LA Times: Splitting the Tab for ObamaCare

If Congress can decide what to do, specifically on health care — then the question becomes who pays for it?

The Los Angeles Times has a very interesting piece on “Splitting the Tab,” which states in part:

“And now, because Democrats are pushing to expand coverage to millions more Americans who don’t have insurance, the bill is getting a lot bigger.

Liberal Democrats believe the tab should be picked up largely by government and business.

In the legislation developed by Democratic leaders in the House, the federal government would spend more than $1.1 trillion over the next decade to help expand coverage to 97% of Americans, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

That includes $438 billion for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the joint federal-state government insurance programs for the poor.

And it would include $773 billion in new subsidies to help people making less than four times the federal poverty level — or $43,320 for an individual — buy insurance on their own.

The House bill also places major new burdens on businesses by requiring that medium and large employers not only provide insurance, but also pay most of the cost of their employees’ premiums.”

In other words, assuming Congress can agree on what to do specifically, the debate is now just beginning to turn to who pays?

Does anyone think the who pays debate will be easier than the what to do debate?

I didn’t think so.

And while the whole “splitting the tab” analogy sounds nice, employers have already decided to pass the costs onto their employees.  Yes, those now working will not only find their health care plan will change, but they will be paying for ObamaCare via paycheck deductions from their employer:

Reuters reports on a survey of employers:

If U.S. health reform efforts lead to higher costs for employers, employees may end up bearing the brunt, according to a new survey.“Employers will not absorb higher costs, choosing instead either to reduce benefits, lower salaries or cut jobs, the survey from professional services firm Towers Perrin said on Thursday.

Eighty-seven percent of employers said they were very likely or likely to cut benefits if reform leads to higher costs. Only 11 percent said they would accept lower profits.

“They simply don’t have money and margins today to absorb additional healthcare costs,” said Dave Osterndorf, chief health actuary at Towers Perrin.

Should reform reduce benefit costs to the companies, 78 percent they were very likely or likely to retain the savings in the business.

The survey of more than 430 human resource executives at medium and large businesses taken in July was designed to gauge opinions on reform as legislative efforts were heating up.”

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