Oh, by the way: ObamaCare might not be affordable for low-wage workers after all

posted at 4:01 pm on June 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

A bookend to Ed’s item earlier about members of Congress trembling at the thought of having to fend for themselves on ObamaCare’s health-care exchanges. Per the AP, plenty of blue-collar workers are trembling too at the thought of having to pay either unmanageable premiums or the new statutory fine for not having insurance. That’s the state of the “Affordable” Care Act these days.

Look at it this way: O-Care has brought people at opposite ends of America’s power structure together in grievance. O wanted to be the great uniter, and now he is.

The law is complicated, but essentially companies with 50 or more full-time workers are required to offer coverage that meets certain basic standards and costs no more than 9.5 percent of an employee’s income. Failure to do so means fines for the employer. (Full-time work is defined as 30 or more hours a week, on average.)

But do the math from the worker’s side: For an employee making $21,000 a year, 9.5 percent of their income could mean premiums as high as $1,995 and the insurance would still be considered affordable.

Even a premium of $1,000 — close to the current average for employee-only coverage — could be unaffordable for someone stretching earnings in the low $20,000′s.

With such a small income, “there is just not any left over for health insurance,” said Shannon Demaree, head of actuarial services for the Lockton Benefit Group. “What the government is requiring employers to do isn’t really something their low-paid employees want.”

Aren’t low-income workers supposed to get tax credits to help them purchase private insurance, though? Yes indeed — unless their employer has offered them “affordable” coverage and they’ve turned it down. So if you reject the sort of “affordable” coverage described above, if only out of simple necessity, you’re out of luck on subsidies. As for the employers, they’ve got two options. If they’re right around the O-Care threshold of having 50 full-time employees, they could always fire a few people or reduce them to part-time status to bring their businesses under that benchmark, then cancel their health insurance policy altogether and force their employees onto the private exchanges. Or, if they can’t cut their workforce to less than 50 full-time people, they could “compromise” by offering employees a low-cost “skinny” health-insurance plan that provides preventive services and not much more. That would reduce the penalties the business would otherwise be required to pay for offering no insurance, and might end up as a welcome step towards refocusing health insurance on catastrophic coverage. But it sure ain’t what the public was sold in March 2010.

This is, in fact, just the latest ObamaCare agony for blue-collar workers. Obama’s union pals have been grumbling lately that the coverage exemption for businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees is creating a strong incentive to do precisely what I just described — scale down the business to fewer than 50 and then yank coverage altogether, leaving laborers to fend for themselves on the same exchanges that are terrifying Congress. They’re also unhappy that workers enrolled in union-sponsored plans aren’t eligible for tax subsidies that would help them cope with the sort of premium increases that now seem inevitable under ObamaCare. Union leaders are trying to pressure the White House for a fix, but that gets us back to the eternal debate: Is it actually preferable for liberals to see O-Care struggle in the near term, since that’ll create leverage for the public option or something even more aggressive as a “fix”? Problems with ObamaCare are a major political headache for Democrats, but they’re necessary from a long-term perspective to build momentum for further glorious Change. 2014 is shaping up to be … not so good for them, but if their fortunes reverse and they win big two years after that, they’ll be well-positioned to make needed “repairs.”


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Sucks, having to actually read something.

Jabberwock on June 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I’ll take “No Sh1t, Sherlock” for $1,000, Alex.

NotCoach on June 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM

NotCoach on June 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

A feature, not a bug.

These leftists are diabolical.

Common Sense Floridian on June 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Oh, oh, oh, I have an idea!

Pass amnesty!

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

But it sure ain’t what the public was sold in March 2010.

Oh maaan :) Hussein lied….
whudathunk ?

burrata on June 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Just fire every employee that had or has an Obama sticker on their car and call it good.

Reality Checker on June 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Let me dust off my surprised look.

DuctTapeMyBrain on June 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

“What the government is requiring employers to do isn’t really something their low-paid employees want.”

It isn’t what anyone but the leftists in power want….to destroy the private sector economy and drive everyone into Government managed health care.

The only ones for whom health care will be affordable and available on demand is for our political and financial elites. They will always get what they desire for themselves on their terms. As long as a majority of voters let them.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

But it sure ain’t what the public was sold in March 2010.

Oh maaan :) Hussein lied….
whudathunk ?

Say and do whatever is necessary to move your agenda forward.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Has there ever been a bigger charlatan in American politics than Obama?

