If You Like Your Health Care Plan, Too Bad?


Let's hope you didn't really like your health care plan anyway, because if the health care overhaul in Massachusetts is any indication—and given that it's the model for ObamaCare, it probably is—getting too attached might be a bad idea, especially if you work at a small business:

The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead, a trend that, some analysts say, could eventually weigh heavily on the state's already-stressed budget. Since April 1, the date many insurance contracts are renewed for small businesses, the owners of about 90 small companies terminated their insurance plans with Braintree-based broker Jeff Rich and indicated in a follow-up survey that they were relying on publicly-funded insurance for their employee

It's not entirely clear how strong this trend is right now, but it tracks with what many expect to occur widely as the PPACA swings into effect: Many businesses, especially those that employee fewer individuals, will choose to drop health coverage for their employees. Indeed, the CBO projected that about 3 million individuals would be shifted off their current employer-provided insurance, and many experts I've spoken to recently think that number is likely to be low. And the bulk of that shift is expected to come from small-business employees. That's because small businesses (defined as having fewer than 50 employees) don't have to pay a penalty to drop their coverage. So if employees can get subsidized insurance through the state, there's little financial incentive for small employers to keep giving health benefits. The article quotes the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt as saying that "struggling business [sic] don't necessarily feel the need to offer coverage to attract workers." Well, struggling or not, they certainly don't when the state offers those workers a subsidized insurance option.

And as we've already seen, larger businesses may have incentives to drop coverage, too—even factoring in the penalties they'll have to pay for not providing insurance. AT&T, for example, calculated that it could save $1.8 billion by shifting its employees into a public program. Now, not every business will immediately kill health coverage under the law, but as time goes on, and the potential savings add up, it will be tougher and tougher for businesses, small and large, to keep offering coverage. Which means that those, contrary to Obama's promise, under the PPACA, those who like their health care plans may not actually be able to keep them.

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  1. Well, just raise the penalties!

    Counterrevolutionaries and backsliders must not be allowed to rob us of our glorious future!

    1. Exactly. The next step is to demonize any business who drops health care coverage. It is so obvious where all this leads.

      1. I would be pissed if my company DIDN’T do this. The amount they could save by not paying for health care coverage compared to the penalty would be enormous. They would be criminally inept not to take advantage of this cost savings.

        Sure, my health care costs would skyrocket as I paid in to the Government run disaster, and my overall service would decline, but at least my company wouldn’t go bankrupt so I’d at least still have a job.

        Gotta find a silver lining in these things somewhere.

        1. My company is small, runs in the red, and doesn’t give anyone health care coverage, but employee pep talks list health benefits among paid vacations as the “perks” of what the company will give people once it becomes profitable.

          If they go through with that, I’m immediately requesting they don’t extend it to me so that one less person will be a drag on their system. I have no reason to believe a company that barely survives without paying for anyone’s health care would be fine and peaches if it did.

      2. But on the bright side I have a bunch of empty beer bottles in my basement for IVs, so there is that.

        1. I always knew you were an enemy of the people Astrid.

  2. First! Now will you all love me?

    1. Dammit! I can’t even do THAT right!

  3. This is a hoax, planted by evil rat-bagging teafuckers who are jealous of all the good things the democrats have done in the past eighteen months.

    This is gonna be one tasty omelette, by gosh!

    1. Rat-bagging teafuckers? I think you just one-upped Weigel…

    2. rat-bagging teafuckers

      You make me happy in my secret place.

    3. Rat bagging Teafucker. I love it.

    4. The afterglow is hardly gone and already I’m not good enough for you.

  4. Now will you all love me?

    Not a chance.

    1. If by “love” he means pis in his mouth, well, maybe.

  5. http://content.usatoday.com/co…..t-age-70/1

    The manager from Major League died. When Sam Elliott goes, how is Hollywood going to cast parts that gravely voiced guys with cool mustaches?

    1. Demi Moore

    2. I don’t want to live in a world without Sam Elliott.

    3. Put a moustache on Senator Mikulski?

      Or, rather, put a thicker moustache on Senator Mikulski?

    4. I bet Ermey can grow a respectable stache.

      1. Yeah. I saw him the other day on TV. My God does he look old. I am not sure he will make it any longer than Sam Elliot.

