Many Texas Firms Say Obamacare Will 'Raise Costs a Lot' and Reduce Employment


Oh shit
hunterseakerhk / Foter

Obamacare may be over as a campaign issue—or so declareth its hopeful supporters—but it's still very much a cold sweat-inducer among business owners who have to shoulder its costs and abide by its requirements. As part of its latest monthly survey of service sector businesses, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas included specific questions about the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The responses from 191 executives were not so encouraging for those hoping that the health care law won't be a kick in the groin to the economy.

Asked, "How would you say the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected your firm's health care costs…?" 82.1 percent of respondents estimate increased costs for 2014; 90.9 percent estimate increased costs for 2015. Only 0.6 percent estimated lower costs for either year.

Obamacare costs
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Of a subset of retail business executives, 86.7 percent estimated increased costs for 2014; 92.3 percent said the same of 2015.

But those are just fat-cat executives. Who cares about them? What does that mean for the working folks benefiting from the law?

Well…20.8 percent of those fat cats say the number of people they employ will be lower as a result of the Affordable Care Act (2.7 percent say it will be higher). And 22.4 percent say they'll use a higher proportion of cost-reducing part-time, contract, or temporary workers (7.1 percent will use fewer). Some businesses are reducing wages and benefits, too—certainly more than are increasing them.

Maybe Obamacare isn't a campaign issue. But in the rest of the world, it still plays a role.

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  1. Anecdotes are not data, but I know a small business manager who is having to reduce the employee’s health insurance quality in order to avoid taxes on Cadillac plans.

    He says that when they are paying the same amount for crap insurance that they were paying for good insurance before, everybody’s going to the individual market.

    1. This is an engine shop, by the way, so these aren’t rich people we’re talking about.

    2. everybody’s going to the individual market.

      Where they will pay the same amount for crap that they paid for good insurance before.

      1. Correction: They will pay more, sometimes much more, for crap than they paid for good insurance before.

  2. As PB would point out = *8%* say it has no effect in 2015

    … so, like, it totally makes no difference. FAKE SKANDAL

  3. “Asked, “How would you say the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected your firm’s health care costs…?” 82.1 percent of respondents estimate increased costs for 2014; 90.9 percent estimate increased costs for 2015. Only 0.6 percent estimated lower costs for either year.”

    I didn’t realize how bad the problem was–90.9 percent of executive are racist?

    Obviously, we’ll need to call an emergency drum circle, but then what?


    Does Tony know about this? He’ll know what to do!

  4. Dirty Kulaks!

  5. The problem is that when the costs start soaring, there will be no admission of error. It will be more doubling down on bad policy.

    1. It will be the result of a free market!

      1. Greedy capitalists and their unfair profits.

      2. I thought it was because the evil Republicans stood in the way of it working properly.

  6. Obamacare may be over as a campaign issue?or so declareth its hopeful supporters

    The Science is Settled!

    1. Law of the land!

  7. Supposedly, the projection for next year has prices reducing by 2% in Arkansas. Of course that’s bullshit, but we’ll have to wait and see anyway.

  8. As the person responsible for maintaining the insurance plans for 2 small businesses for better that 15 years I can confidently say that this poll is complete BS.
    Small groups have always been screwed and the Big corps have always loved it. That in fact, is why they fought so hard to keep the status quo.
    Any small group that has even 1 person become seriously ill was screwed as long as that person was employed. Forty and fifty % increases were not unusual. Employees who could pass a physical could purchase the same coverage individually for about 50% of my cost. So, the healthy leave and the small pool becomes even worse.
    I don’t like obamacare much but I am very happy that old system was finally dislodged, never to return.
    Now lest stop whining and fix the system already.
    The old was was 100% sure to bankrupt our country so grow up and join the discussion already.

    1. “Grow up and join the discussion” = “Shut up and listen to your betters”?

      This is not a new “system”, it’s the same old system with more coercion, less choice, and different window dressing.

      Repeal Medicare. Repeal HMO. Repeal EMTALA. Repeal HIPAA. Repeal PPACA. Repeal all the Amendments thereof.

      There, I’ve joined the discussion.

      The fundamental problem is that people think they should receive a service that requires highly skilled and experienced professionals with highly specialized training and equipment to save their lives but then don’t want to have to pay the cost.

      This is childish covetousness and simple-mindedness writ large, yet here you are to lecture others about “growing up”.

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