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  • Beat the Summer Heat with Food July 29, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely As we sit in the middle of summer, it seems as if the persistently sweltering heat will never end and the refreshing monsoon rains will never reach our doorstep. While waiting for the cooler days (and months) …
  • Thousands of Taxpayers Overpay Obamacare Tax Penalty July 27, 2015
    Over 300,000 Americans overpaid the IRS after indicating they did not have Obamacare-compatible health insurance. People who have household income below the threshold for the penalty are exempt from the individual mandate and should be refunded the amount, averaging $110, …
  • Eating Nuts Helps Your Heart July 24, 2015
    Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, which lower LDL cholesterol levels. Nuts also reduce the risk of developing fatal blood clots and improve the lining of your arteries. The type of nut isn’t that important, as most nuts are full of …
  • “Medjacking” is Real Possible Threat July 22, 2015
    Dr. David Armstrong, a podiatric surgeon and professor in the University of Arizona Department of Surgery, has joined forces with government security agencies to keep patients safe from medjacking. He is part of a cybersecurity committee for diabetes devices, which …
  • Ways to Handle Stress July 20, 2015
    Stress can be caused by many different situations, such as too much work, long lines, or heavy traffic. There are a few simple techniques to help you de-stress and unwind. 1. Positive Self-Talk We talk to ourselves both out loud …
  • A Remedy for Healthcare July 17, 2015
    This video is from a series called “Love Gov”, which personifies the government as an overprotective, possessive boyfriend who thinks he knows best for his dear Alexis. When it comes to healthcare, Gov thinks he needs to be involved in …
  • MediBid: A Free Market Fix – Interview with Ralph Weber at FreedomFest July 15, 2015
    Joe Thomas of WCHV, Charlottesville, VA interviews MediBid CEO Ralph Weber from FreedomFest in Las Vegas, NV July 2015. MediBid has doctors, surgery centers, and hospitals in ten countries. Most patients who use MediBid have employer-based and self-funded health insurance …
  • The American Heroin Epidemic July 13, 2015
    Heroin use in America traces back to the mid-1800s and is becoming more popular among people with historically low drug abuse. Prior addiction to prescription opioid painkillers is the strongest risk factor, making people 40 times more likely to start …
  • The Widowmaker: A Documentary Film July 10, 2015
    Award-winning documentary, The Widowmaker, has just been released on Netflix. It is the result of an Irish patient who discovered how the results of a heart scan saved his life and wondered why the test was not widely available. Cardiologists …
  • Brace Yourself: Large Health Insurance Premium Increases Coming 2016 July 8, 2015
    Health insurance companies want to increase their rates in the amount of 20-40% or more, since new Obamacare customers are sicker than expected. Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans hikes across the country of 23-54%. The insurance companies say that the increased …
  • Crowd-funding Helps with Medical Bills July 6, 2015
    Crowd-funding is growing as people work together to support projects such as charities, movie production, and now, paying medical bills. Indiegogo has seen an increase in personal fundraising for medical costs, so they started Indiegogo Life for personal purposes. Other …
  • A Healthy Body for Everybody – July Lab Specials July 3, 2015
    This is a great way to be proactive and keep up with your health as well as that of your loved ones. Women’s Health Check  $109 (Regular Price $179, Retail $823) This valuable package of laboratory tests is structured with …
  • Colonoscopies: Don’t Flush Your Money Down the Drain July 1, 2015
    Preventative medical procedures, such as colonoscopy, are now required to be covered by Obamacare health insurance plans, as well as the anesthesia it requires. What may be more uncomfortable than the procedure itself is the price of the bowel prep …
  • Taking Control of Your Medical Records June 29, 2015
    Leaving your health records solely in the hands of doctors and hospitals is a big mistake. This gives them too much power over your information and increases possibility for errors. When you are in control of your own records, you …
  • High Deductible Plans are Changing Patient Interaction June 26, 2015
    High deductible plans are changing where patients get medical care and how they pay for it. Once a bill exceeds 5% of household income, patients most likely cannot pay for it themselves. Major employers offer high deductible plans (an average …
  • Beet Juice Lowers Blood Pressure June 24, 2015
    A small study in London showed that drinking a cup of beetroot juice significantly lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients within six hours. After 24 hours, their blood pressure remained lower than those in the control group. The benefits come …
  • Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare Subsidies to Come This Week June 22, 2015
    by Jane Orient, MD The Big Lie of ObamaCare is in the title: the Affordable Care Act. Administration officials invoke “affordable” over and over again. The U.S. Supreme Court could well blow the Democrats’ cover in King v. Burwell if …
  • Shopping While Hungry Leads to Poor Eating All Week June 19, 2015
    A study at Cornell University examined the food selections that a group of shoppers put in their virtual online grocery cart. The shoppers that had not eaten four or five hours beforehand selected 23% more processed junk food than those …
  • Long ER Waits Continue in Canada as Budget Cuts Increase June 17, 2015
    Lee Parker of Ottawa had to wait 48 hours in the Emergency Room before being admitted for heart attack complications. He watched other patients come in, but since there was no room for them, they lay on gurneys in the …
  • Health Benefits of Cucumbers June 15, 2015
    There are hundreds of varieties of cucumber and dozens of colors. Cucumbers are a fruit, not a vegetable, as most people think. They are a good source of phytonutrients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. The peel and seeds are …

