"Train wreck." Say, where have I seen that phrase recently? A top Obamacare administrator warned last month that many Americans may encounter a "third world experience" upon the law's implementation, and now one of its principal authors is speaking out, too. Remember, these rave reviews are coming from Obamacare supporters:
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus warned this morning that he sees a "huge train wreck coming down" as the Obama administration implements the health reform law. He sharply criticized the administration’s outreach efforts, telling HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a budget hearing that people and businesses “"have no idea what to do, what to expect...I am concerned that not every state, including Montana, will have an insurance marketplace established in time."
This sounds like a man who is exceedingly worried about the political shockwaves of Obamacare and is desperately trying to blame the executive branch for the coming you-know-what storm. This also sounds like a red state Democrat up for re-election next year who's hoping that his state's voters will forget who wrote the law. We've been chronicling the reasons why he should be jittery for the last three years and counting (plus, see several of the links above), but here are a few more from the last 24 hours alone:
(1) Wages lost, hours cut - "The nation's largest movie theater chain has cut the hours of thousands of employees, saying in a company memo that ObamaCare requirements are to blame. Regal Entertainment Group, which operates more than 500 theaters in 38 states, last month rolled back shifts for non-salaried workers to 30 hours per week, putting them under the threshold at which employers are required to provide health insurance. The Nashville-based company said in a letter to managers that the move was a direct result of ObamaCare."
(2) More evidence of a looming doctor shortage - "With 30 million new people expected to enter the health-care system in 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, experts say a looming doctor shortage isn’t a chance—it’s a fact. “These 30 million new patients have either not gone to the doctor or [have been] going to the emergency room so that is putting pressure into the system. You have a foundational supply and demand shift,” says Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals, a consumer tool physician evaluation company. He expects the shortage to hit the primary care physician (PCP) arena the hardest and explains that there is approximately one PCP for every 15,000 people in the U.S. but come 2020, there will be about 70,000 less doctors available to consumers as a direct result of the law." That Fox Business story also cites a new national survey by Deloitte which reveals that roughly six in ten US physicians see the new law as a threat -- and a similar number expect a spike in retirements due to the law. MKH has more.
UPDATE - A pro-Obama union has officially called for the full repeal of Obamacare (via Erika):
Our Union and its members have supported President Obama and his Administration for both of his terms in office. But regrettably, our concerns over certain provisions in the ACA have not been addressed, or in some instances, totally ignored. In the rush to achieve its passage, many of the Act’s provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer sponsored coverage could keep it. These provisions jeopardize our multi-employer health plans, have the potential to cause a loss of work for our members, create an unfair bidding advantage for those contractors who do not provide health coverage to their workers, and in the worst case, may cause our members and their families to lose the benefits they currently enjoy as participants in multi-employer health plans...I am therefore calling for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act to protect our employers, our industry, and our most important asset: our members and their families.
That'll leave a mark. Reminder: The three quotes highlighted in this post are all from Obama supporters.