Seen as a train wreck comin’ from all sides
by Chip Latcham
Jul 19, 2013 | 1526 views | 2 2 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Politics makes strange bedfellows – and when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions agree, our country surely must have entered the Twilight Zone.

What both organizations are protesting is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, pejoratively known as Obamacare.

About 50 percent of Americans continue to view the sweeping health care law unfavorably in national polls, calling it “a bad idea.” Only 19 percent think it will make the country “better off.”

The Huffington Post noted, “When President Barack Obama pushed his health care overhaul plan through Congress, he counted labor unions among his strongest supporters.

“But some union leaders have grown frustrated and angry about what they say are unexpected consequences of the new law — problems that they say could jeopardize the health benefits offered to millions of their members.”

“It makes an untruth out of what the president said, that if you like your insurance, you could keep it,” said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “That is not going to be true for millions of workers now.”

“The union plans were already more costly to run than traditional single-employer health plans,” the article continued. “The Affordable Care Act has added to that cost... by requiring health plans to cover dependents up to age 26, eliminate annual or lifetime coverage limits and extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.”

“We’re concerned that employers will be increasingly tempted to drop coverage through our plans and let our members fend for themselves on the health exchanges,” said David Treanor, an official with the Operating Engineers union.

Many business organizations could have warned them of its unintended consequences. Even U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Obamacare’s author and biggest proponent, feared a “train wreck” as it gets closer to implementation.

At The Hill, a reporter noted that two-thirds of small businesses say they are not ready for this law, following a recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Excessive regulation is having a crippling effect on job growth among small businesses, as our latest small-business survey makes clear,” said Rob Engstrom, the Chamber’s senior vice president.

The survey found that 30 percent of businesses were not ready to comply with the new rules, and 25 percent reported not knowing what they had to do to follow the law.

Seventy-one percent of the more than 1,300 small-business executives polled said they would be less likely to hire employees, according to the survey, and 24 percent said they plan to reduce hiring to stay below the 50-employee threshhold that would trigger a requirement to provide health insurance or face a penalty.

The Obama administration already has decided to postpone the provision known as the employer mandate for a year.

Why doesn’t Congress delay implementing the employer mandate and individual mandate for a year, or two, maybe 10? Better yet, let’s just call the entire thing off, joining the American people in declaring it a “bad idea.”
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July 24, 2013
Let's cut to the nitty-gritty: Chip only supports health care reform when it is signed into law by a white male Republican president.

Considering that the ACA aligns substantially with what the Heritage Foundation proposed in the 90s, I wonder if Chip would have a different opinion if someone like George W. Bush had signed the ACA into law. By the way, Bush had eight years to solve the issues with health insurance and accomplished nothing.
July 26, 2013
Social Security was somewhat unpopular when it was first unveiled, too. Given some time to work out the kinks, it became the program that working folks could depend on when they retired. Just try to take a Social Security check away from an angry old Republican and see what happens.

Obamacare should be afforded the same opportunity, as it will take down the many barriers that have prevented coverage for a lot of citizens, especially those with pre-existing conditions.