Tag Archives: employer-sponsored insurance

#ObamaCare harms small business

At Forbes.com, John C. Goodman writes:

In about a year and a half, the ObamaCare employer mandate kicks in. Firms with 50 or more employees will be required to provide expensive health insurance for their workers and their dependents or pay a fine of $2,000 per employee. What difference will that make? …

Something similar already exists in France, where firms that hire a 50thworker become subject to a 3,200 page labor code that makes it difficult to fire employees or reduce their hours or their pay during down turns. How are French employers responding? They are remaining small. In France there are more than twice as many companies with exactly 49 employees as there are with 50 or more.

More here.

See also: The Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Small Business.

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Employer mandate and the Obamacare Thought Police

From Ross Kaminsky:

In the Federal Register update which includes President Obama’s most recent unlawful modification of the Affordable Care Act (called Obamacare by liberals only when it is polling above 40% favorable with the public), two main conditions need to be met for employers of between 50 and 99 workers to qualify for another year-long delay in the law’s mandate that they provide health insurance to their employees or face fines.

In addition to having to keep substantially the same insurance coverage for their employees, an employer will not receive relief from the law if she has fired workers in order to get the company’s employee count down below 100 for the purpose of qualifying for the current waiver.

Read more: The Obamacare Thought Police | The American Spectator.

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Government-run insurance exchanges: hampered by finances, complexity, and incompetance

In the Wall Street Journal, John Goodman explains why “The Government Is the Worst Vendor Possible for Managing Health-Insurance Exchanges.” Excerpts:

One problem is that too little money was budgeted for creating the exchanges, which are the online markets where people can choose among competing health plans and prices. …

A second problem is complexity. The Obama administration wants something the federal government has never done: a computer system that connects HHS, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, Homeland Security and perhaps other departments. This is a herculean task with unclear benefits. …

A third and much bigger problem is competency. … In July 2011, Fortune magazine reported that the government is spending $80 billion a year on buying and operating information technology, and much of it is simply wasted.  …

One of the worst mistakes the federal government makes is the tendency to try to reinvent systems the private sector has already invented. The government has been true to form under the health-reform law, completely ignoring private exchanges that are up and running.

John Goodman: Navigating the ObamaCare Maze – WSJ.com.

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Filed under insurance, tax code, HSAs, Policy - National

AP: “Some unions now angry about health care overhaul”

The AP reports:

Some labor unions that enthusiastically backed President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul are now frustrated and angry, fearful that it will jeopardize benefits for millions of their members. …

While unions knew there were lingering issues after the law passed, they believed those could be fixed through rulemaking.

But last month, the union representing roofers issued a statement calling for “repeal or complete reform” of the health care law. Kinsey Robinson, president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, complained that labor’s concerns over the health care law “have not been addressed, or in some instances, totally ignored.”

“In the rush to achieve its passage, many of the act’s provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer-sponsored coverage could keep it,” Robinson said.

Some unions now angry about health care overhaul – Yahoo! News.

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Will you lose your employer-based coverage and be herded into an insurance exchange?

Medicare actuary Richard Foster has predicted that “nearly everyone” will end up buying government-approved health coverage through exchanges.  Several independent analyses have given credence to this.

After all, a Ways and Means Committee report shows that Fortune 100 companies each save more than $400 million by not offering insurance and sending employers to exchanges.  Deloitte finds that at least nine percent of employers will drop coverage. McKinsey’s estimate is 30%.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that seven million employees will lose employer-based coverage. The Economist reports on similar trends.

If you end up buying health coverage through a government-run exchange, worry about having a narrow provider network and long waits for appointments.  Also worry that the the policies will cater to healthy plan holders and under-provide to the sick.

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Plan for fighting Obamacare: Delay, Repeal, Replace

In the Weekly Standard, James C. Capretta and Jeffrey H. Anderson* write:

Disappointing as [the Supreme Court ruling and presidential election] were, they do not remotely constitute the end of the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare. Indeed, this is a fight conservatives couldn’t walk away from even if they wanted to, because health policy is absolutely central to the struggle over the size and scope of governmental power. If Obamacare remains on the books, the federal government will become the dominant actor in nearly one-fifth of the American economy, tens of millions more Americans will become dependent on taxpayer support for their health care, the quality of American medicine will decline, and the spending commitments in the law will increase the pressure for ever-higher taxes​—​even as they add to the risk of national insolvency. …

Delaying the implementation of Obamacare would be important for three reasons: It would save hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending. It would spare Americans from having their health care premiums spike until a somewhat later date. And it would move the onset of Obamacare much closer to the 2016 presidential election, which would put Obama’s centerpiece legislation at center stage in that race​—​as the future health of the nation demands that it be. …

Beyond resisting and delaying the implementation of Obamacare, the most important thing for the GOP at this point is to develop and unite behind a practical replacement proposal​—​one that will actually solve the very real problems plaguing American health care. …

If Republicans were to advance a replacement along these lines​—​a plan that would provide stable insurance options, consumer choice, and high-quality health care without the heavy-handed mandates and regulations of Obamacare​—​the American people would be more than happy to throw Obamacare overboard.

The key to turning back the singular threat that Obamacare poses to our liberty and fiscal solvency is for the GOP to have a plan of attack that extends across the next four or five years

So the fight must go on. The only question, at this point, is how to proceed.

Read the whole article: Delay, Repeal, Replace | The Weekly Standard.

* James C. Capretta is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Jeffrey H. Anderson is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute

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What States Should Build Instead of Obamacare’s Health Insurance Exchanges

At Forbes, Avik Roy writes:

Health insurance exchanges, as liberals have been happy to point out, were originally a conservative idea. But the conservative idea of health insurance exchanges is quite different from the one expressed by Obamacare. Indeed, Obamacare’s exchanges are more accurately a perversion of the term. …

Exchanges were conceived by conservative health-policy experts as a way to work around the original sin of the U.S. health-care system: the fact that our tax code encourages Americans to obtain insurance through their employers, instead of buying it for themselves. …

The original, market-oriented exchange concept was designed as a way around this problem. Today, most employers buy coverage for their workers on adefined-benefit basis: employers buy insurance with a certain set of benefits, such as hospitalization coverage, and take the cost out of workers’ wages. As the cost of insurance goes up, employers maintain coverage for their workers, but take the cost out of workers’ take-home pay. …

ut states that decline to set up Obamacare exchanges shouldn’t sit on their haunches and do nothing. Instead, they should strive to show that free-market reforms can do a better job of offering affordable health insurance. In this way, should Obamacare’s exchanges falter, those who have been skeptical of the law will gain a mandate for reform.

What these states should do is set up a free-market version of a health insurance exchange: what [Ed] Haislmaier and [Paul] Howard call a “clearinghouse.”

The health insurance “clearinghouse” is meant to capture the original conservative idea for an exchange, and separate that idea from Obamacare’s exchanges. The key principle in a clearinghouse is that it caters to any willing seller of certified health insurance products. As Tom Miller and Scott Gottlieb write in the Wall Street Journal, “Any willing insurers already licensed to operate in a state should be able to offer plans. [Clearinghouse] operating rules would focus on providing better information to consumers, rather than limiting the types of plans available.”

Read the whole article: What States Should Build Instead of Obamacare’s Health Insurance Exchanges – Forbes.

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