Annual double-digit percentage premium and deductibles increases, one State co-op after another dropping dead, one health insurance carrier after another quitting the individual market, and of course, the full implementation of the Employer Mandate looming over the horizon - the Unaffordable Care Act is kinda like Chinese water torture, isn't it?
And here comes the next session on the water-board:
ObamaCare tax increases hitting millions this month will serve as a "stark reminder" the healthcare law has both "failed to bend down" the cost curve of health coverage and hiked taxes "on families and businesses alike," one analyst charges.
In a commentary for Time, Nathan Nascimento, a senior policy advisor at the....Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, blasts ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates for "taking more out of families' and individuals' wallets."...
According to Nascimento, annual premiums for ObamaCare's low-cost bronze plans averaged $2,484 for individuals [$207 monthly] and $12,420 for families with three or more children [$1,035 monthly].
"If you don't think this pricier insurance is worth the cost, or simply can't afford it, you'll likely face tax penalties upon filing your return," he writes, adding the 2015 penalty being assessed this year is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, or 2% of household income, whichever is greater.
Obnoxious, but still 86.9% less than the O-Care "bronze" annual premium for singles and 91.6% less for a family of three. The feds still nick you if you opt out, in other words, but they don't disembowel you as if you "follow orders" and participate. Which is, of course, precisely the pro-"opt out" incentive built into the UCA to guarantee the inevitable private health insurance market "death spiral".
The penalty increases in 2016 to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of household income, he notes.
Still 72.0% cheaper for singles (versus 2016 premium rates) and 80.4% cheaper for a family of three. If you're a young single or family of three, this deliberation is measured in seconds. Just as it was designed to.
Mr. Nascimento points out that the Employer Mandate is a crushing burden on the private sector even before it goes fully into effect:
Meanwhile, the employer mandate "is limiting career opportunities for workers across the country," he charges.
According to Nascimento, the mandate went into [partial] effect last year, requiring employers with one hundred or more full-time employees to provide health insurance to most of their workers; it expands to those with more than fifty employees beginning this year.
Like employers hadn't been doing that ever since the Second World War. And now they have the same incentive as above to stop doing so:
Employers who can't afford the costs that average $12,591 per employee for family coverage will also face a tax penalty of either $2,000 or $3,000 per worker after the first thirty employees, he writes.
You do the math. Which is less expensive for a company of fifty employees? $629,550 in O-Care health insurance premiums, or $90,000 max in tax penalties - an 85.7% savings?
The bottom line is, the Individual and Employer Mandates are bargain-basement "get out of jail free" cards for either buying directly or your employer providing health insurance. It's designed to discourage people from carrying health insurance coverage, not expanding it - with the exception of the old, poor, and sick who need it regularly and RIGHT NOW, which is pretty much why Medicare and Medicaid are already drowning in oceans of red ink.
And the beat goes on:
Nascimento charges 20% of private sector businesses have already reduced or plan to reduce part-time work because of ObamaCare, while another 5% have or plan to lay off workers.
Or they could just terminate coverage and dump their employees into the cartels. The counter-incentive is that employee benefits are, as they have always been, big selling points and bargaining chips in the job market. The counter-counter-incentive is that since there functionally IS no job market anymore, or at the very least it's most definitely a buyer's one, employers have no reason to be generous or competitive. Labor sellers - workers - have to take whatever they can get.
And from a benies perspective, that's going to include either O-Care gilded garbage plans, Medicaid, or going without and taking your chances.
Or the VA if you're a veteran - God help you.