ObamaCare: High Court Upholds Subsidies…What Now?

June 25, 2015 –

So the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in King v. Burwell that it’s OK for ObamaCare to allow the federal government to subsidize health-insurance premiums.

The high court’s justification for its decision defies logic for economic, legal and moral reasons.

The so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) unambiguously states the subsidies can only be given to people based on their income via an “Exchange established by the State.”

stockimages doctorBut only 13 states, including Washington state, have exchanges. Individual Americans are required to enroll in the federal government’s exchange. If they don’t, they face fines as high as $695 in 2016.

ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber has said the law’s authors wanted the subsidies to force states to participate in the program.

Good economic sense

When the majority of states, 37, used good economic sense to refrain from establishing exchanges, the Obama Administration circumvented the law by issuing an IRS regulation.

“Virtually all of the state-exchanges are experiencing financial difficulties, including Washington state,” blogs Roger Stark, MD, the health care policy analyst for the Washington Policy Center (WPC), www.washingtonpolicy.org.

Fearing exploding costs, 23 states declined to take part in the resulting Medicaid expansion. In the participating 27 states, a major injustice is occurring. Able-bodied unemployed men are receiving free care.

The uninsured 33 million people have hit a wall – the plans are too expensive even with subsidies and the coverage is too limited.

But even moms and their children, who are eligible for coverage, are being rejected as new patients by doctors. Physicians simply cannot afford the drastically low-government reimbursement rates. They’re already overwhelmed with the required complex paperwork.

Few enrollees

In addition, only about 17 million people, who were among the 50-million uninsured before the law’s passage, are enrolled in the federal and state exchanges. Many enrolled in Medicaid, which puts a bigger burden on taxpayers.

Why so few enrollees?

For seemingly countless individuals, the four ACA-mandated insurance plans are out of their reach. The uninsured 33 million people have hit a wall – the plans are too expensive even with subsidies and the coverage is too limited.

Therefore, many Americans – the working poor, self employed and middle-income folks – have opted out. For them, it’s more financially feasible to pay the federal fine, negotiate health-care provider fees and hospitals, and seek low or no-cost deals from drug companies.

Many others are struggling to pay for health insurance.

The law’s bronze plan, for example, costs a minimum of $500 and inflicting deductibles that cost as much as $13,200 for a family of four – with extremely limited provider networks. The latter means such people can’t reliably choose their doctors or hospitals.

Furthermore, small-insurance companies have been forced out, which means only a handful of companies are participating and it constitutes a monopoly of insurers. It will only get worse as Aetna is acquiring Humana.

The consolidation also means there’s been a similar constriction of hospital and doctor services.

The individual plans are mired in a quagmire. What used to be routinely covered, no longer is. When an insurer denies coverage, the patients have no recourse as the insurers are unresponsive to the complaints.

There’s more mass confusion and waste that could be mentioned. It would require additional voluminous explanations in this article, but you get the idea.

Premium increases

With the dramatic decrease in insurance options, premiums for individuals are forecast to jump as much as 20 percent in 2016.

“Health insurance premiums will continue to rise, ultimately forcing the government to put some type of price controls on the industry,” predicts Dr. Stark. “Health insurance companies will then essentially become public utilities.”

There are other onerous implications.

“Taxes will continue to rise,” adds the WPC analyst. “The federal debt will increase and future generations will have a huge financial burden. Cuts to Medicare to pay for the ACA will get worse and access to health care for our seniors will decrease.”

Had the Supreme Court ruled the subsidies to be illegal, it’s true about 6-million low-income beneficiaries of this ghastly law would have lost their subsidies.

But for millions more, the monopolies – that drive the massive premium increases and less coverage – would have ended. For the uninsured 30-million+ Americans, a free-market system would likely provide affordable premiums and wider choices.

Ironically, a free market – with lower premiums and better choices – would have fulfilled the original intent of the law. ObamaCare is the poster child for heavy-handed government dysfunction.

“The stated goal of many of the proponents of the ACA is some type of government single-payer system,” concludes Dr. Stark. “Hopefully, the American public will reject this and will instead push for a patient-oriented health care system that puts the patient, not the government, in charge.”

Agreed.

From the Coach’s Corner, you can read more insights of the Washington Policy Center here.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

-Margaret Thatcher

__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Now, ObamaCare Consultant Insults Small Businesses – 3rd Surfaced Video

Nov. 12, 2014

Yet another scandalous video related to the ObamaCare deception has surfaced — this time insulting small businesses. That makes three videos that document the thinking behind the scam by liberal Democrats and President Obama.

