Obama Administration Let Opponents Define the Affordable Care Act

The Democrats’ strategy seems to have been to say as little as possible about why reform was needed and how the final law would protect us from insurance industry abuses.

When I saw the news coverage of White House health care adviser Jonathan Gruber’s remarks, in which he essentially called Americans stupid, I thought of the old saying, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?”

My next thought was, who’s being stupid here?

Gruber is an MIT health economist

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Health Insurers Win Midterm Election!

Stock prices climb as companies target changes in Affordable Health Care Act.

Republicans weren’t the only big winners in last Tuesday’s election. So were health insurance companies, many of which spent heavily to influence the outcome.

There are several provisions of the Affordable Care Act that the insurance industry would like the next Congress to change. If insurers get what they want—and with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress, it’s a decent bet they will—Wall Street

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Insurers Spending Cash, Spreading Fear in High-Stakes California Showdown

A well-funded distortion of Proposition 45.

As I predicted two months ago, California voters have been bombarded by a group with a consumer-friendly name warning that a vote for a ballot initiative tomorrow would allow “one politician” to “interfere” with their health care treatment options.

Proposition 45 would not do that, but California’s biggest health insurers have spent $57 million of their customers’ precious premium dollars trying to persuade voters into thinking that it would.

The insurers have been

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Defeat of California Iinitiative Would Protect Insurers’ Profits

Proposition 45 would allow state to reject rate hikes.

For the next two months, Californians will to be subjected to a barrage of TV, radio and online ads, which, ironically, they unknowingly will be paying for with their health insurance premiums.

The ads are a part of a multi-pronged, multimillion dollar campaign — developed by public relations, advertising firms and political consultants for the state’s biggest insurers — to convince voters that an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot designed

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Washington’s Cynical Misinformation Game

Distortion now a standard part of political discourse on health care.

In most of our country’s major institutions, we have little tolerance for cheating and lying. Whether it’s the court system, schools, businesses, even our sports teams, we impose stiff sanctions against those who deceive us to gain some advantage.

If convicted of lying on the witness stand, you’ll pay a fine and possibly wind up in jail. If caught cheating on a test, you’ll probably fail the course or

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Dire Predictions of Endless Waits for a Doctor Have Proven Unfounded

Critics falsely claimed Obamacare would make matter worse.

Among the many predictions of Obamacare-related catastrophe was that the law, by enabling millions to join the ranks of the insured, would force us all to wait longer to see a doctor and very possibly lead to a code blue for U.S. health care.

“Doctor shortage, increased demand could crash health care system,” A CNN report warned last October.

A few months earlier, a Forbes headline predicted that, “Thanks to Obamacare, a

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Attack Ads May Actually Be Benefiting Obamacare Enrollment

Positive or negative, publicity seems to be increasing awareness.

It’s encouraging that something positive can come from something so unrelentingly negative.

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, its opponents have spent an estimated $450 million on political ads attacking the law, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, which analyzes spending on advertising.  Supporters have spent a tiny fraction of that amount. Kantar says opponents have outspent those who favor the law by 15 to 1.

While those

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Health Insurance Lobby Keeps Medicare Advantage Overpayments Flowing

Center series documented abuses, but don’t expect action from Congress.

A year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that health insurers may have fleeced taxpayers out of $70 billion in just five years.

You would think members of Congress in both parties would be so outraged they’d be launching their own investigation and railing against the “fraud and abuse” they decry on the campaign trail.

But I’m not holding out much hope. That’s because I know just

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Shameful Coverage of Obamacare’s Real Impacts

Journalism that focuses on political sniping does public a disservice.

If you read my column last week about a Senate hearing that showed how Obamacare has affected Americans, you might have wondered if I was in the same room with reporters who presumably covered the event.

The disparity goes a long way toward explaining why so many of us are clueless about the actual impact the law is having on our lives.

The title of the May 21 Senate

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Forcing Health Insurers to Do What’s Right

Obamacare’s ‘medical loss ratio’ rule has benefited consumers.

The first time I blew the whistle on health insurance companies was during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in June 2009. Last Wednesday, almost five years later, I appeared before that committee again to give a progress report on how Americans have been benefiting since Congress enacted reforms in 2010 that changed the way insurance companies operate.

Among the practices I brought to the panel’s attention back in 2009 were those insurers

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