Posts Tagged ‘Affordable Care Act’
July 30th, 2014 at 3:06 pm
Aetna CEO: ObamaCare “really not an affordable product”

In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning, Mark Bertolini, the Chairman and CEO of Aetna, explained that ObamaCare is “really not an affordable product for a lot of people.” He goes on to say that we “have to have a more affordable system.”

November 1st, 2013 at 8:08 pm
Obamacare Website Enrolls the Cast of “Friends”
Posted by Print

Since President Obama was—prior to its implosion—so hung-ho about comparing to cutting edge private sector companies like Apple, Amazon, and Kayak, he certainly can’t mind the kind of data scrutiny that such companies thrive on. Try this one on for size: According to the Los Angeles Times:

Just six enrollments occurred on the opening day for, the troubled Obamacare website, according to documents released late Thursday by a House oversight committee.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, obtained the tally from meeting notes compiled by officials inside the “war room” at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which was overseeing the rollout of the insurance marketplace.

If Apple had first-day numbers like that, someone (actually, many someones) would be fired. Mr. President?

October 21st, 2013 at 10:59 am
Obamacare Takes Teachers From Special-Needs Students

A school district in Oconomowoc, Wis., recently celebrated the achievements of a new program for special-needs students. Unfortunately, the staff responsible for helping those special-needs students succeed are seeing their hours cut dramatically thanks to Obamacare.

Investor’s Business Daily reports the school district would face a $1.5 million hit due to the Affordable Care Act’s employer insurance requirements if it didn’t slash the work hours of the paraprofessional staff.

“Instead of one full-time paraprofessional working a full day; one part-time paraprofessional would work the morning half of the day, while a second part-time paraprofessional would work the afternoon portion of the day,” the district told parents.

More than 100 school districts across America have already cut support such as teacher aides, bus drivers and cafeteria workers to avoid massive Obamacare-related costs, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

We already knew that Obamacare harms the economy, reduces the quality of available healthcare and limits choice. Sadly, the scheme also interferes with the ability of school districts to provide a quality education to our children.

October 17th, 2013 at 1:32 pm
ObamaCare Failures Offer a Laugh – and a Glimmer of Hope

Software glitches and tepid interest in the program have famously plagued Obamacare signup efforts since open enrollment began on October 1.

Now, more than two weeks in, hard numbers are leaking out that prove the failures of Obamacare registration efforts are more humiliating than anyone ever imagined.

The Obama administration announced a goal of 7 million enrollees in the new exchanges by the end of March. Embarrassingly, just 36,000 people completed Obamacare applications during the first week.

At that rate, fewer than a million Americans will sign up for the scheme by the March goal. The Obamacare enrollment website is receiving a good number of hits – nearly 9.5 million unique visitors in the first week – but a laughable .004 percent of the people who have visited actually signed up for the service, according to Jeff Dunetz at “The Lid.”

State-specific Obamacare enrollment information is beginning to trickle in, as well, providing additional comic relief.

In the first two weeks, no one at all from Alaska enrolled in the Obamacare exchange. Zero out of 731,449 people. And that’s despite having one of the highest percentages of uninsured residents in the country.

What does that mean for Obamacare? It’s too early to say. But the more times the program can fall on its face in these early stages, the more likely it is that free market, limited government-minded lawmakers can eliminate the program – or at least gut the most reprehensible portions of the law – in years to come.

August 29th, 2013 at 9:02 pm
Most Americans Will See Insurance Costs Rise on Obamacare Exchanges
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We’ve seen similarly dismal numbers before, but this new analysis from National Journal is especially grim:

For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.

… Whether the quality of care in the new market is comparable to private offerings remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: The cost of care in the new market doesn’t stack up. A single wage earner must make less than $20,000 to see his or her current premiums drop or stay the same under Obamacare, an independent review by National Journal found. That’s equivalent to approximately 34 percent of all single workers in the U.S. seeing any benefit in the new system. For those seeking family-of-four coverage under the ACA, about 43 percent will see cost savings. Families must earn less than or equal to $62,300, or they, too, will be looking at a bigger bill.