In a newly released video, the ObamaCare architect, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, said he wrote tax credits into the ObamaCare bill — purportedly to benefit small businesses because “you gotta say you like small businesses in America or you’re a communist…”

Professor Gruber made the controversial statement at a meeting of the  NOBLIS policy wonks in Falls Church, Virginia.

The liberal professor significantly enriched his bank account at the expense of American consumers.

He was paid nearly $400,000 for his role in writing and passage of the controversial healthcare law. Then, he made thousands more advising various state governments on how to establish those dubious state exchanges.

You’ll recall the earlier release of two videos of  MIT Professor Gruber, who openly condemned “the stupidity of the American voter” in a presentation on October 17, 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

He said voter stupidity made it possible to underhandedly pass the devastating legislation.

Here’s an excerpt of his disturbing comments:

“In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, okay. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass…”

Then, the ensuing uproar from his outrageous comments forced him to apologize on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily.

“The comments in the video were made in an academic conference,” he told his liberal interviewer. “I was speaking off the cuff, and I basically spoke inappropriately. And I regret having made those comments.”

Professor Gruber’s attitude is very problematic. In writing the bill, he threw some crumbs at small business in a disingenuous marketing scheme to prevent criticism.

He gave concessions to small businesses — as a political demagogue in a scheme get the law passed — not as an economist to benefit the healthcare system in America.

Along with the other damaging components of the law, that’s unacceptable.

From the Coach’s Corner, related healthcare information:

Healthcare Crisis – What the Plight of Doctors Means to You — America’s shortage of doctors is a widespread concern, and the stories you’ve heard about the difficulties experienced by doctors are true. Their difficulties were aptly explained by a study mentioned in an article published by Medscape Medical News.

Fiscal Fact-Check: Deficit, Social Security, and Medicare — Updated Sept. 9, 2014- America’s economic system is in grave danger. Like your personal finances, fiscal discernment in U.S. public policy is important for our economic recovery. A Harvard study reveals that massive U.S. borrowing and spending have wasted trillions of dollars in flawed efforts to stimulate the economy.

Inefficiency, Fraud in Healthcare and Insurance – How You Can Help — Inefficiency and fraud in healthcare and insurance has generated a ton of headlines. So a discussion about inefficiency and fraud has to include all stakeholders. That means patients, doctors and insurance companies – all must get a square deal for the healthcare system to work. But it appears doctors are experiencing unnecessary challenges.

Q&A with Dr. Ben Carson – The Full Meal Deal with Solutions — Naturally, Dr. Ben Carson is known as a uniquely soft-spoken retired neurosurgeon. His voluminous accomplishments include his pioneering in the separation of conjoined twins at the head. But, of course, there’s more. A lot more. With his gentle, low-key demeanor, he’s also known for his powerful insights on the issues facing the U.S. and the world.

“…we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”

-Nancy Pelosi

__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Monopoly in Health Insurance Hurts Employers, Consumers and Doctors



How do you feel about your health insurance? Fasten your seat belt. More problems have unveiled in America’s healthcare system.

Patients, physicians and employers have been in the same boat – skyrocketing health insurance costs from a lack of competition exacerbated by ObamaCare. ObamaCare has mandated fewer choices in insurance coverage, and choices of doctors and hospitals.

Now comes an eye-opening study by the American Medical Association (AMA). It shows one health insurance company holds a monopoly — one of the many quagmires associated with ObamaCare.

ID-10033362 photostockThe 2014 study shows WellPoint, being renamed as Anthem, is the biggest health insurance company in 82 of 388 U.S. markets.

“The AMA is greatly concerned that in 41 percent of metropolitan areas, a single health insurer had at least a 50 percent share of the commercial health insurance market,” said AMA President Robert M. Wah, M.D.

This doesn’t bode well for employers, consumers and doctors.

False promises

You might recall President Obama and his supporters made several claims that have proved to be false –including ObamaCare would allow patients to keep their doctors and that they would pay lower premiums.

But that hasn’t been the case. As feared when the law was furtively passed, it has resulted in anti-competitive prices, lack of choices, and/or substandard payments to doctors. This means poorer healthcare services.

It’s been exacerabated by a monopoly — Wellpoint owns 50 percent of the health-insurance market in 41 percent of U.S. markets. The company’s dominance is more than twice as big as its largest competitors, Health Care Service Corp. and UnitedHealth Group (UNH).

Health Care Service Corp. was second with a market share lead in 37 metropolitan areas, followed by UNH with a market share lead in 35 metropolitan areas.

Hurts competition

“The dominant market power of big health insurers increases the risk of anti-competitive behavior that harms patients and physicians, and presents a significant barrier to the market success of smaller insurance rivals,” said Dr. Wah.

