The U.S. Supreme Court may have found the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) constitutional, but for the majority of Americans the new law is a very bitter pill to swallow.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the 38th time, since 2011, to either defund or eliminate completely the new health care law. At issue this go-around, were the individual and employer mandates. But, just like every previous vote, making it through the House is one thing, but trying to get it through the Senate is an entirely other thing!
The way the law is written, companies with 50 or more workers are required to provide coverage for their full-time employees. A full-time worker is defined as someone working 30 hours or more per week. If the company does not comply, a series of escalating tax penalties is applied. The employee mandate has now been delayed for implementation until 2015.
Unfortunately, this employer mandate is causing companies all across the country to either let workers go to avoid the 50-employee threshold or to cut hours from full-time to part-time.
The data on jobs in this country is very troubling. Part-time jobs increased by 360,000 in June, raising that number to an all-time high of 28,059,000. So far, 557,000 part-time jobs have been added, compared to 130,000 full-time jobs. In short, the new healthcare law is not good for business.
The individual mandate, however, is something else. The directive for individuals to get health insurance, or be penalized, has not been delayed and is slated for start January 1, 2014. That means a multi-million dollar company gets a time-out for another year while a 27-year-old with student loan debt, trying to get started financially, does not.
The Heritage foundation just released a report identifying 12 implementation failures of the health care law, so far. A partial listing includes:
- The creation of state insurance exchanges is not widely embraced by a majority of states and the federal government must step in, creating federal exchanges, which will cause more problems and further delays.
- The HHS mandate violates the idea of conscience protection, forcing companies to fund anti-life products. A series of lawsuits has resulted and the list of those filing for legal action grows.
- Workers making contributions from their employers to buy exchange health plans was repealed in April of 2011.
- The government-run plan for states, which was created by the health care law, has been delayed.
- Children with pre-existing conditions are now more at risk. 17 states are no longer selling child-only policies for fear that some will seek coverage only after being diagnosed with a costly illness.
The list continues and you read see the entire list at www.heritage.org.
Also last week, 3 big labor groups sent a letter to Capitol Hill calling the Affordable Care Act disastrous. Time is running out, they wrote, and Congress needs to fix the problems.
Will that happen? Yes, but only if politics can be put aside for sound public policy. If it does not happen, the new health care law will be a very bitter bill to swallow.