Obama also promised that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." Estimates for how many Americans will lose their existing plans vary. The CBO says 5 million to 20 million. The consulting firm McKinsey & Co. says about 30 percent of employers will push workers onto the public system.
Even the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters have started to freak out over the gold-plated benefits many of their members will lose, thanks to the guy they helped re-elect. Another irony: While the president rode to re-election hyping a mythical GOP "war on women," incentives to drop spouses from employee coverage under his plan will only increase, a particular concern for mothers with small kids. The good news is that if they keep their coverage, it will cover birth control pills.
Also, while Taco Bell and Wendy's are demoting many full-time workers to part-time work, some of Obama's core constituencies -- universities and state governments -- are cutting hours too. For instance, Stark State College in Ohio sent a letter to faculty saying that "to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act ... employees with part-time or adjunct status will not be assigned more than an average of 29 hours per week."
Virtually all of these problems and many others were predicted by conservatives, but the media rolled their collective eyes in response. The Iraq war justifiably led to a lot of media soul-searching about how journalists were too credulous of the Bush administration's arguments. A similar discussion about how we got stuck in the Obamacare quagmire seems long overdue.
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