Sebelius: You know, there’s no better business incentive than a government mandate

posted at 3:35 pm on July 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

So says Kathleen Sebelius in defending the ObamaCare mandate on small businesses of 50 or more employees. CNS News asked the question of whether the mandate might not keep small business owners from hiring that 50th employee as a means to avoid paying either government fines or health insurance policies. Au contraire, says Sebelius — businesses are actually looking forward to being forced into paying more overhead:

“I hear, frankly, just the opposite from small business owners … where they say the way that they retain and recruit the best possible employees is with a benefit package that is solid; that often they lose good employees because they can’t provide affordable health coverage, they go down the street or around the corner, even though businesses like Frager’s are a family–absent that protection that people have for their employees,” Sebelius said at a press conference about the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges at Frager’s Hardware on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

“So,” Sebelius said, “I think that this will actually be a great incentive–as you know the 50 people also have lots of part time worker exclusions, seasonal worker exclusions–and I don’t hear anything from people who say, ‘Oh, I would never grow my business past this threshold’ but are very enthusiastic about the notion that this is a competitive issue. It’s a bottom line issue and when they’re being essentially in the market place paying substantially more than their competitors for exactly the same coverage, they feel at a great disadvantage so I think, what I hear from folks is they see this as a huge step forward.” …

In her remarks at the news conference, Sebelius highlighted the reasons she believes many small businesses do not currently provide health insurance for their employees.

“The health insurance market today is often broken, especially for small businesses like Frager’s. Small companies can pay up to 18 percent more for the same insurance that the large chains are able to get and those are their competitors and small business owners are more likely to be victims of large premium increases or to be offered coverage that might exclude care for various pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes, and that’s a big part of the reason why small employers are less likely than large companies to offer health benefits to their workers.”

So much silliness, so little time. Let’s start with the 18% disparity in offering health insurance between large risk pools and small risk pools.  Gee, to what might the difference in premiums be related?  Hmmmm.  It’s also related to the fact that prices usually drop when producers are guaranteed a larger demand, which only takes one visit to Wal-Mart and Target to understand.  Insurers can negotiate lower provider prices when they add tens of thousands of people to their plans, but not so much when they add a few dozen.  Lower provider prices means lower costs for the insurer, and hence lower premiums. It’s called economies of scale, known everywhere but in the public sector, apparently.

If ObamaCare interferes with that process, it won’t be to reduce the prices for the smaller business; it will be to raise prices for the larger businesses — or more likely, just raise them for everyone.  That’s exactly what happened in Massachusetts and Maine when business and personal mandates got imposed.  The $750 per worker per year fine will look a lot tastier to smaller businesses, especially when the federal government will end up subsidizing employee insurance anyway.  Given that the average single-person policy runs over $3200 per year here in Minnesota, why wouldn’t businesses shrug off the health-insurance costs and just give everyone a $1000 per year raise instead?  They would still be more than a thousand dollars ahead of the game at current prices, let alone what will happen to prices after ObamaCare comes fully into force.

Oh, right — competition.  Sebelius insists that small businesses will love this because it will make them more competitive in the labor market.  If that were true, though, they’d already offer health insurance.  Big business owners will love the bill because it forces their smaller and more nimble competition to take on more overhead cost either through insurance or government fines, which will make the smaller businesses less competitive, not more.  What this mandate does in practice is to make sure no competitor grows beyond the 49-employee limit without taking on artificial burdens of overhead, and that doesn’t help smaller players in markets.

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I’d rather have a thread about the Marxist’s SS comments…

PatriotRider on July 12, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Is this how she governed Kansas???

Gohawgs on July 12, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Get outside the beltway, lady. Talking to government contrators(small businesses) is like visiting a Potemken village. Of course the Kulaks’ say great things about communism.

JimP on July 12, 2011 at 3:39 PM

She just publicly admitted to being fascist.

Vashta.Nerada on July 12, 2011 at 3:39 PM

First hitler joined the socialists, then subsumed them, then joined and subsumed the corporations, then ruled with an iron fist. Buehler?

