J. D. Heyes
July 31, 2012
One of the elements of Obamacare critics have been most vocal about is the so-called government-sponsored “insurance pools” the law creates. Now that it’s largely been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, these pools will soon become a reality.
So what? That’s the basis of the law, to provide insurance for everyone, correct?
Yes, but not necessarily the type of insurance you want. Or that you have now, say, through your employer.
One of the law’s selling points uttered by everyone in the administration paid to defend it, especially the president himself, promised Americans they could keep their current health insurance.
In his Weekly Address on August 15, 2009, Obama said of his health care proposal, “First, no matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor or healthcare plan, you can keep it.”
That was then. By July 2012, the administration was singing a different tune, admitting that, “as a practical matter, a majority of group health plans will lose their grandfather status by 2013.”
That includes, of course, that employer plan you love so much.
Wait – Weren’t you supposed to be able to keep employer insurance?
The Federal Register, dated Thursday, June 17, 2010, notes that the “mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.”
Essentially, the administration put employer health plans in a box. As the Heritage Foundation explains, if employers “make changes to their plans to control increasing costs, they will lose their grandfathered status. Alternatively, if they keep grandfathered status by not making changes, their plans will eventually become unaffordable, forcing them to give them up. Either way, their employees will eventually lose their current coverage.”
That is, in fact, already happening.
According to consulting company Deloitte, one in ten employers have said they will drop health coverage when key elements of the high court-upheld law take effect in fewer than two years.
In a report by The Wall Street Journal, nine percent of companies expect to drop coverage within one to three years. 10 percent weren’t sure. And while 81 percent said they would continue to offer health insurance benefits, remember that many companies a) may still be planning on a repeal of the law if enough Obamacare critics are elected to Congress; and b) have yet to see the exact costs of offering that coverage (remember Nancy Pelosi’s now infamous line: “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.”).
According to Deloitte, one in three employers said they could stop offering coverage if the law requires them to provide more generous benefits than they already do, if taxes on high-cost plans kick in around 2018, as they are currently scheduled to do, or if they decide it would be cheaper for them to pay the penalty (or is it a tax?) for not providing health insurance.
Small businesses won’t be fined, but those with 50 or more employees will have to pay $2,000 for each one if they don’t provide them with coverage.
The bottom line is this: Obamacare, by its very design, aims to diminish private-sector health coverage so as to channel you into a government-run system.
Gaggle of ‘penalties,’ taxes
Overall, health care costs, even the most optimistic analysts note, are not likely to decrease much because of the so-called Affordable Care Act. Many, in fact, expect costs to continue to rise. And while the government’s portion may fall, yours won’t.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office’s calculations found:
— The “penalty payments by uninsured individuals” (which Chief Justice John Roberts called a “tax”) will cost citizens $55 billion a year
— The “additional hospital insurance tax” is the largest increase – $318 billion annually
— Another $216 billion from something called the “associated effects of coverage provisions on tax revenues”
— A “reinsurance and risk adjustment collections” provision brings in another $184 billion
— Fees on certain manufacturers and insurers generates another $165 billion
— A tax on high-excise insurance plans reaps an additional $111 billion
All told, this one law confiscates a trillion dollars from the private sector, to feed the Leviathan and implement one more step in the “cradle-to-grave” approach of controlling your – and your kids’ – lives.
This article was posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 2:01 am