Morning Action: How Obamacare Hurts You
UPS made a news splash yesterday when it announced it is dropping coverage for spouses of employees if they are offered coverage through their own employers. The delivery company expects to remove 15,000 working spouses from its health coverage next year, saving the company about $60 million a year.
And UPS isn’t the only one. Dropping spousal coverage has become a trend among employers due to continually rising health care costs. Obamacare’s wide variety of benefit and coverage mandates combined with new fees, taxes, and penalties of course all increase the cost of coverage, intensifying the trend. The University of Virginia made a similar announcement yesterday.
According to a new survey by consultants Towers Watson, in 2013, 4 percent of surveyed employers excluded working spouses from coverage and another 8 percent plan to do so in 2014.
Some 500 people fired up to kill the health care overhaul turned out for a town hall meeting Wednesday night to bemoan the law — and jeer and groan at any mention of Republicans skittish about refusing to fund it.
“They’re afraid to have a showdown with someone who’s tearing up our country,” said Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator who now leads the conservative Heritage Foundation. “This is the time. This might be the last off-ramp for us to stop Obamacare before it gets so enmeshed in our culture that it’s impossible to change.”
The momentum continues tonight in Nashville, TN.
TAXES. Many mid- and large-sized companies are strongly concerned about Obamacare tax increases:
Mid- and large-sized companies overwhelmingly expect health-care costs to increase under Obamacare—and most are eyeing possible changes to their health insurance offerings because of a looming excise tax for pricier plans under the health-care reform law, a new survey of employers finds.
At the forefront of many of those CFOs’ minds, and the minds of other executives at the surveyed companies, is the looming threat of an excise tax on benefits under a provision of the Affordable Care Act that goes into effect in 2018.
That tax on the companies will initially be on health-care coverage whose aggregate cost for workers exceed $10,200 for self-only coverage and $27,500 for other coverage.
The tax is 40 percent of the amount that the worker pays in excess of those limits. Despite the fact that the tax doesn’t kick in for more than four more years, it is already affecting having an effect on decision-making.
OBAMA ECONOMY. The Washington Free Beacon reports that an Obama appointee says Obama’s policies have stalled the economy:
Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pacific Investment and chairman of the White House Global Development Council, blamed the administration’s reaction to the Great Recession for increasing income inequality. Rather than launching vast infrastructure projects to put people to work, the government has created a larger supply of money using quantitative easing (QE).
The Federal Reserve has flooded America’s largest banks with billions of dollars via this process in the hopes that banks will pump that money into the economy.
This easy money policy has fueled a surging stock market that does not reflect the true value of America’s economic production. It is a sugar high that will have to come down unless something is done, according to El-Erian.