        1. Ermey is immortal. The Reaper is too scared to come collect him.

      2. Ermey doesn’t NEED a stache.

    5. the dad on the motorcycle show

  6. I hate Obamacare as much as anyone, but you’re twisting his words here. In the context, he clearly meant that the government would not force you off your current plan, which is what some people were afraid of. Yes, you could argue that the government is setting up a health care landscape that indirectly leads to you losing your health care plan, but that’s not the fear that Obama was responding to.

    1. Bullshit. People were afraid of their plans being canceled as well. He was clearly telling people that his program would not effect their current plans. The impression he left was that the whole thing was to help the uninsured get insurance and to help you if you lost your job or your health insurance. He explicitly assured people that their current plans would not be affected by this.

      Obama is a lying sack of shit. The fact that the government isn’t using the force of law to get people off of their current plans doesn’t change that.

    2. As if there’s a huge difference between the two?

      None of these companies would be doing this if not for the cost savings the penalty will provide for them. I don’t see a big difference in what you are proposing.

    3. I gotta call BS on this one, Tulpa. You are just playing a semantics game, just like Obama did.

      The bottom line is the plan you liked and doctor you have worked with is not available any more, and you may not be able to get either back.

    4. No, I’d argue that he was clearly responding to the fear of people who said, “Well, I’m happy with my insurance, so while I’d like something to be done about those poor uninsured people, I don’t want it to affect my coverage at all.”

      In any event, his statement of “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” promised something he couldn’t deliver. That doesn’t get him off the hook, just because he promised something impossible.

    5. Read literally, it was a bald-faced lie when he said it, because of all the mandates that were included in the bill. Starting next year, nobody will be able to keep their plan, because every plan will have to change to meet the mandates.

      Even read less literally, the claim was a lie. The mandates will make some plans uneconomic, and thus will force their cancellation. When the higher costs imposed by the mandates mean you will either (a) lose your coverage because your employer went out of business or (b) lose your coverage because your employer had to cancel the insurance to stay in business, I think you can say that health care reform forced you out of your current insurance.

      1. National Residential Arson Plan

        “No one will be forced from their homes.”

        1. “This plan will force no one from their homes. However, we are not responsible for what any subsequent flames, heat, and smoke may do.”

    6. In the context, he clearly meant that the government would not force you off your current plan, which is what some people were afraid of.

      Aren’t certain plans outlawed by this bill?

      1. Yes. If I recall correctly, plans have to meet a minimum standard and many high deductible, catastrophic care plans do not cover preventative care so they don’t meet the definition of an “insurance plan” under the bill.

        1. So this bill defines “insurance” as being exactly the opposite of what insurance is. Progressive stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

  7. I wonder whether the Dems are actually that stupid, and people losing private coverage is an unintended consequence of their health reform package, or whether the intention is to drain people into the public health system so as to increase the public sector. I suspect it?s the former and they just got lucky.

    1. Some of the top ones knew that was going to happen and wanted that very outcome. As for the rest of them, yeah they are really that stupid.

      1. But the short-term effect will likely be many disgruntled voters and losing the next election.
        Their ideology can drive them to do stupid things, but their motivation is personal power and I cannot conceive of any of them taking a hit so that years or decades later Dems have more power.

    2. It’s not as if the distinction really makes a difference. As someone here (R C Dean?) has said, to paraphrase, if and effect is foreseeable, it’s not unintended.

      1. As someone here (R C Dean?)

        That would be yes.

        1. So, RC, were the civilian deaths following the Iraq invasion unforeseeable, or were they intentional? I’m curious to see which one you think it is, because if it’s not either, your so-called law is bunk.

    3. So you’re saying they’re either stupid or evil? I say they can be both!

      1. Not evil, corrupt.
        The best of the gene pool is unlikely to enter into modern politics, that?s for sure. But despite being corrupt, it probably requires some ability to make your way up to the top, however much elbowing and back-stabbing occurs.

    4. There are plenty of video clips showing the plan’s designers bragging about how it would take us to single payer.

    5. It’s the latter. The intention is for this program to fail. Only when this program fails to contain costs and employers drop coverage can progressives convince enough Americans to support the nationalization of health insurance.

