“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.”
“A new Reason-Rupe poll finds a majority of Americans (56 percent) favor a provision in the new health care law that requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance or else pay a fine. At the same time, 58 percent of Americans expect the employer mandate to drive employers to pay their workers less, 29 percent expect no significant impact on pay. Even among those who support the provision, 50 percent expect employers to reduce pay.
Moreover, nearly half of Americans (47 percent) expect the employer mandate will lead employers to lay off workers. 39 percent think it will not significantly impact employers’ hiring decisions.”
“The presence of externalities and other market imperfections does not justify a departure from the normal rules of the constitutional road. Health care is typically consumed locally, and health-insurance markets themselves primarily operate within the states. The administration’s attempt to fashion a singular, universal solution is not necessary to deal with the variegated issues arising in these markets. States have taken the lead in past reform efforts. They should be an integral part of improving the functioning of health-care and health-insurance markets.”
“When government requires firms to offer benefits, employers will generally prefer to hire part-time workers, who will not be subject to the penalty. Even though the Affordable Care Act counts part-time workers by aggregating their hours to determine the size of a firm, part-time workers are not subject to the $2,000 penalty. Hence, there will be fewer opportunities open for full-time work. Many workers who prefer to work full-time will have an even harder time finding jobs.
In January 2012 over 8 million people were working part-time because they could not find full-time jobs. The new health care law would exacerbate this problem.”
“The individual mandate may be getting more attention, but in a time of persistently high unemployment there needs to be just as much concern about the employer mandate. While these results are specific to Indiana, there are likely other states where small and mid-size businesses are responsible for a significant portion of the job growth. Reforming healthcare need not compromise jobs and small businesses, but unfortunately the Affordable Care Act will do just that.”
“Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) improve the performance of the U.S. health care system? The quality of the major interim final regulations issued under the ACA in 2010 gives three main reasons for pessimism on this score.”
“A year from now, the federal government will start collecting a new tax on medical devices from tongue depressors to imaging machines, thanks to the sweeping health-care overhaul that Democrats enacted in the spring of 2010… Device makers complain that the tax will lead not only to higher prices and layoffs but also to reduced research and development. They also say that when combined with high U.S. corporate-tax rates, the device levy makes relocation to other countries more appealing.”
“President Obama says his health care ‘reform’ will be good for business.
Business has learned the truth.
Three successful businessmen explained to me how Obamacare is a reason that unemployment stays high. Its length and complexity make businessmen wary of expanding.”
“A small business health insurer broker testified today that Obamacare’s Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) regulations has cut his revenues, forced many of his competitors out of business, and may end the small business insurance broker industry entirely… Obamacare is regulating these small businesses out of existence by defining the commission they earn in as administrative overhead the purpose of calculating an insurance companies MLR. Obamacare mandates that insurers in the individual and small group market must spend 80% of their premium dollars on medical costs, not overhead.”
“The healthcare law’s program for early retirees is an example of the law’s broader flaws, House Republicans charged Wednesday. Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee criticized the way the Obama administration handled the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (EERP). The Health and Human Services Department announced last week that nearly all of the EERP’s $5 billion budget had been spent and the program would shut down at the end of the year.”