The report found that nearly three-quarters of the metropolitan areas in the report are “highly concentrated,” lacking insurer competition.

More key findings:

— A significant absence of health insurer competition was found in 72 percent of the metropolitan areas studied.

These markets are rated “highly concentrated,” based on the guidelines used by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to assess the degree of competition in a given market.

— Seventeen states had a single health insurer with a commercial market share of 50 percent or more.

— Forty-five states had two health insurers with a combined commercial market share of 50 percent or more.

— The 10 states with the least competitive commercial health insurance markets were: 1. Alabama, 2. Hawaii, 3. Michigan, 4. Delaware, 5. Louisiana, 6. South Carolina, 7. Alaska, 8. Illinois, 9. Nebraska and 10. North Dakota.

Illinois has made its first appearance in the annual AMA list, displacing Rhode Island from last year’s list. Louisiana entered the top 5, moving from 9th on last year’s list.

–The 10 states that experienced the biggest drop in competition levels between 2011 and 2012 were: 1. Illinois, 2. Louisiana, 3. Indiana, 4. New Jersey, 5. New Hampshire, 6. Vermont, 7. Montana, 8. Wyoming, 9. Idaho and 10. Tennessee.

From the Coach’s Corner, related information:

Healthcare Crisis – What the Plight of Doctors Means to You — America’s shortage of doctors is a widespread concern, and the stories you’ve heard about the difficulties experienced by doctors are true. Their difficulties were aptly explained by a study mentioned in an article published by Medscape Medical News.

Inefficiency, Fraud in Healthcare and Insurance – How You Can Help — Inefficiency and fraud in healthcare and insurance has generated a ton of headlines. So a discussion about inefficiency and fraud has to include all stakeholders. That means patients, doctors and insurance companies – all must get a square deal for the healthcare system to work. But it appears doctors are experiencing unnecessary challenges.

FDA Inefficiency Costs ‘Thousands of Lives and Billions of Dollars’ in Healthcare – Book — ObamaCare is one of the biggest financial headaches suffered by businesspeople. But there’s more bad news for business. Now, a book indicts the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for massive problems that annually lead to the deaths of nearly a quarter of a million Americans and cost an unnecessary $200 billion+ in healthcare expenses.

Fiscal Fact-Check: Deficit, Social Security, and Medicare — America’s economic system is in grave danger. Like your personal finances, fiscal discernment in U.S. public policy is important for our economic recovery. A Harvard study reveals that massive U.S. borrowing and spending have wasted trillions of dollars in flawed efforts to stimulate the economy.

Nothing drives change like a shortage of cash.

 __________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of photostock at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Worry-Free Health Insurance Is Possible in Washington State

Feb. 19, 2014 – 

The health-care nightmare of 290,000 uninsured residents might soon be over now that two bills have been introduced in the Washington State Legislature.

After problems emerged from ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you might recall last November the president decreed that folks in individual and small group markets could keep their coverage for another year.

Mr. Obama also suspended the requirement for individuals and proclaimed they could buy economical catastrophic coverage.

stockimages doctorHowever, President Obama was immediately over-ruled by Washington State insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who said no.    

If that’s not enough, there are other unnecessary dilemmas: 

– Washingtonians aren’t allowed to cross the state line to buy insurance. This means they’re limited to three insurance carriers, which discourages competition and limits consumer options. 

– Washington state disallows low-cost catastrophic insurance plans. 

Two proposed bills 

SB 6464 and HB 2221 offer viable options in the wake of the insurance commissioner’s rulings, maintains Roger Stark, MD.

As a medical expert, Dr. Stark is an analyst at the Washington Policy Center (WPC), www.washingtonpolicy.org.

“First, people enrolled in individual and small group plans as of October 1, 2013, could continue those plans outside of the state health insurance exchange,” he explains.

“Second, out-of-state insurance companies could offer individual and small group plans, including catastrophic plans, to residents of Washington state, as long as those plans meet the insurance laws and regulations of their home state,” he adds.

He cites the benefits of SB 6464 and HB 2221:

  • Apply only to the individual and small group market.
  • Reduce costs by providing more health insurance options, including catastrophic plans, for consumers in Washington state.
  • Reduce the number of uninsured by increasing the number of insurance carriers and the number of policies available in Washington state.
  • Allow people to keep their existing insurance plans if they like them.
  • Be in compliance with the president’s unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act.

“Ideally, to reduce costs and increase choice and the quality of health services, patients, as consumers of health care, should have as many insurance options as possible available to them,” says the physician.

