Big Employers Work To Weaken Insurance Mandate
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Internal Revenue Service, along with two other agencies, is in the midst of figuring out messy questions related to enforcing this health law provision. In other news, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf offers bleak predictions about future prospects of bending the curve for health care costs. He offered some suggestions for possible reductions, including rolling back the health law's Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies.
The Wall Street Journal: Employers Lobby To Weaken Insurance Mandate
It is three years before most of the new health care law kicks in, but already some of America's largest employers are peppering the Internal Revenue Service with concerns that making the changes will be far more complex than they anticipated. At issue is one of the law's central requirements: employers with 50 or more full-time workers must offer affordable insurance or pay a penalty. It sounds simple enough. But in crafting the rules, the IRS and two other federal agencies are now tackling basic yet messy questions, such as who counts as a full-time worker and how do companies measure whether insurance is "affordable" (Adamy, 7/13).
CQ HealthBeat: Roll Back Medicaid Expansion? An Unappetizing Menu Of Health Savings From CBO
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf on Tuesday painted a gloomy scenario of health costs steadily crawling upward, offering business leaders six specific possibilities for reductions. On the top of his list was rolling back the Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies mandated in the health care law. Elmendorf, who is officially nonpartisan, stressed in his remarks at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum that he was not suggesting what Congress should do about federal health program costs, a main issue in ongoing deficit reduction negotiations. This year the federal government will spend more than $1 trillion on health care, amounting to more than a quarter of the budget and 7 percent of the gross domestic product (Norman, 7/12).
The Fiscal Times: Rising Health Care Curve Won't Bend, Even For Obama
A forthcoming report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that more than two dozen demonstrations projects launched by Medicare and Medicaid over the past decade have failed to stop the upward march of health care costs, CBO director Doug Elmendorf said Tuesday. But health care policy experts say the findings paint too gloomy a picture (Goozner, 7/13).