Jul 02, 2013 11:54 PM GMT
The prognosis isn’t looking too good for the implementation of the labyrinthine Obamacare law.
The Obama administration announced this week that special exchanges designed to “make it easier” for small businesses to provide affordable health care insurance for employees will be delayed again to 2015 in the 33 states where the federal government will be running the exchanges.
As Robert Pear of the New York Times explains, “The law calls for a new insurance marketplace specifically for small businesses, starting next year. But in most states, employers will not be able to get what Congress intended: the option to provide workers with a choice of health plans. They will instead be limited to a single plan.
“The promise of affordable health insurance for small businesses was portrayed as a major advantage of the new health care law, mentioned often by White House officials and Democratic leaders in Congress as they fought opponents of the legislation.”
Since insurance is more expensive for small businesses anyway, it’ll just be cheaper for them to pay the penalty and dump employees into the government exchanges than it would be to pay for the insurance. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects the penalties to bring in a total of $13 billion a year in revenue – or only about 30 hours worth of federal spending.
Many other people are finding out they’re losing their plans as well due to Obamacare, from part-time employees to spouses. In fact, the CBO projected this year a total of 7 million people will lose their employment-based coverage, almost double its original estimation. The total number of people participating in those exchanges is projected to grow from 7 million in 2014 – the first year they’ll be available – to 24 million in 2016.