Sunday, September 28, 2014

September, 2014 Bonus Post The Unfolding Disaster That is Obama Care: A Surprise Reason For Policy Cancellations, Losing Obama Crae Subsidies, and More

Note: we were hoping that yesterday’s post would be the last one needed for this month’s update on the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care. However, from the time we posted the first update last week until yesterday, so many more disasters have arisen that we need this bonus post today to capture all that has happened in just the past month relative to Obama Care.

Over the past few years, but especially over the past thirteen months, we have had to devote more and more posts each month to the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care. This legislation, without a doubt, is the worst piece of legislation ever passed, likely passed by the most inept and useless set of Washington politicians that this country has ever had to endure. The disasters from this law include at least the following downsides:
  • It has and will continue to increase the national debt.
  • It will leave tens of millions of Americans still uninsured ten years from now.
  • It has restricted overall economic growth.
  • It raised taxes on all Americans in dozens of ways.
  • It has reduced the job growth rate in this country.
  • It has turned many full time workers into part time workers.
  • It has generally increase the cost of health insurance, both premiums and deductibles, over what was available in the insurance market before it was passed.
  • The Constitution was violated any number of times when the Obama administration unilaterally and illegally changed components of the law without the permission of Congress or the American people.
  • The American people were lied to over and over, directly by the President and Democrats in Congress, on the ramifications of the law.
  • It has caused millions of American to lose access to the current insurance policies they had.
  • It has caused millions of Americans to lose access to their preferred doctors, preferred hospitals, and in many cases, current medicine treatments.
  • It has likely increased the volume of people visiting hospital emergency rooms.
  • It has caused thousands of doctors to retire early or change professions in order to not deal with the bureaucracy and idiocy of the law.
  • It has exposed the inability of the Federal government and various state governments to develop, launch, and operate a successful program.
  • It has exposed millions of Americans’ personal financial information to identity thieves.
  • It never addressed, and thus, never resolved, the root causes of our escalating health care costs in this country.
I am sure that I omitted some of the negative ramifications of the legislation but you get the idea. To review past discussions of past disasters from Obama Care, enter ”the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care” in the search box above.
Let’s see what the latest fiascoes are and hopefully these will finish the update until next month:

1) According to reporting from The Hill, the Obama administration has recently announced that about 360,000 Americans may lost their Obama Care subsidies if those people cannot provide proof of their income level within the next two weeks.

Government offices will send final notices this week to these individuals who signed up for Obama Care with income levels that didn’t match government records. Failure to verify cuts off their subsidies, which in many cases is likely to cause these Obama Care insured people to also drop their insurance since it would have suddenly gotten much more expensive to carry it without the subsidies. Combine this information with the fact that Aetna has announced that 17% or so of its Obama Care customers have already dropped their insurance and other factors depressing Obama Care sign up totals and we see that this legislation’s successes are growing smaller and smaller.

2) A recent Forbes article written by a restaurant executive continues to verify what many experts have been saying about Obama Care from its inception: Obama Care is shifting restaurant workers, and workers in other industries, into part time jobs whether they want to or not.

Andrew Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, owner of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant brands. The highlights of his Forbes article include the following points:
  • A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll found support for the Obama care legislation languishing at 34% despite the millions and millions of dollars spent to hype its positive aspects, which turned out to be very few.
  • Mr. Puzder, a seasoned restaurant operator stated in an October, 2013 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “[t]he evidence that Obamacare is having a negative impact on hiring is unequivocal, abundant and consistent with common sense.”
  • He claims that government data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 54% of the jobs the economy created from February to August of 2014 were part time
  • For some perspective, for the comparable February through August period in 2012 (prior to the contemplated effective date for Obama Care’s one year look back), 100% of the net jobs the economy added were full time. The number of part time jobs actually declined during that time frame
  • The government reporting acknowledged in their job analysis that there has been “a statistically significant increase” in involuntary part time work in 2014 and that involuntary part time work is what “should be affected if employers are reducing workers hours to avoid employer mandate [Obama Care] penalties.”
Nothing different than what we have been saying for the past few years, this time said by someone actually in the industry and trying to cope with Obama Care. He does a nice summary job of how Obama Care is killing the financial opportunities of millions of Americans by forcing them to become part time workers, both within the restaurant industry and elsewhere:

“Obama Care mandates that employers offer employees working 30 or more hours per week health insurance coverage thereby increasing the cost of employees who work 30 or more hours per week relative to those working under 30 hours per week. Businesses are rationally responding to this clear economic incentive by creating more part time jobs. Make something less expensive and businesses will use more of it. Make something more expensive and businesses will use less of it. That was true with respect to the 40 hour work week and it’s true with respect to Obamacare’s 30 hour employer mandate cut off.

This is a problem Congress and the President can solve, reinvigorating full time job creation and economic growth. Passing the bipartisan Forty Hours is Full Time Act would do the job. However, Obama Care’s supporters must stop defending the law long enough to recognize there’s a problem.”

The fix is really that simple, go back to the traditional 40 hour work week definition, which means the Washington political class has no chance of implementing it.

3) The website, Bankrupting America, does a wonderful job tracking and describing the wasteful spending and incompetency of the Washington political class. According to the September 24, 2014 posting on their website, as reported by The Hill, “The government tracks its health care spending in an outdated records system that cannot easily respond to data requests such as salaries or public relations contracts in certain departments. Instead, officials rely on manually prepared spreadsheets that can take months to produce.”

“Manually prepared spreadsheets.” In these times of personal computers, networking, data base management, etc., the Federal government, which just spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Obama Care systems, prepares data via manual spreadsheets. Unbelievable. What were the hundreds of millions of data systems dollars spent on if those same systems cannot produce simple reports electronically?

4) We have previously discussed a big problem next year around tax time when many Obama Care policy holders may be faced with penalties and fees due to the fact that their income may have been too high when their Obama Care subsides were computed. Now, according to a recent USA Today article, we are getting an idea of how high those tax time surprise costs might be relative to Obama Care policies.

On September 23, 2014, USA Today estimated that hundreds of thousands of Obama Care policy holders could be faced with surprise penalties of anywhere from $600 to over $2,500 for married couples. How many Obama Care policy holders will drop their polices when they realize that keeping them could cost them an additional $2,500 a year, or over $200 a month? 

Additionally, if they keep the newly expensive policy, how many fewer movies will they see, how many fewer restaurant meals will they eat, etc., in order to pay for higher insurance rates, further depressing economy activity and growth? 

5) As we have reported many times, reliable industry sources estimate that at least between five and six million Americans lost access to their current insurance policies directly as a result of Obama Care tenets. We had thought that the only reason that had happened was because some of those policies did not provide the required dozen or so health care services that Obama Care mandates.

For example, some policy holders may have had policies that did not cover maternity expenses since they were well past their child bearing age. Thus, they had a nice arrangement with their insurance company that got them out from under paying for insurance needs that they did not need. Those beneficial arrangements and policies were killed off by Obama Care.

However, we recently found out there is another reason why perfectly good insurance policies were needlessly terminated for 5-6 million Americans. The reason defies logical thinking and reasoning, it is that stupid. However, rather than have me try to explain this little factor in the cancellation of millions of policies, please access the following link from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University:

There is not logical reason or thought process why this incredibly idiotic requirement was put into the legislation. But again, not having logical reason or a logical thought process is pretty much on par with the Washington political class. It would all be so funny if it had not so negatively affected the millons of lives of Americans.

That will do it for today and this month. I am sure that we will address new disasters from Obama Care next month….especially since as this is being written we are seeing that another Federal government agency report has just been published which shows that the overall cost of Obama Care so far is actually orders of magnitude greater than any else this administration has admitted to. 

Let that be the teaser to being you back next month for this developing scandal and more.

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