 15, some unpleasant surprises may be in store for some.  That's because a number of low-priced Obamacare plans will raise their rates in 2015, making those options less affordable.  On top of that, penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families' pocketbooks.  "The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage," said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com.  "This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock."

High ObamaCare deductibles send enrollees in search of free care.  Fox News first reported the issue, pointing to places like Denton, Texas, as one example.  Denton is a suburb of Dallas, Texas.  Dr. Flippo Masciarelli, chief physician at the community care center there, told Fox News that some patients' deductibles "are so elevated that they can't afford them."  Alyene Senger, research associate at The Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies, tells OneNewsNow that some deductibles are quite substantial.  "The most popular ObamaCare plan, the Silver plan, has an average deductible of over $2,700," she says.

5 Ways ObamaCare Hides Its Costs.  Far from making insurance costs more transparent, ObamaCare appears to be making it more difficult to assess the true cost of any insurance plan.  To keep premiums down, for example, many plans adopted narrow provider networks, forcing patients either to go to the short list of approved doctors and hospitals, or to pay out of pocket.  A McKinsey survey found that the share of individual market plans with narrow networks jumped from 20% before ObamaCare went into effect to 41% this year, with 15% now using "ultranarrow" networks.

Some ObamaCare patients with high deductibles turning to community care centers.  When ObamaCare patients learn their deductible is so high they're unlikely to get any reimbursement, they often wind up in places like the Denton, Texas Community Care Center.  "There are quite a few, and I saw another one today, where their deductibles are so elevated that they can't afford them," said Dr. Flippo Masciarelli, chief physician at the center, which was designed to treat indigent patients.  Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates noted, "You're going to the doctor, you're paying (a) premium, and because of this really high deductible, you're not getting any benefits."  The administration pushed insurance companies to keep premiums low, but that also created high deductibles, about $5,000 per person for the least expensive plan, as well as narrow networks of providers.

Obamacare sends health premiums skyrocketing by as much as 78 percent.  The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a study of insurance policies before and after Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.  Average insurance premiums in the sought-after 23-year-old demographic rose most dramatically, with men in that age group seeing an average 78.2 percent price increase before factoring in government subsidies, and women having their premiums rise 44.9 percent, according to a report by HealthPocket scheduled for release Wednesday [10/29/2014].

ObamaCare Enrollment Delays Hide Insurance Cost Hikes Till After Elections.  On October 1st of last year, ObamaCare's inaugural enrollment period launched with all of the grace of a rocket exploding on its launch pad. Double-digit premium hikes, cancelled plans, and non-functioning websites caused misery for millions, leaving even supporters of the law lacking for words at times.  This October there is silence, with few outside of the beltway focused on anything to do with ObamaCare.  Has the system been fixed — is ObamaCare working?  Not at all.

Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor.  Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year, and with good reason:  She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller aneurysm that needs monitoring.  But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical services up to that amount.  She is skipping this year's brain scan and hoping for the best.

ObamaCare customers afraid to use their benefits due to sky-high deductibles.  It must have pained the New York Times to publish its article about how many ObamaCare customers fear to make use of their taxpayer-subsidized, hyper-regulated benefits because the deductibles are so high.  It's a devastating indictment of the Affordable Care Act, cutting deep into the very small number of Americans who actually find the ACA somewhat useful.

How Much Will Obamacare Cost? Bet on 'More Than Expected'.  Back in 2009, it was really important to President Obama that people understand he would not "sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.  Period."  He sold the plan as costing about $938 billion in its first decade of operation (2010 through 2019) but saving about $143 billion overall because of the various taxes and other revenue it raised.  A 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report figured that Obamacare would shave $109 billion off the deficit between 2013 and 2022.  This past June, however, the CBO said it will no longer try to estimate the law's effects on the deficit.  There have been too many delays, postponements, modifications, you name it, to the original bill.

ObamaCare Bronze Plan Premiums To Jump 14% In 2015.  ObamaCare shoppers in search of the lowest-cost plan may come down with a mild case of rate shock when 2015 exchange enrollment begins next month.  An examination of next year's rates in the biggest city in 15 states and Washington, D.C., reveals that the cost of the cheapest bronze plan will jump an average of 13.9% for 40-year-old non-smokers earning 225% of the poverty level ($26,260).

Mr. Obama's November Surprise.  Only in November will Americans learn how much their health care costs will rise after the implementation of President Obama's "signature" legislative accomplishment, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  Of course, the administration doesn't admit that it is waiting until after voters cast their November ballots to give them a nasty post-election "surprise."  As the Washington Times notes, there are some states in which word is already leaking out.  Those happen to be states with hotly contested Senate contests.

You can find out your 2015 Obamacare premiums after the election.  Citizens will have the opportunity to line up at their laptops once again and enroll in the program which will provide them with some sort of health insurance (no matter how much it costs or if they can even afford it) and avoid having their government hit them with a cash penalty for not being able to afford insurance in the first place.  But there will be some differences this time.

Internal documents suggest $1B Obamacare cost.  The [Deval] Patrick Administration could spend as much as $560 million in taxpayer dollars this year for free temporary Medicaid insurance plans for the hundreds of thousands of Bay Staters unable to sign up for Obama-care through the state's disastrous website, according to confidential documents obtained by the Herald.  The internal working papers — marked "confidential draft" and confirmed by state officials last night — show the cost of the temporary Medicaid plans for fiscal 2015 could reach as high as $560.2 million.  That figure — which would be covered by both state and federal taxpayers — was listed on documents used by the state as it negotiates a Medicaid waiver with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Steel Plant Manager to Obama: Why Are Health Care Costs Rising?  President Obama held a town hall yesterday [10/3/2014] in Indiana, and faced a question from a steel plant manager about rising health care costs. [...] The man said, "One of the questions I had is about the health care costs.  We are seeing almost a double-digit increase in health care costs every year.  So do you think that trends will go down and what can we do to control that trend?"  Obama answered, "The question is whether you guys are shopping effectively enough, because it turns out that this year, and in fact over the course of the last four years, premiums have gone up at the slowest rate in 50 years."

Rationing Is Coming! $2.1 Billion for Obamacare Enrollment System Alone.  According to a Bloomberg Government Analysis, the Obamacare enrollment system didn't cost the roughly $834,000 claimed by our administration.  It cost a whopping $2.1 billion.  I guess we should be grateful it's not a trillion.  People have to understand that it's not just wasteful, it's money that would have been used for our healthcare that won't be used for its intended purpose.  The government will have to ration care because of their inefficiency and overall problem with corruption.  The government figure was untruthful.  They don't count all the money they spend.  They spread it around to hide their inefficiency.

Tax refunds will be cut for ACA recipients.  A significant benefit of the Affordable Care Act is the opportunity to receive money-saving tax credits up front to cut the overall cost of health insurance, but now hundreds of thousands of consumers could owe back some of that money next April.  Those affected took advance payments of the premium tax credit for health insurance.  Some married couples could owe $600 or $1,500 or $2,500 or even more.  It might feel like a raw deal for some who are already suffocating under the escalating costs of health insurance.

Replacing Obamacare Saves a Lot of Money.  Supporters of the Obama administration like to create the impression that there is no viable alternative to the Affordable Care Act — i.e., Obamacare.  But that is demonstrably not true.  Republican senators Richard Burr, Tom Coburn, and Orrin Hatch introduced a plan earlier this year that would cover just as many people with insurance as Obamacare at a fraction of the cost.  Now we have confirmation, in the form of a new cost estimate, that a similarly constructed but slightly different proposal would also cost less, while covering nearly the same number of people.

Feds Predicted Federal Exchange Website Would Cost Less Than That Of A Single State.  It is widely reported that taxpayers shelled out more than 500 million dollars to complete HealthCare.gov, the federal government health insurance website created for states that did not establish their own exchange under the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA" or '"Obamacare").  It is less widely reported that the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") also handed out more than $4.8 billion of taxpayer money to help states establish their own exchanges such as Covered California, New York State of Health and Cover Oregon.  What has not been reported is that in several states such as Oregon, the original budget to develop a single state exchange was originally estimated to cost substantially more than HealthCare.gov.

Healthcare Expert: Obamacare's 'Quiet Summer' is About to End in a Big Way.  One major reason for the enduring opposition is that the [Obamacare] law has violated virtually every major promise erected in dishonest ideologues' sales pitch.  Another is that an ongoing parade of unpleasant developments continues to make headlines, including the recent revelation that Healthcare.gov was hacked last month.  Apologists can cherry-pick useful data points to try to convince the public that Obamacare is reducing premium costs and driving down costs, but that's simply not the case.  Individual market premiums exploded in 2014, and are expected to grow by roughly eight percent in 2015 (with many consumers confronting double-digit spikes) — to say nothing of high out-of-pocket costs and narrow coverage networks.

Early Preview of Obamacare Premiums Show a 40% Spike in 2015.  It is my sincere hope that one day conservatives will kick teachers' unions to the curb and retake the nation's educational system.  One of the first orders of business then would be to teach not only the genius of the American founding but also the utter, repeated and unbroken failures of collectivism.  Which brings me to Obamacare, a socialistic plan sold on a panoply of lies and doomed from the outset to failure.  Failure that even the Obama administration acknowledges, with its serial and unlawful rewrites of the statute, along with delays and modifications to shield a complicit Democrat Party from enraged electorates.

Obamacare's Device Tax Grows More Devious.  Business is not going well at the Internal Revenue Service.  The agency projected that it would collect $1.2 billion between April and September of last year from Obamacare's medical device tax, which went into effect at the beginning of 2013.  But the tax take was just three-quarters of that.  Implementing the tax has proven nightmarish.  Administrative errors, overpayments, and erroneous penalties have grown common.  And these snafus are nothing compared to the havoc the device tax is beginning to wreak on the economy and the job market

Who's paying the new Obamacare tax? You.  When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it required health insurers, hospitals, device makers and pharmaceutical companies to share in the cost because they would get a windfall of new, paying customers.  But with an $8 billion tax on insurers due Sept. 30 — the first time the new tax is being collected — the industry is getting help from an unlikely source:  taxpayers.

More Bad News for the Middle Class and Their Health Care.  The biggest "unforeseen" issue arising with the poorly named Affordable Care Act is its effect on affordability of care.  The typical middle-class family, in order to afford the broader coverage necessitated by ObamaCare, is having to choose a higher and higher deductible insurance plan.  This is having a huge impact on a patient's decision even to go to the doctor, much less survive the increased cost if he does find himself needing care.

If You Like Your Obamacare Plan, It'll Cost You.  If you like your Obamacare plan, you can keep it — but you might end up paying a whole lot more.  People who decide to stick with the coverage they've already gotten through Obamacare, rather than switching plans, are at risk for some of the biggest premium spikes anywhere in the system.  And some people won't even know their costs went up until they get a bill from the IRS.  Insurance plans generally raise their premiums every year, but those costs are just the tip of the iceberg for millions of Obamacare enrollees.  A series of other, largely invisible factors will also push up many consumers' premiums.

Florida Obamacare rates could rise 13 percent next year, state says.  Monthly premiums for the second year of Obamacare health insurance plans are expected to rise an average of 13 percent, Florida officials announced Monday [8/4/2014]. [...] After those subsidies are applied, the monthly cost will range between $400 and 600 per family in most counties, according to the state analysis.  "Even with a federal subsidy, that could mean an out-of-pocket cost of $500 or more per month to have coverage," the Florida office stated in a news release issued Monday.

Health insurers raise 2015 Fla. exchange rates.  Florida Blue, the state's largest insurer, is raising its premiums by an average of 18 percent.

ObamaCare Disaster in California.  California's experience with ObamaCare portends a dubious future for the nation.  "The rate increase from 2013 to 2014, on average, was significantly higher than rate increases in the past," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at a news conference Tuesday [7/29/2014].  Jones admitted that Californians endured premium rate increases ranging from 22 percent to 88 percent from last year to this year.  "The rate increase from 2013 to 2014, on average, was significantly higher than rate increases in the past," Jones added.

Obamacare Website Has Cost $840 Million.  The Obama administration has spent roughly $840 million on HealthCare.gov, including more than $150 million just in cost overruns for the version that failed so badly when it launched last year.  The Government Accountability Office says cost overruns went hand-in-hand with the management failures that led to the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov and the 36 state insurance exchanges it serves.  GAO's report, prepared for a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday [7/31/2014], details a long series of management, oversight, and contracting problems that plagued the entire process, from risky contracting practices in 2011 through the botched launch last October.

The CBO Is Using Enron-Style Accounting On Obamacare.  CBO has always been at the center of a debate about how much we should trust these estimates and how much legislators should rely on them in crafting policy.  The larger the legislation, the more moving parts it has, the more difficult it is to calculate the fiscal and economy-wide impacts.  In the case of Obamacare, the sheer largeness of the measure and its many factors contributed to a higher degree of distrust for the CBO's assumptions about what would come of Obamacare's passage.

Your health care: Obama's $18,000 broken promise.  During his 2008 campaign, one of then-Senator Obama's most audacious promises was that his health plan would reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average family.  His repeatedly made his pledge on videotape; you can view those promises here.  But health insurance premiums have continued to rise — not just despite ObamaCare, but in many cases because of the law's new regulations and mandates.

Obamacare 'Lie' Touted By Landrieu Is Now A Reality In Louisiana.  It seems that the supposed "lie" that Obamacare would drive costs up is now becoming a reality, at least in Louisiana.  Individuals who have individual health plans through Time Insurance Company could face a 24% premium rate increase, affecting at least 996 Louisianans.  And the double-digit increases do not stop there.
  •   Those who hold Blue Saver individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana could face a 18.3% premium rate increase, affecting 18,041 Louisianans.
  •   Those who hold Blue Max individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana could face a 19.3% premium rate increase, affecting 30,273 Louisianans
  •   Those who hold Multi-State individual health plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana could face a 19.7% premium rate increase, affecting 4,324 Louisianans
  •   Those who hold individual health plans through Humana Louisiana could face a 15.5% premium rate increase in 2015, affecting at least 4,947 Louisianans.

Sticker Shock: NY Family Hammered With 22% Obamacare Rate Hike.  In a series called New York Exposed, WHEC-NY in Rochester demonstrates the possibilities of skyrocketing rate hikes being ushered in under Obamacare.  One family profiled in their report experienced a 22% Obamacare rate hike from their insurance company.  The reporter initiated the report by saying, "Most of our viewers could understand some increases year-to-year, but 22%?"  But that's exactly what happened to Michelle Vergilia, an MVP Health Care customer who according to the investigation, is experiencing the 22% Obamacare rate hike on a monthly basis, less than a year after she purchased her new plan.

Feds Spent $4.8 Billion on Obamacare Exchanges So Far.  According to CMS, the government spent $456 million to support "exchange operations" between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, before the law went into effect.  In 2013 the government spent $1.545 billion for administrative costs associated with the exchanges, and expects to spend an additional $1.390 million this year.  The agency has requested another $1.788 billion for 2015.  The law enabled HHS to distribute multiple grants to states to plan and establish exchanges.  Initial planning grants were valued at $1 million, though multiple rounds of "exchange establishment grants" cost much more, totaling $4.6 billion.

Older women bear the brunt of higher insurance costs under Obamacare.  First of all, figures that look good "on average," often mask extremely wide differences across age groups.  Secondly, it's hard to find pre-ACA policies that are comparable to the policies available post-ACA.  These differences are shown by two recent reports with sharply different implications.  The government's report shows that federal tax credits make health insurance premiums more affordable for everyone.  The academics' report, however, shows that women age 55 to 64 will face a huge spike in cost when they go out to buy individual insurance on the federal exchange.  These women bear the brunt of the increased premiums and out of pocket expenses after the Affordable Care Act.

Study: Average Individual Market Premiums Soar 49 Percent Under Obamacare.  Premiums have increased in the large and small group markets as well — in addition to higher out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copays for many consumers.  Insurers across the country have been releasing a "drumbeat" of projected 2015 rate hikes throughout the spring, which will spill over into the summer and early fall.  More Americans say their health costs are going up, not down, with large majorities expecting Obamacare to raise costs in the long term.  Numerous surveys have demonstrated Obamacare's ratio of "hurt" to "helped" among consumers is roughly 2-to-1.

The Affordable Care Act isn't so affordable in New Jersey.  It's a dubious honor, but New Jersey now has the highest Obamacare premiums in the nation.

You're Not Going to Believe This, But Obamacare Is Going to Cost Taxpayers a Lot More Than Projected.  90% received subsidies — so much for the "young, healthy" enrollees who would be overpaying into the system and thus keeping overall costs down.

Surprise: ObamaCare Costs More Than Predicted.  The Health and Human Services report, released this week, claims that of the 5.4 million people who enrolled in ObamaCare through the federal HealthCare.gov site, 4.7 million got tax subsidies to offset the cost of their premiums.  It goes on to say that once you factor in the subsidy, the average premium was $82 a month.  "Consumers have more choices, and they're paying less for their premiums," boasted new HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.  That claim itself is dubious.  Even with the subsidies, ObamaCare is hardly cheap.  For example, a young person making $22,980 would pay up to $1,450 for an ObamaCare "silver" plan after subsidies.  But that same person would likely have been eligible for cheaper rates before ObamaCare, without any tax subsidies.

