Despite President Obama’s continual insistence that if you like your plan, you can keep it, his own administration’s preliminary analysis indicates that, for about half of all Americans, this might not be so. According to the analysis’s “midrange estimate,” 45 percent of large employer plans and 66 percent of small employer plans would lose their grandfathered status by the end of 2013.
In three years a majority of workers will be forced to change their current health insurance plans, according to draft regulations being written by the Obama Administration. Despite promises that current plans will be “grandfathered” and allowed to continue once ObamaCare is fully implemented, minor changes will qualify plans as “new” and be forced to make broad, new changes to comply with the new law. To avoid ObamaCare’s new regulations, employers might drop their employer-provided insurance altogether.
The Administration has been using taxpayer funds to have the IRS promote ObamaCare under the guise of informing the public about the effects of the new law. But if the Administration is really just trying to inform and not to propagandize, why isn’t the IRS advertising the new tax on indoor tanning services, set to start July 1st?
A former CBO Director says that ObamaCare would likely raise deficits by $600,000,000,000 more than the CBO projects, could result in 40 million more Americans being shifted from employer-provided to government-provided insurance than the CBO projects, and would impose such high effective marginal tax-rates on those who are shifted onto government-provided insurance that it would be very hard for them to pursue the American Dream of making a better life.
As a so-called improvement to the insurance market, ObamaCare outlaws many inexpensive, more affordable types of insurance to force people into Washington-approved, comprehensive plans that are more expensive which “could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.”
According to a study done by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, ObamaCare’s $5 billion early-retiree reinsurance program could exhaust its funding well before the program expires at the end of 2013 — and, in the long run, it would provide strong incentives for employers to drop coverage for early retirees.
This week, we learned that the Obama administration is orchestrating a $125 million propaganda campaign to sell the recently enacted health-care law to the public. That effort will be funded by labor unions and other groups from the Democratic political orbit. It comes on top of the misleading government mailer sent to the nation’s seniors, at the expense of taxpayers, touting the supposed benefits of ObamaCare for the elderly. On Tuesday, the president himself will join the fray again to make the sales pitch, this time promoting the colossal waste of taxpayer money associated with $250 per senior bribes to be issued this summer and fall.
The problem the White House has, however, has never been insufficient public relations spin. The problem is the substance. Americans care deeply about their health care, and they have seen right through the Democratic rhetoric on ObamaCare from day one. They know that it is a poorly conceived experiment, built on the flawed assumption that the problems in U.S. health care can be solved with heavier regulation, subsidization, and micro-management from Washington, D.C.
In Medicare, the results of the new law will be disastrous. ObamaCare will cut payments to the private insurance component of the program (called Medicare Advantage, or MA) by nearly $200 billion over ten years. The chief actuary of the program says this cut will eventually drive 7 million seniors — many with low-incomes — out of the plan they would prefer to enroll in. And it will mean thousands of dollars in benefit reductions for every MA enrollee, beginning next year. These seniors won’t be silenced with patronizing and one-time checks. In addition, the new law imposes arbitrary price cutting for all manner of Medicare services, which the chief actuary says will harm access to care by forcing scores of institutions to stop taking Medicare beneficiaries.
Last week, we learned that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has postponed issuing guidance on the ill-conceived “medical-loss ratio” requirement in the new law because, as passed by Congress, it will cause massive and unnecessary disruption to millions of current insurance enrollees. One estimate is that 1 to 2 million people with individual insurance will lose their coverage if the requirement is imposed because national insurers will be forced to exit the market to avoid large business losses.
The president has said repeatedly that Americans will get to keep the insurance they have today if they like it. But that’s quite clearly not going to be the case. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, of the American Action Forum, has released a new study that shows some 35 million Americans will get bumped from job-based coverage under the new law and be forced into the new government-managed system. That’s because the massive new subsidies promised by the government will make dropping insurance unavoidable for thousands of employers. He also predicts the migration out of employer plans will drive up the overall federal costs dramatically, adding another $500 billion over ten years to the costs projected by the Congressional Budget Office for the bill.
Perhaps that why CBO’s Director, Doug Elmendorf, is saying that the federal government’s health costs are still unsustainable, even after passage of the new law, despite repeated presidential promises that ObamaCare would solve our budget problems by painlessly “bending the cost curve.”
The truth is, the more we learn about ObamaCare, the worse it gets. It’s filled with budgetary gimmicks and flawed assumptions that will bankrupt the U.S. treasury. Its taxes will force deep cuts in employment in the medical device and other industries. Restaurants and other employers will have strong incentives to avoid hiring workers from low income households in order to lessen the burden from the law’s mandates and penalties. It will disrupt insurance for millions of Americans who are perfectly happy with the coverage they have today. And the government’s clumsy cost-cutting efforts will undermine the quality of American medicine.
Most Americans already instinctively understand all of this. But it’s also clear that the administration and its allies will spend millions trying to persuade them that up is down when it comes to health care. We have launched this web site to set the record straight. ObamaCareWatch.org pulls together all of the best evidence and analysis about the legislation, as well as relevant news items and commentary, in an accessible and searchable format for anyone to use as they need to. Our aim is to provide Americans with the facts so that they can hold those who sponsored and passed ObamaCare accountable for what they have done.
“Towers Watson, a leading human resources consulting firm, has conducted a survey of 661 human resource and benefit specialists across America. While benefit professionals are still digesting the new law, the survey shows that they are even more skeptical of Obamacare than the public is.”
Though ObamaCare’s “Cadillac plan” tax was designed to affect only employers with extravagant health benefit plans, an analysis by the global professional services company Towers Watson, using data from its 2010 Health Care Cost Survey, reveals that more than 60% of large employers’ health-care plans could be subject to this tax when it goes into effect in 2018.
At a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment, 90 companies have already reported reduced earnings because of ObamaCare — with most of them reporting reduced earnings of more than $1 million.