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Oh, by the way: ObamaCare might not be affordable for low-wage workers after all

Say “hello” to single payer system.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Landrieu, who represents Louisiana in the U.S. Senate, was trying to undermine the amendment Sen. John Thune (R-SD) offered. In doing so, she tried to argue Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was more qualified to talk about border issues than Thune because McCain represents Arizona.

“A smart fence, which is what Senator McCain and I want to build–since he’s from Arizona, I think he knows more about this than the Senator from South Dakota who only has a border with Canada and that is quite different,” Landrieu said.

Those whom you should trust

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Remember this was pretty much the plan from the get go. One path that leads to single payer and totally Government controlled medical insurance. It is the only way to sort of save Medicare/Medicaid for the next 15-20 years. That was the whole purpose of this plan.

Johnnyreb on June 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Healthcare Justice means equal misery for all.

ROCnPhilly on June 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Democrats on Obamacare:

1. All of these implementation problems are the fault of Republicans in red states and the private sector.

2. To solve these problems we need MORE money and MORE government. Let’s dump the whole system and go with single payer.

/

TarheelBen on June 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

“… but if their fortunes reverse and they win big two years after that, they’ll be well-positioned to make needed “repairs.”

Well, with the NSA spying, IRS intimidation, and PRISM, victory is 2016 is a given for the Democrats. Gutless RINOs will not do anything, the TEA Party guys are being co-opted, so we’re all screwed.

patch on June 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Great picture of the Oaf of the Land

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

but but but he said……….

ah, nevermind, just another expiration date……

RealMc on June 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Stop the single payer talk… ain’t happening until the house flips which wont for at least another 3 years.

The House already has stopped all additional funding for O-care. Disaster on the horizon will have democrats whining for tweeks and more money. The republicans will hold for total repeal regardless of the suffering.

Bensonofben on June 13, 2013 at 4:19 PM

The true nightmare will be when people earning beyond 400% of poverty ($45k) start getting dumped on the exchanges. They are on the hook for the full premiums.

That dem plan for raising the minimum wage will make individuals with no dependents ineligible for expanded medicaid. Get a raise and then take a 10% pay cut to meet your obamacare premium obligations.

rw on June 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Oh, oh, oh, I have an idea!

Pass amnesty!

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

No kidding. The GOP leadership has to be the biggest bunch of morons I’ve ever seen. We’ve got several red state Dems in the Senate up for reelection who are vulnerable based on the geography alone. Add to that the clusterfark of Obamacare that every single one of them voted for and will have to defend before a PO’d electorate. And the continuing stagnation of the economy. And the absence of Obama on the ballot which means minorities will be staying home.

Basically you’re guaranteed a pretty decent shot at retaking the Senate as long as you turn out your base. And what do the Republican leaders decide to do? Ram through an amnesty bill that could not only keep conservatives home in 2014, but drive them away from the party for good.

Doughboy on June 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Say and do whatever is necessary to move your agenda forward.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Yup, taquiyya for jazia is the way to go !

burrata on June 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Oh, by the way: ObamaCare might not be affordable for low-wage workers after all

Correction: Oh, by the way: ObamaCare might not be affordable for low-wage workers who voted for Obama after all.

You wanted the “Obama experience”? Live! Embrace it! Tools and fools.

Cadian on June 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

BREAKING:

Government designs major social program; fails. No one surprised.

BobMbx on June 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

1. All of these implementation problems are the fault of Republicans in red states and the private sector.

2. To solve these problems we need MORE money and MORE government. Let’s dump the whole system and go with single payer.

Add amnesty to the above, and in a short time our leftist elites will have achieved the utopia they have worked for for so long.

They, the 1%, living well on the labor and production of the 99% whose tasks will be to serve and obey.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Say and do whatever is necessary to move your agenda forward.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Yup, taquiyya for jazia is the way to go !

And so far, so good, with just a few annoying bumps in the road.

Foward!!

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Talked to a guy today about to go on strike over health care premium increases.
Long story short he blames the employer.

mjbrooks3 on June 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Also, people may be able to pay the premiums but not much out, i.e., the oop expenses mandatory for using their insurance, their rent, their utilities…

Blake on June 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

the new statutory fine for not having insurance.

“It’s not a fine. It’s a fine tax, though it was not a tax when the case started so that we could hear the case and rule the fine ‘a fine tax’. You wouldn’t understand since you didn’t attend Harvard Lawn School. This is too complicated for the rubes to grasp, which is why you have people like me to lay it all out for you.

Now, eat your fine tax and enjoy it.” — Benedict Roberts, Chief Idiot and Mangler of the Constitution

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

That was the whole purpose of this plan.

Johnnyreb on June 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

you still believe this after seeing the IRS mess? The purpose of this plan is to control you through ownership of the medical aspects of our economy. And that would lead to almost everything else. Didn’t you already have meat this week Mr. Reb?

DanMan on June 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Guaranteed Dem victory in 2016

GOP will be against free healthcare for the ‘poor’

faraway on June 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Who pays?

I love (not) how doctors, formerly the most respected and admired, now will be our slaves, told who to treat when how why with what procedure and they better like it. Not a huge incentive to go into medicine.

What if doctors created their own union, like the United Auto Workers. That would be a hoot.

Paul-Cincy on June 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Obamacare might not be affordable for medium and high income workers. How much income should you have to earn to afford $3500 a month health insurance premiums?

bopbottle on June 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

My doctor is opting out of all private/public insurances and going to Doctor/Patient direct cash/credit card…

He has my full support…

PatriotRider on June 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Guaranteed Dem victory in 2016

GOP will be against free healthcare for the ‘poor’

faraway on June 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

No. The GOP will put together another gang-bang in the Senate to save BarkyCare and the Weeping Boner in the House will talk about how great it is and how his first priority is to save BarkyCare … for the chillen’!!.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Say “hello” to single payer system.

Dr. ZhivBlago

Not until the Dems take the House.

Good luck with that.

Dirty Creature on June 13, 2013 at 4:34 PM

They’re going to make this so painful that most will gladly take Medicare For All (single payor) when it is offered…which is what Zero wanted all along. Then the government will have life and death control over all of us.

d1carter on June 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

What if doctors created their own union, like the United Auto Workers. That would be a hoot.

Paul-Cincy on June 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM

The AMA supported BarkyCare like no ones business. Doctors no longer have any respect because they no longer deserve it. They offered themselves up for slavery because they got such a thrill out of the worse slavery that that would mean for the rest of the populace. These are the same idiot doctors who think that asking about guns in your home has something to do with “medicine” and treating diseases. Doctors are slime. Medical schools have become filled with the dregs of society. They were never an especially bright bunch but they’ve fallen down to lawyer-level slugs, now. At least they have lots of forced diversity. Yay!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

You wanted the “Obama experience”? Live! Embrace it! Tools and fools.

Cadian on June 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

But you’re missing the real issue here. It’s not about whether something works or not, or if some Libtard hero lied or not, it’s about who to blame when their Libtard schemes don’t work out and when their Libtard heroes are caught with their pants down.

Take your pick:

“Congress” (which really means ‘osbstructionist’ ‘reactionary’ Republicans who throw a monkey wrench into every super awesome Progressive program).

The Tea Party

Gun/Bible/Gun/Gold-Clinging Conservative rednecks in general

The Rich (except the Kerrys, George Soros, the Kennedys, the Obamas and a few others because, hey, they are working on behalf of the Proletariat after all)

Bush (all of them)

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Just one more reason for an immediate repeal.

Afterseven on June 13, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Dismantle everything. Flood with bleach. Build anew.

John the Libertarian on June 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

They’re going to make this so painful that most will gladly take Medicare For All (single payor) when it is offered…which is what Zero wanted all along. Then the government will have life and death control over all of us.

Naturally, as that was and still is the original intent.

Along with financial control…..they’ve got to do something about our savings and investments which still give many of us too much independence beyond the issue of health care provision.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Dismantle everything. Flood with bleach. Build anew.

Doing that will be quite messy and painful, I believe.

hawkeye54 on June 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Secure the border first.

paulsur on June 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

My husband and I do not have insurance and haven’t had any for over 20 years. We don’t go to the doctor. This whole thing is a piece of crap. My husband is a realtor and I do contract work online. We don’t know from one year to the next how much we will make. How in heck are we supposed to guesstimate our income, get a subsidy (which won’t make it affordable for us anyway) and then what? Our income is above the cut off for medicaid and I am still 3 years away from medicare. If we were to take the subsidy and then make more then we estimated, then we will have fines and penalties from the IRS. I won’t even risk that even if I could afford the premium. We will just pay the fine. Screw them.

BeachBum on June 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

They’re going to make this so painful that most will gladly take Medicare For All (single payor) when it is offered…

No. Someone will be offering to go back to what we had instead, and the vast majority (85+% even by Zero’s numbers) who were fine with what they used to have will be for it. That will leave 22-year olds, who think they’re unbreakable anyway, and illegal aliens, who want anything they can get that’s free, to carry the ball for liberalism.

I’m more worried about what it will be like getting to that point than I am about how it will go when we get there.

Dirty Creature on June 13, 2013 at 4:51 PM

*does best Maxwell Smart voice*

Ah, the old “Unaffordable Affordable Care” trick…

Midas on June 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Obama’s union pals have been grumbling lately…

Greedy-union thugs not happy? Are they ever?

Suck it up thugs, and btw keep those political donations flowing to democratics.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Nuke the site from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure.

Midas on June 13, 2013 at 4:57 PM

What if doctors created their own union, like the United Auto Workers. That would be a hoot.

Paul-Cincy on June 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM

The AMA supported BarkyCare like no ones business. Doctors no longer have any respect because they no longer deserve it. They offered themselves up for slavery because they got such a thrill out of the worse slavery that that would mean for the rest of the populace. These are the same idiot doctors who think that asking about guns in your home has something to do with “medicine” and treating diseases. Doctors are slime. Medical schools have become filled with the dregs of society. They were never an especially bright bunch but they’ve fallen down to lawyer-level slugs, now. At least they have lots of forced diversity. Yay!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Only 15-20% of doctors belong to the AMA, depending whose numbers you believe. The proggies add in medical students to inflate the numbers.

The AMA being what it is, those that joined are probably the lefties.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Affordable?? What happened to free???

*snicker*

kim roy on June 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Not hard to figure out where this is going. Next stop, single-payer-ville with free care for the poor, more taxes for the working class, and a bankrupt treasury.

2ndMAW68 on June 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

You might want to turn down the rhetoric. Not all doctors are part of, or support, the AMA.

dominigan on June 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Oops… just saw your comment. Thanks!

His assumption about the AMA is like thinking AARP represents all retirees.

dominigan on June 13, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Designed to fail.

goflyers on June 13, 2013 at 5:39 PM

BAYAM

Chuck Schick on June 13, 2013 at 5:42 PM

My doctor is opting out of all private/public insurances and going to Doctor/Patient direct cash/credit card…

He has my full support…

PatriotRider on June 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

This. And doctors who do this should simply ask potential new patients what their occupation is. If any lawyers or pols try to wriggle in the door they can just claim they are full and not taking any new patients.

cornbred on June 13, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Pelosi had to pass this POS legislation so that we could see what was in it.

Next time, maybe they’ll READ and UNDERSTAND the legislation before passing it.

GarandFan on June 13, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I work for a large corporation and we had a meeting on the items they were required to implement to date. One item that was put on hold for the time being was that employers with 50+ employees had to cover everyone automatically unless the employee “opts out”. Another was that employers are now paying a “Research Fee” to the government. My employer has a 120 day probationary period for new hires, but Obamacare is requiring 90 days on healthcare, so they might have to change that. My employer is also self-insured and would prefer to stay that way, but only if they can afford it.
Then there is the tax that is going to be levied on Cadillac Plans in the future, but no one knows what defines a Cadillac plan.

I don’t make high wages, but the benefit package was excellent, and I wanted longevity. I feel like all my choices are slowly being taken away.

lea on June 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM

PatriotRider on June 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

They will just pass a tax on those doctors that will force them back into the borg.

chemman on June 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

His assumption about the AMA is like thinking AARP represents all retirees.

dominigan on June 13, 2013 at 5:34 PM

That is not my assumption. That’s your mistaken inference. I know how large the AMA is and I also know how many non-AMA doctors felt about Barky and the national socialization of health insurance/care. I’ve also spent more than enough time with med students to know what the quality of doctors is, these days.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Just fire every employee that had or has an Obama sticker on their car and call it good.

Reality Checker on June 13, 2013 at 4:08 PM

The IRS could find them for you.
Or maybe the NSA.

If they wanted to.

AesopFan on June 14, 2013 at 12:09 AM

I guess doctors who are not in the AMA are like moderate muslims.

It’s a bit late, but we would still like to hear from this silent majority regarding the economic slavery program that their reticence has helped usher in.

The AMA, AARP and the health insurance industry role in forcing Obamacare is disgusting example of leadership opportunists damaging the lives of those they claim to represent in exchange for short-term power.

Once the misery is institutionalized, there will be no need for these organizations.

virgo on June 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM