The Obama Administration continues to promise the insurance exchanges created by his health care law will be operational just three weeks from today – on October 1. The White House and its outside political arm plan to spend millions of dollars advertising and promoting its unworkable and unaffordable law. Last week they enlisted President Clinton as “Explainer in Chief.” But even one of the law’s supporters noted that “like everybody else who tries to simplify what Obamacare means, he got bogged down.” Every week, Americans see more examples of the delays, glitches, and bumps plaguing the Administration’s struggle to implement its health care law before the deadline.
Key Health Policy Headlines
- Working Spouses Dropped from Health Insurance Plans
- Health Care Law Costs Delta Airlines $100 Million in 2014
- Nonpartisan Survey Shows Employer Premiums Continue to Rise
- IBD Report: “258 Employers Cut Work Hours, Jobs So Far”
Working Spouses Dropped from Health Insurance Plans
The President has tried to downplay how disruptive his health care law will be, saying: “for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing has already happened. … I mean, [the exchanges are] what’s left to implement because the other stuff has been implemented and it’s working fine.”
Either President Obama is woefully ignorant of the health care law’s impact, or he is willfully attempting to mislead the American people. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that families relying on employers to cover employees’ spouses on the company health plan may find the health care law isn’t “working fine” for them. The law’s mandates and fees are driving up health care costs and making it harder for employers to continue offering health insurance to workers’ families. Some employers have even stopped offering spousal coverage altogether:
- The University of Virginia also announced plans to drop spousal coverage for some of its employees. The school said: “Provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act are projected to add $7.3 million to the cost of the University health plan in 2014 alone.”
- UPS cited the health care law as a top reason the company plans to exclude 15,000 spouses from its insurance plan. UPS noted that the increased expenses and government mandates “have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost.”
Health Care Law Costs Delta Airlines $100 Million in 2014
The President insists that his health care law won’t affect people who already have health insurance. But Delta Air Lines recently calculated that the law’s onerous mandates and fees will cost the company $100 million in 2014. A Delta executive wrote to the White House: “make no mistake – the costs imposed on Delta and our employees are very real and they are escalating…the cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100 million next year. Delta will have to absorb the vast majority of that increase in costs so that we continue providing a high value, quality health plan, but some of it will have to be shared with our employees as well. And of course, the balance that the company pays simply means less left over for other investments that make our business stronger.”
Delta highlighted several parts of the law driving the company’s increased health care spending. The mandate to cover workers’ children until age 26 has added more than 8,000 young people to Delta’s health insurance rolls, costing the company $14 million per year.
Nonpartisan Survey Shows Employer Premiums Continue to Rise
President Obama repeatedly said: “If you’ve got health insurance, we’re going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500 per family per year.” He promised this would happen by the end of his first term. We’ve passed that deadline, and a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of health benefits has found that average family premiums soared from $13,375 in 2009 to $16,351 in 2013. Last month, President Obama asserted that “costs have actually gone down” due to the health care law. The truth is that the average American family’s health insurance premium is $2,976 higher than when President Obama took office and $600 more than last year.
IBD Report: “258 Employers Cut Work Hours, Jobs So Far”
The White House has repeatedly tried to ignore evidence that the President’s health care law is forcing employers nationwide to shift full-time workers to part-time. But a new analysis by Investor’s Business Daily found that 258 employers have “cut work hours, jobs or taken other steps to avoid Obamacare costs.”
Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 71 percent of small businesses say the law makes it harder to hire more workers. According to the July Fed Beige Book, the health care law has been cited as a job market concern and “several retailers reported that the Affordable Care Act would lead to more part-time and temporary versus full-time hiring.”
The President may not want to talk about it, but his health care law is hurting middle class Americans.