'Affordable care' may cost Americans dearly
When Democrats passed Obamacare in 2010 - without a single Republican vote - they called it the "Affordable Care Act." As implementation of their handiwork nears, Democrats have another name for it: "train wreck."
People will be required to carry health insurance, but the exchanges to provide insurance options for lower-income people are not yet in place, Kathleen Sebelius, head of the agency that rolls out Obamacare, told Congress.
"I just see a huge train wreck coming down," Sen. Max Baucus told Sebelius at a hearing last month. "You and I have discussed this many times, and I don't see any results yet."
That train wreck could have severe consequences. An uncertain economy still struggling to find its legs five years after a recession faces more uncertainty.
Employers are trying to decide whether they want to carry health insurance or pay a hefty fine of $2,000 per employee.
But that applies to companies with more than 50 full-time employees. To get around that employers are doing two things:
* Hiring more part-time workers to work less than 120 hours a month (a little less than 30 hours a week).
* Not expanding the business beyond 50 employees.
Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, said most of his organization's 800 member businesses face uncertainty. Gallup found 38 percent of businesses nationally are not expanding because of Obamacare.
"Employers are working at this from the standpoint of how much this is going to cost," Roberts told Daily Mail Business Editor Jared Hunt. "The ACA regrettably has created an environment of unpredictability that has employers frightened about what might be next."
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted against this awful law. Now she must deal with the damage done.
On the House floor, she told colleagues of a local day care center that faces the choice of either laying off 24 of its 73 employees or paying an $83,000-a-year fine.
The American medical system is imperfect, but it was neither necessary nor wise to create a giant federal architecture - complete with the IRS as policeman - to make needed changes.
The result is widespread uncertainly that is keeping American businesses, large and small, from expanding and creating more jobs.
That's not what Americans needed after a punishing recession.