Sunday, July 1, 2012

ObamaCare . . . The Rising Cost of Pork

For all Americans who love Freedom lost a battle against the Welfare State. In a mammoth decision, the Supreme Court decided to support ObamaCare, extending the destructive path of health care policy in The United States of America.

The effects of ObamaCare will represent higher costs, less competition, less innovation, more bureaucracy, decreased quality, and in the long run, a complete destruction of American health care.

It will be significantly cheaper for an employer to pay the $2,000 fine and pay for the employee to enroll in a government health exchange program, putting more of the cost on the taxpayer.

Many uninsured individuals will choose to pay the tax as an alternative of signing up for insurance through a government exchange. If so, the government-exchange premiums will become so expensive, individuals won’t be able to afford to buy insurance.

Child-only policies will stop being issued due to the required annual benefit levels being increased along with the new requirements that at least 85% of all insurance premiums be used on health-care providers. Meaning higher-cost child-only coverage plans will fail to meet the limits and will be discontinued; causing children to lose their own cheap coverage and either have to move to their parents’ employer plans or access care through the government exchanges.

Employer-sponsored retiree medical plans may be dropped due to repeal of the Medicare part D pharmacy subsidy. Although the subsidy isn’t cancelled until 2013, the SEC requires accounting recognition of any changes as soon as they are known. Over 43% of employers with retiree plans indicated they would likely eliminate retiree medical programs due to the additional requirements under ObamaCare.

Over 670,000 jobs could be eliminated due to the added $760 billion in taxes, penalties, and fees on investors and businesses.

The federal deficit increases at least an additional $115 billion over original projections.

By the year 2020, ObamaCare will have increased the interest on the national debt by $23.1 billion per year, raising the national debt by more than $753 billion, and increase annual budget deficits by an average of $75 billion.

For employer-sponsored plans, starting in 2014, employers who provide health-care plans for their employees will be required to ensure that the level of health-care benefits they provide their employees meet new government standards or face fines and penalties equal to $2,000 per year for each full-time employee. Even then, if their employees would have to pay more than 9.5% of their adjusted gross income for the health plan, or if the employee chooses to purchase from a government exchange, the employer will still have to pay a $2,000 penalty.

You as an individual will be required to have coverage, either from your employer or from a government-sponsored health-care exchange. If you don’t purchase it, the IRS will assess you with tax of $695 per year per family member (capped at three) or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater, starting in 2014.

There would definitely be an increase in new patients who now have coverage seeking doctors’ care. Creating an immediate shortage of 150,000 doctors. Patients will have to wait longer just to get an appointment to see the doctor.

In addition to a reduction in Medicaid reimbursements, it is estimated that 18 to 20 million new Medicaid patients will seek a doctor’s care. Medicaid coverage pays doctors 56% of the private payment amounts. Federal funding will pay for parity to Medicare for 2013 and 2014, and then it will leave it up to the states to figure out how to pay the Medicaid doctors.

59% of doctors think the quality of medicine will decline in the next five years and 79% are less optimistic about the future of medicine. 69% are think they may drop out of government health programs, 53% would consider opting out of treating insurance-covered patients, and 45% have considered leaving the profession altogether.

For taxpayers, new 40% excise tax on health insurance plans, known as the “Cadillac Tax” if a health plan is valued in excess of $10,200 for employee-only coverage [and $27,500 for family coverage. 43% of all plans are expected to incur this tax by 2018, when it becomes effective.

There will be an increase in hospital insurance portion of payroll tax: The Medicare tax will be increased from 1.45% to 2.35% for families making more than $250,000. The new rate will be 3.8%, effective in 2013. The health insurance rate increase will not be used to fund Social Security and Medicare, but rather as a separate entitlement.

A new 3.8% health insurance tax applies to investment income, including capital gains, dividends, rents, royalties, and yes, even the sale of your home.

Affordable Health Care, I think not. Things are about to get a whole lot worse. America was sold a bill of goods for a cash grab by legislators who lined their pockets for a few pounds of pork.

~ Joe Sinagra

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