published Monday, July 25th, 2011

ObamaCare destroying private health care

Opponents of ObamaCare warned again and again before it became law that it would drive countless employers to drop the medical insurance plans they currently provide to their employees, and that the workers would then be forced onto ObamaCare.

Not surprisingly, the Obama administration denied that at almost every opportunity.

The president declared repeatedly that "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

But it is becoming distressingly clear that's just not so.

By 2014, ObamaCare will force all companies with more than 50 workers to offer government-approved medical benefits or pay $2,000 in penalties per full-time worker. What many companies are discovering is that it may be less expensive for them to drop coverage, pay the penalties and let employees go onto ObamaCare instead.

In fact, nearly a third of employers in a recent McKinsey & Co. survey said they definitely or probably will no longer offer medical plans once ObamaCare is fully implemented in 2014.

Obviously that means their workers will not get to keep the terms and benefits to which they've become accustomed, no matter how much they may like them. They will have to take what they can get under ObamaCare. They may not even get to keep the same doctors.

The president himself admitted in an ABC News interview even before ObamaCare passed that Americans couldn't necessarily keep their current plans and physicians.

"When I say, 'If you have your plan and you like it, ... or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don't have to change plans,' what I'm saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform," he conceded.

But the federal government is creating perverse incentives that make it economically unrealistic for many private companies to continue to offer their own health plans, and that is going to drive many businesses to drop their plans altogether.

That, in turn, will drive more people onto government care, even though existing government-run health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are already in deep financial trouble. Medicare, in fact, is expected to go broke in just a few years.

We can see no benefit in enrolling tens of millions more Americans in government health care programs, but we can see how doing so will worsen our country's economic problems.

Further proof of that is the fact that a majority of the states -- which will be saddled with much of the unsustainable cost of ObamaCare -- have filed suit to block the law. They understand with painful clarity that ObamaCare poses a serious threat to their budgets and thus to their people.

Congress should repeal ObamaCare, but with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House, that is unlikely in the near future. That leaves it up to the federal courts -- and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court -- to rightly declare it unconstitutional.

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EaTn said...

The new law will not drive good employers to drop employee health care, but the republican insistence in the law that the penalty for not providing employee health care be very low will entice some to drop the insurance. It was not all Obama-- most of the unfair parts of the bipartisan law was right-wing added to protect their wealthy friends (as usual).

July 25, 2011 at 8:07 a.m.
ldhan said...

The flip side of the coin is that for many Americans, the private health insurance offered through their work place has been steadily getting much more expansive (for both the employer and the employees) and covering much less. For individuals who have to foot their own insurance bill, the cost increases have been through the roof with fewer and fewer people able to afford even the basic coverage. The questions which is not being asked often enough is why should we be content with the status quo and paying more for less? I value my choices, but when it is not affordable, it is really not much of a choice at all. Unlike expensive cars and summer houses which most people can live without, not having a basic safety net for one's life and livelihood should not be acceptable. Yet too many are living their lives one illness away from getting bankrupted, in many cases, even with the health insurance they have. IMHO, there are still a lot more need to be done and the track record of private health care industries (insurance, doctors & health care providers, and pharmas alike) does not give me much confidence that they can or have the will to solve the problem on their own.

July 25, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Sit back and enjoy all you Socialistic desiring folk. But the ride may not be as smooth as you think. All the places noted to be "successfully implementing" government health care have other big economic issues. So we can sit back and wait until they come to us. But what the hey, we just up the debt ceiling, tax the people more and keep borrowing and spending as if there is no tomorrow. The reason being when it all completely falls apart the current clown leaders will be long gone. But the most important part will be those doggone rich people(all Republicans in many eyes)will be punished and that's what matters most.(NOT)

July 25, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.
Plato said...

The underlying problem is not in Obama Care but in the rapidly escalating cost of health care across the board, which in turn is responsible for the rapid rise in health care insurance. Canceling or modifying a health care mandate will do nothing to solve this problem.

The one single thing we could do to solve the health care crisis is to reduce obesity, which is responsible for over half of the cost of health care now.

  • Make phys-ed a requirement in public schools like it was under JFK.
  • Eliminate junk food from school cafeterias and fill vending machines with juice instead of sugar laden soft drinks.
  • Incentivize fitness by allowing health club dues to be tax deductible.
  • Allow health insurers to grant lower premiums on people with normal blood pressure and cholesterol, and assess penalties on those above normal levels.
  • Quadrupole the tax on tobacco and funnel the revenue to states as a Medicaid subsidy.
July 25, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.
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