Obamacare subsidies push cost of healthcare law above projections.  The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates.  Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought health coverage on the federal government's healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.

ObamaCare's Looming Subsidy Overpayment Crisis.  Lawmakers have learned that ObamaCare could end up overpaying insurance subsidies by as much as $152 billion.  That's more than the deficit cut Washington once promised ObamaCare would produce.

Obamacare And The CBO — No Longer 'Giddy'.  How critical to the passage of Obamacare was the 2010 "score" given the legislation by the Congressional Budget Office? [...] Vital.  Critical.  Indispensible.  Roll Call reminds us, "For Democratic lawmakers who were hesitant to sign onto the sweeping 2010 healthcare law, one of the most powerful selling points was that the Affordable Care Act would actually reduce the federal budget deficit, despite the additional costs of extending health insurance coverage to the uninsured."  To the pile of broken Obamacare promises, we now add another.  It is not true if you like you doctor you can keep your doctor.  It is not true that if you like your plan you can keep your plan.  It will not save the average household $2,500. It will not bend the cost curve down.  And now we know that Obamacare cannot promise, as advertised, to shrink the deficit.

The Short Unhappy Life of ObamaCare.  President Obama claims the debate over the Affordable Care Act is "over," but in coming weeks and months expect it to intensify.  Health-insurance companies will soon begin releasing preliminary rate estimates for next year's plans.  Industry experts say consumers should once again brace for significantly higher premiums.

A Dysfunctional Government, Top to Bottom.  Obama trusted that his health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, would tell him if Healthcare.gov wouldn't be ready by the deadline. After a humiliatingly dysfunctional launch, Healthcare.gov has cost taxpayers "at least $834 million in IT spending so far, and another $200 million is being requested for fiscal 2015." [...] Separately, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, and Oregon will spend $240 million to fix their sites or switch to the federal marketplace, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows.

The Hidden Cost Chickens in Obamacare Coming Home to Roost.  Labor unions have been reliable supporters of President Obama and his policies.  Their support for Obamacare was critical to its passage in 2010.  Yet they are continuing to learn that their members will be paying more for their healthcare, not less.  One of the selling points of Obamacare was the lowering of health insurance costs.  Nancy Pelosi promised, "Everybody will have lower rates."  President Obama was more specific, telling us that his signature program would "Bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family."  A year later, however, Mrs. Pelosi, in the face of rising premiums for many, forgot her promise of the previous year, "I don't remember saying that everybody in the country would have a lower premium."

New IRS Obamacare Rule Guarantees Massive Job Loss.  For the last two years many businesses have been warning that because Obamacare will hurt them so badly they will cease offering employees healthcare and dump employees onto the Obamacare exchanges.  But now the IRS has ruled that business will not be allowed to do this and this move guarantees that companies will begin a massive wave of layoffs to make up the costs.  An article in The New York Times relays the bad news to employers that no matter what they thought they were going to do, they are stuck with the massive new costs of Obamacare and they won't be able to escape that massive tax increase by just closing out their healthcare benefits.

New Costs From Health Law Snarl Union Contract Talks.  Disputes between unions and employers over paying for new costs associated with the Affordable Care Act are roiling labor talks nationwide.  Unions and employers are tussling over who will pick up the tab for new mandates, such as coverage for dependent children to age 26, as well as future costs, such as a tax on premium health plans starting in 2018. [...] In Philadelphia, disagreement over how much workers should contribute to such health-plan cost increases has stalled talks between the region's transit system and its main union representing 5,000 workers as they try to renegotiate a contract that expired in March.

Health insurance coverage now costs $23,215 for a typical family.  The typical cost of health care for a family of four with employer-based insurance this year is $23,215, according to a new report from the Milliman actuarial firm.

Obamacare: Home of the $11,500 Application.  Remember the good old days when the Pentagon was spending only $640 for a toilet seat and $400 for a hammer? [...] It turns out that procurement officers there were, relatively speaking, wise stewards of taxpayer dollars, at least when compared to the Obama administration's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  CMS has given the American people the $11,500 paper Obamacare application — and that may be a lowball estimate.

How a taxpayer bail out that could run into billions was built in to Obamacare to protect insurance companies.  A provision of the Obamacare law known as 'risk corridors' provides the safety valve for insurance companies if they keep rate hikes modest but still wind up in the red.  According to that system, insurers whose claims in 2014 are 3 percent higher than what was projected will recover half of the differen[ce] from the government.  If claims are 8 percent or more above projections, taxpayers cover 80 per cent of the company's losses.

Obama administration creates slush fund to bribe insurance companies to keep rates low.  That's not how the administration is characterizing the new regulations buried in dozens of new rules released last week.  But read this and tell me it isn't exactly as I describe it; a slush fund that will make payments to multi-billion dollar companies — as long as they keep premium increases low in advance of the November elections.

Federal funds earmarked to offset Affordable Care Act insurer losses.  The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.  The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week.  It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall's congressional elections.  Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a "bailout" for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

Bribery, ObamaCare Style.  Last week, the administration promised insurers it would use "other sources of funding" to protect their profits "in the unlikely event" that ObamaCare costs more than expected.  The language was buried in a 435-page regulatory filing that only the industry would normally care about.  But it caught the eye of the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein on Friday [5/16/2014].  The bailout story got legs this week when the Los Angeles Times followed suit, noting that the regulatory change could "potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry."  Keep in mind that only a few weeks ago, White House officials were denying that any such bailout existed in ObamaCare.  The "risk corridor" program at issue, a White House budget spokesman said in March, was merely a "safety valve for consumers and insurers" transitioning to a "brand new market."

Obamacare's Dangers for Seniors.  Nationwide, readmissions rates are dropping because Section 3025 of Obamacare punishes hospitals if a senior returns within 30 days.  What happens to the senior treated for a heart attack who rushes back to the hospital a week later feeling faint, possibly because of arrhythmia?  To dodge the penalty, hospitals put the patient under "observation."  It's just a word on the chart.  The patient may get the same tests and be put in the same room as if he'd been admitted.  But unless he stays at least two nights, the hospital won't bill Medicare for a stay, and the patient gets clobbered with the cost.  Many seniors don't even know they were under observation until they get the bill.

Federal health-care subsidies may be too high or too low for more than 1 million Americans.  The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors, according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation.  The problem means that potentially hundreds of thousands of people are receiving bigger subsidies than they deserve.  They are part of a large group of Americans who listed incomes on their insurance applications that differ significantly — either too low or too high — from those on file with the Internal Revenue Service, documents show.

PhRMA warns out-of-pocket costs could double under O-Care.  A new study commissioned by PhRMA finds that many consumers in ObamaCare's insurance exchanges could end up paying more than twice as much in out-of-pocket drug costs.  The report for the nation's top drug lobby was conducted by actuarial firm Milliman, which found that people on the Silver Plan, the most popular ObamaCare plan, would likely pay 130 percent more for out-of-pocket prescription drugs compared to people on similar employer-sponsored plans.

OK, We Admit It: ObamaCare Is Working!  It's working just like critics said it would, and nothing like its supporters promised.  High and rising premiums.  Runaway costs. [...] Warnings of ObamaCare rate shocks were a big myth, we were told — merely "scare tactics" used to gin up opposition to the law by Republicans.  Then the first year's rates came out last fall, and they were far higher than pre-ObamaCare premiums in most states, often even after taxpayer subsidies.

$474M for 4 failed Obamacare exchanges.  Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher.  Each of the states — Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland — embraced Obamacare, and each underperformed.  All have come under scathing criticism and now face months of uncertainty as they rush to rebuild their systems or transition to the federal exchange.

Massachusetts Obamacare Website a 'Mess'.  Massachusetts officials are requesting $121 million in additional federal funds for a new healthcare exchange website.  The new website idea was presented Thursday [5/8/2014] at a board meeting of the state's exchange, the Connector.  The state's original healthcare website was dysfunctional, causing officials to create a new plan to get consumers health insurance properly. [...] The new website comes with a hefty price tag:  a whopping $121 million.  They previously received $174 million and have already used one third of that money.

Obamacare Customers In For Deductible Sticker Shock.  A new report finds that Obamacare customers are in for sticker shock because, unlike many employer-sponsored insurance plans, the fine print in many Obamacare policies requires patients to meet their deductible before lower-cost prescription drug co-pays kick in.  That means hefty out-of-pocket expenses for Obamacare plan holders, especially since Obamacare deductibles are "relatively high" as compared to employer-sponsored insurance plans.

Health Connector costs surpassing $500M.  The total cost to implement Obamacare in Massachusetts surpassed a half-billion dollars yesterday, as the Health Connector board agreed to seek an additional $121 million in federal funds to try to rescue the money-hemorrhaging health exchange.  "This is now Massachusetts' Big Dig I.T. project," said Joshua Archambault, a health care expert at the Pioneer Institute.  "The decision was completely irresponsible to taxpayers, with very little uncertainty we're going to get the end result that we want."

ObamaCare Overhead: $2,500 Per Newly Insured Enrollee.  While ObamaCare was sold on the premise that it could cut health costs, the results of the first open enrollment show that, even with 8 million people signed up, doing so turned out to be hugely expensive.  In D.C., the navigator grants were just the tip of the spending iceberg.  The federal government handed D.C. officials $133.6 million to build their own exchange and another $631,000 in grants to health centers to help sign people up.  All told, that works out to more than $13,123 per ObamaCare exchange sign-up.

Health spending up most since 1980.  Health care spending rose at the fastest pace since 1980 during the first three months of the year, as the new health insurance law prompted many more Americans to visit doctors and hospitals.  The sharp rise also reflects other trends that should continue to drive up spending in 2014 after years of slow growth, analysts say.  Health care spending climbed at a 9.9% annual rate last quarter, mostly because of higher spending at hospitals, reports the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Group Claims Obamacare Unconstitutionally Imposes New Taxes.  A Sacramento-based law firm is challenging President Barack Obama's health care law, claiming it imposes new taxes unconstitutionally.

HealthCare.gov — Obama can't build that.  The latest news is that the initial estimates for fixing the site were grossly underestimated.  That's no surprise, but that doesn't make it any better.  Accenture is claiming that it will need $121 million to make it through January 10, 2015.  To place that in perspective, just the latest figure exceeds at least one set of estimates for 10 highly popular web start-ups.  That is exceeding the cost to start all of them, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Pinterest and Vine.

Contractor says ObamaCare website fix will cost $121M.  The contractor hired to fix the ObamaCare exchange website announced Tuesday that it would cost $121 million to get the site ready for a second open enrollment period in 2015.  In a statement posted on its website, Accenture Federal Services said the contract it had agreed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) covers initial repair work, as well as "enhancing back-end capabilities to improve issuer payments and plan management including deploying new features."

Health Care Spending Soars 9.9% On ObamaCare In Q1.  The U.S. economy grew at a tepid 0.1% annual rate in the first quarter, the weakest growth since Q4 2012.  But health care spending shot up by the most since 1980 thanks to ObamaCare costs.  Gross domestic product barely expanded in the first three months of the year, hurt by the unusually harsh winter.

WH: Obamacare Drove Weak First Quarter GDP.  White House press secretary Jay Carney claimed Obamacare helped drive economic growth Wednesday [4/30/2014] in the White House press conference.  However first quarter GDP registered a mere 0.1 percent, a drastic decrease from the 2.6 percent America saw in the fourth quarter of 2013 and well short of the 1 percent economists were expecting.  Massive increases in healthcare spending reportedly kept GDP out of the red, as Carney was quick to trumpet: [...] While healthcare spending increases due to Obamacare mandates are sure to have positive near term impacts on domestic consumption, there are a barrage of forthcoming taxes and fees consumers will see in 2014.  Moreover, most Americans have seen only a tiny fraction of Obamacare's roughly $1 trillion total tax increase.

The Slush Fund:  When the government provides medical care, it normally delegates the task.  Under Medicare, Washington doesn't employ doctors, nurses, and hospitals to treat the elderly.  It has to coax them to participate.  Similarly, Obamacare functions only if big insurance companies are willing to play ball with big government.  Those driven by the profit motive must be won over by those driven by the power motive.  Money, however, is no object, since the bill for securing this alliance is sent to taxpayers.  According to the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, more than $1 trillion will be funneled over the next decade from everyday Americans, through the IRS, to insurance companies.

House Democrats back push for cost tally on Health Connector.  House Democrats have overwhelmingly approved a Republican measure to force the Patrick administration to provide a total accounting of all taxpayer money used to salvage the broken Obamacare website and fund temporary health insurance coverage to Bay Staters.  "You can't help but admit it's a failure," said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr. (R-North Reading).  "It's an abject failure that's going to cost the taxpayers, whether it's the commonwealth of Massachusetts or money from the feds or rate-payers, tens of millions of dollars that shoudn't have happened."

Analysis: Obamacare will cost taxpayers $53,000 per newly insured.  Taxpayers will pay over $53,000 per each person newly insured under Obamacare, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of the Congressional Budget Office data.  Last week's highly debated CBO report found that Obamacare will cost slightly less than expected over the next decade.  The budget office shifted its assessment of the health care law due to unexpectedly low premiums, which it attributed not to lowered costs but on "less attractive" health insurance offerings than it assumed would be available.

Obamacare could destroy us.  At first thought, health care for everybody sounds like a great idea.  The problems begin once you read the law.  The layers of government regulation that will be implemented because of the law will cripple our health care system.  It is meant, by design, to eliminate the free market health care system we currently have in place.  The free market will be replaced with a socialist health system, with health care rationing, which will ultimately cause a shortening of the average life span of Americans.  Health insurance costs have already risen, and will continue to skyrocket until this monstrosity is repealed.

John Cornyn calls for broad probe into Obamacare spending, fundraising.  Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is calling for a broad investigation into spending and fundraising to help promote Obamacare after a report released Monday [4/21/2014] raised new questions about the White House's involvement in persuading private entities to donate to the effort.  The Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, released a report Monday on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' fundraising on behalf of Enroll America, a nonprofit founded by former Obama campaign and White House staffers, to help boost enrollment in the federal exchanges.

Some generic drugs have had eye-popping price spikes.  Pharmacist Larry Cowan can flip through his records and spot the generic drugs that have taken big price jumps in the past year or so.  There's digoxin, a heart medicine that he used to buy for pennies a pill.  "Now the price is close to 10 times that," said Cowan, owner of Glenview Professional Pharmacy in Richland Hills.

The Growing Financial Disaster of Obamacare.  President Obama asserts that 8 million people have signed up for Obamacare, as though that were something to be proud of.  In fact, Obamacare has always been a fiasco from a fiscal perspective — a black hole of subsidies and expanded Medicaid, with largely fictitious mechanisms in place to pay for it.  As the number of subsidized participants grows, the disaster gets worse.

This is where Obamacare is headed.
Dems want government health care for all — no matter the cost.  With little fanfare, Vermont is preparing to become the first state to implement a single-payer, government-run health-care system.  The Vermont plan, if implemented, would abolish private health insurance in the state and replace it with a taxpayer-funded system under which the state government directly pays doctors and hospitals.  Of course the state is having a bit of trouble figuring out how to pay for the program's estimated $2 billion price tag, considering that the entire state government's operating budget is currently just $2.7 billion.  Currently under consideration is an increase in the state sales tax from 6.9% to 29%.

Obamacare Sticker Shock Happening Across the Country.  A new survey of health insurance brokers shows premiums in several states have increased more than 50 percent, Fox News reported Monday [4/14/2014].  "So this was the largest percentage increase in any quarter since they've been doing the survey, but a 12 percent, 11 percent increase on average across all the states, that puts it at the upper end of any increase we've seen for decades," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former adviser for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The CBO Gets It Very Wrong on ObamaCare.  [T]he CBO's latest report on ObamaCare simply defies reality.  It says, for example, that ObamaCare will cost $104 billion less over the next 10 years than it thought just two months ago.  That drop rests almost entirely on the CBO's belief that premiums will remain virtually flat next year, which then lowers the insurance subsidy costs.  But the CBO somehow missed the fact that the industry is already warning of double-digit rate increases across the country next year.  Right now, in fact, it's pushing for changes to minimize the rate shock.  A sharp spike in premiums will drive ObamaCare's costs up far beyond the CBO's current estimate.

What Obamacare Means for Your Taxes.  Tax day is here — and some people will pay more this year because of Obamacare.  The law's biggest tax provision — billions of dollars in tax credits to help people cover the cost of their premiums — is already in effect, but doesn't affect the taxes due on Tuesday [4/15/2014].  A handful of smaller provisions, mostly affecting wealthy households, will show up for the first time in this year's filing.  Among this year's changes:  a 0.9 percent increase in Medicare taxes and a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income.  Both are limited to high-income taxpayers, and both took effect for the first time in the tax season that just ended.

Survey shows ObamaCare sending premiums rising at fastest clip in decades.  A recent survey of 148 insurance brokers shows that ObamaCare is sending premiums rising at the fastest clip in decades.  "For the last, about, five years they've been doing this survey, so this was the largest percentage increase in any quarter since they've been doing (it)," said Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute.  "But at 12 percent, 11 percent increase on average across all the states — that puts it at the upper end of any increase we've seen for decades."

