Tough Pill to Swallow: Oregon Faces a $500M Medicaid Deficit

In December 2012, the federal government agreed to give Oregon $1.9 billion over five years to support the state’s efforts to reform the way it delivers Medicaid services.
Less than three years later, with the end of the federal largesse on the horizon, Oregon is looking at a projected $500 million deficit.

The Newest Obamacare Fail: Penalties of $36,500 Per Worker

Hey, employers, don’t even think about reimbursing your workers’ health-insurance premiums. Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm.

Health Care Tax Faces United Opposition From Labor and Employers

A new coalition comprising major corporations, including Cigna and Pfizer, as well as union groups and associations, called the Alliance to Fight the 40, plans to begin a formal campaign against the tax later this month. Called the Cadillac tax, it applies to an individual policy costing more than $10,200 a year and a family policy over $27,500. The tax goes into effect in 2018.

A Revolution in How Doctors Are Paid Isn’t Really Changing How Doctors Are Paid

A new study published Monday in the Annals of Family Medicine examined how doctors have been making money in this brave new world vs. the status quo, and found pretty negligible differences. Doctors who worked at an accountable care organizations had slightly more of their incomes tied to quality — two percentage points more than doctors in traditional practices.

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

A 2008 lottery extending Medicaid to selected residents allowed for a randomized study on the impact of Medicaid coverage. While enrollment increased the probability that people reported themselves to be in good to excellent health (compared with fair or poor health) by 24 percent, certain objective measures of physical health did not show significant signs of improvement.

The ACA and Insurance Rate Hikes

For two years Obama pretended premium rates are the only health insurance costs that matter – ignoring high deductibles or out-of-network costs to which the much-ballyhooed ACA tax subsidies are inapplicable. If premiums go up, it’s a failure attributable to the architecture of the ACA, not the foreseeable failures of state regulation.

Washington Supreme Court: Health Department Overstepped Authority on Hospital Deals

A Washington State Supreme Court ruling Thursday found the state’s health department overstepped its authority in trying to more closely regulate hospital deals. A new rule passed in January 2014 meant that, before completing an official affiliation or partnership, hospitals would have had to go through lengthier state health department reviews. The court decision today invalidates that rule.

Washington Uninsured Rate Drops Dramatically Post Obamacare

Washington state was also just one of two states with a decrease in the number of people who enrolled through the state exchange from its first year to its second year. Despite falling short of that enrollment goal, Washington managed to cut the uninsured rate in the state to 8.65 percent this year.