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Obamacare Attacked, Championed, At Health Care Summit

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM

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Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Lawton and Case Western Reserve Professor of Healthcare Finance, J.B. Silvers (pic by Brian Bull)

As the federal exchange phase of ObamaCare nears, Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor is warning of looming frustration, expense, and hardship. But as ideastream’s Brian Bull reports, Mary Taylor’s message isn’t without its own critics.

Taylor spoke before a few hundred people gathered in Mayfield Heights for Crains Cleveland Business’s health care summit focused on the Affordable Care Act. 

She’s a Republican and long-time critic of the law, and says studies conducted through her own Ohio Department of Insurance indicate that it will do more harm than good. 

“Premiums are going up, we have new mandates to purchase insurance we don’t want, don’t need, can’t afford,” said Taylor. “And of course, it’s putting small business and business in a position where they have this environment of uncertainty.  And the most difficult place for a business to be…is an environment of uncertainty.”

Taylor adds that the federal website and information line have been technically unreliable, and suggests that the computer system set up for exchanges will crash on its first day. 

Then there’s J.B. Silver’s perspective.

“Just relax,” he says. “Don’t be too concerned about all this nonsense going on in the political arena.”

Silvers is a professor of Healthcare Finance at Case Western Reserve’s Weatherhead School of Management.  He agrees that there’s a chance for technical snafus out of the gate.  But he says Taylor isn’t taking into account the latest data from insurance companies. 

“On rates, I found it curious because she’s staying with some historical estimates before we got the bids,” says Silvers. “She’s referring back to some estimates before we knew what the companies were actually going to suggest.  Now the companies have actually come in, and those numbers are pretty good.  Particularly on the individual exchange.”

Silvers expects that increased competition among insurance companies will help bring down rates for patients, helping create a robust marketplace. 

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Government/Politics, Health

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