Obamacare taxes add billions to rising premiums.  On top of rising premiums, Obamacare taxes are adding hundreds of dollars per year onto customers' costs, according to new study from the American Action Forum.  Those who braved the health-care law's exchanges will have to pay an extra $354 on average in 2014, reports the free-market D.C.-based think tank, just due to seven taxes included in Obamacare.  The vast majority of the country covered by employer-sponsored health insurance will be forced to pay a somewhat lower tab of $196 to cover the taxes.

Here's How Much Health Plan Premiums Spiked Over The Last Four Years Of Obamacare's Rollout.  The average increases for the present quarter are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market, where consumers purchase coverage directly from health plans.  Some states show increases 10 to 50 times that amount.  The analysts conclude that the "increases are largely due to changes under the ACA."

How much does Obamacare actually cost?  It's a question that has been at the heart of the health care debate for the past five years, and one that has been the source of plenty of confusion and misinformation:  How much does Obamacare actually cost?  Over at the newly launched vox.com, Sarah Kliff has a piece attempting to offer an easy explanation of President Obama's health care law.  Kliff is always worth reading on health care policy, but when describing the cost of Obamacare, she writes, "Expanding health coverage to millions of Americans is expensive; it will cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade."  In reality, the Congressional Budget Office estimated this February that the cost would be slightly more than $2 trillion.

Health Insurance Premiums Skyrocketing Because of Obamacare.  Some states are seeing huge rate increases.  For example, Delaware and New Hampshire are seeing rate increases of 100 percent and 90 percent, respectively in the individual insurance market.  Washington state is seeing a 588 percent increase in the small group market.

GOP lawmakers believe over $1 billion spent to promote Obamacare.  Republicans are demanding greater transparency on how much the administration spent to promote and implement Obamacare — and hitting back at President Obama's claim that he "didn't make a hard sell."  The new effort comes after Obama's claim that the administration met its goal of enrolling more than 7 million people without spending billions.  "We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said.  "We didn't have billions of dollars to spend on commercials like our critics did."  But both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill estimate the administration has spent roughly $4 to 5 billion to get the Affordable Care Act running, including hundreds of millions to build and repair healthcare.gov.

Health Premiums Skyrocketing Thanks to Swine Flu and Obamacare, But Mostly Obamacare.  Health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in the individual and small group market.  Morgan Stanley's healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers.  The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual group rates in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when it has been conducted.  The average increases are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market.  Some state[s] show increases 10 to 50 times that amount.  The analysts conclude that the "increases are largely due to changes under the ACA."

Gov't Spent $700 Million Promoting Obamacare.  President Barack Obama contended that the government did not "make a hard sell" for Obamacare, despite his administration spending nearly $700 million to promote the law.  "We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, praising the 7.1 million sign ups for the Affordable Care Act.  "We didn't have billions of dollars of commercials like some critics did."  However, last July the Associated Press reported that Obamacare's marketing campaign would cost at least $684 million.  [Updated later to $684 million.]

The Editor says...
You must purchase insurance from us by March 31 or you will be fined, and the IRS will come after you.  Is that not a hard sell?

U.S. insurers fear backlash over new Obamacare rate increases.  As the first Obamacare enrollment period comes to a close, U.S. insurers are already anticipating the need to raise prices for 2015 and fear that it will put them at the center of the political blame game over President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

Mother of Five: Obamacare Jeopardizing My Family's Financial Future.  A Michigan mother of five says that the crushing new costs associated with Obamacare have imperiled her family's financial future and will burden the household with thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses.  The uptick in costs that Shannon Wendt and her family will face in the coming years under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act will strain the family's finances and force both Shannon and her husband to work harder to bridge the fiscal gap.

The Coming Obamacare Shock for 170 Million Americans.  A new study from the American Health Policy Institute — recently launched by former Bush administration Deputy Secretary of HHS Tevi Troy — shows that large employers expect to face steep compliance costs, starting in the fall.  Their cost estimates range between $4,800 and $5,900 per employee over the next decade.  The total cost to large employers over the next decade will run between $151 billion and $186 billion, according to the 100 companies surveyed by AHPI that employ 10,000 or more people.  That doesn't include additional price increases from insurers attempting to cover bad bets in their 2014 premium rates after the first round of Obamacare.

Oregon's $300 Million Dollar Obamacare Exchange Hasn't Enrolled a Single Person Online.  After spending over $300 million on its exchange, the state of Oregon has failed to enroll a single person online.  Somewhere along the way Oregon managed to sign up 44 people for Obamacare, but not through the internet.

Employers Say Obamacare Will Cost Them $5,000 More Per Employee.  Obamacare will cost large companies between $4,800 and $5,900 more per employee and add hundreds of millions to their overhead, according to a new survey. [...] By 2023, employers will be paying 8.4 percent more than "what they would otherwise be spending" for their employees' health care.  In the next 10 years, the total cost of Obamacare to all large American employers is estimated to be from $151 billion to $186 billion, according to the study.

Cleveland Clinic CEO: 3/4 Of Obamacare Signups Will Face Higher Premiums.  A leading healthcare expert poured cold water on the administration's recent Obamacare enthusiasm, saying that three quarters of those signed up will face higher premiums than under their previous insurance.  "Out of people that have signed up about three quarters will find premiums higher than previously with other insurance," Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic said on Fox News Sunday [3/30/2014].

Maryland to reportedly abandon $125M ObamaCare exchange for new system.  The Washington Post reported late Friday [3/28/2014] that the board of the Maryland exchange will vote on changing the system that has cost at least $125.5 million at a meeting on Tuesday [4/1/2014], the day after the end of the first enrollment period under ObamaCare.

Penalty fees for uninsured under 'Obamacare' might be higher than you think.  Most residents shouldn't worry about Obamacare's March 31 deadline because they're already insured, many of them through their employer, or by Medicare or Medicaid, but those who aren't could face a fine for failing to enroll in a plan by Monday.  This penalty, officially called the "individual shared responsibility payment," is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1 percent of your household's annual income.

Fourth Anniversary of Obamacare Brings Billions in Costs to Economy.  Obamacare is adding billions in economic costs and millions of paperwork hours, according to a new report released on Monday [3/24/2014].  To mark the anniversary of Obamacare, which became law on March 23, 2010, the American Action Forum released a report finding that the law's regulatory burdens are twice as great as its benefits.

ObamaCare and Drug Poverty.  Hard as it is to believe, there is yet another price spike coming courtesy of ObamaCare.  Avalere Health, a market and healthcare research firm, estimates that some consumers will pay as much as half the cost of so-called "specialty drugs" under health overhaul-related plans.  By comparison, consumers in private plans typically pay no more than a third of those costs.

4 reasons ObamaCare premiums will rise next year.  Early into ObamaCare's troubled launch — plagued with website problems, canceled plans, and numerous delays — several insurers were already warning that the rocky rollout would result in significantly higher premiums in 2015.  Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini first raised concerns over a potential rate shock in December, when he told investors that "in some markets," individual-market premium increases "could go as high as 100 percent."  Now, other insurance executives are coming to similar conclusions.

How Much You've Paid to Promote Obamacare: Way More Than President Obama Promised.  As Democrats around the country continue to tout their "fix it, don't end it" mentality about how to deal with the ongoing disaster of Obamacare, they seem to be forgetting who's paying for the promotion of President Obama's signature achievement:  taxpayers.  So far, the Obama administration has wracked up a tremendous bill in promotional and advertising costs for Obamacare.  The results?  A paltry number of Obamacare signups as the March 31 deadline for enrollment quickly approaches.

Why Obama Scares Me.  Nothing so encourages an aggressor as the perception of weakness in his antagonists.  Obama hasn't even processed that he is an antagonist.  Why, he means no one any harm (except perhaps Republicans).  Didn't he reset relations with Moscow?  Didn't he promise in 2012 to show "more flexibility" toward Putin after the election?  Didn't he say, over and over again, that a "decade of war is ending" and that we are going to do some "nation building here at home"?  Did he not maneuver the United States into "leading from behind" in Libya?  Hasn't he pressured allies like Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians while permitting Mahmoud Abbas to skate?  Hasn't he let bygones be bygones about the Edward Snowden unpleasantness?  Hasn't he drastically reduced defense spending?

Insurers see double-digit Obamacare price rises in many states next year.  U.S. consumers eligible for Obamacare health plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to draw large numbers of enrollees for 2014, including some states that have been hostile to the healthcare law, according to insurance industry officials and analysts.

Obama admin spending $17 per head on Obamacare ads.  In the final push before the end of open enrollment on March 31, the Obama administration has spent millions to promote Obamacare.  From January to the end of March the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is administering the president's signature health-care law will have spent $52 million on paid media for Obamacare.  Meaning, if all goes according to the most recent plan and the administration reaches its revised enrollment goal of six million, taxpayers will have spent nearly $9.00 per signup on advertising alone.  With an average pay out of $17.3 million a month on advertising alone, past months have already seen higher average costs per signup.

ObamaCare: Does it really cost less than cell phone coverage?  [I]n courting young people, President Obama is making a simple-yet-questionable pitch — that new health coverage basically costs the same as 4G cell coverage.  "You can at this point get health insurance for $100 a month or less, in some cases less than your cell phone bill or your cable bill," Obama told Ellen DeGeneres this week.  Really?  Monthly cell phone plans on major carriers like Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T cost anywhere from $80-$90.  The weighted average cost of the lowest "bronze" plan on the new health insurance exchanges costs $249.

The Devious Secret of Obamacare.  My spouse was concerned that, if I used my real name, the IRS would come after us.  A few years ago I would have considered such thoughts paranoid.  Now, under Obama's IRS, I suspect that she might be right.  I am a former small business owner and former journalist.  I've had individual health insurance policies since 1989, and with the same (major) company for the last fifteen years.  As with most folks, I saw my premiums go up incrementally over the years as age and health care costs rose, but nothing like what happened in the past year.

Health insurance premiums up 39% to 56% under Obamacare, reach $2,604 a month in California.  Americans buying health insurance outside the new Obamacare exchanges are being forced to swallow premiums up to 56 percent higher than before the health law took effect because insurers have jumped the cost to cover all the added features of the new Affordable Care Act.  According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, a nationwide online private insurance exchange, families are paying an average of $663 a month and singles $274 a month, far more than before Obamacare kicked in.  What's more, to save money, most buyers are choosing the lowest level of coverage, the so-called "bronze" plans.

A glitch in Obamacare marketplace no one noticed.  Incorrect poverty-level guidelines are automatically telling what could be tens of thousands of eligible people they do not qualify for subsidized insurance.  The error in the federal marketplace primarily affects households with incomes just above the poverty line in states like Pennsylvania that have not expanded Medicaid.  The mistake raises the price of their insurance by thousands of dollars, making insurance so unaffordable many may just give up and go without.

Democrats should bail on Obamacare.  [W]hile Washington is debating whether enrollment in Obamacare is terrible or just awful, the Washington Examiner brings to our attention a February 2014 cost report by eHealthInsurance that reveals the premiums for private health insurance policies (those outside of Obamacare) have risen by 39 to 56 percent for individual and family plans.  And The Hill's Elise Viebeck writes this morning that "Health industry officials say Obamacare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration."  So Obamacare has resulted in higher costs, limited plans, restricted doctor options, a reduction of about 2.5 million full-time equivalent jobs and has failed to get the uninsured to actually sign up.  If Obamacare isn't a disaster, what does a disaster look like?  How could this be any worse?

Another ObamaCare Rate Shock On The Way.  Soon after enrolling in ObamaCare, many people discovered the high cost of believing Obama's promises.  Not only were millions required to change plans, but many learned that their "new-and-improved" ObamaCare plans forced them to give up their doctors and hospitals, too.  Turns out that insurers — desperate to keep premiums as low as they could in the face of ObamaCare's costly benefit mandates, taxes and regulations — set up narrow, sometimes extremely narrow, provider networks to hold down costs.  For those with serious health problems, this could mean disruptions in care, lack of access to doctors and hospitals, and potentially huge out-of-pocket costs if they ended up out of network.

O-Care premiums to skyrocket.  Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.  The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs.  The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP's prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.  The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector.

HHS set to blow $1 trillion in 2015 as healthcare costs grow by leaps and bounds.  "The Department of Health and Human Services is projected to spend over $1 trillion in FY2015 under the president's budget, and health care costs — which today comprise nearly 30 percent of all federal spending — are growing more rapidly than other areas of the budget, especially over the long-term.  It would be good for members of the Committee to discuss these matters with Secretary Sebelius," Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said on Monday [3/10/2014], according to The Hill.  Sessions, a ranking member on the Budget Committee, has stridently criticized President Barack Obama's health-care law and the high costs it imposes on Americans.

Obama to Young People: If You Can't Afford My Healthplan, Just Cancel Your Cell and Your Cable.  Younger Americans who supported Barack Obama's elections are now getting ripped off by him.  He is forcing them to subsidize healthcare for older and wealthier Americans.  Obamacare is killing hiring at the bottom end, where careers start.  And now he wants younger Americans to live lives of quiet desperation just to prop up his ghastly law.

Sebelius says Obamacare premiums will go up next year.  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that Obamacare premiums will probably go up in 2015, that she does not know how many Obamacare customers have paid their premiums, and that she does not know how many Obamacare enrollees had insurance previously. [...] "I can't tell you that, sir, because I don't know that," Sebelius said when asked by Georgia Rep. Tom Price how many Obamacare customers have paid their first premiums.  Sebelius said she also does not know how many Obamacare customers previously had insurance plans that were canceled.

The Editor says...
In my opinion, if Ms. Sebelius says she does not know those numbers, and went before Congress to testify (as the HHS Secretary) without bringing those numbers with her, then she is either lying under oath to the Congress or she is grossly incompetent.

Minnesota: We Need Another $12.5 Million for Exchange Repairs.  Nearly six months, 33,000 signups.  This is another one of those state exchanges that didn't work on the launch date:  "Some people were locked out of their applications, while others struggled to find out if they were eligible for financial assistance.  MNsure didn't play well with certain web browsers, and many users were confronted with frozen screens.  MNsure officials would have known about many of these problems if they had tested the site with consumers prior to Oct. 1."  The state has spent about $100 million so far on creating its exchange.

One is driven by free-market competition and the other is a bureaucratic monopoly.
Obamacare is definitely not as cheap as your cellphone bill.  One of President Barack Obama's favorite new Obamacare sign-up pitches is that young enrollees, which the law banks on for sustainability, can get health insurance for the price of a monthly cellphone bill.  But in reality, premiums are more than a little pricier.

Sebelius admits Obamacare will raise health insurance premiums in 2015.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told House Ways and Means Committee members on Wednesday [3/12/2014] that she expects health insurance rates to increase as the Affordable Care Act takes full effect.  'I think premiums are likely to go up,' she conceded under questioning, 'but go up at a slower pace' than they have already under Obamacare.  President Obama famously promised in 2008 and 2009 that his health insurance overhaul plan would lower the cost of health care for an average family by $2,500 per year.

The Obamacare Disaster Is Now Undeniable.  [T]here goes the famed rationale for the health-care law — which was to bring the people, numbering anywhere between 31 million to 47 million depending on how and whom you count, without insurance into the system.  Why aren't they signing up?  First off, there will always be people who choose to live on the margins in some way or other.  They don't want to be in the system, they're paranoid about the system, they keep their money in their mattress and lots of cans in the basement.  But mostly, people aren't signing up now and haven't had health care before because of the cost.

Uninsured: Obamacare is Unaffordable.  A new survey confirms that the "Affordable Care Act" has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured.  As the Washington Post reports, "Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one."  Why so few?  According to the survey, which was released last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability.  Out of five possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, "I could not afford to pay the premium."

Oakland Airport Vendors Levy Health Benefits Surcharge.  Travelers passing through the Oakland Airport may be in for a surprise when they get their meal or drink receipts — a surcharge for employees' health benefits.  The Oakland Airport authority decided to allow an additional surcharge to be added to patrons' bills — not unlike the Obamacare surcharge restaurants in Florida and L.A. are charging.

Now on your restaurant bill: Obamacare fee.  Several restaurants in a Florida chain are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare.  Diners at eight Gator's Dockside casual eateries are finding a 1% Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, which comes to 15 cents on a typical $15 lunch tab.  Signs on the door and at tables alert diners to the fee, which is also listed separately on the bill.

ObamaCare may increase premiums for 11 million workers, report says.  Republicans renewed their fight against ObamaCare on Monday in response to a new report in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services concludes that 11 million small business employees will see their premiums rise under the law.  The report, released Friday, says the higher rates are partly due to the health law's requirement that premiums can no longer be based on a person's age.  That has sent premiums higher for younger workers, and lower for older ones.

MN Dems Laugh When Asked Why Obamacare Doesn't Save Families Money.  During a panel at South Central College in Mankato, MN Wednesday, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Tim Walz and Collin Peterson fielded questions on a range of issues, including the farm bill, the national debt, and immigration reform.  But the most notable question was on Obamacare.  "I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2,500 per family," a constituent asked.  "What happened?"

Obamacare's Latest Surprise for Taxpayers?  Industry sources tell the Washington Examiner's Susan Ferrechio that the Barack Obama administration is thinking of extending the Affordable Care Act's "risk corridors," the federal reimbursement program for health-insurance companies that lose money by participating in the newly created health-care exchanges.  This is not the first time we've seen this idea floated, and frankly, believing that the administration is considering it is all too easy.