WitchDoctor on July 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM

The follow-up to the this article will contain the word “unexpectedly”.

AubieJon on July 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM

The GOP needs to much more aggressive. I’m starting to sense fear in the Dems.

Oil Can on July 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Approx 400 jobs per state created averaging May and June #’s among a population of over 300 million citizens.

QED

aquaviva on July 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

She just publicly admitted to being fascist.

Vashta.Nerada on July 12, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Among Democrats that’s a feature, not a bug.

SKYFOX on July 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

When the time comes, Kathleen Sebelius should not be thrown under the bus as much as she should be thrown under the steamroller! This idiot is a TOOL!

pilamaye on July 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Oh, right — competition. Sebelius insists that small businesses will love this because it will make them more competitive in the labor market.

She’s as sick and weasely as Geithner, Holder and Obama, malicious one and all. May they be punished.

——-
The Rs, with 95 voting Yea, passed O-care for veterinarians, in March of this year. They are for the dogs too.

Schadenfreude on July 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

“I hear, frankly, just the opposite from small business owners

That’s because the only small business owners she talks to are the rent seeking douchebags who survive on government cash and favors.

RadClown on July 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

often they lose good employees because they can’t provide affordable health coverage, they go down the street or around the corner,

Exactly where in the country right now can one say, “No benefits? I’m going down the street and applying for a job” and actually go down the street and be hired.

In this job market, people are hanging on to whatever jobs they have, crummy salary and benefits or no.

Wethal on July 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Do we need any more proof as to why command and control anything from the federal government can only fail?

gwelf on July 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Sebelius is a nutjob..

Dire Straits on July 12, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Sebelius proving once again that you can’t fix stupid.

AZCoyote on July 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM

This is precisely why small businesses are not hiring and why corporations like GE are keeping their business overseas.

Kini on July 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I think most of us Americans have had enough of this one as well.

Quite a list, really…

golfmann on July 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM

We can only hope the next president of the United States dismantles the HHS, thus nullifying the entire ObamaCare legislation.

ButterflyDragon on July 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

This is such simple stuff. To be honest, I have always been confused why people cannot understand these simple market concepts. When someone asks me, “why would the government do it if it doesn’t make sense,” I really don’t know how to answer that question. It can’t be stupidity (these people are smart) and it can’t be ill-intent (most of these people really care about other people). It has to be some natural aversion against open markets and competition that makes people inherently opposed to letting markets function in their effective–but often ugly–manner. All of life is filled with competition of some sort (for jobs, for girls, for attention, etc.) and the scars of those who lose. People want desperately to build a world without competition, but that is not possible.

Any thoughts???

It really does confuse me why smart and caring people cannot get these simple concepts and, more importantly, cannot understand how it hurts the people they are trying to protect…

RedSoxNation on July 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

This Obamacare has to be repealed at all costs

Kini on July 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Just one little problem with her logic. Who the HECK is hiring regardless of how many people are applying? The only competition is to get to the unemployment office early so you don’t have to wait so long in line. At this point people just want a job and they ain’t in no position to haggle too much about the benefits package unless of course she is saying the unemployment rate is so high because people refuse to take a job without a good benefits package.

Just A Grunt on July 12, 2011 at 3:52 PM

“What I hear from folks is they see this as a huge step forward.”

No the term is “Great Leap Forward”

Or is it “Lean Forward”

I don’t know, I can’t keep these Progressive slogans straight anymore.

forest on July 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The Rs, with 95 voting Yea, passed O-care for veterinarians, in March of this year. They are for the dogs too.

Schadenfreude on July 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Huh?

Dr. Conservative on July 12, 2011 at 3:56 PM

This is a load of crap, of course. Kathleen Sebelius hasn’t talked to any “small business owners”, other than owners of PR firms working to relect the President or owners of other service firms working in support of administration efforts. I founded and still own a twenty year old small business, and would give anything to have the government stop passing new rules, mandates, good ideas, well meant suggestions, or anything approaching more interference in my daily life. Just stop. Don’t do it. Shut up, and go home Kathleen.

