Friday, 24 October 2014

The Obamacare News Just Keeps Getting Worse

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Those 30,000 Wal-Mart employees who are losing their health insurance aren’t alone. There’s another huge wave of cancellations of health plans coming.

Fox News reported that 13 states and the District of Columbia are cancelling plans that are not in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Virginia will be the hardest hit, with some 250,000 families losing their health insurance.

Of course, all of the plans being canceled now weren’t in compliance a year ago. But back then, President Obama asked that they be granted a reprieve from enforcement. That is now coming to an end. As a result, hundreds of thousands more people will lose their health insurance.

Remember President Obama’s often-repeated promise, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”? PolitiFact labeled that one its “Lie of the Year” in 2013. More than 4 million people received notices last year that their healthcare plan was being canceled.

Now, more cancellations are inevitable. Plus, a ton of people who will retain their health insurance are seeing staggering increases in what they have to pay. The average increase is reported to be 8 percent, but some unlucky folks are getting hit with premium increases of 30 percent or more. Ouch!

No doubt, having your insurance canceled is worse than being hit with an increased premium. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart announced that it was dropping health insurance for some 30,000 part-time workers. But employees who get to keep their health coverage from the company will see increases in the premiums they pay.

Sally Welborn, a Wal-Mart vice president, said: “We can’t take our eyes off costs.” She said the company, the largest private employer in the country, has seen its healthcare costs rise by $500 million more than the company expected in its current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31.

But the bad news about Obamacare doesn’t end here. The fallout is being felt all over the place. For example, two dozen rural hospitals were forced to close their doors in 2013. That’s double the normal rate. And you can expect the closures to increase, as rural communities shrink in population, while healthcare costs continue to climb.

And according to the top executive of H&R Block, the nation’s largest tax preparer, Obamacare will add “significant complexity” to next year’s tax season. CEO William Cobb warned, “Depending on their situation, there are instances where filers may need to file multiple new tax forms and complete additional worksheets.”

Beginning in January, anyone who does not have health insurance that meets the Obamacare requirements will be subject to penalties. While the law does provide for exemptions, Cobb said, “Depending on the type of exemption, the process to claim it could be quite cumbersome and time consuming.”

Oh, and Cobb said people who received a subsidy for health insurance could be in for a shock, if calculations show they received a larger subsidy than they were entitled to. In theory, they’ll have to repay the federal government for any overage they got.

So, yes, Obamacare is turning out to be the costly disaster that many of us predicted it would be. And it’s only going to get worse.

But don’t expect the mainstream media to make much of a fuss over the latest bad news about Obamacare — especially not in the days leading up to the midterm elections.

If Republicans win a majority in the Senate, they’ll finally be able to break the logjam on legislation that Harry Reid imposed while he was majority leader. And while Obama would be certain to veto any bill to repeal Obamacare that finally made it to his desk, at least the country would have taken a healthy first step toward getting this bureaucratic monstrosity off our backs.

As more and more Americans are learning, it can’t happen soon enough.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion , our two predecessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest . This article first appeared in PersonalLiberty.com and has been reprinted with permission.

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