Popular L.A. eatery adds 3 percent surcharge, cites Obamacare.  A popular French-style bistro in Los Angeles has added a 3 percent surcharge to each guest check to cover their workers' health coverage under Obamacare's mandates.  Republique has taken heat from patrons for the tacked-on cost, but managing partner Bill Chait told Southern California Public Radio there is a method behind the madness.  The restaurant wanted its 80-plus workers to be full-time workers, but the health care law in the coming years will require large employers to provide health coverage to its full-timers or pay fines.

ObamaCare: $56,819 To Sign Up Each Enrollee In Hawaii.  How much does it cost taxpayers to sign up one ObamaCare enrollee?  In President Obama's home state of Hawaii, it's $56,819.  The Obama administration gave Hawaii $205 million in grants over the past three years to set up its state-run exchange.  But so far, only 3,614 Hawaiians have filled out applications — just 40% of the state's enrollment goal.  Even if Hawaii were to reach its 9,000 target, it would still cost nearly $23,000 for each enrollee.

Obamacare will reduce incomes of most Americans.  There's no doubt the Affordable Care Act will redistribute wealth in America.  People at the top of the income ladder will pay more; people at the bottom will benefit.  But how, exactly, will that work?  A new study finds that Obamacare's redistribution will be stunningly lopsided.  Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent.  But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare.

A Few More Reasons To Repeal ObamaCare.  Moody's rating agency has lowered the outlook for health insurers from stable to negative, blaming ObamaCare.  Few Americans will shed tears for insurance companies.  But the Moody's announcement is a warning sign to taxpayers.  They'll be getting clobbered.

Humana Will Get $250-450 Million to Offset Expected Losses This Year — That's Just One Insurer.  Of course, it is possible that, in the long term, insurance companies will end up making a lot of money thanks to Obamacare, especially if the mandates stay in place and enforcement is vigorous.  There's a very small probability that the law could destroy the industry completely in the process, but we can see why insurers so far are standing by the law:  They have little to lose and a lot to gain.

California Insurance Rates Skyrocket for Pre-Obamacare Policies.  Up to 306,000 Anthem Blue Cross customers with insurance policies purchased before Obamacare was enacted will have rate hikes as high as 25%.  Additionally, some premiums have already jumped 53% since 2010, not including this latest change.

Anthem Blue Cross to raise some premiums as much as 25 percent unless state regulators step in.  Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross individual customers whose policies were unchanged by the nation's new health care law could see their premiums jump as much as 25 percent unless California regulators step in.

Cost of Generic Drugs Soaring Due to Increased Demand from Obamacare.  The pervasive use of generic over brand-name medications was anticipated to be a money-saver, but recently prices are soaring, even up 6,000 percent for some common drugs that were once fairly low-cost.  As National Journal reports, pharmacists are perplexed about the huge price hikes in many drugs and are asking Congress to hold a hearing to look into the matter.

ObamaCare Dumped $1.2 Bil Into Failing State Exchanges.  In late October 2013, the Obama administration sent $41.9 million to Minnesota for its state-built health exchange.  It was the sixth ObamaCare grant awarded the state, and all told taxpayers ponied up $155 million to help build MNSure.  But just 13 weeks after that last grant arrived, an independent consultant issued a damning report, saying Minnesota should consider scrapping MNSure entirely and starting over from scratch, citing systemic technical and management problems.

Covered California gets federal money to improve service, enrollment.  California's health exchange said it would use an additional $155 million in federal grant money to address customer service woes and to boost low enrollment among the key market of uninsured Latinos.  The Covered California exchange announced the injection of money from the Obama administration Thursday [1/23/2014] as it faced growing criticism for dismal service and a disappointing sign-up rate among Latinos.  The state has led the nation with more than 625,000 people enrolled in health plans through mid-January, and it's a bellwether state for the national rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

The Obamacare Bailout.  The latest revelation about this horrible law is the presence of a "risk corridor," a euphemism for an insurance industry bailout that will occur sometime in the next year.  The law depends upon the voluntary participation of insurers.  Private citizens are compelled to purchase insurance, but insurers are free to walk away from Obamacare.  To prevent that from happening, congressional Democrats put in place guarantees to cover insurance industry losses for the first few years of the program.  The total cost of this bailout could feasibly run into the tens of billions of dollars.

America's Bipartisan Political Class.  Critics of Obamacare successfully pushed an amendment requiring congressmen and congressional staffers to purchase their health insurance through the new government exchanges.  Being tossed from their special plans meant the end of federal subsidies, which run $5,000 annually for individuals and $11,000 for families. [...] So the administration stepped in to help. Without any legal authority President Barack Obama offered to maintain existing federal contributions.

Stop Obamacare's Outrageous Bailouts.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already achieved "preliminary sustainability," an official recently told the National Journal.  And what's making the program sustainable?  The prospect of a massive taxpayer bailout.  The bailout would come from the law's "risk corridor" provisions.  If insurers pay out more than 108 percent of the premiums they collect from customers in Obamacare's exchanges, taxpayers are on the hook for about 75 percent of the extra cost.

The hidden costs of ObamaCare.  ObamaCare has delivered another sucker punch to the middle class.  This time it's sticker shock.  Now that most people can get past the tech problems of HealthCare.gov and actually see the real cost of insurance plans available, they are finding that Affordable Care is a big hit to the family budget.  And when the family budget gets hit in the solar plexus, guess what happens to consumer spending and the economy?

Another Problem Obamacare Won't Solve: Health Costs.  Does giving people Medicaid drive ER usage up, or down?  The answer, it turns out, is "up."  People who got access to Medicaid used doctors more than people who didn't.  But they also used the ER more.  And contrary to the theory that Medicaid might divert people from ERs to primary care physicians, the big increases actually came from the somewhat-less urgent problems that we were hoping to divert from ERs.

Here are the big losers in ObamaCare.  New York's small-business owners, seniors and doctors are among the big losers as President Obama's prescription for health-insurance reform takes effect.  The National Federation of Independent Businesses, an organization that represents nearly 11,000 entrepreneurs across the state, says it has yet to find a single member whose health-care costs are going down under the ObamaCare program, whose plans took effect New Year's Day.  Meanwhile, an "overwhelming majority" of businesses canvassed by the group has reported increases in their insurance premiums, said Mike Durant, the NFIB's New York director.

New Year Brings Dawn of Obamacare Tax Increases.  [Scroll down]  Seventy-seven years later, the Social Security tax rate is now 12.4 percent.  In 2013, a little over six percent began to be withheld from both employer and employee.  Like Social Security before it, Obamacare promises to increase Americans' taxes year by year, starting this month.  Here are three of the major tax increases that come from the Democrats' healthcare law: [...]

Hawaii approves higher rates for HMSA, Kaiser.  Insurers say the increases are necessary to cover higher medical expenses, taxes and fees anticipated under the Affordable Care Act.

NJ College Students Lose Low Cost Coverage Thanks To ObamaCare Regs.  Along with documenting the many technical failures of Obama's so called signature website Healthcare.gov, this CBS New York item reports the Obama sticker shock many Garden State college students now face thanks to the increasingly misleadingly named Affordable Care Act.

Health Care Shocker For N.J. Students Looking For Low-Cost Insurance.  It was a health care shocker for college students in New Jersey who found out that they can't buy low-cost health insurance at their schools because of the Affordable Care Act.  Now, they are at the risk of being without insurance, CBS 2's Christine Sloan reported.

Workers at auto dealership come face to face with Obamacare trade-offs.  The 41 employees of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, Mich., are very familiar with trade-ins, but this year they're learning about trade-offs as they come face to face with the new realities of health care.  A few workers say they're getting a great deal, but most have a severe case of sticker shock.  "I feel like I've been taken to the cleaners," said Neal Campbell, a salesman.

Massachusetts, the model for Obamacare, has highest health costs in the United States.  In his October remarks, Obama used the Massachusetts experience to argue that Obamacare could work, despite what the naysayers claimed.  "All the parade of horribles, the worst predictions about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true," Obama said.  "They're the same arguments that you're hearing now ... Care didn't become unaffordable; costs tracked what was happening in other places that wasn't covering everybody."  Yet a new report from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission reached a different conclusion.

ObamaCare: Older Workers Could Pay 25% Of Income.  Like a hiker who has overlooked several "Danger: cliff ahead" signs, the Obama administration stepped back suddenly last week, delaying the individual mandate for those with canceled policies.  The reversal came in response to complaints from middle-class shoppers on the ObamaCare exchanges who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law's subsidy cliff.  For those earning more than 400% of the poverty level — about $62,000 for two-adult households — ObamaCare provides no premium subsidies.  This is no minor issue.

Hidden Obamacare taxes will appear on health insurance bills starting in 2014.  New Obamacare taxes that were previously kept secret have been unveiled by outraged customers who feel betrayed.  Residents in many states have yet to feel the change that will come when President Obama's signature health care program which will go into full effect in January.

Coming up next: ObamaCare taxes and fees.  The disastrous rollout of ObamaCare is only the appetizer for Americans, the 2013 lead-in to higher costs and fees built into the so-called Affordable Care Act.  What most people haven't heard — yet — is the new fees that ObamaCare charges for access to those higher premiums.

New ObamaCare fees coming in 2014.  Here comes the ObamaCare tax bill.  The cost of President Obama's massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.  Most insurers aren't advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

White House Damage Control: Obamacare Repeal Will 'Cost too Much'.  [I]t is a bit hard to understand how repealing the Affordable Care Act could cost more than the millions that is being inefficiently spent to enroll single applicants.  Early in November, for instance, it was discovered that the five Obamacare enrollees for the District of Columbia cost the taxpayers a hefty $26.7 million each.  Other states have seen similar waste, one source estimating that the cost for all enrollees nationwide had been $14,000 each.

The lost generation: Young people have been had.  [Scroll down]  Among these unanswered questions, the most disturbing pertains to the demand that millions of so-called millennials under 30 must purchase health insurance — estimated at about $1,700 a year — that they will hardly use.  Their premiums supposedly will subsidize older, in-need Americans who cannot pay the full costs of coverage that they will draw on frequently.  We forget that young people are already targeted for a number of government redistribution plans.  Of America's age cohorts, the under-30 bunch is the least likely to be employed, and the most likely to work at low-wage or part-time jobs.  Millennials already pay high payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare coverage for the elderly.

CBS Notices 'Another Problem' With ObamaCare — Higher Deductibles; ABC, NBC Omit.  Norah O'Donnell's 20-second news brief on Monday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Wall Street Journal's Sunday report about a "troubling element" of ObamaCare — exorbitant deductibles with the no-frills plans available on the health care exchanges.  O'Donnell zeroed in on the item by reporters Leslie Scism and Timothy W. Martin, who cited a new report that found that "the average individual deductible for ... a bronze plan on the exchange ... is $5,081 a year".

Shimkus on Sebelius: 'It's Like Talking to the Republic of Korea'.  In a contentious exchange with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over her repeated claims that mandated health services do not raise costs for consumers in the form of higher insurance premiums, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) waved his hand in apparent surrender and said to her, "It's like talking to the Republic of Korea or something."

More Hidden Taxes Funding ObamaCare.  There have been many taxes put in place to help fund Obamacare that are rarely discussed in the media. [...] The new earned income tax to help fund Obamacare is 0.9%.

Obamacare's opportunity cost.  According to the most recent numbers from the Kaiser Foundation the average cost of one day of in patient hospital care in Oregon was $2,967.  Oregon has 36 hospitals with a total of 5916 beds, $300 million in state and federal funds used for Oregon to build its website would pay for 101,112 days of hospitalization — enough to fill every hospital bed in Oregon for 17 days.  Instead, it went to pay government bureaucrats and software contractors.

Payment Due: The Obamacare Deadline No One Is Talking About.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this morning that nearly 365,000 Americans had signed up for private health insurance under Obamacare.  The vast majority came from 14 states running their own insurance exchanges, while 137,000 came by way of HealthCare.gov, the much-faulted federal Web site that handles enrollment for the remaining states.  But amid the rush to enroll as many people as possible by the Dec. 23 deadline, there's a huge caveat that isn't getting much public attention:  For coverage to take effect on Jan. 1, enrollees must pay their first month's premium on time.  (The deadline varies somewhat by state and by insurer.)

Obamacare highlights Barack Obama's inverse genius.  [T]he costs of Obamacare fall like a hammer on discrete groups of people who face hikes of hundreds of dollars in premiums in being forced — by the collapse of their plans — to go on exchanges.  And most of these people are not rich.  The pain was direct, and the pain was immediate, and the pain was communicated in the press and to Congress, where it was enough to force Obama into an improvised (and unworkable) program "fix" to keep 100 House Democrats from stampeding to the Republicans' side.  And at the same time, the program costs more and causes people problems they never expected (and were promised they never would face).

Euphoria of Obamacare becomes nightmare of higher premiums and deductibles.  From a distance of three and a half years, the events of March 23, 2010, the day President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, seem like something from another world. [...] At the time, no one had any idea just how ill-prepared Obama and his administration were to actually do the job they set for themselves.  Three years later, approaching an Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for the establishment of the Obamacare exchanges, the administration was still scrambling to finish even the most basic tasks.  What followed was disaster.

Hidden Obamacare Website Costs Show Lack of Transparency.  President Barack Obama's health agency said it has spent $319 million building an online health-insurance marketplace through October.  More than three years after the passage of Obama's signature health-care law in 2010, it's almost impossible to verify and track that spending through public records.  What the estimates don't include is the around-the-clock effort to repair the website, which hundreds of thousands of Americans found unusable after its Oct. 1 debut.

Oregon signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million.  Oregon, once touted as a model for President Obama's health care law, signed up just 44 people for insurance through November, despite spending more than $300 million on its state-based exchange.  The state's exchange had the fewest sign-ups in the nation, according to a new report today by the Department of Health and Human Services.  The weak number of sign-ups undercuts two major defenses of Obamacare from its supporters.

Ezekiel Emanuel: If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More Under Obamacare.  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the hapless, goalpost-shifting so-called "architect" of Obamacare, told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that President Barack Obama's promise "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was absolutely true — with one important caveat:  if you like your doctor, "you can pay for it."

Obamacare Architect: If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More.  If you want to keep your doctor, you might have to pay more for it, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel said today [12/8/2013] on Fox News Sunday.

The Editor says...
You can pay more and keep the doctor you like without an insurance company, and certainly without government assistance.  That has always been an option.  The Dr. Zeke Emanuel's statement amounts to an obscure admission that Obamacare will raise the cost of medical care for everyone.

On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, but Other Costs Can Be High.  Until now, it was almost impossible for people using the federal health care website to see the deductible amounts, which consumers pay before coverage kicks in.  But federal officials finally relented last week and added a "window shopping" feature that displays data on deductibles.  For policies offered in the federal exchange, as in many states, the annual deductible often tops $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple.

Harry Reid: I Pay $4,500 More for Health Insurance Because of Obamacare.  Senate majority leader Harry Reid tells the Reno Gazette Journal that the Affordable Care Act has made his health insurance a lot les affordable: [...] Reid isn't exactly hurting for cash, but leading Democrats once promised that Obamacare would bring down the cost of insurance for everyone.

Taxpayers looking at $1B bill for ObamaCare site.  Taxpayers can expect to get stuck with a more than $1 billion bill for the creation and repair of the federal ObamaCare website, a top House Republican warned.  "The fact is, eventually they'll get this website working at the cost of probably over a billion dollars," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.) said on Fox News Channel.  The Obama administration did not respond to The Post's questions Thursday about the tab for the round-the-clock "tech surge" deployed in mid-October to repair HealthCare.gov.  The cost of building the bug-ridden site, which launched Oct. 1, is estimated at $600 million.

The Editor says...
As many other bloggers and comedians have already stated, I could have built a dysfunctional web site for half that amount.

The Liars Club.  It is now apparent that our President has lied to us.  He lied when he crooned soothingly about improving the healthcare of millions of Americans through vast changes in health policy that would actually lower their costs.  Those costs are now going up, and they are going up for almost everyone.

Tech Experts: HealthCare.gov Should Cost Less Than $10 Million.  The price for building the Obamacare website HealthCare.gov should have topped out at less than $10 million, tech experts have claimed.  "I would say to build a site like this with the infrastructure, the architecture around it, you are looking at maybe $5 million to $10 million at a very maximum rate," David Kennedy, President and CEO of TrustedSec also known as the "White Hat Hacker" told Sean Hannity on Fox News Wednesday [12/4/2013].

Some people get switched automatically to more expensive insurance plans under Obamacare.  Some people getting switched to new expensive health insurance plans under Obamacare might not even be aware of it — until it's too late.  If you have an insurance plan that isn't compatible with the Affordable Care Act, your insurance company might be automatically rolling you into the plan "most similar" to your own.  For one Washington state resident interviewed by The Daily Caller, his new "Bronze" plan is 80 percent more expensive for him and his wife.  His wife is paying $220 more and he's paying $150 more with higher deductibles.

What Obamacare Coverage Costs Congressmen.  As the [Wall Street] Journal has reported, a provision in the health law requires lawmakers to get their benefits alongside small-business employees for the first time, and that means lawmakers' premiums will suddenly be tied to their age.  Members of Congress used to pay the same rate, regardless of how old they were, which was around $186 a month to cover just themselves on one popular plan after their employer (in this case, the federal government) kicked in a 75% contribution.  They paid more — $434 — for a family plan, which covered a spouse and any number of children.  Now they will be keeping the employer contribution, despite the efforts of some critics.

