Health Care

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The Obama Administration called for numerous significant changes to rules controlling the Obamacare health care program. But the benefit of these changes for enrollees is highly doubtful. What’s next for Obamacare and will the Administration have to pull it back at some point?

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Anyone who has listened to the Gruber tapes has heard Prof. Gruber’s repeated references to the “three-legged stool” that forms the core of Obamacare. However, those who pay close attention to his remarks may have detected that Gruber enthusiastically endorses (and Obamacare contains) a more sinister three-legged stool of deception regarding employer health plans.

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President Barack Obama walks with senior advisors on the Colonnade of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Obama administration has wisely decided to lower expectations about new health coverage under the Affordable Care Act in the hope that by setting the bar low enough even mediocre enrollment gains become a political victory. That can hardly be considered a sign that Obamacare is working.

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Republicans won a resounding victory in the midterm election in November 2014, but that was just the beginning of their work. To be trusted with control of the White House in 2017, Republicans will need to demonstrate that they have the strategic vision, tactical skill, and ability to execute on a coherent agenda between now and the next presidential election, which is less than two years away.

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While overall generic prices continue to fall, some generic drugs have soared in price, leading to attention from consumers and policy makers alike.

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The competition between branded and generic drug makers has enabled remarkable advances in science, and vibrant competition on price. Recently, questions have been raised as to whether this competitive landscape is at risk.

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Economist Jonathan Gruber speaks at a conference of the Workers Compensation Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, March 12, 2014. Reuters

Recently, MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber has made comments about how Obamacare was designed to deceive the American voter. However, focusing on these statements hides the fact that the legislation did not make economic sense.

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Federal policy often tilts the playing field, picks winners and losers, and rewards well-connected insiders, contributing to the public perception that the ‘game’ is rigged and harming economic growth. AEI scholars have identified a few policy changes that lawmakers can pursue if they want to combat cronyism and corporate welfare.

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The Obamacare task force’s recommendations on which services should and should not be covered made by the insurance seem to conflict with the individual physicians’ recommendations more often than some would expect. Not surprisingly, those decisions are greatly influenced by politics and thanks to Obamacare designers, regular citizens have no way to comment, sue or appeal them.

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As soon as Jonathan Gruber appeared on major news outlets of the country this week, Democrats  started distancing themselves from Obamacare architect for the same reason conservatives thanked him: he exposed what liberals really think of the American people. Shocking videos of Gruber calling Americans ‘stupid’ appeared just days before the start of Obamacare open enrollment.

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