MTF on July 12, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Small businesses are soooo grateful that the Powers That Be tell them how to run competitive businesses.

But for the guidance of these Platonic Guardians, the small businesses would be muddling through inefficiently and unprofitably on their own.

All hail our wise and benevolent rulers!

/s

Wethal on July 12, 2011 at 3:56 PM

The model for 0bamacare is seriously flawed, yet mini-me Cadillac Deval is on a world tour bragging about Romneycare and how great it is and how great 0bamacare will be?

During the four-plus years of Romneycare, health insurance costs have increased by $4.3 billion to as much at $6.1 billion. Premiums for policyholders have grown 21-46 percent faster than the national average. A typical family plan has jumped by $2,504 per year.

from: “The High Price of Massachusetts Health Care Reform: Uncle Sam’s Bounty,” Obamacare will make us sick!

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view/2011_0627obamacare_cost_will_make_us_sick/

shanimal on July 12, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I agree. Those environmental regs did wonders for domestic auto manufacturing.

rogerb on July 12, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I am a research engineer with many contacts in small business.
The machines shops that I work with are busy paying for automation to avoid every crossing that 50 employee line.

The Rock on July 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

How many waivers granted again?

Pathetic

cmsinaz on July 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

The ObamaCare bill is full of stipulations that “The Secretary [of Health and Human Services] shall…[decree something].

If the Secretary is stuck on stupid, we need a new Secretary, and a new President.

Steve Z on July 12, 2011 at 4:00 PM

“The health insurance market today is often broken, especially for small businesses like Frager’s

It’s broken because of the government and communists like you, you stupid arrogant old bag! Get out of my life!

search4truth on July 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Sick.

rrpjr on July 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Approx 400 jobs per state created averaging May and June #’s among a population of over 300 million citizens.

QED

aquaviva on July 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

In reality there were jobs lost.

For one thing, the number of jobs increased in June only because the Labor Department simultaneously revised downward the number of jobs that existed in this country during May….Without the fence-moving operation in the May employment report, the June number — yesterday’s number — would have shown a decline of 26,000 jobs.

INC on July 12, 2011 at 4:02 PM

“What I hear from folks is they see this as a huge step forward.”

Yeah, off the cliff.

MassVictim on July 12, 2011 at 4:03 PM

RedSoxNation on July 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Simply, it’s power. Liberals want to feel. The rest of us want to think. Read Atlas Shrugged.

search4truth on July 12, 2011 at 4:03 PM

OT: Jake Tapper at today’s WH briefing (speaking about the debt talks) asking what has the admin proposed:

I don’t know what the president has actually proposed.

And neither does the rest of us

ConservativePartyNow on July 12, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Horseface’s father, former Ohio Governor John Gilligan, was a moron too.

bw222 on July 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM

ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY FALSE.

Hey, Kathleen, why don’t you ask Former Representative Kathleen Dahlkemper if she has changed her mind on the wisdom of voting for Obamacare and if she still thinks that businesses will embrace it.

One year ago next week, I was in DC at an event at which she gave the keynote. Since Dahlkemper’s family and the group were in the same industry you’d think she would have gotten a warm reception.

You’d be wrong.

When she finished her obligatory remarks on how wonderful it was to address the gathering, she launched into a truly bizarre, unforced defense of her vote for Obamacare.

You should have seen my boss’s face – fire engine red – and he was far from the only one.

People were getting up and walking out – and the bar was inside the room.

When she finished, it sounded like the applause for the conclusion of a set by Murph and the Magic Tones.

DAHLKEMPER LOST HER JOB BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE, AND SEBALIUS WILL TOO, RIGHT ALONG WITH HER BOSS.

turfmann on July 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Well, at least the trains are running on time!

chicken thief on July 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Any debt ceiling deal that leaves Sibelieus employed doesn’t go nearly far enough.

cthulhu on July 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM

This is Frager FARGIN WAR!!!

pain train on July 12, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Exactly where in the country right now can one say, “No benefits? I’m going down the street and applying for a job” and actually go down the street and be hired.