Video called 'Forget About The Price Tag' wins HHS grand prize for promoting Obamacare.  The Department of Health and Human Services has crowned a YouTube video entitled "Forget About The Price Tag" as the grand prize winner in a contest meant to encourage young people to sign up for Obamacare.  The video contest, announced in August — in partnership with a group called Young Invincibles — encouraged participants to produce clips filled with pro-Obamacare messaging.

And the winner of the HHS video contest to promote Obamacare is....  [Scroll down]  The huge irony is that she won by posting a video urging her fellow youth not to worry about the price tag, when she herself is getting her insurance paid for by the taxpayers.

John Boehner's premiums spike under Obamacare.  House Speaker John Boehner's health insurance premiums will nearly double — and his deductibles will almost triple — as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to figures provided by his office at POLITICO's request.

Here's one reason for the high prices:
Survey: 21 of 53 Bay State Obamacare staffers make more than $100G a year.  A stunning 40 percent of the staff at the state agency that oversees the glitch-plagued, befuddling $69 million Obamacare website earn six-figure salaries, according to payroll numbers obtained by the [Boston] Herald.  Some 21 of the 53 employees at the Massachusetts Health Connector make more than $100,000 a year, even as Bay Staters struggle to sign up for health care through a website beset by slow speeds and technical difficulties and a call center with frequently long hold times.

Here's another:
CA Obamacare Director Reveals Counselors Paid $58 for 'Each Successful Enrollment'.  Dana Howard, the deputy director of California's Healthcare Exchange program, appeared on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt's program on Friday [11/22/2013] where he revealed an interesting detail about the incentives for Affordable Care Act navigators.  Howard revealed that enrollment counselors are paid $58 for each individual they successfully enroll in the California's insurance exchanges.

Older Hill aides shocked by Obamacare prices.  Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices they'll pay under Obamacare, and they're scrambling to find a cure.  "In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before," Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO.  "Simply unacceptable."

ObamaCare overreach[Scroll down]  So, today's unfolding health-care catastrophe will help — at best — just 15 million people.  Given ObamaCare's 10-year outlay of $2.6 trillion, this equals $17,333 annually (or $1,444 per month) per net beneficiary.  This is an astonishing cost for such a concentrated benefit.  However, rather than target these 15 million people, ObamaCare unleashes chaos on 315 million Americans.  Already, some 5 million people, and counting, have seen their health plans canceled.  Others are watching their work hours get chopped from full time to part time.

A 'fix' to boost Obamacare subsidies would explode cost.  Following President Obama's NBC interview in which he said his aides were looking into ways to provide some sort of relief for millions of Americans with cancelled insurance policies, the Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported that officials are considering an "administrative fix" for those whose insurance premiums are going up, but who earn too much to qualify for federal subsidies.  It's hard to imagine what such a fix would be, as anything that would adjust the formula for calculating subsidies would require an act of Congress.

Report: White House might expand eligibility for ObamaCare subsidies.  The administration is considering expanding the premium tax credits that are available to some people purchasing insurance coverage on the new exchanges, according to Huffington Post.  Right now, the tax credits are only available to people making 133 to 400 percent of the federal poverty line.  But the administrative fix under discussion would widen the eligibility for people with incomes above the 400 percent level.  Widening that eligibility for people with incomes above 400 percent of the poverty line would raise the Affordable Care Act's overall cost, a major issue for Republican lawmakers.

Why Does Obamacare Make Health Insurance So Expensive?  [Aetna CEO Mark] Bertolini identifies three main factors:  1) Obamacare imposes a requirement that, on an actuarial basis, insurance cover at least 60% of health care costs.  Currently, more than half of Americans who buy individual coverage are below 50%.  2) Obamacare imposes 4% to 5% additional cost in the form of new taxes and fees.  Aetna alone will pass on $1 billion in Obamacare taxes and fees to its policyholders.  3) Obamacare mandates many coverages, whether customers want them or not, and requires insurers to provide subsidized coverage to those who are already sick.  In essence, Obamacare has made cheap health insurance illegal.

Obamacare anger: It's not about sticker shock; it's about pillage and plunder.  [Marlys] Dietrich cannot keep her insurance plan, as the president promised she could.  And she cannot keep her doctor unless she pays twice as much for insurance as she pays now.  In fact, even if she goes into a plan in which she can't keep her doctor, she will still pay around 65 percent more than she currently does.  Finally, the family deductible will be almost twice as much as before.

Sticker shock leads to anger.  Americans who face higher insurance costs under President Obama's health-care law are angrily complaining about "sticker shock," threatening to become a new political force opposing the law even as the White House struggles to convince other consumers that they will benefit from it.  The growing backlash involves people whose plans are being discontinued because the policies don't meet the law's more-stringent standards.  They're finding that many alternative policies come with higher premiums and deductibles.

Obamacare is being used for political retribution.
ObamaCare price hikes hit 'red states' hardest.  Experiencing sticker-shock at the price of insurance on ObamaCare exchanges?  That's more likely if you live in a "red state" that didn't vote for Obama, according to price data compiled by the Heritage Foundation.  In red states, premiums for 27-year-olds rose an average of 78% on ObamaCare exchanges, whereas in "blue states" that voted for Obama, premiums rose a smaller 50%.

Obamacare Failed Promises.  The actual name of the law — the Affordable Care Act — is a joke.  For a vast majority of Americans, premium prices are skyrocketing.  The Heritage Foundation has concluded that health insurance costs will be higher in 45 out of the 50 states.  At least 10 states will see prices double for people over the age of 27.  Day after day we've seen stories about those who are truly experiencing sticker shock.

NBC: ObamaCare Explodes Small Business Owner's Premium By 400%.  On Tuesday's [10/29/2013] NBC Nightly News, Lisa Meyers told the story of a victim of President Obama's lie about being able to keep your insurance if you like it.  ObamaCare not only kicked this small business owner off his plan, his new premium will cost 400% more.  Meyers also reports what much of the media won't: that he is not getting "better coverage."

How the Obama Administration Made Sure You Couldn't Keep Your Plan.  First of all, even the "grandfathered" policies required that they be offered at equal prices to those with pre-existing conditions — thus jacking up premiums immediately, by law.

CNN reluctantly reports the obvious:
For many, Obama's promise of health care choice does not ring true.  [A] CNN analysis found that consumer options vary significantly from state to state, and many Americans are discovering that they have very few options.  In West Virginia and New Hampshire, for example, residents shopping on the exchanges can only purchase plans from a single company.  Contrast that with the state-operated exchange in New York which has 16 participating companies, an average of five per county.  Wisconsin, which is on the federal exchange, has 13 participating insurers, although some counties in the state have only one.

The Editor says...
The more companies compete, the lower the prices will be.  That's what used to happen before Obamacare struck.  It was called free market competition.  The price of health insurance could have been lowered by allowing interstate competition amongst the insurance companies, but the left-wing tax-and-spend baby-killing Democrats wanted power and control.

California resident: 'I was all for Obamacare' until I got the bill.  California residents are rebelling a bit against Obamacare, with thousands shocked by the sticker price and rethinking their support, saying that what seemed wonderful in principle is not translating so well into reality.  As Pam Kehaly, the president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, reported, she received a letter from one woman who saw her insurance rates rise by 50 percent due to Obamacare.

Health insurance rates rising.  Small businesses and individuals in Michigan have complained long and hard the past several weeks to health insurers, agents and state insurance regulators over health insurance renewal quotes they have received for 2014 that range from under 10 percent to up to 75 percent or more.  Southeast Michigan's health insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Priority Health, HealthPlus and Health Alliance Plan, have told customers that rate increases next year are driven by a combination of regular medical cost trends along with new taxes, coverage of pre-existing conditions, regulations and additional benefits required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Some health insurance gets pricier as Obamacare rolls out.  Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama's signature legislation.

Obamacare Costs One Indiana School District $6 Million.  It would cost $6 million a year to provide health care to every employee who works more than 30 hours, says the superintendent.

ObamaCare Doubles Premiums for Young Women.  The vast majority of the population will be screwed by ObamaCare.  A small number of people with medical problems who have jobs will benefit, but it would have been far easier and cheaper to pay to cover them.  This is still about the Government Class and its insatiable welfare lust.

Think Tank: Health-Insurance Premiums Will Almost Double in Wisconsin.  Health-care premiums in Wisconsin will almost double under Obamacare, compared with their current rates, according to a report from the MacIver Institute.

'If the N.S.A. is Big Brother, We're Big Mother'.  When President Obama said, ObamaCare is "not just a website," unfortunately he was right.  The disastrous launch of the ObamaCare exchanges is only part of the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system that has been going on since 2009.  One prominent example:  the Center For Medicare And Medicaid Innovation was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with an appropriation of "$10,000,000,000 for the activities initiated under this section for the period of fiscal years 2011 through 2019," or $1.1 billion per year for nine years.

Health Law Fails to Keep Prices Low in Rural Areas.  As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama's health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program's loftiest goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans.  While competition is intense in many populous regions, rural areas and small towns have far fewer carriers offering plans in the law's online exchanges.

What Government Schools Can Teach Us About Government Healthcare.  A common argument made in favor of government-financed healthcare is that it is inherently cheaper than a private system.  Strangely, however, the people who celebrate the government's ability to hold down healthcare spending would be horrified at the same argument applied to other public-sector functions.  It's a seriously inconsistent position held by advocates of bigger government.  To see why, let's think for a moment about a different industry run by the government:  K-12 education.

ObamaCare spending to top contractors tops $1 billion.  The price tag usually associated the Affordable Care Act rollout is $394 million, based on a Government Accountability Office report.  [Peter] Gosselin argued that study was too narrowly focused, so he expanded his search of a federal contractor databases to include all awards where the acronym "ACA" or other related words and phrases appeared.  "In looking at the full range of ACA-related contracts for just 10 firms, the BGOV analysis found more than $1 billion worth of contract awards," he wrote.

HealthCare.gov's Facebook page is getting a lot of hate.  Facebook users piled onto HealthCare.gov's Facebook page this week, slamming the dysfunctional website and the hugely increased cost of health insurance.  Many called the new costs "outrageous" while railing against "huge deductibles."  The few Americans able to access the exchange website were angry to discover that President Obama's Affordable Care Act isn't so affordable at all.

Poynter Offers Media Guide to Gloss Over Millions of ObamaCare's Victims.  Because the media are as desperate as Obama to see ObamaCare succeed, the faulty federal website is getting all kinds of attention.  One thing that isn't, though, is that millions among the working and middle class are losing insurance they are happy with and seeing their monthly premiums spike, sometimes by as much as 150%.

Obamacare Raising Premiums, Hurting Middle, Lower Class.  Premiums for plans in the exchanges will climb in 45 states compared to plans offered in the individual market before Obamacare's implementation, according to a study released Wednesday [10/23/2013] by the Heritage Foundation.  States like Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Vermont will see triple-digit percentage increases.  For example, premiums in Arkansas will soar by more than 170 percent to $285 per month for adults aged 27.  Rates will also increase by 79 percent for adults aged 50 and 25 percent for a family of four.

Sticker Shock: Obamacare Increases Premiums in 42 States.  A comprehensive review has found that young people will see the largest increases to their health insurance premiums and insurance costs will go up in all but fives states for which data is available.  Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) insurance exchanges has proven to be a somewhat daunting process amidst technical glitches and delays.  A recent report says once individuals are able to get a quote for health insurance on an exchange, they might experience "sticker shock."

How affordable is health insurance after the Affordable Care Act?  Across New Jersey and throughout the country many people, especially those in their 50s and 60s, are experiencing a bit of "sticker shock" as they shop for insurance.  Plans cost thousands of dollars per year and many come with deductibles that are a couple thousand more.

We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare.  Supporters of ObamaCare usually defend the law by insisting that they want to help people.  I won't question their motives.  I do wonder, however, if they understand what they're doing to the country.  We know that premiums are going up due to ObamaCare — Americans are getting notices in their mailboxes every day. [...] In North Carolina, for example, many consumers will find their premiums almost double when shopping on the government exchanges.  The hardest-hit states, such as Georgia, Arizona, Vermont and North Dakota, will see premium increases of up to 150%.

If you think the ObamaCare exchanges and premiums were bad...  ... then Barack Obama's hometown newspaper has news for you.  The initial shock of the premium increases and the incompetent use of $94 million [see update] to create the world's biggest 404 exchange are just the starting shocks of ObamaCare.  Wait until people have to actually start using their new insurance, and perhaps the biggest surprise of all will be waiting. [...]

Obamacare shock: $12,600 deductible, 40 percent co-pay, zero competition.  Many Americans shopping for better health insurance deals promised by the two-week-old Obamacare system are instead being slapped with rate shock, including savings-sapping deductibles and co-pays, according to multiple reports from around the country.  For some able to get the problem-plagued Obamacare website to work, the so-called "deals" the system is coughing up around the country include $12,600 deductibles, co-pays of up to 40 percent, zero competition, and rate hikes of 260 percent.

ObamaCare rates trigger more sticker shock.  Andy Mangione, who lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife Amy and their two boys, is doing the same thing millions of people are doing — trying to figure out how much his insurance will cost under ObamaCare. [...] The problem is the plan closest to what he has now will mean a 24 percent increase over his current payment — after subsidies.  And his co-pay for emergency room visits almost tripled — from $125 to $350 — an important factor for a family with two young boys.

Family of Four Will Pay $10,000 More for Insurance Because of Obamacare.  "I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today."  That's what Tom Waschura, an independent who voted twice for Barack Obama, told the San Jose Mercury News on the day he learned his family of four would pay nearly $10,000 more for health insurance in 2014 in order for his policy to "conform to all the requirements of the new health care law."

Gov. actuaries say ObamaCare will increase health care spending by $621 billion over next 10 years.  President Obama has made many promises about his signature health care plan, but one of the simplest was an assurance that it would lower national health care spending and save every family thousands of dollars.  For example, in May 2009 he hailed "comprehensive health care reform — so that we can do what I pledged to do as a candidate and save a typical family an average of $2,500 on their health care costs in the coming years."  But now government actuaries have reached a different conclusion, finding that ObamaCare will actually increase health care spending by $621 billion over the next 10 years.

Liberals Mugged By ObamaCare Reality.  While President Obama refuses to consider any delay of ObamaCare, his liberal base is waking up to the fact that "free" health care is awfully expensive.  And that they're the ones getting stuck with the bill.

Insurance Rate Spikes Due to Obamacare Crushing N.C. Consumers.  Because the Affordable Care Act mandates certain types of coverage each health care plan must contain, some insurers like Blue Cross are canceling existing plans and requiring customers to purchase new plans.  How large are the increases?  For some families, the changes will mean tens of thousands of dollars a year, the Charlotte Observer reports: [...]

Obamacare Facebook Erupts with Citizen Sticker Shock.  On Thursday, the government's official Obamacare Facebook page was riddled with people expressing sticker shock over the government's high cost premiums after struggling for hours to wade through the technical failures vexing Obamacare exchanges all across the country.  "I am so disappointed," wrote one woman.  "These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles.  No one can afford this!"  The comment received 169 "likes."

$175 premium for a young, healthy student? Thanks, Obamacare!  American media outlets were finally able to track down a mythical creature — a person who actually signed up for the Obamacare exchanges online.  But that person, Chad Henderson, admitted to the Washington Post that the premium for the plan he enrolled in was $175.  Ouch!  Wasn't Obamacare supposed to lower premiums?

Obamacare has become the Un-Affordable Care Act.  Not only is Obamacare unpopular with the general public, but it also is losing favor among the very people it's supposed to help.  The White House has difficulty getting the uninsured to buy Obamacare not merely because the government website is bad, but mostly because the product is bad.  It's overpriced.  The Affordable Care Act long ago became known as Obamacare.  Now it's time to re-christen it the Un-Affordable Care Act.

Five Game-Changing Questions on ObamaCare.  This is an unpopular law that is being promoted with empty slogans and outright lies.  But tough questions must be asked. [...] Question 5:  "How could you have been so wrong in promising a $2,500 annual drop in healthcare premiums for a typical family of four under ObamaCare?"  President Obama mentioned this figure many times throughout his 2008 campaign, and in the months preceding the passage of the law.  President Obama may claim that he was making a good faith projection, but the reality is that when he repeatedly made this promise he was way off.  Instead of going down, most family's healthcare costs are going up.

Obamacare launch will be ugly.  Premiums will vary widely depending on where you live.  In a few places like New York City, which have long suffered from dysfunctional insurance markets, some people may pay a bit less than before, especially those getting subsidies.  But elsewhere — upstate, for example — many will pay considerably more.  Yes, the federal Health and Human Services Department recently said ObamaCare premiums are "lower than expected," but that "expected" means Congressional Budget Offices projections — which were that insurance costs would rise.

Thanks A Lot, Mr. President!  My Health Premium Is Up 114%.  My health insurer, Kaiser Permanente, has finally calculated what our family's new health insurance rates will be under the grotesquely misnamed Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare.)  The upshot:  my premiums are about to rise by 114.6%.  My wife's rates?  Up 109%.  Our kids?  Don't ask.  Yes, it's time to say goodbye to my current plan, with its $232-a-month premium.  That plan is being discontinued, I'm told, because it "does not meet the requirements of the ACA."

