Cover Oregon Recommendeds Shutting Itself Down

By: Thursday April 24, 2014 1:16 pm

Oregon has, by far, the most trouble-ridden of all the 14 state-created Affordable Care Act exchanges. Half a year after it should have been up the site is still not work so a group of employees are recommending they simply pull the plug and replace it with the federal exchange. From Portland Business Journal: Cover Oregon’s [...]

How Large Was the Pool of People Who Didn’t Get to Keep Their Coverage?

By: Thursday April 24, 2014 11:18 am

A big issue last year was the collective realization that President Obama’s promise that “if you liked your coverage you can keep it” was simply not true. Exactly how many people were actually affected by this broken promise this year, though, is tough to gauge. In an attempt to put it in context a new [...]

FDA to Begin Regulating E-Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

By: Thursday April 24, 2014 7:52 am

The federal government is getting involved in the rapidly growing electronic cigarette industry. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed extending its authority over tobacco product including cigars, pipes, nicotine gels, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes. Currently, the FDA regulates only cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Under the proposed rules e-cigarette makers will need to [...]

Climate Change Skepticism Has Become a Defining Characteristic for the GOP

By: Tuesday April 22, 2014 7:59 am

Skepticism about global warming has effectively become a tribal signifier among Republicans. This is what it looks like when an issue becomes fully politicized by party. On this issue a person’s partisan leaning is now more important than age, gender, income or education when it comes to how you see the issue. From Gallup: There [...]

College Is Biggest Financial Worry for the Young While for the Old It Is Health Care

By: Monday April 21, 2014 10:48 am

By far the top financial problem for young people is paying for college, but for older people it is health care. These two have an interesting inverse relationship with age, with young people being relatively unconcerned about health care cost and seniors not facing problems paying for college. From Gallup: It is probably not surprising [...]

Obama Touts 8 Million Exchange Sign Ups

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 1:34 pm

Now that the official open enrollment closed last month and the extended quasi-open period ended a few days ago President Obama held a rare press conference to tout  the final numbers for Obamacare this year. The big number is 8 million people have selected a plan on the new exchanges created by the Affordable Care [...]

Will Bad Policy Turn People Against Technology?

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 11:37 am

Pew Research has an interesting new poll about people’s opinions on technology and the future, but I think the question most relevant to current policy debates is how optimistic people are about technological advancement. By a margin of two-to-one Americans think technological changes will make people’s lives mostly better, yet if you look into that number [...]

GOP Can’t Help But Take Their Obamacare Attacks Too Far

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 9:53 am

The Affordable Care Act will not fulfill many of the bigger promises President Obama once made. If Republicans would just focus on how the law falls short of Obama’s benchmarks they would have plenty of political fodder, but they seem compelled to push their attacks so far they become completely unhinged from reality. A perfect [...]

Grading Exchange Premiums on a Curve

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 7:56 am

Some new analysis of enrollment on the exchanges predicts about a 7 percent increase in premiums next year. From USA Today: Statisticians working with insurers to project next year’s insurance premium rates say they expect to see an average increase of about 7%, well below the feared double-digit increases making recent headlines. “The double-rate increases [...]

Medicaid Works Well at Expanding Coverage

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 7:13 am

That should be the simple conclusion from this new Gallup data. They found that there was a noticeable drop in the uninsured in states that took part in the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act –  but a much slower drop in the states that did not. From Gallup: Looking at the [...]