The Obama administration is again delaying a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires most companies to provide employees with health insurance. This time, smallish firms — those with fewer than 100 workers but more than 49 — get a reprieve until 2016.
Some conservatives say the health care law is here to stay. They're urging Republicans to shift their focus from repealing it to changing parts they don't like. The Tea Party wing calls that capitulation. And it's pushing primary challengers against Republicans they say are soft on repeal.
Much has been made of the need for young, healthy people to sign up if the Affordable Care Act is going to work. But it may be that the key word here is not young, but healthy. Insurance companies get paid more for older people, regardless of their health.
Michigan is one of only a handful of Republican-led states that is expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It did it by forging a plan that worked for Republicans, Democrats and business interests, as well as doctors and hospitals.
In a state where politicians have adamantly rejected the Affordable Care Act, the area around Atlanta has a growing number of health tech companies. Many are seeing business benefits from the law. Companies that once would have been a hard sell are seeing more sales and customers.
Health care costs grew at 3.7 percent in 2012, the fourth year of a trend of smaller annual increases. The Obama administration says that the Affordable Care Act is a factor. But the actuaries who wrote the report beg to differ, saying the recession is a more likely cause.
Gas, groceries and rents are all pricier in Summit and Eagle counties than in Denver, just a hundred miles away. Health insurance costs a lot more in these mountain communities, too, and some folks are crying foul. Their congressman — a Democrat — is asking the feds for relief.