“Taxpayers should not be forced to throw good money after bad,” Grace-Marie Turner said in an interview with LifeZette. Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a not-for-profit health and tax policy research organization. “Congress would be well advised to exercise its oversight function to ensure no additional federal dollars are wasted on the program, as well as investigate how the taxpayer loans have been spent and who will pay it back,” she said.
Starting in January, the Affordable Care Act will require businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer workers health insurance or face penalties that can exceed $2,000 per employee. The health care law’s employer mandate, a provision that business groups fought against fiercely, is intended to make affordable health insurance available to more people by requiring employers to bear some of the cost of providing it. For some business owners on the edge of the cutoff, the mandate is forcing them to weigh very carefully the price of growing bigger.
According to a new Mercer study of 134 large employers (5,000 or more employees), 15% say that their onsite or near-site worker clinics will push them into the bracket where they will be required to pay the Cadillac Tax. But most of the respondents, 46%, either didn’t know how the clinics will affect their Cadillac tax status or didn’t think there would be an effect (28%).
Proponents of more than doubling the current minimum wage of $7.25 appeared to have overlooked a simple fact. Thanks to government mandates such as Obamacare, today’s minimum wage already effectively amounts to $10.46 an hour. If we more than double the nominal minimum wage to $15, we actually will be requiring employers to pay $18.31 an hour.
Millions of Americans who recently began shopping for new health insurance coverage under Obamacare may be suffering from sticker shock. Increases in 2016 premiums for health insurance coverage — ranging from basic to top-flight policies — will be in the double digits and easily eclipse premium hikes recorded between 2014 and 2015, according to a new analysis from consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Zeke Emanuel is tired of paying for your expensive medicine. Dr. Emanuel, who served in a senior position at the Office of Management and Budget where he contributed to the recurring nightmare known as Obamacare, recently complained in the New York Times [“I Am Paying For Your Expensive Medicine”] that his insurance rates are high because the medicines you’re taking cost too much.
While the Affordable Care Act has achieved a second victory before the Supreme Court and produced significant coverage gains, it might also have produced a less positive outcome: in an NBER working paper, Penn LDI colleagues Mark Pauly, Adam Leive and Scott Harrington found that a large portion of non-poor (measured by income above 138% of the poverty level) who gained coverage now have a higher financial burden and lower welfare (well-being) than when they were uninsured. The authors call this extra burden a “price of responsibility” for complying with the individual mandate to purchase coverage.
With the health insurance markets open for next year’s enrollment, Eve Campeau says she’s planning to look carefully at the fine print. Last time she shopped, she switched to a plan with a lower monthly premium, but found herself paying far more out-of-pocket for medications and doctor visits. While she might be saving money on the premium, she is reluctant to go to seek medical care because of the up-front cost.
Asking whether the Obamacare Cadillac tax will increase worker wages might seem nonsensical on its face. But wait until you hear the answer: yes AND no. Don’t worry: Schrodinger’s cat hasn’t wandered into the thicket of health policy (nor am I channeling my inner two-handed economist). It’s a trick question: the answer depends on whether employers respond to the Cadillac tax by trimming health benefits to avoid the tax, or instead simply keep their health benefits as is and pass the tax onto their employees. For employers who trim health benefits I have a high degree of confidence that on average, worker wages will rise. For employers who absorb the Cadillac tax increase, average worker wages will fall.
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the 2016 premium data for the “benchmark” plans in the states using federal exchanges. … This data, which showed premiums rising an average of 7.5 percent, is useful. But it is limited. We’d like to think that this tells us “how much premiums went up,” but it’s not that simple.