IRS failed to account for $67M in ObamaCare costs, report says.  The Internal Revenue Service is unable to account for $67 million in spending related to the implementation of ObamaCare, according to an IRS watchdog report released Wednesday.  The report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said the money was part of a $488 million fund established to cover implementation costs between 2010 through 2012.  The $67 million in unaccounted-for spending was associated with "indirect" implementation costs, which can include providing employees with workspace and information technology support.

Exchanges may have high out-of-pocket costs.  Consumers may have to dig a little deeper into their wallets to pay for health care in the Obamacare insurance exchanges, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health.  The study of six states suggests that consumers could face steep cost-sharing requirements — like co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles — layered on top of their monthly premiums.

Tennessee: Obamacare will triple men's premiums, double women's.  The White House on Wednesday [9/25/2013] released a report on the costs of Obamacare for most Americans, heralding its interpretation that 95 percent of the nation will be able to buy health insurance premiums below "earlier projections."  But note the words "earlier projections."  That doesn't mean that the insurance Americans will have to buy, or be fined, under Obamacare will be cheaper than what they pay today, before Obamacare kicks in.

Now They Tell Us: ObamaCare Has Huge Hidden Costs.  In fact, the cheapest ObamaCare Bronze plan available to 25-year-olds in several states will cost more than the median-priced plan in those states today, even after taking account of the subsidies.  In Virginia, a low-income 25-year-old will pay $127 a month for the cheapest plan after subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  But the Government Accountability Office found that the mid-priced plan in Virginia today costs just $112 a month.  And as the New York Times discovered, even these ObamaCare prices are misleading, since the only way insurance companies could keep them low was by severely restricting their networks of doctors and hospitals.

Home Depot Moving Part-Time Workers to Obamacare Exchanges.  On Thursday [9/19/2013], Home Depot became yet another company that announced it would shift part-time workers to the government-run healthcare exchanges.  In addition, a company spokesperson conceded that full-time employees, though they will still get health benefits, would pay more due to an increase in costs next year.

Here's Why ObamaCare Will Drive Up Health Costs.  The Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 13 days will add $621 billion to the nation's health care bill over the next decade.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that costs are likely to be even higher.  According to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report, released on Wednesday [9/18/2013], health spending next year will shoot up 6.1% as ObamaCare takes effect, and increases will average 6.2% in the years after that.  In 2014 alone, ObamaCare will add more than $47 billion to the nation's health care tab.

Government Says Health Spending to Jump Next Year.  The nation's health care spending will jump by 6.1 percent next year as the big coverage expansion in President Barack Obama's overhaul kicks in, government experts predicted Wednesday [9/18/2013].

Study: ObamaCare could cost billions more than anybody projected.  As estimates of exactly how much the huge new entitlement program that is the "Affordable" Care Act is going to impact the federal debt and deficit have shifted over the past few years (and not in a good way), the fact is that the top-down attempt to remake an entire sixth of the U.S. economy is bound to be fraught with still more unintended consequences and hidden costs than you can shake a stick at.

Business Owners May Face $100-Per-Day Penalty Under ObamaCare.  Small business owners who thought they were off the hook for ObamaCare regulations until 2015 may be in for an expensive wake-up call next month.  Beginning Oct. 1, any business with at least one employee and $500,000 in annual revenue must notify all employees by letter about the Affordable Care Act's health-care exchanges, or face up to a $100-per-day fine.  The requirement applies to any business regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act, regardless of size.

The Obamacare bomb: The scheme is about to blow up the incentive to work.  A mere three weeks remain before the Obamacare exchanges open for business.  The likely result will be the closing doors on Main Street, as shopkeepers and entrepreneurs shut down, unable to make ends meet.  It's clear that the wounded economy can't cope with the exploding costs ahead.  Ohio announced that premiums would rise in the individual market by an average of 88 percent next year.  Premiums will rise 72 percent in Indiana, 125 percent in Wisconsin.  Even California, with its relatively robust individual market, is bracing for increases of 66 percent.

Obama's Affordable Care Act looking a bit unaffordable.  For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they're currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data.  Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers' monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.

IRS issues final rules on Obamacare's 'individual mandate'.  If individuals choose not to carry insurance, they are subject to a penalty, starting at $95 per person per year or 1 percent of income in 2014, whichever is greater, and eventually reaching $695 per person or 2.5 percent of income by 2016.

Shocking News: Affordable Care Act Turning Out to Be Unaffordable.  The National Journal must be choking on its bile.  It has had to acknowledge that the Republicans have been right about Obamacare.

Premiums Climbed $2,976 Since 2009, Despite Obama Vow.  The average employer-provided family health insurance premiums have climbed $2,976 since 2009, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week.  They're up $3,671 compared with the year before President Obama took office.  That's despite Obama's repeated promises that the health care reform law he championed would cut premiums by $2,500 in his first term.

.  According to Delta, in 2014 Obamacare will cost the company at least $38 million in direct costs and that is only the beginning.  With added medical inflation, Delta claims "the cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000 next year."  A $100 million increase thanks in large part to Obamacare and ancillary cost increases derived therefrom.

3 Million Young People Would Save Money Ditching Obamacare.  A new study finds that three million young Americans would save $1,000 by forgoing the Obamacare health exchanges and instead paying the government's penalty for being uninsured.  The study, conducted by the National Center for Public Policy Research, concludes that Americans aged 18 to 34 without children would benefit financially by opting to pay the government's $95 or one percent of income penalty and not sign up for the Obamacare health exchanges.

Obamacare to end health plan used by 100,000 New Jerseyans.  The bare-bones health insurance policy that's been the plan of choice for New Jerseyans who can't afford something better is set to go away next year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  And what those policy holders will be left with may be a choice among pricey, pricier and priciest.

Obamacare subsidizes fatherlessness.
Single Mom Pays $8,173 Obamacare Penalty — for a Marriage License.  Obamacare attacks the liberty and financial viability of the traditional family, and nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the system of federal subsidies it puts in place starting next year.  This system rewards people who don't marry, don't work and don't take care of their own children.  It punishes people who do marry, work hard and take care of their own children.

The liar in chief.  [Scroll down]  Then just last month the White House — again with no congressional input to actually change the law — simply announced a one year delay in the requirement that large employers offer health care coverage to full time employees or face a penalty.  Individuals faced with a similar dilemma and similar penalties are also demanding relief — thus far without success.  But this week the administration announced yet another delay — until 2015 — on perhaps the most consumer-friendly aspect of the Affordable Care Act.  The law was supposed to limit out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and co-pays, to $6,350 for an individual or $12,700 for a family.

The Close Connections between the Economy and the Family.  [Scroll down]  Worse, we are discovering that ObamaCare really will "destroy marriage for the middle class the same way that the Great Society welfare state destroyed the black family — with financial incentives for staying single."  ObamaCare's marriage penalty could possibly cost couples over $10,000 a year.  This intentional disparity means that U.S. government policy will encourage singleness and create increased disincentives for marriage.

Report: Obamacare May Raise Insurance Premiums 400 Percent.  Insurance companies are saying premiums could increase up to 400 percent as a result of Obamacare.

Some health insurance plans will increase next year because of the Affordable Care Act.  [The South Carolina] Department of Insurance released the first specifics on Friday [8/2/2013] about how the federal Affordable Care Act will impact health insurance prices here.  The department estimates the premiums for some plans may increase by 70 percent.

Analysis: Obamacare [is] Gutting [the] Middle Class.  While President Barack Obama has claimed he is a champion of the middle class, two of his signature initiatives — comprehensive immigration reform and Obamacare — threaten to further gut America's middle class.

'Cheapest' ObamaCare Plans Aren't So Cheap After All.  The average price for the lowest-cost ObamaCare "bronze" plan in eight states is 122% higher than the cheapest plan currently available in those states, according to an IBD analysis of rate filings and a recent Government Accountability Office report.

Documents: HHS sought to spend an estimated $159 million per year on new employees to help run Obamacare.  Documents obtained from the Health and Human Services Department through a Freedom of Information Act request show that on the day the Affordable Care Act became law, the agency received fast-track authority to hire 1,814 new high-level employees to put Obamacare into practice, at a likely cost of more than $159 million per year.  It's unclear whether those employees were ever hired.  HHS did not respond to a request for comment.  But the hiring request was approved by the Obama administration's Office of Personnel Management despite a government-wide hiring freeze.

Is ObamaCare Destined to Become a Parking Lot?  Perhaps the nearby little hospital which you love is consolidated with the bigger one a drive away, or the average doctor's appointment falls from to ten minutes or five, followed by the choice in doctors being narrowed so that you have to accept the one assigned to you by the government.  Or certain tests or treatments which were once ordered automatically will be denied because they don't fit the metric of some anonymous advisory panel — as all the while the amount families pay for medical insurance doubles, then doubles again.  So what happens then?

Where's the affordable part of the Affordable Care Act?  A few months ago, Obamacare critics were pointing to alarming predictions that some insurance rates would spike when the law took effect — by as much as 41 percent in Wisconsin, 85 percent in Ohio, and so on.  In Virginia, though, the potential increases are not all that bad.  Some are actually much worse. [...] Aetna says its most popular policy for a 29-year-old man currently costs $118 per month in Richmond.  Once Obamacare kicks in, the rate will jump to $225 — an increase of more than 90 percent.

Cost of ObamaCare subsidies has increased dramatically, critics say.  The cost of subsidies for those seeking government aid through ObamaCare has increased dramatically, critics say — even before a single dollar has been collected.  Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah wrote a letter to the administration asking why the president is already requesting 107 percent more than three years ago to pay for subsidies.  "They low-balled everything, and they knew they were not asking for enough money to actually do this," John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis said.

NBA MVP LeBron James Faces $157K Medicare Tax Hike Under Obamacare.  The National Basketball Association (NBA) is in discussions with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on ways to help promote the Obama administration's signature health care law.  But the league's top players, including NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, are already feeling the effects of Obamacare's tax increase right in their wallets.  Under Obamacare, the Medicare payroll tax rate rose from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent on January 1, 2013.  James, a forward for the Miami Heat, will see a $157,905 increase in the Medicare payroll tax he currently pays on his $17.5 million salary, bringing his total Medicare tax bite to $666,710.

ObamaCare Increases Insurance Premiums Prices in California.  One of the most serious flaws with ObamaCare is that its hurricane of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own.  This problem will be especially acute when the law's main provisions kick in on January 1, 2014, leading many to worry about health insurance "rate shock."

Local Governments Reeling Under ObamaCare Costs.  When Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) in April blamed ObamaCare for the fact that it was cutting some of its workers' hours, backers of the law mounted a furious backlash against the theater chain, among other things filling its Facebook page with boycott threats.  "Greed and selfishness make me sick," one of them said.

The Young Won't Buy ObamaCare.  Media outlets lately have emphasized the challenge of enticing healthy young adults to sign up for ObamaCare, "exactly the type of person insurance plans, states and the federal government are counting on to make health reform work," as the L.A. Times put it.  These pieces are useful as far as they go, but miss a key point that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito managed to convey in many fewer words during last year's Supreme Court argument on ObamaCare.  Mr. Alito pointed out that young, healthy adults today spend an average of $854 a year on health care.  ObamaCare would require them to buy insurance policies expected to cost roughly $5,800.

Obamacare: Is a $2,000 deductible 'affordable?'  States are starting to roll out details about the exchanges, providing a look at just how affordable coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be.  Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures:  $2,000 deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room tabs.  Those are just some of the charges enrollees will incur in a silver-level plan in California, which recently unveiled an overview of the benefits and charges associated with its exchange.  That's on top of the $321 average monthly premium.

Ohio Shows ObamaCare Is Working As Intended.  President Obama went to California last week to declare ObamaCare is working just as planned.  If he means it was intended to dramatically hike insurance costs, he's got that right. [...] Blue Cross says a 28-year-old male Rhode Islander who makes $34,000 will see his premiums more than double to $244 a month next year.

More Bad Obamacare News.  Forbes reports that Ohio is the latest state to announce a market-increase in healthcare premiums as a consequence of Obamacare.  According to an Ohio Department of Insurance press release, the average Ohioan currently pays $223 per month, but can expect premiums to surge to $420 with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

ObamaCare Sticker Shock Will Hit Americans Hard.  Federal lawmakers are warning Americans to prepare for some "shocking" news when they renew their health insurance next year.  The House Energy and Commerce Committee just published "The Looming Premium Rate Shock" — a report estimating that some Americans could see their insurance bills quintuple.

Obamacare socks union health plans with 40% tax.  Deep in the list of taxes that the president's Obamacare plan will hit Americans with is a 40 percent excise tax on health plans typical union members have, especially in Midwest states, according to a new analysis.  The Obamacare tax won't take place until 2018, but when it does it will smack high cost, or so-called "Cadillac" health insurance plans, according to the group Americans for Tax Reform.

Proof That ObamaCare Will Fuel Health Care Inflation.  Americans were promised that ObamaCare would make their health care more affordable.  But a pair of studies show the new system has done nothing to lower health costs and will sharply raise them.

Another Liberal Democrat: Obamacare Insurance Premiums To "Shoot Up".  Isn't it funny that when Republicans were pointing out issue after issue with Obamacare, Democrats were insisting that the bill was perfect.  However, now that Obamacare is about to go into effect, suddenly Democrats are seeing all sorts of problems that they never noticed before.

Expect Higher Medical Costs, Less Research Because of Device Tax.  The federal medical device tax, which went into force on January 1 of this year, will have an adverse effect on the medical device industry, consumers, and the economy, according to a new analysis by the Tax Foundation.  The 2.3 percent excise tax on the manufacturers of medical devices is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010.  The provision is predicted to raise $3.2 billion dollars each year on average for the next 10 years.

House set to repeal Obamacare tax on medical devices.  The GOP-led House is set to repeal Obamacare's medical device tax this week, forcing Democrats either to stand by President Obama's signature law at all costs or side with industry groups who say the tax on pacemakers, artificial joints and other products is a job killer that stifles innovation.  The repeal could be the one significant tweak to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that makes it through Congress this year, as Republicans team up with Democrats who've said the 2.3-percent excise is particularly damaging back home, despite their support for the 2010 law overall.

Obama Expects States to Pick Up Obamacare Tab.  President Obama's health care law was projected to spend $898 billion over ten years when it was passed.  That price tag largely masked the true ten-year cost because of the delayed implementation of the law, and the CBO revised its cost estimate in 2013 to show that the law will spend $1.85 trillion in the next ten years.  Obamacare is already experiencing cost overruns, and the Obama Administration expects the states to pick up the tab.

ObamaCare Launch Failures Won't Be For Lack Of Money.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been complaining a lot about money lately.  Specifically, about how she doesn't have enough to implement ObamaCare.  At a recent congressional hearing, for example, she said that although the Congressional Budget Office calculated "we'd need about $10 billion in implementation money; $1 billion was appropriated."  At another hearing she told how "we were incredibly disappointed that our requests for additional outreach and education resources were not made available," referring to a request for $949 million more to help set up the federal exchanges.

$54 million: Price for just one year of Obamacare 'navigators'.  The Obama administration has set aside $54 million in federal grants to fund the first year of Obamacare "navigators," the community activists, union members and health professionals who will be paid to help an estimated 7 million Americans sign up for health exchanges nationwide.

This won't be the last "revised estimate" by any means.
Obama Doubles Estimate to $4 Billion for Health Exchanges.  The $1.3 trillion U.S. health-care system overhaul is getting more expensive and will initially accomplish less than intended.  Costs for a network of health-insurance exchanges, a core part of the Affordable Care Act, have swelled to $4.4 billion for fiscal 2012 and 2013 combined, and will reach $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the budget President Barack Obama yesterday [4/9/2013] sent to Congress.  That spending would be more than double initial projections, even though less than half the 50 U.S. states are participating.

When Government and Health Care Converge, Socialism Begins.  The most ominous trend in America's employment data is not the number of people who have left the labor force, but the number who are now working either for the government or in the as-yet-still-private sector of the health care industry.  Health care has boomed under Obama, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 13,436,700 jobs in the private health care industry; by this March, there were 14,516,600.

Study: Health overhaul to raise claims cost 32 percent.  Insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims on individual health policies under President Barack Obama's overhaul, the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts has estimated.

The Unaffordable Care Act.  [Scroll down]  These are just a few of the many increasingly evident reasons why Obamacare in its current form has no future.  For now, you've got to dig pretty deep in your newspaper to see it.  But it's going to become clearer and clearer to real voters as implementation proceeds.

White House Yawns As ObamaCare Premium Spikes Loom.  News this week that ObamaCare will cause a huge spike in insurance claims in the individual market — and result in sky-high premium hikes — was bad enough.  Worse still was the administration's response.

Obamacare's crushing burden.  To see why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will raise the costs of health insurance for Americans, look no further than Missouri, where U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig struck down a state law exempting moral objectors from purchasing birth control coverage.  Judge Fleissig wrote on Thursday [3/21/2013] that this Missouri law contradicted federal law, which requires insurers to offer free contraceptive coverage, and that federal law pre-empts state law.

Report: Youth Healthcare Premiums to Skyrocket 145%-203%.  A report released yesterday [3/5/2013] by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce reveals the devastating reality many Americans will face when Obamacare is in full force next year.  While the majority of Americans will likely see their healthcare premiums increase, no one will swallow the cost burden more than young Americans.  Previous studies have reported that youth healthcare premiums could increase as much as 45 percent, but the the House Committee report concluded that young Americans could see an increase as much as 203 percent.

