Harvard Employees Who Pushed Ocare Appalled At Notion Of Using Ocare For Themselves

Obamacare, ie, The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, is one of those notions that Liberals will defend to the death. Well, someone else’s death. Because they think Ocare is great for Other People, not themselves

(NY Times) For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed.

The faculty vote came too late to stop the cost increases from taking effect this month, and the anger on campus remains focused on questions that are agitating many workplaces: How should the burden of health costs be shared by employers and employees? If employees have to bear more of the cost, will they skimp on medically necessary care, curtail the use of less valuable services, or both?

“Harvard is a microcosm of what’s happening in health care in the country,” said David M. Cutler, a health economist at the university who was an adviser to President Obama’s 2008 campaign. But only up to a point: Professors at Harvard have until now generally avoided the higher expenses that other employers have been passing on to employees. That makes the outrage among the faculty remarkable, Mr. Cutler said, because “Harvard was and remains a very generous employer.”

One professor calls this tantamount to a pay cut. Welcome to the real world, Harvard employees, where the policies you pushed and supported for That Guy have come back to bite you in sensitive areas. There are quite a few quotes from Harvard employees, making me wonder how it was possible for this article to get published in the Times. I’d expect this more at the Daily Caller, Breitbart, Wall Street Journal, or some right leaning source.

Meredith B. Rosenthal, a professor of health economics and policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, said she was puzzled by the outcry. “The changes in Harvard faculty benefits are parallel to changes that all Americans are seeing,” she said. “Indeed, they have come to our front door much later than to others.”

But in her view, there are drawbacks to the Harvard plan and others like it that require consumers to pay a share of health care costs at the time of service. “Consumer cost-sharing is a blunt instrument,” Professor Rosenthal said. “It will save money, but we have strong evidence that when faced with high out-of-pocket costs, consumers make choices that do not appear to be in their best interests in terms of health.”

So, they understand, but they shouldn’t be punished with the same type of insurance forced on everyone else.

“None of us who protested was motivated by our own bottom line so much as by the principle,” Ms. Lewis said, expressing concern about the impact of the changes on lower-paid employees.

This is a good time for the quote of 2013, and one of the best regarding Ocare: “Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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