Onward, ObamaCare

posted at 2:21 pm on November 8, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

ObamaCare is no longer merely looming — it’s happening, and with the certainty that the health care law is here to stay, the federal bureaucracy is readying to unleash the floodgates of regulation-writing and logistical planning and make it rain on the health-care industry, the states, and the economy at large. Let the good times roll, via the WSJ:

When the law was passed in March 2010, legislators envisaged it extending coverage to 30 million Americans through a combination of state-run insurance exchanges where consumers could apply for federal tax credits toward the cost of premiums, and an expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program for low-income Americans.

Before that can happen, though, significant regulations must start flooding from Washington, including rules for how states and the federal government will operate new health-insurance exchanges where consumers can shop for policies.

Also expected are rules spelling out the terms on which insurers must accept all customers regardless of their medical history, rules governing how insurers can vary premiums based on age and more information about new requirements on employers and individuals to buy insurance.

While certain states have already made decisions about whether they will be setting up their own state insurance exchanges or allowing the federal government to run things on their behalf, others were waiting out the election, and now it’s crunch time to get things set up before the October 1st, 2013 date by which people should be able to start signing up for their new insurance options. With Republican governors running the majority of the states, the question is, refuse to participate in Obama’s scheme and let the feds run everything, or take on the task of creating your own exchange and mitigate the costs as much as possible? Via the Associated Press:

Some, like Rick Perry of Texas and Rick Scott of Florida, have drawn a line against helping carry out Obama’s law. … Missouri voters passed a ballot measure Tuesday that would prohibit establishment of a health insurance exchange unless the Legislature approves. …

… All eyes will be on pragmatists like Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, whose states have done considerable planning of their own to set up exchanges. …

On health insurance exchanges, some governors whose states aren’t likely to be completely ready are considering the administration’s offer of running the new markets through a partnership. …

A recent check by The Associated Press found 17 states and the District of Columbia on track to setting up their own exchanges, while nine have decided not to do so. The federal government could end up running the new markets in half or more of the states.

There is much administrative planning and social engineering still to figure out, but we can with certainty look forward to a lot more of this, again from the WSJ piece:

Jim Amos, CEO of frozen dessert franchiser Tasti D-Lite LLC, said employers who had been holding back on deciding how to respond to new requirements to provide insurance to full-time workers would now move ahead. “If you’re in a position where you want to move people from full-time to part-time jobs, you’re going to begin to do that,” he said, referring to a tactic some employers have tested to avoid the coming insurance requirements.

It’s already begun, via CBS:

A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees fired 22 workers today, apparently as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election.

“David” (he asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) told Host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT that “elections have consequences” and that “at the end of the day, I need to survive.” …

“I’ve done my share of educating my employees. I never tell them which way to vote. I believe in the free system we have, I believe in the right to choose who they want to be president, but I did explain as a business owner that I have always put my employees first. I always made sure that when I went without a paycheck that [I] made sure they were paid. And I explained that I always put them first and unfortunately I’m at a point where I’m being forced to have to worry about me and my family now and a business that I built from just me to 114 employees.


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