“Nearly half of the people ObamaCare is supposed to cover will be enrolled in the Medicaid program. Past research by Obama health advisors, Jon Gruber and David Cutler, have found that half to three-quarters of newly enrolled, Medicaid enrollees were previously insured with private coverage — often this is because employers dropped the employee health plan knowing Medicaid would pick up the slack. Studies have found Medicaid coverage is inferior to private coverage.”

“Recently, Sears and Darden Restaurants (the parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden) revealed plans to change how they provide benefits to their workers. Instead of selecting a plan for the workers, the two companies will give them cash directly to purchase insurance from an online marketplace. Creating private insurance exchanges is a simple but potentially game-changing approach to health insurance coverage.”

“In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.”

“President Obama’s healthcare law won’t erode employer-based health insurance — but it will raise some companies’ costs by nearly 10 percent, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. Although the law’s critics usually focus on small businesses, the new paper says medium-sized firms will see the biggest cost increase.”

“The moves are meant to prepare Welch Allyn to address the new ‘onerous’ U.S. Medical Device Tax scheduled to take effect next year under the Affordable Care Act, the company said… The company can’t just pass on the tax increase to its customers — clinics, doctors’ offices and hospitals — who are already being pushed to cut costs, Chadderdon said.
The tax is 2.3 percent of a medical device maker’s U.S. revenue, but takes a bigger bite out of profits, Chief Executive Steve Meyer said Monday.”

“Perhaps that sounds like a successful jobs program, as it will keep 40,000 people fully employed, filling out paperwork and sorting through a confounding pile of government regulations. Only problem is, that work is entirely wasteful and creates zero wealth for America as a whole. It would be better for America and for the 40,000 workers to do something useful, like build the empire state building 11 times over, to use the Ways and Means example.”

“In the latest indication of how complicated putting the Affordable Care Act into action will be, the Department of Health and Human Services and Internal Revenue Service issued 18-pages of regulations just to describe what a ‘full-time employee’ is. Of note, to the Feds a full-time employee works an average of just 30 hours a week, not the normally accepted 40 hours.”

“Americans are more likely to say the 2010 healthcare law upheld by the Supreme Court last week will hurt the national economy (46%) rather than help it (37%), while 18% say they don’t know or that it will have no effect.”

“Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman’s most famous book was titled ‘Free To Choose,’ a treatise on the centrality of choice to a free economy. PPACA militates against choice. The individual mandate is not just a constitutional issue, it is fundamentally an economic issue. The mandate explains why the law remains unpopular, and why politicians who passed it are not using it as the centerpiece of their campaign.”

“Logistically a company with only 30 full-time employees managing thousands of part-time employees sounds far-fetched. However, with this sort of perverse financial incentive, companies in many industries–-particularly those with low-skilled, low wage employees – will ‘do the math’ and hire part-time workers over full-time workers. While this may keep human resource departments busy, it will cause many businesses to miss out on some economies of scale, as they devote more time and effort to hiring and training part-time workers.”