Preparing for the obamacare Exchanges

Some states are very anxious to install an obamacare exchange. I think it has to do with addiction to government money. Legislators don’t always understand that the government doesn’t actually make any money (other than running printing presses). It is the citizens and residents who make money. The government simply takes it from us, and borrows it from China. So when you hear the term “federal monies”, these are your dollars and mine.

http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2011/09/22/preparing-for-exchanges/

By JOHN GRAHAM

What is the biggest waste of effort in American health care today?

I’d suggest it is the hustle and bustle to establish PPACA’s Health Benefits Exchanges.  The health insurers’ trade association, AHIP, has an entire educational series on “preparing for exchanges.”  The likelihood of exchanges being up and running by January 2014 is vanishingly close to zero.  Indeed, they may not exist at all except in very few states – whether or not President Obama wins re-election.

Last January, I wrote in The Health Care Blog that states should not collaborate with the federal government in establishing exchanges.  Almost all states have taken this course.  Recent days have brought forward new evidence that exchanges are facing even bigger problems than previously understood.  The New York Times reports that Republican state senators are blocking a bill that would allow the state to establish an exchange and claim federal handouts to get it up and running. (A few weeks previously, Kansas governor Brownback actually sent a $31.5 million federal PPACA grant back to D.C.).

If they can’t get a PPACA exchange up and running in New York, of all places, where the heck will they? Only 13 states have passed pro-exchange legislation (and some of these bills don’t do much more than establish study groups).

Republican state politicians are clearly hardening their stance against exchanges. It appears that they are no longer fooled by the argument that if they do no collaborate to establish state-based exchanges, the federal government will enter their state and do it for them. Recent close reading of the law has debunked this notion. As written, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has (at least) two clauses that will prevent this from happening – even if the Obama Administration had the operational capacity to establish federal exchanges (which it does not.  That’s why it desperately pitched “Partnership Options” to states the other day.)

First, courtesy of Investors’ Business Daily’s David Hogberg and the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon, we learn that federal exchanges will not be able to funnel the gusher of refundable tax credits to individuals who enroll in them.  The gist of the argument is that the law only allows state-established exchanges to funnel the tax credits. If a state fails to establish an exchange, and the federal government steps in, that exchange is not eligible for the tax credits.  Neither Hogberg nor Cannon cite it, but it appears that they are referring to section 1401 of PPACA (on page 110 of this version), which clearly refers to section 1311 (state-based exchanges) as eligible for the tax credits, and does not mention section 1321 (federal exchanges).

Please read the section yourself. I hate to play barrack-room lawyer, but I’m 80% to 90% sure that Hogberg and Cannon are right.  Writing in The Health Care Blog, Professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost makes an argument that no court would accept this interpretation – even though it’s what the law states!  (The reconciliation act, which Professor Jost cites, does not amend this constraint.  It merely demands that federal exchanges report any tax credits, not provide them.)  As for “standing,” Hogberg notes that any business (in a state with a federal exchange) which is fined for not providing health benefits, should have strong claim to standing.

Maybe it is ridiculous to think that a court would actually adjudicate what the law states, rather than what its proponents wish it to state.  But courts do interesting things.  When I first heard that some attorneys general were planning to challenge PPACA’s constitutionality, I thought they were in fantasyland.  Today, the law hangs by a judicial threat, and will eventually be adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Second, as I noted in a recent article, states can also stop federal exchanges by threatening to pull the licenses of health insurers which intend to participate in them (p. 58 of this version). The law defines a “qualified health plan” as one that is “licensed and in good standing in each State…”, and only qualified health plans can participate in exchanges.

So, federal exchanges have a double whammy against them. States have learned not to fear that the federal government will step in and operate exchanges for them. Health IT vendors and other businesses that are investing in winning business from exchanges would be well advised to cut their losses, and reinvest in more fruitful business development.

John R. Graham is Director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, & Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.



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