HHS just got done telling us that the new rates for ObamaCare exchange insurance plans came in “lower than projected,” which doesn’t mean “lower than last year” — and compares them to projections for 2016, not 2014. In fact, costs are skyrocketing, and not just in the exchanges, either. Ohio’s WDTN asks two local businesses in the manufacturing sector how the advent of the ObamaCare mandates have impacted their budgets, and one wonders whether the “affordable” in the Affordable Care Act is meant as irony (via Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard):
“Well the biggest thing I’ve learned about the Affordable Care Act is it’s certainly not affordable,” said Steve Staub, owner of Staub Manufacturing who make laser cut parts for a variety of industries from food vendors to the auto industry.
Staub says due to the Affordable Care Act, he may have to make precision cuts to the health plan he provides for his 25 employees.
He said he currently pays 80 percent of his employees health care costs but his rates have already shot-up nearly 20 percent., “When I called the company to ask why they said it’s strictly to get ready for Obamacare,” Staub replied.
Dave Freimuth of JBK Manufacturing, an aerospace contractor on Troy Street is in a similar position with his small business that employs 38 people.
His company provides nearly 90 percent of their employees health care costs. He said he’s glad the Affordable Care Act will help the uninsured, but at what cost?
“Anytime the government gets involved the costs go up,” Freimuth added, “Some companies in the industry are dropping health care plans all together and giving their employees a pay-off, letting them fend for themselves in the new health care market place.”
Both feel increased health care costs will have to be passed along to their clients, which they fear may make American companies less competitive globally.
Our tax system already makes that a problem for American manufacturing, and the additional cost load won’t help matters. This points out a problem that the media has overlooked, even those who have reported on the drastic increases in premium prices next week. The prices aren’t just going up in the exchanges, but across the board, as ObamaCare mandates and plan requirements force insurers to take on significantly more risk.
That’s a remarkable development, even if few are actually remarking on it except in local markets like Dayton, Ohio. The Obama administration and Obama himself repeatedly promised that premiums would decline significantly after the ACA took effect, which is why I called the HHS announcement an Orwellian example of bait-and-switch propaganda:
Note well that the HHS release doesn’t claim to have lowered premiums. Barack Obama promised during his 2008 presidential campaign and his push for the ACA that his reforms would lower premiums while “bending the cost curve downward” across the industry – by as much as $2500 a year per family. …
What actually does happen to premium costs next week? Bloomberg reported after the release that the average individual policy will cost $2,988 a year through its exchanges. That is 37 percent higher than the average individual health-insurance plan in 2011 ($2,196), the first year in which coverage mandates began to take effect under Obamacare. That’s hardly a downward bend in the cost curve, no matter what kind of apples-to-oranges comparison HHS uses to distract from that steep price hike. …
If a retailer tried that with its advertising, the Federal Trade Commission would charge the chain with bait-and-switch fraud.
All of this was in service to insuring the 30 million estimated in the US to be uninsured, which will still be 30 million after ObamaCare rolls out. Democrats are going to find this impossible to defend, which is why Daniel Henninger advocates a “let it burn” strategy in the Wall Street Journal:
As its Oct. 1 implementation date arrives, ObamaCare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its foundational beliefs. This thing called “ObamaCare” carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state. The chance is at hand to let its political underpinnings collapse, perhaps permanently.
If ObamaCare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people. It will finally be vulnerable to challenge and fundamental change. But no mere congressional vote can achieve that. Only the American people can kill ObamaCare. …
Enacted with zero Republican votes, ObamaCare is the solely owned creation of the Democrats’ belief in their own limitless powers to fashion goodness out of legislated entitlements. Sometimes social experiments go wrong. In the end, the only one who supported Frankenstein was Dr. Frankenstein. The Democrats in 2014 should by all means be asked relentlessly to defend their monster.
Republicans and conservatives, instead of tilting at the defunding windmill, should be working now to present the American people with the policy ideas that will emerge inevitably when ObamaCare’s declines. The system of private insurance exchanges being adopted by the likes of Walgreens suggests a parallel alternative to ObamaCare may be happening already.
If Republicans feel they must “do something” now, they could get behind Sen. David Vitter’s measure to force Congress to enter the burning ObamaCare castle along with the rest of the American people. Come 2017, they can repeal the ruins.
The discrediting of the entitlement state begins next Tuesday. Let it happen.
And make sure to document its collapse along the way.