December 30, 2012
It's difficult to catalogue all the negative impacts of Obamacare in one place. Nevertheless, my readers deserve to know a few of the uglier details as the new year rings in one of the most expensive, convoluted policy experiments in American history. •Lost in the hysteria surrounding Obamacare's 20 new tax increases is the law's surcharge of 0.9 percent on wages and salaries and 3.8 percent on investment income. This is another levy directed at small business owners. You know - the ones who are supposed to ramp up hiring to spark our economic recovery.
September 30, 2012
Maryland Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein and his co-authors were right on the money in their recent commentary regarding the importance of making health care more affordable as the state goes about implementing federal health reform ("Caring about costs, too," Sept. 27). We at the Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition applaud his vision and embrace the opportunity to transform Maryland's health care system to reduce costs, improve health outcomes and achieve health equity.
September 27, 2012
By establishing a health benefit exchange and expanding Medicaid coverage, Maryland is on a path to extend access to affordable health care to hundreds of thousands of individuals, families and small businesses. For our progress to be sustainable, however, the growth in health care spending must be slowed and brought into balance. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, health spending in 1999 averaged $3,993 per person in Maryland, about the national average. Over the next decade, however, Maryland's per capita spending rose 88 percent to $7,492 in 2009, outpacing national growth by more than $500 per person.
July 11, 2012
Next time the more bombastic in Washington rail against government waste, let them include every cent lost to Wednesday's dog and pony show in the House of Representatives, where time that might have been used constructively was frittered away with yet another attack on health care reform. For those who might have accidentally tuned into C-Span shortly before 1:30 p.m., that was not a repeat but an actual live telecast. For the 33 r d time since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the House held a vote to repeal part or all of it. Thirty-three times!
July 9, 2012
The Supreme Court's recent ruling on federal health care reform may have settled legal concerns, but the heads of Maryland's top insurer and two largest medical institutions said there are still unanswered questions and worries about the law. "There are many unknowns, given the complexities of the act," said Chester "Chet" Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. "There could be surprises and unintended effects because of the complexity. All of the regulations are still not out yet and so it's hard to know how it will work out in the final analysis.
July 7, 2012
The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act surprised many. The reasoning given by the court for allowing the mandate is that it's a tax — and it's constitutional for Congress to pass a tax. While I believe that is a questionable interpretation at best, Americans now must buy health insurance or receive a tax penalty. In 2008, President Barack Obama said, "Health care should never be purchased with tax increases on middle class families. " During the lengthy debate on ACA, he stressed that it was not a tax. It seems that President Obama's promises usually have an expiration date.