It's 'I told you so' on Obamacare.  The program was allocated $5 billion, but some estimate it will take $40 billion to fund the effort.  Such surprises are becoming routine.  The New York Times has reported that many small and mid-size firms may be opting out of Obamacare entirely.

Obamacare Insurance Plans Will Be Bare Bones — And Expensive.  There's mounting evidence that come fall, the health plans sold through the Obamacare exchanges will be bare bones affairs — with narrow networks of providers to select from, and heavy co-insurance once patients go "out of network."  In many ways these plans will be a throwback to insurance schemes of the late 1990s, when managed care was dominant and restrictive networks standard fare.  With one difference:  The Obamacare plans won't be cheap.

5 Reasons ObamaCare Will Add Far More To Deficits.  On Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions touted a government report that blew a $6.2 trillion hole in President Obama's promise that his signature health reform wouldn't add a dime to the deficit.  According to the report by the Government Accountability Office, that promise rested entirely on several cost-control mechanisms in ObamaCare that almost no one thinks will work.

GAO Report: Obamacare Adds $6.2 Trillion to Long-Term Deficit.  Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today [2/26/2013].  Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), who requested the report, revealed the findings this morning at a Senate Budget Committee hearing.  The report, he said, "confirms everything critics and Republicans were saying about the faults of this bill," and "dramatically proves that the promises made assuring the nation that the largest new entitlement program in history would not add one dime to the deficit were false."

The Affordable Care Act Nobody Can Afford.  The cheapest category of Obamacare is the Bronze Plan which costs $20,000 per year for a family of two adults and three children and it pays only 60% of medical costs after the deductibles for the year have been met. [...] During my 30-year teaching career, I seldom had to pay more than $3,600 a year premium for private insurance for my family.  Even a retirement private plan did not cost more than $8,000 per year with 80% reimbursement as opposed to only 60% reimbursement under the Obamacare Bronze Plan.  Is Obamacare really affordable?  The answer is a resounding no.

Could ObamaCare's 'affordability glitch' leave your family without health care?  The "Affordable Care Act" is turning out to be anything but.  Slogans reminiscent of the government doublespeak of George Orwell's 1984 are taking the place of real access to real care.  Advocates for the poor are now suddenly concerned about a new oxymoron, the so-called "affordability glitch," where your employer can no longer afford to cover you and your family, and you will be forced to go to the state exchanges for your health insurance only to discover that you can't afford the rising premiums there and don't qualify for a federal subsidy.

ObamaCare is Going to Make Something Else More Expensive.  ObamaCare was sold as a health insurance reducer.  Instead, in a few years many Americans will see their health insurance costs rise to $20,000 per year.  Some premiums will rise by as much as 85%.  ObamaCare was sold as being good for your bottom line.  Instead, it may drive the price of pizza through the roof.  And now, it may also force price hikes at your local supermarket.

Obamacare Exchange Costs Up 29% Before Program Starts!  One of the big features of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. health-care reform or Obamacare) is the creation of exchanges where people can buy subsidized insurance plans if they don't qualify via the workplace.  There's a raft of implementation issues as states try to figure out whether they want to set up their own exchanges or go along with federal ones.  Here's something that only makes 2014, the year Obamacare fully comes online, even more dread-worthy:  The estimated cost of subsidizing plans through Obamacare's exchanges has grown from $3,970 in 2010 to $5,510.

ACA premium sticker shock could fuel foes.  The federal health care law could nearly triple premiums for some young and healthy men, according to a forthcoming survey of insurers that singles out a group that might become a major public opinion battleground in the Obamacare wars.  The survey, fielded by the conservative American Action Forum and made available to POLITICO, found that if the law's insurance rules were in force, the premium for a relatively bare-bones policy for a 27-year-old male nonsmoker on the individual market would be nearly 190 percent higher.

CBO: Entitlements, ObamaCare To Make Up 53% of Federal Spending.  According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion.  In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion.  (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and "other" spending listed by the CBO under healthcare.)

Pathway to citizenship could increase Obamacare cost up to $300 billion over a decade.  Any immigration package in which current illegal immigrants are made eligible for Obamacare — in the form of either exchanges or Medicaid — could increase costs to the federal government by between $120 billion to $200 billion in its first decade, according to internal calculations by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee that were obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

IRS Admits Obamacare's Cost is $20,000 Per Family.  The IRS (which is charged with enforcing the onerous penalties and fines of the President's healthcare "reform" law) has finally released a cost analysis based on ObamaCare regulations showing that the cheapest healthcare plan in 2016 will cost average American families of four or five members $20,000 per year for the so-called "bronze plan."

Whatever Happened to Free Obamacare?  The IRS issued regulations last week announcing that the cheapest insurance plan under Obamacare will cost a family of five $20,000 per year by 2016.  That estimate is based on choosing the plan offering the least benefits, the bronze plan.

IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family.  In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.  Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

Obama: Obamacare didn't do anything for rising health care costs.  It is called "The Affordable Care Act."  But most supporters of Obamacare have stopped talking about cost savings and started focusing on increased benefits, acknowledging (sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly) that expanded coverage and more benefits will actually cost more money, not less, but that the trade-off is worth it.

Health Insurance Brokers Prepare Clients For Obamacare Sticker Shock.  A California insurance broker, who sells health plans to individuals and small businesses, told me that she's prepping her clients for a sticker shock.  Her local carriers are hinting to her that premiums may triple this fall, when the plans unveil how they'll billet the full brunt of Obamacare's new regulations and mandates.  California is hardly alone.  Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits.

Obama health czar: Obamacare is driving up insurance rates before it drives them down.  President Obama's health care adviser during the Obamacare debate admitted that health insurance rates are rising in anticipation of the implementation of the health care law, but argued that it's because the law will lower rates later.

ObamaCare's Health-Insurance Sticker Shock.  Health-insurance premiums have been rising — and consumers will experience another series of price shocks later this year when some see their premiums skyrocket thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.  The reason:  The congressional Democrats who crafted the legislation ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing.  Premiums will soon reflect that disregard — indeed, premiums are already reflecting it.

Five 'ObamaCare' provisions to watch.  The Medicare trust fund is kept afloat through a dedicated tax, clearly identified on taxpayers' pay stubs. For families who make more than $250,000 per year (or individuals who make more than $200,000), that tax is about to go up — from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent.  Republicans have cited this increase in opposing higher income tax rates for the wealthy, arguing that "ObamaCare" has already raised taxes above the $250,000 threshold Obama has targeted in "fiscal cliff" talks.

Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013.  [For example,] The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike — an $86.8 billion tax increase:  The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits.  Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead.  This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases.

Sebelius stonewalling lawmakers about project that hides Obamacare cuts to Medicare.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has ignored congressional inquiries about an expensive program, which the Government Accountability Office recommended she cancel, that hides Obamacare cuts to Medicare Advantage until after the presidential election.  HHS has spent $8.3 billion on a demonstration project that, in theory, "test[s] whether a tiered bonus structure would produce better results" by providing bonuses to insurance companies.

$1.8 trillion shock: Obama regs cost 20-times estimate.  Current federal regulations plus those coming under Obamacare will cost American taxpayers and businesses $1.8 trillion annually, more than twenty times the $88 billion the administration estimates, according to a new roundup provided to Secrets from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.  And it could grow, warned the author of the report, Clyde Wayne Crews, a CEI vice president.  Complying with Health and Human Services Department requirements alone, he revealed, costs $184 billion a year, yet regulators are still drafting the rules for the 2,400-page Obamacare law that kicks into gear in 2014.

80 million hours needed to tackle Obamacare tax rules.  A week after small businesses warned that Obamacare taxes will eat up to half of their profits, a new government report reveals that simply complying with the new tax rules in the health care act will cost American families and businesses nearly 80 million hours — essentially a whole new tax.  Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, the House Committee on Ways and Means has compiled an estimate of the total amount of hours it will take to comply with the tax rules.  The bottom line:  79,229,503 hours, most of which will fall on small businesses.

Politicians Make Health Insurance More Expensive.  By passing laws to force insurance companies to cover things that have nothing to do with risk, politicians force up the cost of insurance.  Annual checkups, for example, are known in advance to take place once a year.  Foreseeable events are not a risk.  Annual checkups are no cheaper when they are covered by an insurance policy.  On the contrary, they are one of many things that are more expensive when they are covered by an insurance policy.

Think College Is Expensive Now? Wait Until ObamaCare.  Parents and students facing sky-high sate-run college tuitions aren't likely to be thinking about ObamaCare.  But perhaps they should, since if left in place ObamaCare will likely end up making college still more expensive.  Why?  Because ObamaCare relies heavily on Medicaid — the federal/state program that provides health insurance for the poor — to expand coverage.

Under Obamacare, Medicare Double Taxation Begins in 2013.  A provision of President Obama's health care law imposes a second Medicare tax on investment income for Americans classified as wealthy, effectively raising taxes on investment income and taxing investors twice.  The provision, a little-known part of ObamaCare, levies a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on investment income for couples making more than $250,000 or individuals making more than $200,000 a year.  The tax is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013.

Report: Obamacare penalty regressive, will cost most uninsured at least $1,000.  The penalty imposed by the Affordable Care Act on citizens who elect not to purchase health insurance will be at least $1,000 for most people, and more than $12,000 for high-income earners, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.  "We can see that this is a big tax, particularly on the poor," writes the Tax Foundation's William McBride.  "Higher income families generally pay a higher amount, but actually a smaller percent of their income, making this a regressive tax."

CBO: Obamacare levies $1 trillion in new taxes.  President Obama's health care law raises taxes by $1 trillion, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office.  The individual mandate — which the CBO calls a "penalty tax," in apparent deference to Chief Justice John Roberts — will produce $55 billion in "penalty payments by uninsured individuals," the CBO told House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a Tuesday [7/24/2012] letter.  Of course, the framers of the law didn't design the mandate as a tax, and so it produces less revenue than any other provision in the bill.  The "additional hospital insurance tax" is the largest tax increase in Obamacare, projected to bring in $318 billion in new revenues.

Top 10 Obamacare taxes coming your way.  Obamacare may have been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, but Chief Justice John Roberts' extraordinary opinion clearly labeled the law's individual mandate a tax.  Whether the power to enact a penalty for failing to purchase a product derives from the Commerce Clause or Congress' taxing authority makes little difference.  Every American will have to purchase health insurance and those who don't will face an IRS-enforced tax that totals 2.5 percent of adjusted growth income in 2016.

It's Not Just the Mandate: ObamaCare's Other Infringements.  ObamaCare supporters were hit with more bad news recently when the Congressional Budget Office announced that the health care law would cost nearly twice the original estimates:  $1.76 trillion over ten years rather than $940 billion.  Of course, such "unexpected" cost overruns are nothing new for government programs.  When Medicare was passed in 1965, it was predicted to cost $12 billion by 1990.  In reality, it cost a whopping $110 billion, almost 10 times more than predicted.  But the escalating economic costs of ObamaCare will pale in comparison to the escalating losses of freedom.

Surprise: Obamacare's Price Tag Nearly Doubles.  Two years ago this month, Democrats were on the brink of jamming through a massive federal intrusion into the American healthcare system. ... As the fateful vote approached, Democrat leaders desperately needed a fig leaf to conceal the budget-busting math of their statist designs.  To that end, they handed the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office a hopelessly distorted set of "facts" and assumptions, off of which the group was required to render a cost estimate known as a "scoring."  Pelosi et al got what they asked for.

Obamacare Cost Jumps $111 Billion; No One Notices.  It is tempting to ignore President Obama's budgets, since no one seriously intends that they be adopted; his FY 2012 budget was voted down in the Senate, 97-0.  Yet every now and then, interesting information is buried in the fine print.

ObamaCare: Twice as expensive as promised, and getting worse.  The big ObamaCare news this week isn't really "news" to anyone who was smart enough to see through the President's obfuscations and fraudulent accounting when ObamaCare was being rammed down our throats.  No group has ever been more utterly vindicated than ObamaCare critics, who were right about absolutely everything they said.

One Obamacare Disaster Averted, Lots More To Go.  Just about every conservative critic of Obamacare pointed to the irrational design of the CLASS Act before the legislation's enactment.  In fact, the administration's own CMS actuary said it would never work.  He was ignored by his employers not because they disagreed with him, but because they needed to pretend their legislation would reduce the deficit. ... Of course, administration officials can't acknowledge that they always knew the program's finances could never work, so rather than admit to cynicism they are pleading incompetence.  And who knows, maybe they really are that incompetent.

First CLASS, What Next?  In a Friday bad-news dump that was a whopper even by its own standards, the Obama administration added to the announcement of a near-record annual deficit and an escalation of undeclared war in Uganda the news that the CLASS Act, an ill-conceived adjunct of the Affordable Care Act, is no more.  The upshot is this:  Obamacare just got a whole lot more expensive than advertised, and there is reason to believe that its Democratic architects have long known this would happen.

More about the CLASS Act:
Obama's Unbroken String of Failures.  We now know the Obama administration ignored repeated warnings, including from Democrats like Senator Kent Conrad, about the financial solvency of this massive new entitlement.  Anyone who could do basic math knew this program was unsustainable and unworkable — and many conservative policy experts said so at the time.  In addition, the CLASS Act had been projected to reduce the federal deficit by $86 billion during the next 10 years, so the termination of the program rips away one of the many budget gimmicks the administration has relied on in order to pretend Obamacare would save money.

Obama Administration Pulls the Plug on Long-Term Care Program.  The Obama Administration threw in the towel Friday, acknowledging that a Long-Term Care provision in the health care law championed by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., was financially unsustainable.

Obama Administration Pulls the Plug on Long-Term Care Program.  The Obama Administration threw in the towel Friday, acknowledging that a Long-Term Care provision in the health care law championed by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., was financially unsustainable.  Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius wrote a letter to Congress that a 19-month "comprehensive analysis" of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program indicated that it was not viable.

Despite ObamaCare, Costs Continue To Soar.  Until now, many of the fears about ObamaCare have been theoretical.  But this year's 9% spike in premiums is concrete evidence of the substantial harm it's already doing to our health care system.

ObamaCare Already Driving Up Health Premium Costs.  Yesterday [9/28/2011] the Kaiser Family Foundation released its Employer Health Benefits Survey.  The most unsettling finding is that premiums for family coverage jumped 9% in 2011 after last year's 3% rise.  How much of that is due to ObamaCare is debatable, but it's not exactly a promising start.

Obamacare sent health premiums up 9%.  The other day, I reported on a study by the insurance regulators in Ohio that showed Obamacare will push health insurance premiums up by 55% to 85% once the thing ... becomes fully operational in 2014.  But Obamacare already has forced insurers to increase prices by mandating such things as coverage by parents of graduate students until they are 26.  The New York Times reported that this year — in the first full year of Obamacare — insurance premiums rose 9%.

No Class.  CLASS stands for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act.  It was enacted as part of Obamacare, but, given all of the other issues on which attention was focused at that time, little was said about CLASS. ... While CLASS didn't get a lot of publicity, it played a fairly significant role in convincing Congress to adopt Obamacare.  This is because the Congressional Budget Office scored CLASS as generating a net of $70 billion in deficit reduction over the next ten years.  This helped to offset, on paper, the other crushing costs of Obamacare.

The Ever-Shifting Price of ObamaCare.  One reason the price of a new Cadillac isn't higher is because not everyone wants a new Cadillac — at least not if they themselves have to pay for it.  But if everyone were in the market for a new Cadillac, one could be assured with metaphysical certitude that the price would "necessarily skyrocket."  As it is with the Cadillac, so it is with everything else:  Limited supply and soaring demand make for soaring prices.  But defenders of ObamaCare tell us that the dynamic at play in the price of everything else, including Cadillacs, doesn't work for health insurance.

ObamaCare's Costs Just Keep Rising.  Last month the CBO — Congress' official budget scorekeeper — updated its forecast for ObamaCare's price tag.  Instead of $931 billion over seven years, the CBO now says it will cost $971 billion to pay for higher Medicaid costs, subsidies, tax credits and the rest — a $40 billion increase.  At the same time, the CBO now says ObamaCare's new taxes — the penalties for not buying coverage, taxes on high-cost plans, and so on — will be $24 billion higher than it projected last March.

Boehner:  ObamaCare Will Bankrupt Our Nation.  The House Republicans' move forward to repeal ObamaCare has made Congressional Democrats fighting mad.  The Democrats' new mantra on Capitol Hill is that repealing their $1.2 trillion health care law will increase the deficit.  The GOP response has been both incredulous of that claim and hard-hitting.

Cough up more for health benefits.  Raises may be small and bonuses a distant memory of better times, but one workplace number isn't frozen:  Employees can expect a double-digit percentage increase next year in the cost of health insurance they get through the office.

Health-care bill:  Sinister prescription based on misdiagnosis.  The [Obamacare] bill expands Medicaid to cover all individuals up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which would increase the number of individuals covered under the program by more than 40 percent, placing extraordinary burdens on states.  The FPL for a single person is $29,330 and $88,000 for a family of four.  This spells a financial death knell for Florida and other states.

