November 05, 2012
Reality Bites Reality-Based Community on Tuckus
Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul's requirement that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee.
Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker.
The shift is one of the first significant steps by employers to avoid requirements under the health-care law, and whether the trend continues hinges on Tuesday's election results.
As if reducing access to full time jobs weren't bad enough, it's beginning to look as though ObamaCare's much vaunted cost controls will also reduce access to medical care for the group of Americans who need it most: senior citizens. But wait! There's more hope and change! It turns out that private insurers are raising their premiums in anticipation of ObamaCare changes:
In Ohio, a study by the actuarial firm Milliman found that Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by 55 to 85 percent in 2017, relative to what they would have been under prior law. A survey by the Physicians Foundation found that, if Medicare cuts physician fees by another 10 percent, as Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board effectively requires, 30 percent of doctors will place “new or additional limits on Medicare acceptance,” with 24 percent accepting no new Medicare patients altogether.
In Wisconsin, a report by Obama health-care adviser Jonathan Gruber projects that individual-market premiums will increase by 30 percent in 2016 relative to prior law. The Physicians Foundation survey, which polled physicians in every state, found that 27 percent of Wisconsin physicians would limit Medicare access under a fee cut, with 22 percent cutting off new Medicare patients.
In Colorado, Gruber projected individual-market premium increases of 19 percent by 2016. Twenty-nine percent of physicians plan to limit Medicare access, with 29 percent also saying they will stop accepting new retirees.
In Minnesota, Gruber projected individual-market premium increases of 29 percent by 2016, with 25 percent of physicians limiting Medicare access and 19 percent saying they will stop accepting new Medicare patients completely. Minnesotans will be particularly hard hit by Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage, as 47 percent of Minnesota seniors are enrolled in the program, compared to the national average of 27 percent.
In Nevada, a study by Gorman Actuarial found that individual-market premiums will increase by 11 to 30 percent by 2016. A notably high 44 percent of Nevada physicians say they will place limits on Medicare acceptance, with 24 percent saying they will stop taking any new Medicare patients.
In Florida, 30 percent of doctors say they will limit Medicare access and 27 percent say they will stop accepting new patients. Twenty-eight percent of doctors in Virginia say they will limit access, with 23 percent ceasing acceptance of new patients. In New Hampshire, the percentages are 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
At the company I work for, our health care premiums are going up 19% this year alone. And that's before the new tax on our (now more expensive!) "Cadillac" health plan.
Reducing the supply of full time jobs, reducing access to Medicare, and raising rates on those insurance policies the administration said we'd be able to keep. It's enough to make you think that reality may not have a liberal bias, after all.
Posted by Cassandra at November 5, 2012 06:44 AM
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See, that's where liberals are gutless. They pass a law that is good for The People™ then let those greedy capitalists off the hook by letting them reduce worker's hours to get around it.
There oughta be a law that makes those greedy fatcats keep employee hours the same!!!
Just remember, there isn't a negative consequence of a law that can't be fixed by yet another law.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at November 5, 2012 09:59 AM
And if that second law has negative consequences, just pass a third that makes those consequences illegal.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at November 5, 2012 10:07 AM
Sometimes it's just easier to make it illegal to report the consequences.
Posted by: Texan99 at November 5, 2012 10:18 AM
The only way out of this mess is to let the free market dictate the cost of health care. I propose that the we, the voters, hold a "National Sick Out" along the lines of those employed by unions to improve pay and benefits for members. If we can drastically increase the supply of sick people in this country, then market forces will respond by increasing the demand for inexpensive healthcare insurance, which, if we stay sick long enough, will eventually cost next to nothing.
Posted by: spd rdr at November 5, 2012 10:18 AM
Obtaining coverage has obviously not been a priority for me. If this law is not reversed, however, I too will be reducing my employees naked unicycle riding on Key West's beaches to just 29 hours. That means they will be uncovered literally and figuratively.
Posted by: man riding unicycle naked at November 5, 2012 10:58 AM
Mandatory sunscreen for nekkid, unicycle-riding voters!
Posted by: Cassandra at November 5, 2012 12:48 PM
"Obtaining coverage has obviously not been a priority for me."
Well, shyyeah! That's like a mime with a microphone...
An elevator in an outhouse...
a Liberal with common sense....
Posted by: Snarkammando at November 5, 2012 01:03 PM
There. I said what we've all been thinking.
Posted by: spd rdr at November 5, 2012 01:16 PM
As someone who has foolishly chosen to continue debating with liberals this political season, let me channel the typical leftist response:
Your article does not contain current Party-approved facts. Only current Party-approved facts are Truth, therefore your "facts" are simply lies from those rightwing lying liars who lie.
Furthermore, the Revolution is never wrong. The Great Leader Obama is also never wrong. The mainstream media all agree on these points. Your preposterous claim that Obama could have made an error is therefore ridiculous on its face.
Leftist ideology trumps reality. Simple as that. No thinking needed.
Posted by: a former european at November 5, 2012 01:19 PM
I am liking spd's suggestion:
I propose that the we, the voters, hold a "National Sick Out" along the lines of those employed by unions to improve pay and benefits for members. If we can drastically increase the supply of sick people in this country, then market forces will respond by increasing the demand for inexpensive healthcare insurance, which, if we stay sick long enough, will eventually cost next to nothing.
Posted by: Cassandra at November 5, 2012 02:23 PM
One look at the owner and regular commenters on this site shows that we've been *sick* for a loooonnnngggg time already....especially the owner.
Posted by: Evil Twin at November 5, 2012 02:37 PM
I think it is time for more intrusive government; tax those who used the 'luxury' portion of their health care coverage.
Tri-Care just started covering chiropractic a few years ago, and has determined that acupunture is Not Bad, but still a Tad Experimental for the 21st century.
That's progress, folks.
Posted by: Puff at November 6, 2012 08:17 AM
"I think it is time for more intrusive government;"
Where's Dr. Harden Stuehl and his ode to proctologists when we need him?
Posted by: DL Sly at November 6, 2012 11:55 AM