“Federal regulators, through the ACA, and state regulators, through the insurance commissioner’s office, have severely restricted the choices Washington state patients have in the health insurance market,” he asserts. “SB 6464 and HB 2221 would expand the choices for Washington state health care consumers.”

Amen.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

Health Expert Refutes ObamaCare Claims by Washington Insurance Commissioner — ObamaCare continues to fail in Washington state despite claims by the state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler. That’s the conclusion from an expert analyst – a doctor – at the authoritative think tank, the Washington Policy Center (WPC), www.washingtonpolicy.org. 

Why Health-Insurance Rates Increasing and Policyholders Losing Coverage in WA — Hundreds of thousands of Washington state residents – individual policyholders and small group insurance members – are learning two promises of ObamaCare are false.

Taxes – What Should Washington State Do about Medicaid? — With 18 percent of residents on Medicaid and Washington’s $2-billion budget shortfall, the state should follow Oregon’s example. ObamaCare seeks to enlarge Medicaid programs across the country.

“What people are seeing is that the cost of their care and their insurance is going up faster since ObamaCare has been passed than if the healthcare law had not been passed at all.” 

-John Barrasso 

_________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Health Expert Refutes ObamaCare Claims by Washington Insurance Commissioner



ObamaCare continues to fail in Washington state despite claims by the state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler. That’s the conclusion from an expert analyst — a doctor — at the authoritative think tank, the Washington Policy Center (WPC), www.washingtonpolicy.org.

“The legislation isn’t working for Washingtonians, even as high-ranking state officials say it is,” says WPC Health Care Analyst Roger Stark.

“The press release the insurance commissioner sent out is very misleading,” adds the physician.

ID-100102373 stockimages.In claiming 323,000 Washingtonians had signed up successfully,  Mr. Kreidler proclaimed the Affordable Care Act as a success in his press release on Jan. 30, 2014.

Dr. Stark points out two salient discrepancies in the insurance commissioner’s news release:

– Instead of paying their own way, more than 80 percent of those enrollees actually signed up for Medicaid, the state’s entitlement program, which is funded by taxpayers.

– Nearly 300,000 Washington residents have lost their health-care coverage, as a result of ObamaCare.

“The state insurance commissioner’s press releases should accurately reflect the real and harmful effects the health-care law is having on the people of our state,” said Dr. Stark. 

Six assertions

In all, Dr. Stark makes these important points:

1. Some 290,000 Washingtonians have lost their health-care coverage because of ObamaCare.

2. In 2014, thousands of Washington workers are expected to receive cancellation notices, as ObamaCare’s employer mandate causes companies to drop health coverage for employees.

3. State officials don’t know how many of the people who have lost their health coverage are included in the 323,000 they claim have newly enrolled.

4. Four out of five — 82 percent — of new enrollees signed up for Medicaid, which is covered 100 percent by taxpayers.

5. If 290,000 have lost their coverage because of ObamaCare and 323,000 have signed up, the net gain is just 33,000.

6. In a harsh November ruling, Commissioner Kreidler barred thousands of Washington residents from keeping insurance plans that they liked.

Dr. Stark offers solutions to the ObamaCare nightmare: He advocates a health-care expansion of consumer choices to reduce costs via increased competition and allowing Washingtonians to shop across state lines.

The insurance commissioner’s misrepresentations mirror claims in President Obama’s State of the Union speech. That’s when he said more than nine million Americans had received coverage under ObamaCare, which is disputed by fact-checkers.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

Why Health-Insurance Rates Increasing and Policyholders Losing Coverage in WA — Hundreds of thousands of Washington state residents – individual policyholders and small group insurance members – are learning two promises of ObamaCare are false. 

Taxes – What Should Washington State Do about Medicaid? — With 18 percent of residents on Medicaid and Washington’s $2-billion budget shortfall, the state should follow Oregon’s example. ObamaCare seeks to enlarge Medicaid programs across the country. 

“No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.”

-Abraham Lincoln 

_________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of StockImages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Why Health-Insurance Rates Increasing and Policyholders Losing Coverage in WA


Two promises of ObamaCare are proving to be false in Washington state, says a leading think tank. 



June 6, 2013-

Hundreds of thousands of Washington state residents – individual policyholders and small group insurance members – are learning two promises of ObamaCare are false.

They won’t be able to keep the same coverage they had before passage of the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA), and their rates are increasing.

“It is estimated that potentially 650,000 Washingtonians now covered in the individual and small group insurance markets will be forced to change their plans,” said Dr. Roger Stark, the Washington Policy Center (WPC) health care analyst, in June 2013. “These consumers will receive a notice from their insurance company that the law now forbids them from keeping their existing plans.

“They will be presented with a menu of allowable insurance plan options,” he added. “Their deductibles and benefits will change, most likely in the upward direction. Unfortunately, people’s choices will be sharply limited, with less innovation and choices.”

Depending on the provisos in their ACA plan, the WPC analyst says their out-of-pocket costs will range from zero to a 70 percent increase.

Conflicting reports – confusion

He said conflicting news-media reports on comparing health insurance plans have led to confusion among patients: “You must read carefully but you’ll find the media comparisons are based on erroneous assumptions – apples to oranges examples.”

Previously, healthcare insurance was regulated by Washington state’s insurance commissioner. Coverage and premium rates were created by the insurance companies, and subject to state approval. Once approved, any premium increase could be monitored. They were either approved or denied.

But now, it’s a different ballgame. The government, including the Internal Revenue Service, is assuming control.

But the ObamaCare shell game is not confusing all his supporters — even a union now demands “repeal or complete reform” of ObamaCare

Insurance companies are required to provide qualified health plans subject to approval by the state insurance commissioner and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

All of this is mired in thousands of pages in new regulations.

So, if you’re enrolled in an individual plan, you’ll have to learn whether you get to keep your coverage. The WPC analyst predicts you’ll pay a 5 to 10 percent increase.

However, if you have to switch plans, you’ll have to compare benefits between the old and new coverage.

If you want more benefits as some required by ObamaCare, you’ll pay a premium increase.

More exorbitant costs

ObamaCare requires you buy IRS-monitored health insurance for $4,500 or pay a $700 tax.

Insurance companies will be required to sell coverage to any person – no matter what the pre-existing condition is. That has unfortunate consequences for the majority.

“Many young and healthy people will wait until they are sick or injured to buy insurance,” says Dr. Stark. “People who are responsible and purchase insurance before they become sick will find their premiums skyrocketing, as they are forced to pay the health costs of those who wait to buy coverage.”

WPC (www.washingtonpolicy.org) is an authoritative think tank based in Seattle with satellite offices in the Olympia and Spokane.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles:

“You know we’re going to control the insurance companies.”

-Joe Biden


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




ObamaCare Has Cost Economy $27.6 billion, Eliminated 30,000 Jobs – Study

Oct. 10, 2012

If you’re wondering why the U.S. economy seems stagnant, ObamaCare isn’t helping. In fact, a study by a nonprofit issue-advocacy, American Action Forum (AAF), shows the economy has been devastated by $27.6 billion in unnecessary regulatory costs and in 30,000 lost jobs, as a result of ObamaCare.

“This analysis barely scratches the surface of the regulatory impact of this law,” Sam Batkins, AAF’s director of regulatory policy was quoted in a published report. “Not only is there still over a year until the law is fully implemented, but we only looked at data that the Administration itself has made public.”

The economic impact of ObamaCare, which is officially known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), imposes 85 new regulations.

“By looking only at the Administration’s own numbers, they are essentially conceding the fact that the ACA will place billions of dollars in regulatory burdens on the private sector and further strain states’ budgets,” asserted the researcher.

Regulatory Costs

Costing $24.4 billion, the study indicates the 10 most-expensive regulations:

  • Operating rules – $5.9 billion
  • Community First Choice Option – $5.7 billion
  • Establishment of Exchanges –$3.4 billion
  • Rules for Health Care Electronic Funds Transfers – $3.3 billion
  • Adoption of a Standard Health Plan – $2 billion
  • Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP; Transparency – $1.7 billion
  • Menu Labeling – $757 million
  • Medicaid Program Eligibility Changes – $580 million
  • Medicaid Program and Community Based Services – $580 million
  • Group Health Plans and Insurance Issuers – $275 million

The study points out that the regulations have also cost more than 60 million hours in paperwork. It also considers 2,000 hours is equal to a 30,000-job loss.

California has been hit the hardest – $3.4 billion in regulatory costs and 2,917 lost jobs.

Texas is second on the hardest-hit list – $1.8 billion in costs and 1,292 lost jobs.

There’s another ominous indicator:

“With still 15 months until full implementation there’s sure to be more regulatory costs,” concluded researcher Batkins.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles:

 “And the biggest, coldest power play of all in ObamaCare came at the expense of the elderly.”
-Paul Ryan 

__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Why Small Business Vows to Continue the Healthcare Fight



Updated – March. 5, 2016 


Losses for small business even at the Supreme Court level over ObamaCare won’t deter the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), www.nfib.com.

NFIB serves small business. It fought ObamaCare because imposed higher costs and convoluted mandates.

Years later, it’s helping small businesses deal with it but vows to continue the fight.

