Active is in, America. Listen to this week’s episode of America’s Healthcare Challenge with Sean McGuire featuring the latest from inside the beltway on the IRS scandal and how it will apply to ACA implementation. If you are short on time and looking for the facts about Obamacare and it’s implementation check out AHC. Follow us on Twitter @AmericasCanary for the latest.
The weather is warming up and so is the spotlight on the Administration. The Affordable Care Act is in rapid implementation mode despite being under-funded and under-staffed. They have hired more government employees than one could fathom but still struggle to meet deadlines and the Secretary of Health and Human Services is under fire for soliciting funding from certain groups to fuel the new Navigator program. The law goes live in October and we are on top of it and right here with the latest you need to be aware of in this week’s Health Reform Explained
The AHC Segments of the Week presented by
Last week there was publicity about California releasing their rates for health insurance. The exchange said they were going to be less than originally anticipated. They were not talking about the whole picture, they were talking about the small group market and a few days ago, the California individual market rates were released. They are forecasted those to go up as high as 146% for some people.
This rate shock is due to many of the issues we have previously discussed, namely the fact community rating will attract high cost individuals that will drive up premiums. Politico’s article titled “California Dreaming” is a good background source for more on the debate. The reason we are talking about this is because California is one of the states embrace the law with open arms and a lot of these things are likely to have similar outcomes in other states.
The Actuaries of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund released their report that highlighted the solvency of the Medicare program. They found that it will be able to pay its bills for two more years than expected last year but will still be bankrupt in about 13 years. The spending on entitlement programs is astounding and most of our federal taxes go to funding three programs. Politics aside, the Medicare program is broke and will need to be fixed if it is to sustain itself for future generations. This segment of America’s Healthcare Challenge covered this issue.
The Association of Academic Medical Centers (AAMC) predicts a shortage of up to 100,000 physicians in the United States within the next decade. Does this mean less time with your doctor? Find out some innovative concepts under development to fill the looming demand for healthcare services beginning next year on this segment of AHC.
The IRS Dancing
If you are a fan of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars then this story is for you. The IRS is under fire once again for taxpayer funds spent on production of a video for a conference in California. The video shows several IRS employees engaging in a comical and questionable line dance rendition of the “Cupid Shuffle.” If you looking to laugh or perhaps cry then check out this video from ABC News showing the video costing us approximately $1,600 in production costs for this specific video which was part of a total $60,000 cost for all videos produced for this IRS leadership seminar in 2010 including a Star Trek spoof. Some of these same individuals may be responsible for implementation of the healthcare reform law because they have recently indicated the need for 1,954 Full-Time Employees to help with the implementation process of the Affordable Care Act in 2014.
The IRS Late
The dance party may continue if the Senate Finance Committee does not get answers soon. Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are upset because the IRS has not answered their inquiries into the unfair targeting of certain groups based upon political beliefs. The IRS was supposed to have the information to the Committee by Friday, but they have not done so. Will they have to fine themselves for being late or perhaps they will audit themselves. This Hill Article outlines the specifics of the Committee’s inquiry. Either way, the IRS brand is at an all-time low but they are still delegated with enforcing this law. How will the public respond next year when they are required by law to have health insurance or pay penalty. Even worse is the organizational chart of the new divisions created to enforce the ACA.
Nobody knows how high this scandal reaches but it is clearly not going away. Some in the media have identified a troubling connection. The same individual who was the division head of non-profit organization applications (the division under investigation) during the time in question is now heading the agency in charge of implementing the Affordable Care Act. This is obviously causing angst amongst conservative business owners and many have raised questions about whether their political beliefs will be considered to trigger an audit.
Many political pundits are expecting Obamacare to become a central theme of the 2014 election and this scandal adds more ammunition to the opponents of the law. Expect opponents of the law to continue to organize and we will have much more on this the repeal issue as we learn about it.
Senator Grassley will be the guest on this week’s episode of America’s Healthcare Challenge. Find out what he has to say this Saturday at 9 AM on the Mighty 1290 KOIL. Click here to hear the previous interview he did on America’s Healthcare Challenge that coincidentally was conducted just hours after the Supreme Court ruled on the healthcare law. The upcoming interview will cover the IRS scandal, health reform implementation, entitlement spending and much more.
America’s Healthcare Challenge is brought to you by.