11 Million Small Business Employees Could See Premium Hikes

by William Teach | February 25, 2014 6:59 am

Um, surprise?

(Daily Caller[1]) Obamacare is once again under fire after federal estimates that health insurance premiums will increase for 11 million people who work for small businesses, according to a report[2] from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

House Speaker John Boehner blasted[3] the Obama administration over the report Monday, calling it yet another “broken promise” from Obamacare’s authors.

“The Obama administration has finally been forced to disclose what we’ve long feared: the president’s health care law means higher premiums for millions of American workers,” Boehner said in a statement. “This is another punch in the gut for Americans already struggling in the president’s economy.”

The report itself, required by the Sequester, was, unsurprisingly for Team Obama, late. He’s never late for anything!

“The Obama administration’s long delay of this CMS report is consistent with the rest of the law – behind schedule and bad news for small business,” Sam Graves (R-Mo) said.

CMS initially issued the report to Congress Friday afternoon, rating Obamacare’s effect on premiums in the small group market, or for those individuals with employer-based coverage from a small business. The results were buried by news about Obamacare’s impact on Medicare Advantage.

Obamacare’s changes to the Public Health Service Act will result in premium hikes for 11 million Americans, but will trigger reductions for only 6 million individuals, CMS estimated in the report. Small employers’ costs will rise with the premium hikes as well.

OK, so some might see lower premiums, as well. But the report also noted “considerable uncertainty as to whether small employers will decide to terminate their existing offer of health insurance coverage and send their employees to individual market Exchanges.” So there is a concern that employers will simply dump employees onto the exchange. Which would mean that many citizens will be paying for their insurance all by themselves, rather than cost sharing as occurs now.

And this doesn’t even get into the deductible increases and reduction of networks.

Meanwhile, Obamacare could cause 498,000 people to lose their jobs

(Fox News[4]) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may recently have had her own embarrassing moment akin to President Obama’s promise that everyone could keep their health plan and their doctor, no matter what.

Discussing the impact of ObamaCare on jobs, she said last week in Orlando, “There is absolutely no evidence and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.”

But Sebelius herself, using discretion granted her by the Affordable Care Act, cut the maximum allowed by law from home health care funds. The cuts were deep enough that officials offered a damaging prediction of the impact saying, it was estimated that approximately 40 percent of providers would have negative margins.

This could cause those job losses in the home health care industry. It’s not exactly new news, but interesting in light of Sebelius’ comments (and other Dems who say the same). This goes to the 14% cut in Medicare home health funding[5] that kicks in from 2014-2017, which was the maximum cut that Team Obama was allowed to make, and the discretion as to the size of the cut was solely left to Sebelius, meaning Obama, as The Boss. And the 40% figure actually comes from the Obama administration itself, in the report released quietly in November. And this will heavily affect the seniors who need this home health care. Great law.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[6]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[7].

  1. Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/24/report-two-thirds-of-small-business-employees-to-see-obamacare-premium-hikes/
  2. report: http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Research/ActuarialStudies/Downloads/ACA-Employer-Premium-Impact.pdf
  3. blasted: http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/obama-administration-two-thirds-small-businesses-see-premiums-spike-under-obamacare
  4. Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/24/sebelius-cuts-in-home-health-care-funds-could-jeopardize-nearly-half-million/
  5. 14% cut in Medicare home health funding: http://amac.us/obamacares-new-years-day-surprise-deep-cuts-medicare
  6. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  7. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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