A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Strangelove Health Plan

Timothy Birdnow

Writing for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Sean Hackbarth asks "why do we need an employer mandate for health insurance?"

From the article:

"Since Obamacare’s employer mandate has been delayed twice and even modified, researchers at the Urban Institute asked, “Why not just eliminate it?”

The answer Linda Blumberg, John Holahan, and Matthew Buettgens came up with is that doing so would remove a few of the barriers holding back employers from hiring, while not significantly reducing the number of people with health plan coverage.

Here’s a quick refresher. Under Obamacare, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer affordable (defined by Washington) health coverage or potentially pay a penalty. The mandate’s penalty is calculated based on the number of full-time employees, which has been redefined as those working 30 hours or more per week. This has created a perverse incentive to cut workers’ hours and hire more part-time workers. This is already happening in both the private and public sectors.

The report states that eliminating the employer mandate “will remove labor market distortions that have troubled employer groups and which would harm some workers."

End excerpt.

I can attest to the efficacy of Obamacare's mandate. I had a tolerably decent health plan through my employer - which I lost last month thanks to the mandates in Obamacare. It is cheaper for my bosses to pay the fines than to keep the coverage, which had become staggeringly expensive do to the little goodies imposed.

I had to sign up for the exchange. I now pay substantially more for inferior insurance. I have a $7500 deductible. I have to pay $500 for an ER visit. Some of my meds aren't covered. I have to pay for juvenile dental and eye care, while not receiving those benefits for myself or my wife (we don't have children). I have to pay for pregnancy care, despite being past child-bearing age.

And there were exactly two companies to choose from, and the other was so underrepresented in the St. Louis market that there was no point in signing with them. So essentially we had one choice. And don't think they don't know it; we have had to wait well over an hour on hold to speak with a representative, and the reps are completely indifferent to the inconvenience. Oh, and they assigned us some loser doctor without our asking, too. They say we can change but it is going to be a regal pain...

This is change we can believe in!

I have health issues, as does my darling bride, and we simply must have coverage, so I am forced to accept the yoke of forcible health insurance. And all of this is for no good reason.

Actually, there is a good reason; it is destined to fail, and fail spectacularly, leading to the estanlishment of "single payer" aka socialized medicine. Now we have Fascist medicine, the kind that would be approved by a Mussolini or a Hitler. Axis healthcare it should be called. The people who pushed this knew it would fail; they exempted kids up until they are 26 (they can stay on their parent's plan) and then the fine is low enough to make the young not bother. These young healthy people are the supposed backbone of the scheme; they would pay to carry us sick old codgers. But then the law was written - quite intentionally - to exempt them. And the employer mandate is going to cream the health care plans of retirees, forcing them onto Medicare or into the exchanges. We'll witness an explosion of sick people moving into the system and nowhere near enough healthy people carrying the weight. When the system collapses and people are desperate our dear leaders will unveil the solution - government single payer.

That's how it is going to go down.

If that weren't the case the mandate would be waived permanently.

The GOP will make a lot of noise and at the end of the day do nothing. The top brass in the Republican party are already talking about this as something that cannot be eliminated but "fixed". But you cannot fix stupid, which is the essence of this whole monstrosity, so any band-aids applied to fix this will be in vain. I suspect many Republicans know this, but they do not care, because it still empowers government (something the GOP Establishment is comfortable with provided they get their cut) and it still brings in lots of money with the "penalty".

Let us close this essay with the words from the Peter Sellers movie "Dr. Strangelove":

"Mein Fuehrer, I can walk!"

Fat chance.

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