Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wasn't this the big idea all along?


For those of you out there whining that ObamaCare didn't include a public option, relax... as we have said all along, the perverse incentives built into ObamaCare via design or outright incompetence (isn't it strange how the lines blur when it comes to grand statist schemes?) are making the public option a defacto reality.

A new survey of Fortune 100 companies finds that the health care overhaul, contrary to the claims of its authors, created some perverse incentives for employers to drop workers from company insurance plans.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee surveyed the top 100 companies about how much they spent on health care -- a total of 71, covering 5.9 million employees, responded. The results suggested it would be far more attractive for companies to drop workers from those plans than keep them.

Even after paying a penalty of $2,000 per employee, the companies stand to save $28.6 billion in 2014 alone by shifting employees to health insurance exchanges governed by strict federal standards. The companies stand to save more than $422 billion over the first 10 years of the law by doing this.

"The penalties for the employers who drop coverage are very low, and the subsidies for the workers in the exchanges are very high," said James Capretta, with the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

If the companies indeed take this step, the move would fly in the face of pledges by the law's backers, including President Obama, that U.S. workers would not lose their employer-provided health plans.

Hey, it's just politics, right? A few promises will necessarily have to be broken in the name of the greater good, right?

A greater good that is also yet another entitlement program and if you have been paying any attention you know the fiscal trajectory of our other three big entitlement programs.

As we cannot tax our way into prosperity, we cannot legislate our way to better health. Healthcare decisions and lifestyle choices that should be left at the most personal level have now, because of this law, become ever more bureaucratized and left in the hands of others not sharing your name.

Again, statism is sexy because statism is easy. Why make tough calls when someone else can do it for you and then you can turn around and blame them later? A true post-constitutional double-whammy.

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