Sour Milk and Apple Cores: Families Left Out Due to Obamacare
Religion & Liberty Online

Sour Milk and Apple Cores: Families Left Out Due to Obamacare

Obamacare – or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – is meant to give everyone in America the best access to the best health care. But things aren’t looking so good. As we get closer to its onset, it’s becoming clear that there will be fall-out. Employers (especially small-to-medium size businesses) are looking for ways to handle the onslaught of costs Obamacare will bring; one way is to offer healthcare ONLY to employees, leaving employee families out of luck, and insurance.

Mike Shoop, who owns a debt collection agency and employs 150 full-time employees, says he’s generous with employee salaries, but there are limits to how much the company budget can handle.

[T]he ACA also has requirements that may drive premiums higher, including a tax on insurance companies that is expected to be passed along to employers. Shoop’s insurer has warned that the tax could send his premiums up more than 20 percent a year from now.

‘It’s going to be very significant,’ Shoop says. ‘We’re really going to have to do a juggling act, and so are our employees.’

Shoop is considering cutting back on employees’ families benefits.

The New York Times reports

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, among businesses with fewer than 25 employees, 36 percent require employees to pay at least half of the premiums for family coverage. And family coverage is expensive: the average cost in 2012 was $15,745, nearly a third of the median household income in 2009, the most recent year for which Census Bureau data is available. Kaiser has estimated that 3.9 million dependents of employees will be caught in this bind, shut out from affordable insurance from either the employer or the subsidized exchanges.

One group that won’t have to worry about their family’s health care coverage? Washington politicians. According to The Wall Street Journal:

At President Obama’s personal request, the Office of Personnel Management decreed that the Members don’t have to get off the gravy train after all. The eat-your-own-cooking provision begins with the phrase ‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law.’ The feds now interpret that clause as a loophole to mean that the Affordable Care Act did not change the 1959 law that created the FEHBP [ Federal Employees Health Benefits Program].

Since Members and staff still technically meet the definition of federal employees qualified for the FEHBP, the Administration says they’re still entitled to enroll in the FEHBP concurrently with the exchanges. The feds then ‘clarify’—their euphemism—that the regulatory meaning of health benefits in the FEHBP can be ObamaCare plans. Voila, taxpayers will continue to chip in $4,900 for individual and $10,000 for family coverage.

It’s almost cliché to quote George Orwell’s Animal Farm when referencing Obamacare, but it can’t be helped.

Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.

Sour milk and apple cores: that’s what will be left over for many families after Obamacare takes hold.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.