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Friday, July 5, 2013

It's a Hiccup Not a Catastrophic Disease

Recently, the Obama Administration decided to put off making small businesses of 50 or more employees provide health care or pay penalties until the year 2015.  That decision made the GOP jubilant. They said  that it just proved that Obamacare is a train wreck about to happen.  Nothing could be further from the truth because this only affects about 6% of the companies in that category or to be more precise, 250,000 of them.

I agree with Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, making small companies of 50 employees or more provide health insurance will just cause the company to layoff  employees or cut their hours back so they don’t reach that magic number.  The larger companies already provide 100% health insurance to their employees and those companies that hire less than 50 employees were never affected by law.  It probably should be based on the company's revenues. I believe the 50 or employee mandate idea was provided by former Senator Olympia Snowe and it was one of many ideas from the GOP that was implemented in the new healthcare law.

Whether the White House admits it or not; it takes the issue off the table in the midterm elections.  The Republicans can't say that small businesses will definitely be hurt because the administration has another year to come up with a better plan.  You would think that this would be an opportune time for the Republicans to come up with an alternative plan for small businesses, but they don't have one.

The GOP has two main goals: wait until the midterms when they gain control of the house and senate and don't give Obama any victories.  That's the reason they won't come up with a plan to fix what's wrong with health care or vote on an infrastructure project that will bolster the 195,000 jobs that were created in June. The House immigration reform bill will only include border enforcements measures in piecemeal fashion and it WILL NEVER include a path to citizenship.

The Republican governors know that it's ludicrous to pass up Medicaid funding where the Federal government picks up most of the  tab for the first three years ,knowing that if they lose the midterms, they will only hurt their taxpayers for that short period.  They don't care if  hundreds of thousands of people will be hurt for their political decision because it’s not their constituents besides those states are enacting laws to keep them from voting in high numbers anyway. They haven’t figured out that the state  and taxpayers will still pick up the tab for the use of the emergency rooms.

Kathleen Sebelius,Secretary of Health and Human Service, recently wrote letters to the commissioners of professional sports, asking them to help explain to people how to sign up for the health care exchanges and  to point out other parts of the new health care law. Mitch McConnell immediately wrote the NFL Commissioner and advised him against it and the commissioner declined the offer of the secretary. I've seen professional sports make public health announcements all the time but now it's political.

I understood from the very beginning that it would be difficult to persuade the 90% of the people who had health insurance, that we needed to insure many more in order to bring down costs.  It would be especially hard to convince those who were very skeptical and didn't trust government to get anything right.  Some thought they were going to lose some what they had to distribute it to others who had none.  I didn't expect the exaggerations such as death panels, or as much obstructions as I've seen ,on the right.  The speaker said it was a law of the land; yet he allowed votes to repeal the law knowing  it would be the dead-on arrival in the Senate.

I used to think good jobs numbers were  what the Americans wanted to hear, but not according to one source at Politico. The writer said the decent jobs figures was a bitter pill to swallow for Democrats because that meant that the fed chairman would stop trying to stimulate the economy.  It used to be that good job numbers meant  our economy was improving; not a political win for one party and a defeat for the other. 

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