Consumer Power Report

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The Agony of Jonathan Gruber, Redux

Consumer Power Report #444 As you’ve probably heard by now, Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, has stepped in it again – and loudly. Mollie Hemingway responds: “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.” He explained, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really,...

Election Begins an Obamacare Negotiation

Consumer Power Report #443 The 2014 election will have an enormous impact on a number of policy discussions, but in no arena of policy will the impact be felt as thoroughly as Obamacare. With the Senate in Republican hands and more than 30 governorships headed to the GOP – including key pickups or defenses in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin – Obamacare will now face unprecedented opposition and challenges. What shape will those challenges take...

“Exchanges Have Become Like Medicaid”

Consumer Power Report #442 Elisabeth Rosenthal of The New York Times reports on the growing push by providers to make up the difference from lost insurance revenue with a host of new charges: As insurers ratchet down payments to physicians and hospitals, these providers are pushing back with a host of new charges: Ophthalmologists are increasingly levying separate “refraction fees” to assess vision acuity. Orthopedic clinics impose fees to put an arm in a cast or provide a splint, in addition...

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