“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Consequences from ObamaCare- But Are They Unintended?

Karl Rove wrote a nice editorial in the Wall Street Journal last week summarizing the latest estimates of how many currently-insured Americans who are covered through their jobs will be losing that coverage under ObamaCare. It's not pretty. But is it unintended?

Rove presented the financial math, explaining that company-paid health care for a family of four is an average $9,773, while the penalty for dumping such coverage will only be- initially- $2,000. Of course more than merely today's uninsured will end up with federal coverage.

Last year, Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimated that 35 million American workers would have their health care insurance dropped by their employers. The National Center for Policy Analysis weighed in with their estimate of  "87 million to 117 million" such newly-uninsured employees. Now McKinsey estimates the number to be between 80 million and 100 million.

The original Congressional estimate was just 24 million workers being shunted to the federal option.

Rove then went on to quantify the extra costs these larger estimates imply for ObamaCare. Holtz-Eakin's number would add about $200B to the originally-estimated $500B cost, the NCPA's larger number would add $2T for the program's first decade. These added expenses come on top of what was initially, but fraudulently, claimed to be a deficit-reduction bill. In reality, when Medicare cost savings double-counting are eliminated and various other taxes unrelated to health care are stripped out, the law obviously will be a net new cost to the federal budget.

Rove's point was simply that it's going to be much more expensive.

My point is that the expected discharge of perhaps as many as 100 million workers, or nearly a third of the US population, into the new federal program, will effectively end private health care insurance. But if you think that measely $2,000 fine per worker is going to remain fixed, think again.

Once Congress and the various new agencies charged with implementing ObamaCare get a sense of how much unanticipated, but, I believe, actually welcomed new participants are dumped by corporate America, they will duly announce a need to increase the per/worker penalty in order to pay for the extra plan participants.

Maybe the penalties will rise to the average loaded cost per/person of the federal policies. In which case you'd have corporate America maneuvered into not only paying what they paid before ObamaCare, but now forced to pay more, uncontrollably, via penalties, while the federal government exercised total control over the health care choices of the bulk of Americans.

I wish I could write that I believe this predicted tide of workers dumped into ObamaCare was unexpected, but I think it was both expected and desired.

Forget about Wonderboy's promise that under his bill "if you like your health care, you can keep it." He knew that was never going to be true, and I believe he made sure that ObamaCare was designed so that corporations would make it a lie. Watch him avoid responsibility and blame corporations for dumping their workers in order to save money, once again depicting them as evil.

Makes you rethink wanting to be a shareholder of any publicly-held US firm, doesn't it, when Wonderboy is obviously out to ruin them?

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