Repealing Parts Of Obamacare Would Leave Millions Uninsured, Increase Premiums And Cost Billions
[su_right_ad]Sunday’s lead editorial in the New York Times laid out how the Republican plan to assault Obamacare piecemeal will cost us dearly.
MEDICAL DEVICE TAX Congressional Republicans are determined to repeal this tax and are virtually certain to succeed, thanks to strenuous lobbying and campaign contributions from the device industry.
The Affordable Care Act imposes a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, like artificial joints and pacemakers, which will raise $29 billion over the next decade to help pay for health care reform. Last year, the Senate voted 79 to 20 to repeal the tax, with 34 Democrats joining the majority on a nonbinding sense-of-the-Senate measure.
There is no good reason to eliminate the tax. The Congressional Research Service estimated in a report this month that the tax will have “fairly minor effects” on the industry’s output and jobs…
EMPLOYER MANDATES The reform law penalizes firms with more than 50 full-time workers if they don’t offer affordable health insurance. The vast majority of bigger firms already cover their workers and seem inclined to continue to do so.
A few high-profile employers have converted full-time workers (employed at least 30 hours a week) to part-time to avoid the cost of providing insurance. Republicans want to raise the threshold to 40 hours to allow more businesses to escape providing insurance. Eliminating the mandate completely could increase the number of uninsured people by anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 and cost the federal treasury $46 billion to $130 billion over 10 years, according to estimates from the Urban Institute and the Congressional Budget Office..
That is too many people to cut adrift and too much public money to lose…
RISK TO INSURERS House Republicans may try to repeal a temporary program that protects insurers against unexpectedly high losses and thus encourages them to offer policies on the health insurance exchanges…Eliminating the program could drive up premiums on the exchanges, because insurers would have to raise premiums to offset the additional risk.
INDIVIDUAL MANDATE The requirement that the vast majority of Americans obtain health insurance or pay a fine is a centerpiece of health reform, because people would otherwise wait until they were sick to buy insurance. That would cause the insurance pools to be filled with sick people requiring expensive care, and premiums would have to rise to cover their costs…Repealing the individual mandate would harm millions of newly covered Americans, who deserve decent, affordable health care and until now have not had it.[su_csky_ad]