“The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health recently held a hearing to review how Obamacare regulations will affect employers’ ability to maintain health coverage.
To illustrate the magnitude of the new regulatory burdens on businesses, subcommittee chairman Joe Pitts (R–PA) displayed a stack of over 3,500 pages of Obamacare rules, notices, and regulatory guidance issued so far by the Administration. This additional burden, the hearing highlighted, will harm employers’ ability to offer health coverage and disrupt coverage for Americans across the country.”

“[D]ue to a glitch in Obamacare, married couples of early retirees making around $64,000 a year will become eligible for Medicaid. That’s more than four times the federal poverty level of $14,710… If we do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the average annual Medicaid expenditure per early retiree is $15,000 per year, the ten-year cost of this glitch could be as high as $450 billion. Even if only half of those eligible opt to take advantage of the loophole, we’re talking at least $250-300 billion, as the sickest patients are the ones most likely to enroll.”

“ObamaCare’s defenders have worked themselves into a tizzy, attacking the recent study published by McKinsey & Co., the world’s leading management consulting firm. The study indicated that 30 percent of surveyed employers were ‘definitely or probably’ planning on discontinuing employer-sponsored health insurance after 2014… Well, lo and behold, McKinsey decided to release the details: the full questionnaire used in their survey, along with a 206-page report detailing the survey’s complete results.”

“The furor says less about McKinsey than about the politically damaging reality of the new law. As the McKinsey survey shows in detail, many businesses may be better off if they drop coverage and pay workers slightly more to compensate for fewer benefits, along with paying the new penalty for not providing insurance. Many workers earning up to $102,000 may also be better off because the ObamaCare subsidies are so much larger than the current tax break for employer coverage.”

“New regulations that require chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus are an unfair burden on small businesses, Republican lawmakers say. Industry groups are asking the Food and Drug Administration to extend the deadline for public comments on the regulation, which implements menu labeling requirements included in healthcare reform. The healthcare law requires restaurants with more than 20 locations to post calorie counts on their menus or menu boards.”

“Perversely, ObamaCare both drives up the cost of insurance with mandates and rules while making it attractive for companies to dump the increasingly more expensive coverage and pay a lesser fine. There will be huge ramifications for the country’s finances if more workers lose coverage than was estimated.”

“One of the main criticisms of Obamacare is that it will significantly reduce the incentive for small businesses to hire — especially once the premium subsidies become available in 2014… But the actual implementation will be complex, thanks to an odd retroactive feature.”

“Specifically, the government’s position rests on two false economic claims. First, that an individual’s decision not to buy health insurance substantially affects interstate commerce by increasing the costs of health insurance for all Americans.
Second, that the health care industry is ‘unique’ because of its high rates of participation, high costs, federal mandates and the purported uncertainty surrounding when care will be required.”

“The incentives built into the legislation are pretty straightforward: Employers who don’t offer coverage will have to pay a penalty. But the penalty in many cases will be far less than the cost of coverage. So even with the penalty, they’ll be able to shift employees into the subsidized exchanges, save money, and perhaps even give their employees a raise as they do. As Credit Suisse’s response says, ‘While the figures are staggering, they are simply an economically-rational response by employers to federal health policy to shift the U.S. from an employer-purchased to an individually-purchased insurance market.'”

“A report by McKinsey & Co. has found that 30% of employers are likely to stop offering workers health insurance after the bulk of the Obama administration’s health overhaul takes effect in 2014. The findings come as a growing number of employers are seeking waivers from an early provision in the overhaul that requires them to enrich their benefits this year.”