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Viewpoints: Obamacare Isn’t A ‘Job-Killing’ Law; Hometown Insurer Aetna Pulls Out Of Conn. Exchange

Politico: Obamacare Isn’t Destroying Jobs
The share of part-time jobs rose sharply during the recession, as it always does — employers always cut workers’ hours in downturns. Here’s the question: Has this share continued to grow as we approach the start of the ACA’s employer mandate, which was recently pushed back a year to 2015? The answer is no. Part-time workers represent 19.0 percent of total employment — below the post-recession peak of 20.0 percent and exactly the same as a year ago (Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water, 8/6).

The Wall Street Journal: Aetna vs. ObamaCare
So Aetna is pulling out of ObamaCare in Connecticut. As corporate identity crises go, this is like L.L. Bean quitting Maine or Apple leaving California—for the moon. The iconic Connecticut-based company—founded as a fire insurer in Hartford in 1819—has been embroiled in a dispute with regulators over the premiums it wanted to charge next year on the state’s subsidized insurance exchange, known as Access Health CT (Joseph Rago, 8/6). 

Boston Globe: GOP Stance Against Obamacare Hurts Thousands Of N.H. Families
But many GOP governors and state legislators, grasping for any way to make a symbolic stand against President Obama, have seized on the Supreme Court’s ruling and turned down the money [for Medicaid expansion in the health law]. New Hampshire, unfortunately, is one of them. It’s a short-sighted, partisan move; if the state’s legislature is called into special session in the fall to consider the Medicaid expansion, as expected, lawmakers should drop their opposition (8/7).

The Fiscal Times: The Obamacare Rebate: Health Care Savings Or Ruse
I received my health insurance rebate in the mail the other day – all $73.78 of it. While this check didn’t put much of a dent in the $6,300 a year ($529.88 per month) I pay for my family’s health insurance premium, it raised a number of questions. The rebate is supposed to provide better care for my family and ultimately reduce health-care costs for us. Does it? (John Wasik, 8/7).

The Fiscal Times: Obama Reneges On Letting You Keep Your Health Plan
Sometimes it takes a Big Bang – a startling event — to wake up voters. … The Affordable Care Act was meant to slow the rise of healthcare costs. One of its critical weapons in that fight was the so-called Cadillac tax on high-end insurance plans (Liz Peek, 8/7).

Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail: Obamacare Doesn’t Work For Government?
The Obama administration’s Office of PersonnelManagement is expected to release details later this week on how it will clear up a problem with Affordable Care Act insurance exchange payments to members of Congress and their staffs. … To be sure, this is not a case of Congress exempting itself from Obamacare, as many discussions on social media seem to indicate. The Democrats in Congress actually legislated congressional participation in the insurance exchanges. The problem comes in that this amendment to the bill was poorly written and needs to be corrected lest it result in significant unintended consequences, such as a congressional staff brain drain (8/6).

The New York Times: Economix: Health Care Inflation And The Arithmetic Of Labor Taxes
Health care and the labor market are connected because so much of the non-elderly population obtains health insurance through an employer or the employer of a family member. As the decades have gone by, Americans have been spending more and more on health care, largely through their health insurance premiums, to the point that many families cannot afford the kinds of health insurance plans in which middle- and upper-income families take part (Casey B. Mulligan, 8/7). 

The New York Times: Hope For Childhood Obesity
After a long fight to control childhood obesity, there are encouraging signs that the tide is finally turning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that the obesity rate among preschoolers from poor families has fallen in 19 states and American territories, and it has risen in only three states (8/6). 

Louisville Courier-Journal: Fix Managed Care
Following a disastrous start-up in late 2011, state officials claim switching most of the state’s Medicaid patients to private, managed care companies is starting to pay off in terms of better care and more efficient operations. But those digging deeper into the government health plan that serves nearly 800,000 low-income or disabled Kentuckians are finding plenty of problems causing disruption, delays and frustration for patients and providers of health care (8/5).

The Seattle Times: Remake The U.S. Tax Code Without Hurting Health Care
The pattern we’ve seen over the past few decades has been to lower federal taxes on wealthy households and profitable corporations, leaving working families in Washington and across our nation three equally bad options: pay higher taxes, lose vital services or watch our nation go deeper in debt. As a member of the Verdant Health Commission in Snohomish County, I know many families and individuals in our community are struggling. The large number of uninsured combined with rising costs in health care and the Great Recession have led to tough times (Deana Knutsen, 8/6).