  8. My employer pays for my high-deductible plan and provides me with an HSA. Under ObamaCare, I could use that, which sucks because my company just switched to that formula two years ago to keep costs down.

    1. “I could LOSE that”

      Stupid brain.

  9. I’m thrilled by this. The sooner the better. But I’m one of the assholes that thinks it has to get worse for it to ever get better.

    1. That is just because you are one of those ratbagging teafuckers.

    2. It does have to get worse before it gets better, but that doesn’t mean making it worse is going to lead to it to get better.

  10. It would be great to kill employer-provided healthcare. But the touble is going to be killing the subsidies.

    Actually, if we could kill medicaid and just subsidize only current medicaid recipients that would actually be an improvement.

    Get the medicaid recipients and the employed into the individual market.

  11. They’re raising rates at my job for family coverage, and free health insurance for employees is ending.

  12. The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead[…]

    That was the intended goal all the time: Price the private suppliers out of the market, by relying on the loot and plunder to pay for the “free” health insurance.

  13. [oh . . hum .. clears voice]

    People, what I clearly said was, ‘don’t you worry your pretty little head Ms. Suburban MiddleClass, keep voting for me and my fellow Democrats because the systemic changes I promise to these United States wont effect you at all, just other people.’

    So, your Tulpa is right. I didn’t think they would be sophisticated enough to look at the indirect implications so I didn’t bother to address them. You know something, I was right.

  14. Which means that those, contrary to Obama’s promise, under the PPACA, those who like their health care plans may not actually be able to keep them.

    I don’t worry – I am coming around to the idea that Obama’s mythomania is cronic.

    1. The only folks who still mythicize him are smoking the chronic.

      1. Don’t fucking insult me like that again, asshole!

    2. Chronic. Sorry, English is my second language. I try my best.

      1. Cthonic, you mean.

  15. This falls squarely under the NO FUCKING SHIT category.

    The bill is designed that way, that was the original intent.

  16. If this is the beginning of a process that disentangles health insurance from employment, I’m all for it. As for the broken promises thing, who the heck expects politicians to keep their campaign promises?

    1. Steve, you are the reason why I do not put even a dime into the American economy. There are much smarter, faster, and agile horses to bet on than to be symping for an old washed up mare used for Tijuana sex shows.

    2. Even if it completely entangles health insurance with government? You think that is an improvemenT?

  17. Now woah woah woah right there spinach chin…if Obama is so brilliant and omniscient that he can predict, with perfect accuracy, what will happen to the economy if he isn’t allowed to throw money at it, how could he not see this will probably happen to health insurance?
    He’s either an idiot, a liar, or both.

    1. Re: In Time Of War,

      He’s either an idiot, a liar, or both.

      He cannot be both – one needs to be smart in order to be a liar.

      1. No, one needs to be smart in order to be a SUCCESSFUL liar.

      2. If there are no people who are willing to punish you for your obvious lies, the you do not need to be particularly intelligent or even have low cunning to be a liar.

  18. The bright spot in all this is down the road is that government run insurance will be a disaster, health insurance will no longer be tied to your job, so the government will have no choice but to deregulate health insurance which will lead to true free markets in health care. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.

    1. Clearly you don’t live in the same United States that I do.

    2. Maybe my great, great, great, great grandchildren will see that day.

  19. “so the government will have no choice but to deregulate health insurance which will lead to true free markets in health care”

    Why would they “have no choice?” It’s not as though they are concerned about the public. Once they seized control of the medical industry, it was for good, no matter what devastation it will do to society and the economy.

    That’s why they jammed the seizure through literally in the middle of the night by dint of bribes, lies, and threats. They know it’s poison, but it was the quickest way to nationalize vast segments of the private sector despite overwhelming public condemnation.

    1. And as we all know, doin’ right ain’t got no end…

  20. It’s already happened to me. As soon as the industry got a whiff of this bill, my perfectly acceptable HSA plan went up in smoke, replaced by a much crappier plan with similar prices and no tax benefits. Thanks Obama.

  21. BTW, I wouldn’t characterize this as a broken promise. He carefully parsed his words with the intent to deceive. It’s not exactly much better, but it’s not the outright lie he pulled with regard to taxation.

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