David Castillo Dominici investigationBusinesspeople still fear the unknown — unknowingly failing to comply with the complexities of ObamaCare.

Despite the legal losses at the U.S. Supreme Court level, the mom-and-pop business owners’ and larger companies’ fight will continue against the jobs-killing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

“While we are certainly disappointed, NFIB respects the decision to uphold the individual mandate by the Supreme Court,” says Dan Danner, President and CEO of the NFIB. “Clearly this mandate has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes.”

The NFIB has long voiced opposition to PPACA because of the threats from uncertainty, new taxes and onerous regulatory requirements.

It’s a major reason why hiring for living-wage jobs hasn’t increased.

Plus, most micro firms are not able to provide healthcare coverage and face heavy fines that threaten their odds for success.

Moreover, entrepreneurs are a courageous, independent lot. They have a dream. Most want to preserve their business, financial, personal, and political liberties. To them, PPACA is tantamount to slavery.

“We are concerned about the precedent that this will set in Congress’ ability to mandate other aspects of our lives, but we will move forward from today to continue to fight, harder than ever, for real healthcare reform for our membership,” adds Mr. Danner.

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

-Khalil Gibran

“Under PPACA, small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses,” says Mr. Danner. “We will continue to fight for the repeal of PPACA in the halls of Congress; only with PPACA’s full repeal will Congress have the ability to go back to the drawing board to craft real reform that makes reducing costs a number one priority.”

His bottom-line: “The power and control of healthcare decisions should be in the hands of the consumer, not the government.”

NFIB’s chief lawyer concurs.

“This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom – the freedom to choose what they want to buy with their own money,” says Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.

The high court’s ruling also drew a negative reaction from a leading think tank, the Washington Policy Center (WPC), and its healthcare analyst and retired heart surgeon, Dr. Roger Stark.

“… most Americans oppose this law, and most Washingtonians oppose the individual mandate,” says Dr. Stark. “They believe, rightly, that the law will result in higher costs, fewer choices, and worse care for them and their families.”

He cited a KING5 poll in Washington state that showed 64 percent of respondents opposed the individual health insurance mandate, and nearly half disliked the entire ACA.

Dr. Stark co-founded the open-heart surgery program at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, and authored the book: “The Patient-Centered Solution, Out Health Care Crisis, How It Happened, and How We Can Fix It.

WPC Op-Ed articles are published on The Biz Coach here.

Several of the recommendations by Grant Thornton (www.grantthornton.com) in 2012, are still relevant:

  • New mandatory summaries of benefits and coverage – An employer will need to update its summaries of benefits and coverage in conformance with new guidance prior to the next open enrollment period. This may be problematic for employers offering multiple plan options and medical plans with carved-out benefits (for example, separate medical and pharmacy benefit providers).
  • Form W-2 health plan reporting – An employer must update its payroll system in order to report the cost of its health care coverage on Forms W-2 issued for 2012.
  • Plan design changes to mitigate the effect of the “Cadillac tax” – Starting in 2018, a provision of the PPACA imposes a 40 percent excise tax on the insurer or plan sponsor for a health plan whose value exceeds a certain threshold. With proper planning this impact can be lowered or eliminated through wellness programs and plan design changes that encourage cost-effective behavior. Also, employers should consider whether they will pass the cost of the excise tax to their employees, because the employees’ health care benefits cause the excise tax to apply.
  • Elimination of its health care program – An employer may want to consider whether to continue to offer health care as a benefit or have employees buy their coverage through one of the many exchanges being established.
  • Proper handling of accounting issues – An employer may not have taken into consideration in its financial statements the effect of the PPACA provisions regarding the Medicare Part D subsidy taxation rules and potential Cadillac tax.
  • Communication about the effect of the decision to employees – The Supreme Court decision may raise a number of questions from employees that employers should be prepared to address.

Meantime, let’s wish the WPC luck in educating voters. And wish the NFIB luck – so their entrepreneurial members can achieve their dreams of successful businesses.

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

-Khalil Gibran

__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.com

A Favorable Supreme Court Ruling Will Start a Government Diet

Updated – March 7, 2015

Will wasteful government spending ever go on a diet? Perhaps — finally. A major court decision on ObamaCare in June will be a determining factor.

We were promised that ObamaCare would cut healthcare costs and premiums. The president and his supporters promised we could keep our doctors. etc. … and the unfulfilled promises go on and on … just the opposite is true.

Even back in 2012, this portal reported ObamaCare had cost the economy $27.6 billion and eliminated 30,000 jobs. ObamaCare has exacerbated the nation’s debt — now more than $18 trillion. (See the national debt clock in real time here.)

