“Tax credits in President Obama’s healthcare law aren’t big enough to prompt small businesses to start offering healthcare benefits, the Government Accountability Office said Monday. The small-business tax credit has not lived up to expectations. The Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the credits would total $2 billion in 2010, but the real cost that year only came to $468 million, GAO said.”
“Consultants have told some large employers they can save money by dropping health insurance in 2014 and funneling employees into insurance exchanges under the new health-care law, according to a report by congressional Republicans.”
“Uncertainty over changes in national health care policy has emerged as an issue in supermarket labor contracts.
Union employees of Giant and Safeway stores in Washington and Baltimore last week agreed to a new contract with an unusual duration of 19 months, a period during which both sides hope to gain more visibility into the potential financial impacts of changes set to take place as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the sweeping changes in national health care policy approved two years ago.”
“In 2009, during the height of the debate over Obamacare, the law’s architect, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, was all over the op-ed pages, talking about how the bill would reduce the cost of health insurance… His words were trumpeted by the law’s advocates, and were critical to persuading skittish Democrats to vote for the bill. But it turns out that ‘for sure’ doesn’t mean what you thought it did. Because, now, Gruber is quietly telling state governments that the law will significantly increase the cost of insurance. And it will especially do so for young Americans: the ones who most struggle to find affordable health coverage.”
“Two years after Congress passed President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation, despite all the assertions about what it will or won’t do, no one really knows how it’s going to work. The U.S. has rarely attempted anything of this scale before. If the law survives the Supreme Court and Republican repeal efforts, its impact turns on what Paul Keckley, head of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a unit of the accounting firm, calls ‘four big bets.'”
“The Obama administration’s controversial birth-control mandate saw its first legal challenge Thursday from an employer not affiliated with any religious institution. The latest challenge comes from the owner of a Missouri-based holding company, who says it violates his religious freedom. Although several other suits have been filed, they have all come from religious-affiliated employers such as Catholic universities.”
“Finally, it’s not just people who consider contraception sinful that oppose this mandate. That’s because the mandate also violates the freedom of those who have non-religious reasons for not wanting to purchase contraceptives, who would rather pay for contraceptives out of pocket, or who want such coverage now but might change their minds in the future.”
On Tuesday, January 31st, e21 held an event exploring the implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), which was sold to the American people with the promise that “If you like what you have, you can keep it.” New academic research is clearly disproving this claim. The health law provides strong incentives for employers to move their sick and low-wage workers out of job-based plans and into publicly subsidized coverage. The result will be soaring costs for taxpayers, and millions of people losing the coverage they have today.
The event featured a presentation by Professor Daniel Schwarcz of the University of Minnesota Law School, a speech by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and commentary from James C. Capretta.
Read Prof. Schwarcz’s paper, “Will Employers Undermine Health Care Reform by Dumping Sick Employees?” here.
“If you’ve never heard of the law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, you’re certainly not alone. This simple calculation has had the effect of radically reducing what health insurance agents earn. That, in turn as greatly restricted their ability to help million of Americans navigate the maze of approvals needed for medical procedures and processing claims. It has also had a devastating effect on these agents’ businesses and is disrupting the insurance market.”
“Yet another provision of ObamaCare has been found unworkable… Now it turns out the much-vaunted tax credit for small employers is also a bomb. At a recent (November 15, 2011) hearing of the Ways and Means Committee, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General J. Russell George reported that as of mid-October 2011 only 309,000 taxpayers had claimed the credit, for a total payout of $416 million — far below the 4.4 million the IRS thought would be eligible or the CBO estimate of $2 billion that would be paid out in 2010 alone.”