Larry Levitt

Administration officials are saying that healthcare.gov will be “functioning smoothly” by the end of November. And maybe they are right, in which case all the fuss about broken websites will become a historical footnote.But what if administration officials are wrong? What if it’s December and Obamacare’s official online portals are still barely functional? 

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It’s been an interesting few days for those of us following Obamacare. Three new studies came out—one each from Avalere Health, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Manhattan Institute.

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Romney says he cares. Romney's agenda suggests otherwise.

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A little less than ten years ago, inside a dark hotel restaurant in Utica, New York, Gary Rotzler told me the story of wife Betsy. They had been high school sweethearts and, by the early 1990s, had settled into their version of the American dream: Three young children and a home in Gilbertsville, a village of around 400 people nestled into the foothills of the Catskill mountains. When Gary lost his job at a defense contractor, he lost his health insurance. After piecing together part-time construction work, he got his old job back—but as an independent contractor without benefits.

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One reason people are skeptical of health care reform is that they don't believe it will help reduce their insurance premiums. On Monday, President Obama will give at least some of these people reason to rethink that skepticism. As part of the proposed House-Senate compromise the administration is unveiling at the White House website, Obama will call for improving the regulation of insurance rates for people who buy individual policies through the new insurance exchanges.

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See the Curve Bend

Republicans pounced on last week's report from the official Medicare Actuary, saying it vindicated their argument that health care reform would cause health care spending to explode. Rather than bend the curve down, as Budget Director Peter Orszag likes to say, it would bend the curve up. But while the Actuary did in fact predict reform would mean spending slightly more in 2019 than we otherwise would, it did not suggest that the curve was bending up. If anything, it suggested the curve would bend down, albeit only a little. On Thursday I explained why.

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