December 03, 2013
Business as Usual

Rubber Hose spells out what should be obvious to anybody who doesn’t mainline Fox News. Apparently it isn’t, though, to judge by the polls. You’d think that nobody on God’s little green footstool ever had an insurance policy cancelled until Obama came along.

One annoying thing about the ACA is anything bad related to health insurance is deemed to be an Obamacare problem even if it is a problem that long predated the health reform law.

For as long as I have been aware of this stuff, companies have cut employee hours to avoid giving them benefits. Just after I graduated high school, a friend of mine worked 29 hours per week at a book store. Why such an odd number? The company gave benefits to “full time employees” and defined people as full time if they worked 30 hours or more. This was in 1988. But when it happens today, it is all Obamacare’s fault. Labor stats don’t back up the notion that the ACA is causing any cutback in hours. But any company that cuts its hours has an incentive to say that it is doing the cuts because of Obamacare because then the law, and not the company, becomes the bad guy.

Likewise, business have been reducing the number of employees who get health insurance for decades. That phenomenon is what people were calling the “health care crisis” back in the early 1990s and the reason that Obama campaigned on health care reform as an issue which led to the ACA’s passage. But whenever any employer drops health insurance after the ACA’s passage, it must be Obamacare’s fault. And private insurance carriers have long been restricting the doctors and medical facilities you can visit (in-network vs. out-of-network), changes in policies, etc. This stuff was not invented by the 2010 law.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at December 03, 2013 10:56 AM
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Of course no health insurer ever promised you they wouldn't drop your policy or materially change your contract at the end of the plan year. No insurer ever deluded the American people into believing he was "reforming" health care in this country while having no intention of doing so.

The real problem here is that it reinforces the myth that government can't do anything right and strengthens the hand of those who want to privatize essential programs and services. Obama had the majority in both houses and a mandate from the people and he intentionally wasted it on a lobbyist-crafted bill to insure insurance company profitability at taxpayer expense. He and the Democrats deserve all the grief they are getting for this.

Of course, we should remind ourselves that the Republicans casting stones are hardly without sin themselves. They have no viable alternative to Obamacare and Democrats now have no platform to stand on to complain.

Posted by: Charles D on December 3, 2013 3:13 PM
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