… On average, a worker paid between $862 and $1,065 per year for single coverage in 2013, according to Kaiser’s numbers. For the average family plan, defined as a family of four, insurance cost between $4,226 and $5,284. Fewer than half of all families and only a third of single workers would qualify for enough Obamacare tax subsidies to pay within or below those averages next year.

Some of us intuitively grasped a long time ago what the evidence is now making explicit: government intervention never reduces costs, it just redistributes them. A lot of Americans are about to learn that the hard way.

June 5th, 2013 at 10:19 am
HHS: Yep, We Lied
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If you’re a member of the Obama Administration who’s engaged in some official malfeasance, now is the time to come clean. With the orgy of Administration-related scandals in the news right now, there’s a decent chance no one will notice. And if they do, they’ll likely be so numb to the pervasive impropriety that they’ll just ignore it and move on. That seems to be the thinking at the Department of Health and Human Services, where Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suddenly decided to become a little more forthcoming yesterday. From the New York Times:

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, disclosed on Tuesday that she had made telephone calls to three companies regulated by her department and urged them to help a nonprofit group promote President Obama’s health care law.

She identified the companies as Johnson & Johnson, the drug maker; Ascension Health, a large Roman Catholic health care system; and Kaiser Permanente, the health insurance plan.

At a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Ms. Sebelius said she did not explicitly ask the companies for money, but urged them to support the work of the nonprofit group, Enroll America.

The group, led by former Obama administration officials, is working with the White House to publicize the 2010 health care law and help uninsured people sign up for coverage.

Here’s the deal: News of the Secretary’s freelancing had already gone public a few weeks ago, but the defense at the time was that she had only solicited money from a couple of companies that weren’t regulated by HHS. Now she concedes that she was hitting up companies under her department’s jurisdiction but wants you to believe that it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Here’s the problem: Congress refused to fully fund an extensive PR campaign for Obamacare (as it should have — this is a government health program, not the rollout of a new SUV), leading a bunch of Obama flaks to create the aforementioned Enroll America. Now you have the HHS Secretary — who has the power to bring down the hammer on these companies — ever-so-gently suggesting that they “support the work” of Enroll. She could well be telling the truth about not explicitly asking them for money — because she wouldn’t have to. None of these companies need to be told outright that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

The dissembling from HHS is bad enough, but it’s representative of a deeper problem. At every turn, Obamacare creates precisely this kind of nexus between government and the private sector. It’s an invitation to corruption. And it looks like the RSVPs are starting to come in.

October 16th, 2012 at 6:26 pm
An Obama Ally Previews the Coming ObamaCare Disaster
Posted by Print

Remember Darden Restaurants? As I blogged last year, they’re the parent company of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse that decided to codify Michelle Obama’s recommendations about nutrition in the menus of their franchises. But their latest change in corporate policy has far more ominous implications for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From the Orlando Sentinel:

In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.

Darden said the test is taking place in “a select number” of restaurants in four markets, including Central Florida, but would not give details. The company said there has been no decision made about expanding it.

In an emailed statement, Darden said staffing changes are “just one of the many things we are evaluating to help us address the cost implications health care reform will have on our business. There are still many unanswered questions regarding the health care regulations and we simply do not have enough information to make any decisions at this time.”

Analysts say many other companies, including the White Castle hamburger chain, are considering employing fewer full-timers because of key features of the Affordable Care Act scheduled to go into effect in 2014. Under that law, large companies must provide affordable health insurance to employees working an average of at least 30 hours per week.

If they do not, the companies can face fines of up to $3,000 for each employee who then turns to an exchange — an online marketplace— for insurance.

So in the course of a year, the Obama Administration has cost me my Olive Garden breadsticks and Darden employees a sizable chunk of their livelihood. I’ll be honest: the first one verges on an impeachable offense in my book. But the second one is inexcusable. It’s underemployment by legislative fiat.

So remember this fact when you hear Barack Obama tout himself as a champion of the middle class in tonight’s debate: the Darden example is representative — working Americans without healthcare and with smaller paychecks.