But now there’s a glimmer of hope for a government diet.

ID-100287607 (1) Stuart MilesThe ObamaCare debacle is going to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court again. It could mean the end of the disastrous law.

Moreover, an anticipated collapse of ObamaCare and the 2011 downgrade of the U.S. credit rating would combine to be reproaches to massive, wasteful federal-government spending.

The high court, in effect, will decide the meaning of phrase in the law, “established by the state,” which pertains to Americans who get subsidies for their health insurance in those state-run exchanges.

ObamaCare supporters disingenuously now claim the phrase is irrelevant. They claim subsidies should be allowed in all 50 states.

If the court rules the phrase in the law should be taken literally, funding for the law will dissipate and ObamaCare will disappear.

U.S. credit rating

Many lawmakers in Washington have a short memory. Don’t forget about the Standard and Poor’s historic downgrade of the U.S. credit rating to AA+ in August 2011. President Obama bitterly complained about the downgrade instead of heeding it.

In reality, the downgrade and ongoing opposition to ObamaCare are positive developments. The two represent reproaches to the federal government’s behavior and performance.

Most businesspeople oppose the law (How Healthcare Law Would Affect Small Business, and Healthcare Reform Increases Costs to Workers, Study).

Despite disingenuous claims by the Obama Administration, S&P’s downgrade was justified. In pandering to political cronies, nearly all in Congress from both parties have spent an obscene amount of money on unwarranted hometown pork and earmarks. Did I mention the huge red flag — the $18 trillion+ national debt.

Not only do most Americans disapprove of ObamaCare according to most polls, you might recall public officials in most states originally filed legal action against it.

The opponents’ case was pursued by attorneys general and governors from more than half of the states – 26. Other plaintiffs have included the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals.

Obamacare requires guaranteed funding via the consistency in the mega pool of policyholders. Now, insurance companies have hiked premiums — just as predicted here at The Biz Coach.

Possible Ramifications

Possibly, there’ll be a different political landscape. Perhaps the Supreme Court might rule against the Obama Administration — especially if the Republican-dominated Congress finally comes up with an alternative to ObamaCare.

As state governments have carried out the law’s reforms, there has been a lot of angst about the costs in implementing the law. Many of the states’ politicians complain their rights have been trampled.

In Oregon, state officials finally pulled the plug on the state’s exchange after $248 million was wasted on it. (See this LA Times article: Oregon abolishes its hopelessly bungled health insurance exchange.)

So a positive ruling in June will torch the remaining portions of ObamaCare. Why? The mandate to buy insurance is a source of the law’s funding, which might now be disrupted.

Only one source remains as a funding source – an aggregate decrease of $799 billion in Medicare benefits payable to doctors for their care of patients. As a result when people turn 65, many can’t get care as doctors refuse to accept new Medicare patients.

Sadly, ObamaCare supporters have been disingenuous. They conveniently omit the resulting devastation to recipients of Medicare.

Let’s hope the entire baggage in Obamacare is at-risk. It was clearly unconscionable for the Obama Administration to require Americans to buy private products in the first place.

The Great Recession may have technically ended but not for many businesspeople and consumers. That’s why the S&P downgrade and court ruling are beneficial. The reproaches might help to end the expansion of the over-extended Federal government.

The reproaches also hold the promise of enhancing the economy by alleviating economic uncertainty for 14 millions of unemployed and under-employed Americans, and struggling employers, alike. Companies have been reluctant to hire, in part, because of the expense of Obamacare.

Here’s a better strategic plan: Balance the budget without increasing taxes on everyone. Make it feasible for startups and other businesses to hire and expand.

Economic and political freedom are two of America’s sacred liberties. Government spending must go on a diet.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related public-policy articles:

Only Fiscal Sobriety Will Prevent Further Fiscal Chaos — We’re way past the deadline to demonstrate financial leadership. It’s time for economic fundamentals and teamwork focused on economic patriotism.

Do We Really Honor the Declaration of Independence? — Progressively more every year, many Americans, especially public officials, demonstrate they need to review the reasons for Independence Day and why we celebrate the fourth of July. It is, of course, a national U.S. holiday that commemorates the adoption of our unique Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Thomas Jefferson was inspired to write the historic document between June 11 and 28, 1776. He eloquently stated the convictions of Americans. They weren’t new ideals expressing the desire for liberty. John Locke and others beat him to it.

