‘Top’ Republican: This time Obamacare is really going to collapse

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) talks to the media after a weekly Senate caucus luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4TQMT

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) probably talking about Obamacare’s demise. Again.

This is it, guys. This time Obamacare really is going to collapse under its own weight. Sure, Republicans have said that every year, but this time it’s really going to happen. So says Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), “the No. 4 Senate Republican.”

“Unless something dramatic happens, this may be the year of the health care law’s collapse,” Barrasso wrote Monday in a Washington Times op-ed. “Prices keep rising and service keeps fading. It should not surprise the administration that people are not signing up.” The senator said premiums are rising even as the choices of doctors and insurance plans are shrinking.
“As people log on to the government exchanges this year, they will see the telltale signs of Obamacare’s impending failure,” he adds. “These include: costs soaring, cancellations mounting, and choices disappearing.”

Uh-huh. Yes, we’ve heard that

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Montana becomes 30th state to expand Medicaid

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock

The Obama administration has given final approval to Montana’s Medicaid expansion waiver, clearing the state to move ahead and expand coverage to as many as 70,000 Montanans. The plan includes a requirement that beneficiaries pay premiums that amount to 2 percent of their income, and that provision required federal government sign-off.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ approval of the federal waiver needed for state officials to start enrollment this fall and begin coverage on Jan. 1. […]
Bullock’s original expansion plan stalled in this year’s legislative session and was replaced by a compromise bill sponsored by Sen. Ed Buttrey, R-Great Falls.

Lawmakers passed that measure, but the state needed a waiver by the federal government because of the changes, such as charging premiums and outsourcing the program’s administration to a third party.

The plan also requires that patients make the

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Got (or need) Obamacare? Once again, you need to shop around

Screenshot of banner on healthcare.gov for 2016

In its third year of implementation, Obamacare enrollments haven’t yet shaken out to a stable and predictable pattern. It’s the same in the health insurance market as a whole, but people pay a lot more attention to this one, so you’re hearing more about it. The first rush of enrollments by the most informed and the most in need of insurance was completed in the first two rounds, so enrollments will be down this time. For those enrolling for the first time—and re-enrolling—Jonathon Cohn has an overview of the things to know going in.
The first thing is don’t necessarily assume that premiums are going to be really high based on what you’re hearing in the news. Premiums are going to be all over the place, depending on where you live and what plans you have available to you and your individual circumstances. While overall “the cost of the cheapest

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Obamacare faces enrollment challenges in its third year

A supporter of the Affordable Care Act celebrates after the Supreme Court up held the law in the 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTR4YXO1

The third open enrollment period for Obamacare opened Sunday, with the Obama administration setting low expectations for enrollment growth. Politico profiles a town in Texas that demonstrates some of the challenges the administration faces in growing enrollment now that the law is in its third year of implementation.

In rural Borden County, 12 people signed up for Obamacare this year.
Livid over the government telling them they must buy something and loath to take anything that looks like a “handout, the uninsured here are likely to stay that way. As Obamacare’s third open enrollment season began Sunday, this rock-solid conservative community of about 650 people offers a window into the challenges health law advocates face to expand coverage around the country. […]

Low awareness about the benefits remains a challenge nationwide; a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey found that 59 percent of uninsured people lack knowledge about the tax

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‘Death by poverty’ in Idaho

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS)   - RTX17Z1K

This one’s on you, Chief Justice Roberts.

Idaho is one of the red states that refused Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that saved the law as a whole, but further politicized Medicaid and condemned millions of people to being without health insurance—and condemned some to death. Idahoan Jenny Steinke is dead, killed by an asthma attack, but more specifically killed by the Republican party. Steinke died on September 1, the day her husband’s brand new insurance from the only job either of them has had that offered benefits kicked in. Steinke had been self-treating her asthma buy getting short-acting inhalers when she could from a community health clinic, and by buying extra short-acting inhalers from friends. Because she wasn’t being treated regularly for her asthma, here’s what she didn’t know.

“Several times a week I see people who have delayed medical care

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What’s the truth about rate increases under Obamacare? It’s complicated.

Six-month-old Hazel Garcia chews a pamphlet at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, California March 27, 2014. More than 6 million people have now signed up for private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law know

Obamacare premium rates are skyrocketing! Obamacare premium rates decrease! So which is it? That depends on where you live and what plan you’re on. But as Jonathon Cohn details, overall increases are going to be relatively modest—though there are going to be some large spikes in some areas. And in those areas, competition will likely provide more affordable alternatives. Which is kind of how the marketplace works and also pretty much how the law was designed.

[A]fter two years of premiums that seemed surprisingly low, at least by the standards of private health insurance in the U.S., some insurers are raising prices to adjust. That’s the source of the big hikes that have the attention of Trump and other Affordable Care Act critics. And it’s why, according to ACAsignups.net blogger Charles Gaba, premiums would rise between 12 and 13 percent on average if everybody who currently

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Republicans plan to kick off the holiday season by repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood

U.S. Senator John Cornyn speaks to the media following the weekly Republican Senate policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Senate Republicans are eagerly planning November votes on something old and something a little newer. The something old: Obamacare repeal, of course. The something a little newer (but still already stale): defunding Planned Parenthood. The plan is to use reconciliation to get these things all the way to President Obama’s veto pen.

The Senate will likely take up a package to repeal key parts of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood sometime in November, the chamber’s second-ranking Republican said Wednesday. […]
The House passed the reconciliation package last week. And Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said the legislation was headed to the Senate floor in the coming weeks, and that a vote-a-rama – a marathon series of votes – was coming.

“My expectation is that it’d be sometime this fall,” Cornyn told reporters. “The week or so before Thanksgiving looks like a good opportunity.

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