It looks like big business won the fight over Obamacare or so it seems. The original plan was to mandate any business with over 50 employees to offer health insurance to their employees or face a $2,000 a year penalty for each employee. But businesses have a one year extension. It was the ACA (Affordable Care Act) bureaucrats who put the brakes on because they were getting so many calls from businesses complaining that the law was confusing and they threatened to stop hiring and cut current employees hours to under 30 a week, to circumvent the law. However, all the places I shop at tell me, all their employees are working part-time anyway and have been for awhile. So technically, those businesses, like Target, The Dollar Store and Ralph’s won’t have to pay anything, but their employees will.
It is my understanding that the individual mandate will still be in effect though. This October those without health insurance will be able to buy health insurance through the health care exchange. At least that is the plan — but I am guessing that since we will be dealing with a bureaucracy, it will still be confusing to people shopping for insurance.
It is my understanding that most Americans are currently living paycheck-to-paycheck. Where will they come up with the extra cash to pay for health insurance premiums? Most HMOs require co-pays as well, which are expected to go up — if someone already has trouble paying their bills and manages to buy the cheapest policy available, how will they come up their co-pay? The majority of healthcare providers expect payment immediately. Will they rack up credit card debt to pay their medical bills? Also, since this is a Federal law, how will the share-of-cost be calculated? It costs a great deal more to live in Orange County than, let’s say, Desoto County, Mississippi. A family of four with an income of $30,000 annually ( that’s gross income) can buy a lot more in Mississippi than Anaheim.
Another question is — how will people applying for help with coverage be expected to show proof they can’t afford it and what kind insurance will they be offered? Have you ever tried to get Medi Cal, or even food stamps? The paperwork is endless. Will those with pre-existing conditions be able to get treated for their illness immediately or have to wait a full year? The original law gave insurance companies a pass on the pre-existing part of the plan — they do have to cover people with pre-existing conditions but not for the first year. In other words, a person will be covered if they break their leg, but not if they have heart disease at the time they buy a policy. There is a lot of “fine print” hidden in those 1500 pages of the ACA handbook.
I think the real reason the ACA is pushed back another year is because, back in April of this year, Congress was trying to get their staff exempted from the mandate. The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere. Older, more senior staffers could also retire or jump to the private sector rather than face a big financial penalty. If they think staffers will have trouble coming up with money to buy health insurance, what about the guy working at Target or Marie Callenders?
Allowing businesses to get an extension will cause the government to lose out on the expected 10 million in revenue that they hoped to get from businesses who opted to pay the fine. But our leaders just hate living under the same rules they create for you and me. In fact, they exempt themselves from all laws they implement, that’s why they don’t want to go back to the private sector.
I completely understand the need to make sure people get the healthcare they need but this sounds like a train wreck. The ACA does nothing to deal with rising healthcare costs and health insurance costs. I am suspicious when it was the health insurance companies that helped write this law. Very suspicious indeed.