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Even Walmart can’t handle Obamacare

Earlier this week, Walmart Stores, the largest retailer in the world, announced that effective January 1, it will terminate health insurance[1] coverage for 30,000 part-time employees. Sadly, Walmart is just the latest in a string of retailers – including Home Depot and Target – forced to cut health coverage due to rising costs as a result of the Affordable Care Act. According to one Walmart official, “This year, the expenses were significant, and led us to make some tough decisions.” The company went on to say that the Affordable Care Act prompted larger-than-expected numbers of Walmart employees to enroll in health plans, driving up the ...

Texas almost opens the door to Obamacare Medicaid exchanges

Last week, the Texas House almost opened the door to expanded Medicaid coverage via the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, conservatives stepped up to prevent this disaster from happening. The Texas Tribune has the story: Hours after approving the measure, the Texas House backpedaled on an amendment to the 2013-14 budget that would have opened the door to negotiations on expanding Medicaid, a key provision of federal health care reform. “A lot of us didn’t really understand what was taking place,” said state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, who voted in favor of the amendment earlier in the day, then joined a united House Republican delegation in ...

News Briefing for Monday, April 27

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare Leaves Behind Millions Of Lower Income Workers “Despite being designed to help the poor, certain aspects of Obamacare are holding millions of individuals back who fall into what is being called the “coverage gap.” Reverend Vann R. Ellison, the president of the Florida based St. Matthew’s House, is trying to bring attention to the issue which he says affects people that fall between the $10,000 and $12,000 a year income range. St. Matthew’s House, which takes care of roughly 1,500 people, provides food and shelter to those individuals trying to work their way out of poverty. “We generally deal with lower income ...

Legislative Update for 04/27/15

Listen to the Podcast here: CALENDAR: The House will return Tuesday, with no votes scheduled before 6:30 PM. It’s a short week – there are no votes scheduled after 3 PM on Thursday. The Senate will return tomorrow, with no votes scheduled before 5:30 PM. We anticipate they’ll be in all week. LAST WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: The House took up and passed the two Cybersecurity bills we discussed last week – H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 – and also took up and passed H.R. 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act. THIS WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: The House will begin its work Tuesday with votes on seven ...

News Briefing for April 25

HEALTHCARE: ObamaCare penalty could be too low, analysis finds “A new analysis highlights that it is often cheaper for people to pay ObamaCare’s penalty for not having health insurance than to buy coverage, meaning the penalty might be too low to spur middle-income people to get covered.  The analysis from the consulting firm Avalere Health finds that for people making less than 200 percent of the poverty line, or about $23,000, purchasing insurance is usually cheaper because of income-based subsidies under the law. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2015 is $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater. But for healthy ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 23, 2015

HEALTHCARE: Another Side Effect of Obamacare: Increased Food Stamp Enrollment? “Expanded Medicaid under Obamacare could be responsible for more people signing up for food stamps, the Associated Press reported. That’s because so many state agencies are making it simpler to enroll in multiple government assistance programs at once if they are eligible for Medicaid. In New Mexico, enrollment for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, grew by 5 percent in 14 months. “We attribute the increase in SNAP to Medicaid expansion,” New Mexico Human Services Department Deputy Secretary Sean Pearson told the AP. ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, April 21

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare is benefitting the biggest hospitals and insurers, and that's not a good thing “These days, when liberals defend Obamacare, they often say something along the lines of, Look, Obamacare can't be that bad, even big business likes it! A writer at the liberal Mother Jones defended Obamacare by pointing out that the largest hospital chain in America is fighting to save the law. Wendell Potter, at the Center for Public Integrity, seems to think it's a rebuke to Obamacare's critics that the nation's largest health insurer is making bank off the law: Anyone who still thinks the Affordable Care Act was a "government takeover of ...

News Briefing for Monday, April 20

HEALTHCARE: Group Takes On Insurance Companies Over Obamacare “Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, challenged the president of Humana Thursday for his support of Obamacare during a shareholder’s meeting. Danhof took aim at Bruce D. Broussard, president of the insurance giant Humana, over his support of Obamacare, particularly in light of ongoing legal challenges. Broussard defended his position arguing healthcare is a right and therefore must be respected, an answer Danhof disputed. “I think at Humana, we have one fundamental belief and that is that individuals have the right to receive health ...

News Briefing for April 18

HEALTHCARE: Under Obamacare, Competition Is Costly For Consumers “Normally, market competition is good for consumers. More competition generally means competitors are battling each other to lower their prices and/or raise the quality of their goods. But when it comes to Obamacare, the market is working backwards, at least for people receiving health insurance subsidies through the exchanges. The more competitive the marketplace, often the more people have to pay for insurance. How did this happen? The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, created a series of exchanges where people can shop for health insurance if they don’t already receive it from ...

News Briefing for Friday, April 17

HEALTHCARE: 27.49% of Everyone's Tax Bill Is Spent on Health Care Share of Each Taxpayer Dollar Spent on Health Care Up 22 Percent Since 2012. “Every year since 2011, the White House has used tax time to post a "Federal Taxpayer Receipt" showing taxpayers how their federal tax dollars are being spent. President Obama introduced the concept in his 2011 State of the Union address, and Wednesday the White House posted the fifth installment so taxpayers can see how "tax dollars are being spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, and health care."  While users can punch in their own tax liability and see dollar amounts assigned to each ...