Anthem Approved For Health Insurance Rate Hikes As High As 47 Percent.  The state's largest insurer has been approved to raise health premium rates by 41 percent to 47 percent for some of its policies sold to individual buyers, in the largest price hikes yet seen in Connecticut since the adoption of national health care reform.

Interview with Sally Pipes on ObamaCare at Six Months.  "I think the two biggest things about ObamaCare are, one — his two goals were to achieve universal coverage, and to bend the cost curve down.  Well, we're not going to achieve universal coverage.  23 million Americans will still be uninsured in 2019.  The cost curve is not going to bend down.  He originally wanted a bill that would cost $900 billion dollars over 10 years.  The CBO says this will be $940 billion over ten years, but I believe most of the tax increases and things do not come into effect until 2014.  So between 2014 and 2024, I believe, and many other economists as well, that this legislation, if not repealed and replaced, is going to cost the American taxpayers about $2.5 trillion dollars.  So we won't have universal coverage, and the cost curve is not going to go down, it's going to go up."

Chart:  Total 10-Year Cost of Reid Bill is $2.5 Trillion.  Senate Republicans have just released an outstanding chart highlighting the accounting games that Democrats are playing with the costs of their proposed health-care overhaul.  The Democrats assert that their Senate bill would cost $848 billion over ten years.  But Congressional Budget Office projections show that only 1 percent of those costs would kick in prior to the fifth year of what the Democrats are calling the "first 10 years."  In the bill's true first 10 years (2014 to 2023) — that is, in the first 10 years in which it would be operational to any meaningful extent — the CBO projects that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion.

CBO:  Real 10-Year Cost of Senate Bill Still $2.5 Trillion.  [Scroll down]  In those real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), Americans would have to pay over $1 trillion in additional taxes, over $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare (over $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage alone) and spent on Obamacare, and deficits would rise by over $200 billion.  They would rise, that is, unless Congress follows through on the bill's pledge to cut doctors' payments under Medicare by 21 percent next year and never raise them back up — which would reduce doctors' enthusiasm for seeing Medicare patients dramatically.

Less Health Care for More Money.  Liberals cite medical horror stories from the very states they once cheered for enacting universal health care in order to argue for a national health care plan that will wreck the entire nation's medical care the same way liberal states already wrecked their own medical care.  Only Democrats could propose fixing one Bernie Madoff-style scam with an even bigger Bernie Madoff-style scam.

Health care reform by hook or by crook.  Yesterday, Tom Maguire accurately described the state of the play on Obamacare:  The Senate bill seemed to be approaching its death knell and only a favorable report from the Government Budget Office had a prayer of resuscitating it.

List of Taxes Proposed to Pay for Health Care Reform.  The U.S. Senate recently released its long-awaited proposal for a government-run hostile takeover of the entire U.S. health care system.  Predictably, it includes a barrage of higher taxes to pay for the bill's immense price tag.  [They include]
 •  A value-added tax, which would tax the value added to a product at each stage of production,
 •  An excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages including non-diet soda and sports drinks,
 •  Higher taxes on alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and spirits,
 •  A tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage of up to 2.5 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Obama Admin. Actuary Finds Unsustainable Status Quo Cheaper than Obamacare.  One of President Obama's primary justifications for pushing health care legislation has been that the status quo is "unsustainable" because of the skyrocketing cost of medical care in the United States.  The way to rein in costs, he argues, is to do adopt the policies that he and his fellow Democrats are proposing.  But a new report by the government actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a branch of the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services, has found that the exact opposite is true.

The $1.9 Trillion Gimmick.  Any day now, the House is expected to vote on a $210 billion fiscal swindle that will prevent automatic cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. ... The "doc fix" was originally part of ObamaCare, until Mrs. Pelosi realized that adding a quarter-trillion dollars to the total tab made it difficult to pretend the bill would reduce the deficit.

Health bills would raise taxes well before changes roll out.  Americans could pay billions of dollars more in new taxes for a few years before they're likely to see significant change in the nation's health care system under legislation that Congress is considering.

Bending the Health-Care Cost Curve — Upward.  Remember when President Obama said that the goal of health-care reform was to save money?  The bill that passed the House a week and a half ago, according to the Senate Budget Committee, would cost a whopping $3 trillion after being fully implemented — more than three times the $900 billion that the president had promised.

The True Cost of the House Health Bill:  $1.5 Trillion.  The Congressional Budget Office released its preliminary score of the bill and while some in the media have been reporting its net cost of $894 billion, the total cost of health reform legislation is more like $1.5 trillion.  So, Speaker Pelosi is essentially right back where she started — with a huge 2,000 page plan that carries a hefty price tag...

CBO:  House Bill Costs $1.055 Trillion.  The Congressional Budget Office is out with its analysis of the House Democrats' health care bill.  The headline number — likely to be widely cited in media accounts — is that the bill costs $894 billion over 10 years.  But in reality, the CBO says that the gross cost of the bill will be $1.055 trillion.  The $894 billion number reflects the taxes being paid by individuals who don't have insurance and employers who don't provide insurance.

Death, Taxes and Two Trillion Lies.  If annual health care expenditures are going to be two trillion dollars, then this amounts to $6,546.02 for every man, woman, and child. ... And what will we be paying for?  Doctor visits for those who couldn't otherwise afford it?  What happened to Medicaid?  I thought that's what that social program was for.  But wait... Medicaid doesn't cover abortions. ... What happened to Medicare?  That social program was made to help seniors with their coverage.

Why Are We Moving Toward Socialized Medicine?  Government intervention in medicine is wrecking American health care.  Nearly half of all spending on health care in America is already government spending.  Yet President Obama's "reforms" will only expand that intervention.

Health care:  Cheap at any price (hint... $900 billion).  Last week, we had the cheery news from Madame Speaker Pelosi that the cost of the House's health-care reform bill was going to come in under $900 billion.  Phew, I'm glad to know we can afford it after all.

Obamacare — faster inflation, worse care.  President Obama's promise that a government health care takeover is the key to almost every ill echoes 19th century charlatans selling elixirs that would cure everything from constipation to baldness.  From controlling the growth of government to reining in private business expenditures, Mr. Obama's health reform potion is promised as a cure-all.  It's hardly that.

What's In and What's Out of Health Care Legislation.  The Democrats' health care "reform" would carry a trillion-dollar price tag, vastly increase the national debt hanging over our children and grandchildren, impose socialist control over one-sixth of our economy, and force us to obey totalitarian dictates.  The mandate on employers to provide health insurance would result in lower wages and fewer jobs.

Baucus Health Bill Could Prevent Medical Expense Deductions.  The health care reform legislation outlined by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the Senate Finance Committee includes a provision that would raise the threshold for deducting costly medical expenses from income tax returns.  People who do not meet that higher threshold could see their taxes rise.

The Hidden Costs of ObamaCare.  How much is this going to cost?  This is a simple and reasonable question to ask before signing a document stating that you are responsible and will pay any amount not covered by your medical insurance when having a procedure done. ... Just imagine having any other service or purchasing a product and being told you couldn't know the cost beforehand, although you are required to blindly sign a legally binding contract saying you will pay whatever they later decide to charge you.  That's unethical and ridiculous you'd say.  Well, welcome to the American health care system.

Eight Thoughts on CBO.  [#3] The bill spends a great deal of money — $829 billion — but is scored as reducing the deficit over ten years because of the offsets, which include $311 billion in taxes.  In addition, the penalty on those still not purchasing insurance would be expected to bring in $1 billion a year once it's in effect. ... [#5] We don't really know what will happen beyond 2019.

Turn left and cough it up
One of several T-shirts and bumper stickers at Cafe Press.

Land Of The Fee.  To keep ObamaCare alive, Montana Democrat Max Baucus has proposed a Rube Goldberg scheme of fees and fines on insurers and the uninsured designed to forcibly bring everyone into the loving and protective arms of the nanny state.  To help finance his Plan B, Baucus would impose annual fees of $6 billion on health insurers, $4 billion on medical-device makers, $2.3 billion on drug manufacturers and $750 million on clinical laboratories, among other taxes.

Baucus Healthcare Revenue Options:  This report is from May 20, 2009.  Nevertheless, it is still revealing what means the Senate Finance Committee and Mr. Baucus are considering to pay for their healthcare reform plans.

Obamacare:  Unemployment You Can Believe In.  If Obamacare were a prescription drug, ads for it would say:  "Use with extreme caution.  Side effects include regulatory headaches, irritated taxpayers, and swollen unemployment."  That's right.  Serious studies indicate that Obamacare would kill millions of jobs.  With 9.4 percent unemployment, this is hardly the time to foul the labor market even further.  The culprit is Obamacare's proposed tax burden on employers with payrolls exceeding $250,000.

'Or' is a trillion-dollar word.  Yes, words matter.  Even adding one wrong word could cost taxpayers trillions.  That is exactly what is being proposed.  Currently, publicly funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid only pay for medically necessary health care.  Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, publicly said President Obama's proposed health care plan will pay for "any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate."  What a difference the word "or" makes.  In other words, no longer would a provider have to show that health care services are medically necessary; they'll get paid if it is medically appropriate.  Dropping "medically necessary" as a minimum requirement would be disastrous and bankrupt our health care system.

The Federal Health Care Muggers.  The Democrats' agenda of "universal health care" is in deep trouble, as more Americans (including many "Blue Dog" congressional Democrats) are growing increasingly uneasy about the costs.  The Congressional Budget Office projects that the proposed House of Representatives plan could cost over $1 trillion dollars, rather than saving money.  A similar plan in place in Massachusetts since 2006 has led to skyrocketing costs, long waits for care, and higher taxes, without actually providing "universal" coverage.

The mother of unfunded mandates.  The Congressional Budget Office delivered a couple of blows to President Obama's health care proposals last week.  Fear of the trillion dollar costs and at least $240 billion in increased deficits are chasing away even Democrats.  And that's not the worst of it.  The price tag is actually much higher than reported because many of the real costs are paid for by others.  The $219 billion of "savings" touted by House Democrats refers to hospital and doctors getting less for their services.

Inside the Monstrous Obamacare Bureaucracy:  If you think government is too big and too costly, wait until Obamacare kicks in.  The Congressional Budget Office put the price tag of the House Democrats' health care takeover plans at $1.5 trillion over 10 years.  But the CBO's fine print included a telltale caveat:  "We have not yet estimated the administrative costs to the federal government of implementing the specified policies, nor have we accounted for all of the proposal's likely effects on spending for other federal programs."  You don't need an accounting degree or clairvoyant powers.  The administrative costs and spillover spending effects will be astronomical.

Insurance Is No Answer.  Health care "reformers" keep talking about getting us more health insurance.  Then they talk about cutting costs.  This is contradictory nonsense.  Insurance, whether private or a government Ponzi scheme like Medicare, means third parties pay the bills.  When someone else pays, costs always go up.

Government-run plans don't save money; they add costs.  Those who claim otherwise ignore history.
Government's Comedy of Errors.  Does anyone believe the federal government is a model of efficiency?  Oddly enough, superior government efficiency is a core argument offered by President Barack Obama and others pushing creation of a government-run health plan.  Obama claims, "If the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest and it will help keep their prices down."  And who would keep government honest?  Surely not the designated watchdogs, like the Inspectors-General personally fired by the President for catching a FOO (Friend of Obama) with his hand in the till.

Did someone mention Gerald Walpin?

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Reading Obama Care Bills Endangers Human Health.  Before America steps an inch closer to nationalized medicine, lawmakers and citizens alike should follow Betsy McCaughey's lead and read this bill.  Meanwhile, about the best one can say for Ted Kennedy's $1 trillion incarnation of ObamaCare is that House speaker Nancy Pelosi's $3.47 trillion version is even worse.

Obama's Cloudy Crystal Ball:  If his economic team was 2.5 million jobs off — and counting — in projecting unemployment just a few months into the future, how on earth can we trust their claims about all the money preventive care, information technology, and other such measures will save us on health care 10 or 20 years from now?

Stop and think about the cost per capita.  Private insurance is far cheaper.
Simple Healthcare Math:  The Washington Post reported that the CBO cost estimate for another draft version of the bill is $1.6 trillion.  In the same story, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) was quoted as saying the price tag easily could reach $2 trillion.  For sake of argument, let's assume the middle estimate of $1.6 trillion is valid and it would cover 16 million Americans.

AP sources: Senate health overhaul costs top $1.6 trillion.  Senate sources say the latest cost estimates for health care legislation are around $1.6 trillion over 10 years.

The cost of government health care.  Free health care is a very expensive proposition.  Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, are sponsoring a massive health care bill to extend coverage to 50 million Americans who supposedly do not have it.  On Tuesday [6/16/2009], the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of the Kennedy-Dodd health care bill would run to at least $1.6 trillion over 10 years and that it would cover just one-third of the so-called "uninsured."

A Trillion Dollars in Incompetence.  Bonaparte famously said to "never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence."  Thus stands the Kennedy health care bill, placeholder for the hard left dream of a government takeover of the American health system.  The bill is a taxpayer-supported monument to the lethal stupidity of this statist objective that will leave Americans with fewer choices, more government control over medical decisions, higher taxes, and a smaller private health insurance market (mostly union health plans paid for by taxes on the health benefits of non-union workers) that punishes efforts to reward healthy behavior.

Paying for Obamacare.  Much of the discussion to date about health care reform has understandably focused on the contents of the reform plan itself.  But with the plan expected to cost $1-1.5 trillion over the first ten years, an equally important question is how the president and congressional Democrats plan to pay for it.  While we won't know for certain until we see the final bill, it looks like the answer is going to be higher — much higher — taxes.  And many if not most of those taxes will fall squarely on the middle class.

Signing On to an Obama 'Dream'.  At a news conference yesterday [5/12/2009], President Obama said, "I will not rest until the dream of health-care reform is achieved in the United States of America."  Normally dreams cost you nothing, but Mr. Obama's determination not to rest until his becomes reality is likely to cost plenty.

The Cost of Free Government Health Care:  Proponents of government-run health care like to point out that countries with such a system spend a smaller percentage of their gross domestic product on health care than the United States.  What they don't like to mention is how those savings are achieved.  For example:  Patients lose the right to decide what treatment they'll receive.  Instead, patients receive whatever care politicians and bureaucratic number crunchers decide is "cost effective."

Upfront costs complicate Obama's health care plan.  Costs are emerging as the biggest obstacle to President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to provide health insurance for everybody.  The upfront tab could reach $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, while expected savings from wringing waste and inefficiency from the health care system may take longer to show.

The Editor asks...
Does anyone really expect government intervention to be the cure for "waste and inefficiency"?

Obama's Budget Chief Doesn't Know the Total Cost of Obama's Health-Care Plan.  Even President Obama's budget chief doesn't know how much it will eventually cost to enact the president's vision of health-care reform.  The proposed $3.5 trillion budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which would raise the federal deficit to $1.75 trillion, contains $634 billion for health-care reform to come from tax increases and "savings" in the medical system — money to expand health coverage for Americans currently without health insurance.

Bam's Bad Medicine.  President Obama's new budget dedicates $634 billion over the next 10 years to what he calls health reform.  He promises — or perhaps threatens — that this vast sum will be a down payment for universal coverage, which could require more than $1 trillion.

'Obama Robin Hood' announces $3.5 trillion budget.  US president Barack Obama has unveiled a $US3.5 trillion budget that outlines aggressive plans to boost the recession-stricken US economy, overhaul its health care system and hike taxes on the rich.

Time to Get Out the Iron.  In a much-hyped speech aimed at rejuvenating his health care push, Obama delivered a message that was strikingly similar to the one that has failed to resonate with the American people thus far. ... As he has done before, Obama pledged to veto any bill that added to the deficit.  But despite that commitment, the Congressional Budget Office has ruled that the House Democrats' health care legislation would create $230 billion in deficits over ten years.

The Ministry of Wellness.  As a restaurateur, I've been following the heath care debate especially attentively.  I have already determined that the health care bill, if passed, will cause a significant reduction in our net profits — depending on how many employees we can shed.  After reading the fifty or so pages of the Senate "Affordable Health Choices Act" devoted to "Employers' Responsibilities," I still have no idea whether my businesses are "small" or "large" — but I am pretty sure that it will cost me $100-$150 a month in bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll service fees just to find out.

The Three-Step Plan to Stop Nationalized Health Care.  Congressional Democrats, after all their faux wrangling, open bribery and bully tactics, are poised to reach agreement on a massive makeover of the American health system.  This makeover will bankrupt the insurance companies, raise premiums, and eventually lead to the full nationalization of health care.  That's what it is intended to do.

Merry Christmas:  Obamacare Slaps $15,000 Annual Fee on Middle Class Families.  The Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the final Senate health care bill indicates it would slap a mandatory annual fee of about $15,000 on middle-class families that earn an annual income greater than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($88,200 for a family of four) and are not provided with health insurance by their employer.

Pelosicare's Broken Window.  All credible evidence and opinion points toward the current "reform" plans increasing the cost of insurance and medical care.  Health insurance companies have said that premiums for almost everyone will rise, with prices doubling or tripling for many, particularly in the individual/family rather than employer group market.  When Democrats' plans to give everything to everyone for free or near-free and their intent to allow people to wait until they're sick before buying insurance (which would seem to defy the very definition of insurance, i.e. insuring against an unknown future event), take effect, costs will skyrocket.

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Updated September 5, 2022.

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