Justice Roberts Says, Read My Lips. The Individual Mandate. It’s a Tax!
There is too much speculation and not enough information for small businesses about Obamacare, a.k.a.
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Here are some talking points for small business people, like myself, that will hopefully lead to a greater understanding and a more intelligent debate over the new healthcare law.
First, Obama parades around the country telling people there will be tax breaks to help small businesses with Obamacare, a.k.a. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
There are no tax breaks from Obamacare for my small business with 34 employees and growing.
See –> NFIB’s website healthcare calculator to determine if you business qualifies for tax cuts.
Note: When we do reach 50 employees there are penalties for not offering health insurance coverage to my employees. As we approach this rather arbitrary number, we will have to consider any and all alternatives.
We offer our employees 100% healthcare benefits, but what affect will exchanges have on my existing plan? There is no simple answer and not enough clarity in the law at present. Both SHOP (Small Business Health Options Plan), the small business exchange no one knows anything about and individual exchanges are part of the new law.
In the 644 page document, Final Rule State Healthcare Exchanges, from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the fears and uncertainty grow from sample extracts below taken from the law that imply more government regulation and control including:
“Consistent with the scope of the Exchange establishment and eligibility proposed rules, this final rule does not address all of the Exchange provisions in the Affordable Care Act; rather, more details will be provided in forthcoming guidance and future rule making, where appropriate.”
How about this extract? “The final rule does not address all of the insurance exchange provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and additional rules will address those, according to the rule.”
This statement implies Big Brother’s not done and wants to get into other private markets, “SHOP may want to fulfill additional functions outside the scope of the proposed rule in order to offer employers a streamlined experience when managing their employee benefits.”
These commenters proposed that the SHOP sell other types of insurance, administer COBRA on behalf of participating employers, administer flexible spending accounts, assist small employers in setting up Section 125 plans, and oversee wellness programs.
Scary stuff for private enterprise from comments like this, “We will take these comments into account as we consider future guidance on the offering of other products on the Exchange.”
For more details see –>Alien Nation, a.k.a. Obamacare Nation
What we see is more government intervention including more paperwork, compliance issues and regulatory pressures. Why not work to improve what was already in place by simply openening up the competition to providers across state lines? Why not just do a better job enforcing the laws we already had in place to cut down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud? An example of what government should concentrate on would be the Justice Department’s case against GlaxoSmithKline who agreed to pay $3 billion in the largest U.S. healthcare fraud settlement.
Second, Health Savings Account plans help my employees to buy more affordable healthcare insurance for their families.
Obamacare now limits the savings, in two ways: it restricts the types of health products you can purchase with your H.S.A. money, and it reduces the amount of money you’ll be able to put into your H.S.A. Unsurprisingly, there’s a price hike, too. It doubles—to a whopping 20 percent—the tax penalty for withdrawing H.S.A. funds to cover non-medical expenses.
The new medical loss ratios (MLRs) even discourages H.S.A.s because Obamacare limits payments by individuals to 10%, only payments by insurers count, which discourages patients from making their own decisions about the cost of their healthcare.
Third, why waivers? If Obamacare is the best thing for Americans, why is Health and Human Services (HHS) giving waivers to the largest unions, like the United Auto Workers and large corporations, like AT&T, Verizon and of course, none other than GE?
“More than 50 percent of the Obamacare waiver beneficiaries are union members, which is striking because union members account for less than 12 percent of the American work force.” See –> Political Calculations
As long as we are on the subject of waivers, now that Justice Roberts has declared Obamacare’s individual mandate a tax, what happens to the waivers? Now you are going to tax some but not all Americans? Big Union and Big Business gets a tax break?
Fourth, consider enforcement. Senator Marco Rubio said in an interview, instead of spending law enforcement dollars chasing bad guys, we’ll be spending our resources chasing American’s who either can’t afford or won’t pay for health insurance.
This resonates considering they don’t want law enforcement chasing illegal immigrants,
Fifth is access. Anything government can do to improve the quality of healthcare automatically improves the cost of healthcare. Improvement in cost improves access.
Politifact claims Governor Scott’s statement about healthcare rationing is “false” based on the premise we are not changing the business of healthcare. That’s Politicrap. The more people who have access to healthcare the greater the likelihood for rationing. Why? This law does nothing about quality or cost, it’s all about access.
Also, Medicare permeates the whole system, and the law does nothing to improve Medicare, except phantom future cuts.
Adverse selection is built into the law, Americans will wait until they get sick to buy insurance and you can’t be turned down. But, as presently constituted, the new “tax” is a steal — $695 is cheaper than most annual health insurance policies.
Premiums will skyrocket. Worse, because of the law’s modified rating, prohibiting more than a 3 to 1 spread between premiums for the oldest and youngest, the young will be hardest hit.
This is just redistribution from young to old.
The subsidies for the poor, 133-400% of the poverty level, will be budget busting. Recipients will have premiums limited to about 10% of their income.
This is a defined benefit, open ended financial commitment and hugely redistributive.
Young people will have to stay under employed to keep their insurance.
Finally, with regard to insurance portability, the HIPPA law in the 90s prohibited carriers from denying policies or limiting benefits for pre-existing conditions to individuals with continuous coverage.
If an individual loses coverage they can buy COBRA or affordable HIPAA policies as long as they haven’t gone more than 62 days without coverage.
My vote will be “Do over, or do more to enforce the pre-existing laws, do more to increase competition. Allow more insurance companies to compete across state lines and repeal Obamacare.”
November 2012 will be a “mandate.”