HHS Granted $3.7 Billion to Help States Set Up Their Own Exchanges

By: Tuesday July 2, 2013 8:35 am

Creating roughly a hundred new health insurance exchanges, one for individuals and one for small businesses in each state, is not cheap. So far the Department of Health and Human Services has rewarded about $3.7 billion in exchange grants to the states according to a new Government Accountability Office report. Most of the money is [...]

Government to Spend Roughly $340 Per Enrollee – Just to Operate Federal Exchanges

By: Tuesday April 16, 2013 6:57 am

Next year the federal government should spend over $340 on each person enrolled in the federally-run exchanges just to operate these marketplaces. My estimates are based on the new Health and Human Services (HHS) budget and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports. It puts per enrollee federal exchange spending at $341 for fiscal year 2014.* To [...]

What if the Deficit Hawks Already Got their $4 Trillion and Nobody Noticed It?

By: Tuesday January 29, 2013 6:54 am

For several years now, the so called “deficit hawks” have been demanding that the federal government get $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, because somehow that is the magical number to stop some vague disaster, which also seems to be exactly a few years on the horizon. The push for a mythic [...]

How the Supreme Court Indirectly Protected Medicaid from Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 12:49 pm

The Supreme Court’s decision to make the Medicaid expansion option may have indirectly protected the program from cuts during the current fiscal cliff negotiations.

ACA’s Much Touted Health Insurance Premium Review Is Basically Useless

By: Wednesday May 9, 2012 7:36 am

In the Affordable Care Act the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was given the power to review health insurance premium increases, but it wasn’t given the power to actually do anything about unreasonable increases.  HHS can only say an increase is “unreasonable,” but it has zero regulatory power to force the companies to [...]

Obama Birth Control Compromise Is Popular

By: Thursday February 23, 2012 7:21 am

The “compromise” President Obama worked out to provide free birth control to women even if they work at institutions affiliated with religious groups that oppose contraception is broadly popular according to Quinnipiac polling. American voters approve 54 – 38 percent of Obama’s compromise concerning insurance coverage for birth control for employees of religious-affiliated institutions. Men [...]

Obama’s Deeply Paternalistic Statement on Plan B Decision

By: Thursday December 8, 2011 10:34 am

This is a pure expression of male paternalism regarding women being able to make their own reproductive decisions. From USA Today: President Obama said today that “as the father of two daughters,” he supports his health secretary’s decision to block over-the-counter sales of the Plan B “morning after” birth control pill to girls under 17 [...]

Plan B Reminder: Obama Controls the Executive Branch at All Levels

By: Thursday December 8, 2011 8:59 am

Yesterday the United States Department of Health and Human Services did something extraordinary. For the first time ever, the HHS secretary publicly overruled the Food and Drug Administration. After a careful, lengthy and scientific review, the FDA came to the conclusion that the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, should be available over the counter. In what [...]

HHS Likely Forced to Create Many States’ Health Exchanges

By: Monday August 29, 2011 10:32 am

With less than three years until most aspects of the new health care law start, only 10 states have passed legislation creating new health insurance exchanges according to a report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (PDF). The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up these exchanges; and if a state fails [...]

State Health Exchange Boards Filled with Individuals Tied to Insurance Industry

By: Thursday August 25, 2011 8:37 am

The recently appointed Connecticut state health care exchange board contains three former high ranking private insurance executives. From the CT Mirror: The members of the new panel include three former insurance executives, the head of a coalition of health plans for unionized workers, the head of a green energy business, and a health policy scholar [...]