In this job market, people are hanging on to whatever jobs they have, crummy salary and benefits or no.

Wethal on July 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Circle gets the square!

Ann on July 12, 2011 at 4:13 PM

And you know what the scary thing is? This woman has some of that much-vaunted “executive experience” as governor of a state, and yet she’s still clueless.

Let’s face it, without a vastly reduced government apparatus, we’re going to keep sending huge amounts of our money to be wasted, and having our economy crippled, by clowns such as her, regardless of who the president is.

mr.blacksheep on July 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM

I’ve got a job creating project for the President that most conservatives would agree with. Build the Barack Obama Administration Federal Prison. These people need to pay for their incompetence.

CTSherman on July 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Just like the rest of Failbama’s pals, this woman is a loonie toon.

They are now Masters of Stupid. (There’s a tv show or a movie trilogy in that title…)

dogsoldier on July 12, 2011 at 4:28 PM

What is this, an administration of Pinnochio’s?

After the chainsaw guys get done with Turbo Tax Timmy’s proboscis, they are going to have to head of to Silly Sibelius’ place and get to work.

How do these people look in the mirror without puking? How can anyone with two firing neurons in their head take these liars seriously?

novaculus on July 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

What an itiot! Now wonder we are in so much trouble and Odumbo is so successful at destroying this country.

ultracon on July 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM

When the Democrat Party passes from the world stage, the peace dividend will be enormous.

Akzed on July 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Yes there is a better incentive lady: it’s called an election sweep of historic proportions and then an agency sweep of inbreed vermin to follow…

Don L on July 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Is this how she governed Kansas???

Gohawgs on July 12, 2011 at 3:38 PM

YES!!!

…and we’re grateful to the nation for taking her out of our state.

We had a long-standing budget crisis in KS: SOLVED within 30 days after Sebelius left…including a nasty impasse on school funding…by a Democrat lieutenant governor who was moved into office via her exit!! EVERYTHING improved quickly when Sebelius was removed from KS!!

(NOTE TO NATION: Sorry, but “you bought her – ABSOLUTELY NO RETURNS”!!!)

landlines on July 12, 2011 at 4:37 PM

“So,” Sebelius said, “I think that this will actually be a great incentive

Then why did she approve all the WAIVERS????

TN Mom on July 12, 2011 at 4:38 PM

She’s Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS….without the sexiness, Frau Blücher without the intelligence, and Nurse Ratched without the caring.

TugboatPhil on July 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM

I’m sure she can’t repeat in mixed company what she hears from small and large businesses about the mandates. How these people twist logic and lie is beyond amazing.

Kissmygrits on July 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Sebelius: You know, there’s no better business incentive than a government mandate

For that small class of people who are devoid of ethics and who sell whatever is mandated, she is correct.

burt on July 12, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Sebelius just makes me ill just to watch her.
It must be tough being a part of the ruling class and having to come in and act like you care about the stupid serfs.

JellyToast on July 12, 2011 at 4:49 PM

You know what else is a great incentive? Labor camps and re-education centers. Maybe Obama’s Central Planning Committee can work some of those into their five year plan.

obladioblada on July 12, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Sebelius: “You know, there’s no better business incentive than a government mandate”

This from the woman who financed her campaigns with donations from 3rd trimester abortion mills. She may has well have said:

“You know, there’s no better business incentive to contribute to (D)emocrats than a tax-payer funded 3rd trimester abortion”

for the “health of the mother” of course.

DANEgerus on July 12, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Incentives? How about the threat to pull the waivers for those “Incentives”?

I’d hate to see something happen to your ObamaCare waiver. You should pony up or we might have to review your status and reward you with some INCENTIVES!

DANEgerus on July 12, 2011 at 4:54 PM

This woman must be stopped.

