American Elephants

Will the Paycheck Stubs Begin to Awaken the Low-Information Voter? by The Elephant's Child
January 7, 2013, 7:29 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education, Health Care, Taxes

Employees are still reeling from the smaller paychecks, now that the payroll tax has been restored. Makes a difference in take-home pay. and apparently the low-information types were not aware that it was happening. There are real penalties for not paying attention to what is going on.

To that cut in your paycheck, you can add a probable rise in the cost of your health insurance. The mysteries of Supply and Demand kick in here. ObamaCare added all sorts of new requirements for insurance companies to cover, and new requirements for providers to provide. Providing more costs more. The Obama people actually believed that health care was going to cost less once they had turned it over to the wise folks in government. Surprise!

In a long-awaited interpretation of the new health care law, the Obama administration said Monday that employers must offer health insurance to employees and their children, but will not be subject to any penalties if family coverage is unaffordable to workers.

The requirement for employers to provide health benefits to employees is a cornerstone of the new law, but the new rules proposed by the Internal Revenue Service said that employers’ obligation was to provide affordable insurance to cover their full-time employees. The rules offer no guarantee of affordable insurance for a worker’s children or spouse. To avoid a possible tax penalty, the government said, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer affordable coverage to those employees. But, it said, the meaning of “affordable” depends entirely on the cost of individual coverage for the employee, what the worker would pay for “self-only coverage.”

The new rules, to be published in the Federal Register, create a strong incentive for employers to put money into insurance for their employees rather than dependents. It is unclear whether the spouse and children of an employee will be able to obtain federal subsidies to help them buy coverage — separate from the employee — through insurance exchanges being established in every state. The administration explicitly reserved judgment on that question, which could affect millions of people in families with low and moderate incomes.

Many employers provide family coverage to full-time employees, but many do not. Family coverage is much more expensive, and the employee’s share of the premium is typically much larger.

So the rules say that employers have to offer coverage to an employee’s children, but “dependent” does not cover the spouse of an employee. So employers have to offer coverage to children of an employee, but do not have to make it affordable, and they don’t have to offer coverage at all to the spouse of an employee. Nice.

The new rules apply to employers that have at least 50 full-time employees or an equivalent combination of full-time and part-time employees. Full-time employees are defined as those who average at least 30 hours a week. 100 half-time employees are considered equivalent to 50 full-time employees.

Their aim, right from the beginning, has been a sly way of pushing everyone into single-payer government provided health care. I cannot imagine why anyone but the completely ideological would admire Britain’s NHS, widely celebrated at the worst health care in the Western world. Single payer has been a disaster everywhere in much smaller economies than ours. Democrats tried to make a big deal of Romney’s insurance mandate in Massachusetts, and how ObamaCare was just a copy of Romney’s Massachusetts plan. But what Democrats had in mind was the NHS. If you are old, or if you care about someone who is old, you should be worried.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

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