The Obamacare Trifecta

Posted: Oct 13, 2014 12:01 AM
The Obamacare Trifecta

Over the past several years, I have written at least a dozen columns on regarding individual and specific issues with Obamacare. This week, I attended a meeting to learn about my employer's plan to deal with our Preferred Provider Organization (our PPO health insurance plan). Touch 'em all: Over the next couple of years, I will lose my doctor, I will lose my plan and my healthcare costs will increase.

The next two phases of Obamacare are now kicking in and the employed population will now feel the heavy foot of government with employers first being forced to increase premiums for full time employees and eliminate healthcare for part time employees because of costs. Next, if possible, many employers will do everything possible to keep employee counts under fifty to avoid Obamacare entirely and finally, likely thousands or tens of thousands of employers will be eliminating their truly great PPO plans because of the Cadillac health insurance plan tax.

I have the world's best employer. We are a great university and provide a great education to our students. If I was faced with the health insurance cost issues for my employees as the University is, I would be forced to make the same decisions to avoid paying the new Obamacare taxes. The "Cadillac" insurance plan tax that my University has been offering for decades would cause the University to face approximately $4.5 million of new annual Obamacare taxes unless the insurance plan is axed. This would be a completely new tax (a completely new expenditure) and this non-profit University would have to reduce scholarships, reduce the number of professors or increase tuition to continue this existing health insurance opportunity. The University cannot make the decision to keep the existing plans. So much for "You can keep your plan" and as a result, my options for health insurance are being blown up.

Throughout the country. employers are being forced to do things they have no interest in doing because of new costs being added by Obamacare. As reported by Haley Peterson: Starting January 1, bi-weekly premiums for Wal-Mart's most popular insurance plans will increase 19% to $21.90 for the company's entire U.S. workforce. The company also will stop providing health insurance to part-time employees who work less than 30 hours a week, which will affect approximately 30,000 employees, or 2% of the company's total U.S. workforce.

Next to go are the good to great health insurance plans. Obamacare will soon impose taxes on employers that provide great healthcare insurance. This is so inexplicable, it needs little more comment. In the history of democracy, has any government ever taken definitive steps to reduce the ability of an employer to provide great health insurance for its employees?

And of course, the "Cadillac" plan tax will become the next great exemption contest. Will the Obama administration grant exemptions to unions and non-Federal government agencies. What will ultimately happen with Federal employee union members?

Obamacare has now rocked my world. Absent too many athletic injuries and their accompanying orthopedic surgeries, I never had a real health problem until about three years ago. Now, when my "Cadillac" plan goes away, I will need to choose between two competing HMOs. Each HMO has a doctor-specialist who is guiding me through a separate disease where post-surgery, I am apparently just fine. But, both of these diseases often re-occur and often with literally fatal results. Now, how do I choose the varsity team for one problem and the "JV" team for problem number two?

My story is anything but unique. Those knowingly false words: "You can keep your doctor" could literally be fatal to millions of Americans who will lose the doctors that are already familiar with their medical issues. For whom does the Obamacare bell toll?