“…we’ll tell them they can keep their plans…”

The total cost of setting up, fixing and continuing to operate Healthcare.gov is reported to be over $2.2 billion.  So far. More details here.

Under Obamacare, the numbers of Americans eligible for Medicaid increased by over 9 million in the last year.  Also under the healthcare law, funding for Medicaid saw a TEMPORARY increase of funding through 2014.  Now the funding returns to its normal levels, just as Medicaid enrollment peaks at 68.5 million*.  It is estimated that Medicaid payments for primary care services will drop by about 40-50%.  (Read more here.)

*This means more than 1 in 5 Americans is currently covered by Medicaid.  Medicaid is funded jointly with Federal and state tax dollars.

President Obama has “reset” relations with Russia, Iran, North Korea, the Middle East and now with Cuba.

While we have yet to see the impact of “normalization” with Cuba, we can see the results of this administration’s willingness to negotiate and capitulate to hostile and despotic governments.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services touted the slowing of cost growth for health services.  In other words, health care costs are still going up, just slower than they were a couple years ago.  Medicare, private health care insurance and employer provided health insurance spending decreased.  Medicaid spending increased 6.1%.  This, according to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, shows that Obamacare is working.

Of course, this report leaves out the fact that people are using fewer healthcare services now.  Hospitals are seeing a significant decline in admissions, a trend that is expected to continue.  Workers with employer provided health care coverage are also using fewer outpatient services.  This isn’t surprising given the high deductibles, copayments and coinsurance that are now part of most government approved health care plans.  New Medicare policies also incentivize hospitals and doctors minimizing the amount of care provided.

Demand is down because costs have shifted from the insurer to the patient, which is noted by the CMS report itself: “In 2013, households accounted for the largest share of spending (28 percent).”  With many workers facing decreased earnings and increased costs, any elective or non-emergency health care procedures must be put off.  That is why costs are growing slowly.  Spending is down because usage is down.  Usage is down because patient out-of-pocket costs are up.  This is not what we were promised.

 

 

Today a federal district court judge ruled that President Obama’s Executive Order not to enforce immigration deportation rules goes beyond prosecutorial discretion and is therefore unconstitutional.  Judge Arthur Schwab’s decision is available (through the Washington Post) here.  This Memorandum Opinion in this criminal case will NOT set aside the President’s order and has only advisory power.