John the Libertarian on July 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I’d rather have a thread about the Marxist’s SS comments…
PatriotRider on July 12, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Ditto.

jawkneemusic on July 12, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Madame commissar has mastered the party line . . . and is a ruthless, manipulative leftist.

rplat on July 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Is this how she governed Kansas???

Gohawgs on July 12, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Oh can’t you see? The difference between her and Obie is that she has experience and thus can’t possibly destroy the economy like Zero is now doing. That’s why Michelle is unfit to run for POTUS-no executive experience .

AH_C on July 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM

This woman is a fracking moron.

jawkneemusic on July 12, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Is there a liberal out there who has ever run a business? They can’t be this dumb about how businesses work.

Scrappy on July 12, 2011 at 5:30 PM

businesses are actually looking forward to being forced into paying more overhead:

Sebelius, another socialist idiot heard from.

GarandFan on July 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

businesses are actually looking forward to being forced into paying more overhead:

I thought using THC was illegal.

chemman on July 12, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Ironic that this very afternoon I mentioned Sebelius in 2 or 3 comments as proof that “experience” does not a good POTUS make. It only helps POTUS be more effective in carrying out ideology but not better at leading.

AH_C on July 12, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Any thoughts???

It really does confuse me why smart and caring people cannot get these simple concepts and, more importantly, cannot understand how it hurts the people they are trying to protect…

RedSoxNation on July 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

It all comes down to the concept that as evolved humans with the ability to reason and feel empathy, that we should do everything within our power to be “fair”.

And that’s what gets me about hippies. These are the same people that cling to evolution and science to a degree. But they will totally overlook evolution and science when it comes to human society.

They cannot grasp the fact that life isn’t fair. That there are winners and losers. There will always be someone willing to screw someone else over to make their life better in some fashion.

It is what it is.

And they refuse to accept reality.

ButterflyDragon on July 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

I’ve got news for this idiot. It’s not all that much of a challenge for any company to be competitive in the current labor market. Just post a job online and stand back while your email explodes.

Stephen Macklin on July 12, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Am I the only one who gets a truly evil vibe from this woman? She reminds me of Cruella de Vil, but without any personality. Just cold, menacing,…. evil.

JimP on July 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM

There should be a carbon tax on the verbal flatulence from our legion of bureaucrats.

evergreen on July 12, 2011 at 6:31 PM

She might be worse than Butch Napolitano. Not as bad as Holder, of course — no one is. But worse than Geithner and LaHood.

She is among the worst cabinet officials that I can remember.

Jaibones on July 12, 2011 at 6:49 PM

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. She is the daughter of John Gilligan, Governor of OH (1971 to 1975)

balderdash on July 12, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Kansas is better off. Kansas is in recovery mode now that they cleaned house and dumped the dems. She was a tax cheat. Tells you how she reacts to mandates.

seven on July 12, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Absolutely ORWELLIAN.

This is a sad, sad day for this country, when she could make a statement like this, and not be run out of Office by a half million screaming patriots!

KMC1 on July 13, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Hey, I have an idea. How about allowing individuals to buy their own insurance OUTSIDE of their employer? That way, you won’t feel chained to your employer and the outrageous COBRA coverage fees if you want/need to change jobs. Eliminate restrictions on individuals/families and we work directly with the insurance companies in pools of our choice (only catastrophic care, for example). Imagine NOT being enslaved to your employer’s choice of coverages. I will throw a party when (if??) the Supremes toss Barry’s crown jewel out of our collective consciousness and declare it dead. Lord help me I loathe anyone who was so stupid to support the creation of Obamacare.

Renwaa on July 13, 2011 at 4:40 AM

How would she know, as a born-to-the-manor member of the political oligarchy, anything about real life?

MarkT on July 13, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Yes, I can see where the government holding a gun to your head and a whip to your back would be an incentive for you to do things their way. you’d be so happy you’d even pay for it yourself. Aint that wonderful? Kathleen is a flippin’ genius.

abcurtis on July 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM