Harry Reid is proud of his vote for ObamaCare. He’s even prouder of the fact that he figured out a procedural way to ram it through the Senate without a single Republican vote. I wonder how proud he is of its result?
Local business owners might be hoping the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandates cover sticker shock.
The law’s employer coverage mandate doesn’t take effect until 2015, but early plan renewals are starting to roll in. And for some businesses, the premium jumps are positively painful.
Local insurance brokers are reporting spikes ranging from 35 percent to 120 percent on policies that renew from July to December. The increases are especially acute among employers with workforces made up of younger, healthier men. That’s because Obamacare prohibits offering lower rates to healthier groups. It also narrows the allowed premium gap between older and younger enrollees.
“It’s like if there were no more safe-driver discounts with State Farm,” said local insurance broker Frank Nolimal of Assurance Ltd. “Everybody has the same rate, whether you have three DUIs, or you’re a (nondrinking) churchgoing Mormon.”
The changes put as many as 90,000 policies across Nevada at risk of cancellation or nonrenewal this fall, said Las Vegas insurance broker William Wright, president of Chamber Insurance and Benefits. That’s more than three times the 25,000 enrollees affected in October, when Obamacare-compliant plans first hit the market.
Some workers are at higher risk than others of losing company-sponsored coverage. Professional, white-collar companies such as law or engineering firms will bite the bullet and renew at higher prices because they need to compete for scarce skilled labor, Nolimal said.
But moderately skilled or low-skilled people making $8 to $14 an hour working for landscaping businesses, fire-prevention firms or fencing companies could lose work-based coverage because the plans cost so much relative to salaries.
Note that we’re talking about higher premiums almost across the board. Note also that the 90,000 number refers to policies, not people. It will obviously effect a lot more than 90,000 people. And finally note who will get hit the hardest. That’s right — those that can least afford it. So moderately skilled or low-skilled workers who are receiving health insurance benefits paid for by their employer will now become, what?
Dependent on taxpayer subsidies to have insurance, that’s what. Of course the administration will tout these folks as “uninsured” and claim that they’ve been rescued from such a state, when in fact they’re transfers — converted from paying their own way to having the taxpayer pay there way.
And Harry Reid? Well, frankly, he couldn’t care less.