Posts Tagged ‘higher costs’
Health Care News
Remember that repetitive presidential promise to “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year”? As 2014 and full implementation of Obamacare get closer, it is crystal clear that won’t be the case.
Obamacare’s most onerous insurance regulations will directly cause insurance premiums to skyrocket, particularly in the individual and small group markets.
While there are many provisions that will increase premiums, two will have the most expensive impact:
Health Care News
Not all surprises are good. When it comes to Obamacare, the original projections are turning into unfortunately different realities. For the next 10 days, Heritage is going to highlight one of the various changes in Obamacare projections (i.e. cost, enrollment, etc.) from when the law first passed until now.
To pay for massive new spending provisions, Obamacare includes 18 new or increased taxes, fees, and penalties.
Health Care News
Not all surprises are good. When it comes to Obamacare, the original projections are turning into unfortunately different realities. For the next 11 days, Heritage is going to highlight one of the various changes in Obamacare projections (i.e. cost, enrollment, etc.) from when the law first passed until now.
The Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit was intended to encourage employers to offer health insurance to their employees by partially offsetting the cost.
In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Small Employer Tax Credit would cost the federal government $37 billion over 10 years.
In 2012, the CBO updated its estimate, projecting the credit would cost $23 billion over 10 years.
Health Care News
It seems that every day now brings another business owner in the news talking about cutting workers’ hours or making other cost-cutting moves in anticipation of Obamacare’s impact in 2013.
Here are just a few of the business owners’ comments on the health care law:
- “We’ve calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say—that says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people,” Zane Tankel, chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro, which runs 40 Applebee’s restaurants. >> Tweet this quote
- “There’s no other way we can survive it, because we think it will cost us 50 cents a sandwich. That’s just the actual cost. If you have 40 or 50 employees at a restaurant, and the penalty is $2,000, and you’re going to pay $80,000 or $100,000 penalty, there goes the profit in your restaurant.”—Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s subs, who said he was considering cutting workers’ hours to come in under the Obamacare mandate threshold. >> Tweet this quote
- “It’s a great concept. We want to have everyone insured. The problem is, who is going to pay for it and how are we going to accomplish this?” — John Metz, who operates roughly 40 Denny’s locations and five Hurricane Grill & Wings franchises in Florida, Virginia, and Georgia, and has said he may have to add an Obamacare surcharge to his menus. >> Tweet this quote
- “New unit construction will cease if we have to allocate moneys for that construction to the [Affordable Care Act]. And building new restaurants is how we create jobs.” — Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.
Heritage’s Alyene Senger explains that these businesses are responding to Obamacare’s employer mandate, which has a job-killing effect:
Obamacare requires all businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee after the first 30 workers. The employer mandate creates incentives for businesses to avoid higher costs by, for example, hiring part-time employees instead of full-time employees, since businesses will not be penalized for failing to provide health insurance to part-time employees….Businesses can also avoid penalties by keeping the number of employees under the mandate threshold of 50, which further discourages creating new jobs.
These businesses’ plans are only the effects based on what we know about Obamacare. There are still many, many crucial details that we don’t know. Health and Human Services (HHS) just released some of the new rules that will govern what kind of coverage insurers must offer —and Heritage’s experts are still going through the 300-plus pages of regulations to sort out what they mean.
Health Care News
As states weigh their options regarding the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid, many have sought out cost estimates to assist them. However, in a new paper, Heritage experts Ed Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski caution state lawmakers that state cost estimates rest on key assumptions, some of which may be questionable.
There are six reasons state cost estimates could be unreliable:
Health Care News
Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provision began this year and requires insurers in the individual and small-group markets to spend 80 percent of premiums—85 percent for insurers in the large-group market—on medical claims or quality improvements. If the insurer doesn’t spend the required percentage, it must issue a rebate to consumers.
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a rule that requires insurers to notify rebate recipients that their rebate is all thanks to Obamacare. In the first paragraph it must state, “This letter is to inform you that you will receive a rebate of a portion of your health insurance premiums. This rebate is required by the Affordable Care Act—the health reform law.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the rebates to customers will range from $76 on average for those insured in the small-group market to $14 on average for those in the large-group market.
Two years ago today, President Barack Obama signed into law Obamacare, a 2,700-page bill that will radically alter America’s health care system and wreak havoc on medical costs, quality of care, and fundamental rights in ways that are beyond the scope of our imagination.
Much of what was contained in Obamacare was hatched behind closed doors where not even the slightest ray of light could find its way in. Even the men and women in Congress who were entrusted to represent the people cast their votes blindly, not knowing what lay in store. As even then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously admitted, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”
The American people have already spoken, however. They want this law repealed and tossed out, as we have seen in poll after poll for the past two years. None of the activities being planned by the White House to gussy up this law will likely make a dent on the unpopularity of Obamacare.
Though even today, two years later, much of Obamacare remains to be written by unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we know some of what’s contained in the law and the ramifications for the American people. Most broadly, Obamacare rips vast powers from the hands of individual patients and their families, and it vests control in Washington bureaucrats. And the costs are far greater than the Administration claim — heading as high as $2.134 trillion with millions Americans dependent on government for their health care.
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that under the President’s health care law, 20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits and the individual and employer penalties related to the mandates could hit $221 billion. At the time of passage, many people warned as much.
But wait, there’s more.
This This week Obamacare will have its second birthday, but there’s little reason to celebrate. Throughout the week, Obamacare advocates will be emphasizing the law’s supposed benefits on specific groups of Americans. But as Heritage’s research over the past two years has shown, Obamacare harms Americans—even the provisions showcased by the left.
Today, the focus is on how Obamacare is supposed to lower costs. Advocates of the law argue that provisions like the insurance rate review, the medical loss ratio (MLR) requirement, and the small business tax credit decrease health care costs. But Heritage research shows that these provisions have been largely ineffective at lowering costs.
Obamacare includes such a variety and volume of negative policies that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Here is a list of 10 terrible provisions that every American should be aware of:
- It increases taxes on families earning over $250,000. In 2013, the employee portion of the Medicare payroll tax will increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent for families earning $250,000 or more and individuals earning $200,000 or more. The income threshold is not indexed for inflation, so more and more middle-income families will be hit by the tax hike as time goes on.
- It adds a new tax to investment income. The increased payroll tax rate is also applied to high-earners’ investment income for the first time beginning in 2013. It will hit capital gains, dividends, rents, and royalties, discouraging investment and harming economic growth.
- It puts new limitations on those with HSAs and FSAs. Starting in 2012, Obamacare restricts the products that consumers may purchase with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA)—such as over-the-counter medications—and increases the penalty for such non-qualified uses of HSAs. It also limits the amount taxpayers may deposit into an FSA to $2,500 a year in 2013.
- It adds a new tax on those who purchase medical devices. In 2013, a 2.3 percent excise tax will be applied to medical devices, causing a $28.5 billion tax hike on medical device manufacturers. The industry will pay for this tax by reducing jobs and passing additional costs on to consumers.
- It penalizes marriage. Obamacare creates new taxpayer-funded subsidies for the low and middle classes to purchase health coverage, but the structure of the subsidies allows two individuals to claim more in subsidies alone than if married. This discriminates against married couples and discourages marriage at almost all age and income levels.
Health Care News
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added new preventive care measures specific to women’s health to the long list of provisions that will drive up premiums under Obamacare. Not only will the new regulations infringe upon Americans’ freedom to choose a health plan in keeping with their values, as we explained here, but they serve as a precursor to more pricey regulations to come.
HHS issued regulations last July on the preventive measures that insurers must cover with no cost-sharing, but as part of the new law, the agency was to review preventive services specific to women’s health and could include further guidelines, which were issued yesterday. Last week, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its recommendation that the new regulations should include the full range of contraceptives, including sterilization procedures. Also to be covered with no cost-sharing were well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, HPV DNA testing, STI counseling, HIV screening and counseling, breastfeeding support, and domestic violence screening. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
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