Manufacturing Jobs Might Return to U.S. as China’s Labor Costs Rise — As some U.S. states develop reputations as low-cost manufacturing centers and China’s wages increase, offshoring of jobs is expected to decline in five years, according to an international consulting firm. That’s the essence of a 2011 study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Economic Climate for Business – Has Obama Misread the 3 Ms? — President Obama has misread his small-business 3Ms – he won’t be confused with Abraham Lincoln for policies and Franklin Roosevelt for messaging.

Government Spending Causes Companies to Cut Back, Harvard Study — A Harvard study reveals that massive U.S. borrowing and spending has wasted trillions of dollars in flawed efforts to stimulate the economy.

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

-P.J. O’Rourke

   __________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Healthcare ‘Reform’ Increases Costs to Every Sector in U.S.



The Harvard University faculty endorsed ObamaCare, but after experiencing it the liberal faculty members are howling. That was also the case with unions starting with a union demanding “repeal or complete reform” of ObamaCare.

Most businesses don’t like it either.

The costs are enormous as we witnessed in the following interview on CBS.

It was a good thing big companies didn’t have to participate in ObamaCare until 2015. Analysts believe Mr. Obama’s flip-flop — to delay implementation — was a move designed to prevent more controversy until after the 2014 elections.

But Mr. Obama’s disingenuous action didn’t work. If you work for a large company, your healthcare costs have increased and your coverage was decreased as a result of ObamaCare. No surprise. That was forecast in an authoritative 2010 study.

Ninety-four percent of 661 companies surveyed by a human resources firm, Towers Watson, believed the healthcare reform law will increase costs.

So, employees pay the price. The firm surveyed companies in several sectors. The median company employs 5,600 workers.

This meant 88 percent believe it will increase costs to workers.

Seventy-four percent will see their benefits and programs decreased. That meant higher deductibles and co-payments.

“While many employers have not yet assessed the full impact that reform will have on their businesses, they do realize that the responsibility to hold costs down will fall primarily on their shoulders,” said Towers Watson North American Health and Group Benefits Leader Mark Maselli in a statement.

Ironically, 96 percent of the companies surveyed indicated that preventing increased costs was a priority.

Almost 75 percent anticipate paying for subsidized health coverage for their current employees. Forty-three percent, however, will cancel or reduce benefits to their retirees.

Well, unfortunately, such news was to be expected. There have been numerous warnings here about the law’s unconstitutional mandates.

Any further erosion of personal freedom and economic freedom is not to be tolerated.

From the Coach’s Corner, related healthcare information:

Healthcare Crisis – What the Plight of Doctors Means to You – America’s shortage of doctors is a widespread concern, and the stories you’ve heard about the difficulties experienced by doctors are true. Their difficulties were aptly explained by a study mentioned in an article published by Medscape Medical News.

FDA Inefficiency Costs ‘Thousands of Lives and Billions of Dollars’ in Healthcare – Book – ObamaCare is one of the biggest financial headaches suffered by businesspeople. But there’s more bad news for business. Now, a book indicts the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for massive problems that annually lead to the deaths of nearly a quarter of a million Americans and cost an unnecessary $200 billion+ in healthcare expenses.

Inefficiency, Fraud in Healthcare and Insurance – How You Can Help – Inefficiency and fraud in healthcare and insurance has generated a ton of headlines. So a discussion about inefficiency and fraud has to include all stakeholders. That means patients, doctors and insurance companies – all must get a square deal for the healthcare system to work. But it appears doctors are experiencing unnecessary challenges.

Q&A with Dr. Ben Carson – The Full Meal Deal with Solutions – Naturally, Dr. Ben Carson is known as a uniquely soft-spoken retired neurosurgeon. His voluminous accomplishments include his pioneering in the separation of conjoined twins at the head. But, of course, there’s more. A lot more. With his gentle, low-key demeanor, he’s also known for his powerful insights on the issues facing the U.S. and the world.

Now, ObamaCare Consultant Insults Small Businesses – Videos – Yet another scandalous video related to the ObamaCare deception has surfaced — this time insulting small businesses. In a newly released video, the ObamaCare architect, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, said he wrote tax credits into the ObamaCare bill — purportedly to benefit small businesses because “you gotta say you like small businesses in America or you’re a communist…”

Fiscal Fact-Check: Deficit, Social Security, and Medicare – America’s economic system is in grave danger. Like your personal finances, fiscal discernment in U.S. public policy is important for our economic recovery. A Harvard study reveals that massive U.S. borrowing and spending have wasted trillions of dollars in flawed efforts to stimulate the economy.

“Human beings can’t take individual freedom…they need to be led.  Even America, through the years, needed it.  We’ve been the frog in the pot of (the government will take care of you) water…it’s just that the pot has been getting close to boiling the past few years…

-Biz Coach reader

_________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.