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View Diary: 'Cadillac tax' causing some employers to cut back insurance programs (151 comments)

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  •  it is a feature, not a bug (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan G in MN, bobtmn, METAL TREK

    one of the most important steps in moving to universal health care is decoupling health care/insurance from employment.

    the more employers get out of the insurance biz, and the sooner they do it, the better for everyone.

    the exchanges go live in half a year at this point; nobody is forced to buy what their employers are selling, a point sorely overlooked in this diary.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:48:31 AM PDT

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    •  Sounds like a train wreck. (5+ / 0-)

      People gambling for their health against the "house".

      All this just to assure government doesn't have to be responsible for the health of its people and to assure insurance companies continue to reap their rewards.

      The simple conclusion in the final report: The train wreck occurred because the contractor that built the tracks was corrupt. Corruption begets corruption and people die.

      Nice system we have here.

      Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.
      (Facts brought to you by the Party of the Future - the GOP)

      by Pescadero Bill on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:05:20 AM PDT

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    •  The feature is to reduce quality of plans (15+ / 0-)

      enjoyed by millions of Americans.  I addressed this topic on Monday night.  The (literal) $ quote, as I noted then, is here:

      Proponents of the law say the Cadillac tax is helping bring down costs by making employers pay attention to what their health care costs are likely to be in the long run. “It’s really one of the most significant provisions” in the Affordable Care Act, said Jonathan Gruber, the M.I.T. economist who played an influential role in shaping the law. “It’s focusing employers on cost control, not slashing,” he said.

      Cynthia Weidner, an executive at the benefits consultant HighRoads, agreed that the tax appeared to be having the intended effect. “The premise it’s built upon is happening,” she said, adding, “the consumer should continue to expect that their plan is going to be more expensive, and they will have less benefits. ”

      So there's no confusion, let's focus on the $ sentence:
      The premise it’s built upon is happening,” she said, adding, “the consumer should continue to expect that their plan is going to be more expensive, and they will have less benefits.
      When, exactly, were people told about this intent to decouple health insurance from employment?  When were they told that they'd end up paying more and getting less? I recall frequent presidential assurances to the contrary, such as:
      At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Aug. 11, 2009, President Barack Obama repeated a line he's used many times in describing his health care proposal: "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

      What's worst is that the best plans are often enjoyed by union members.  There's something really disturbing about relying upon labor for your GOTV efforts every other fall and then reducing benefits for the rank and file.  It's bad policy, and it's worse politics.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:13:16 AM PDT

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    •  Yes I am forced to buy my employer's plan (7+ / 0-)

      Because here's the thing:  When my employer gives me my health insurance, that benefit is part of my salary.  But I don't see it in my paycheck, it's in separate book keeping.  

      So if I tell my employer I don't want that benefit and want to go buy my own insurance, do you think that extra money will be put into my pay, so that I can afford to go buy separate insurance?  Hell no, they'll keep that money.

      I can't afford to buy even junk insurance for what is deducted from my actual paycheck for insurance.  I need that hidden money, and nothing in the law forces my employer to give it to me.

      This is bad law and just another corporate giveaway.  Go screw over your workers is what the law says.

      •  your situation is exactly why (0+ / 0-)

        it is imperative that we decouple health care/insurance from employment.  you should receive that money as salary, and blue collar workers shouldn't be the only ones taxed on every penny of their employment compensation.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:14:49 AM PDT

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    •  I'm going to benefit from the exchanges (5+ / 0-)

      I'm an adjunct instructor at several colleges (since colleges aren't hiring full timers these days).

      Know what that means? I'm a professional with a Masters Degree, driving all over the state to get to the five different colleges at which I teach (I also do freelance writing for my local newspaper). However, I get NO health insurance since I'm considered "part time"*.

      The exchanges will allow me to FINALLY get some affordable health insurance. So the next time somebody rips into the ACA, whether from the left or right, just know that I'm one of the people who's going to benefit (of course, I would PREFER single payer for all). This is going to be a LONG six months for me.

      *Just so you know what it's like in the community college system: adjuncts (part timers) are doing more & more of the work. At one of my colleges, there are 70 instructors in my department. Only 10 are full timers. It's not much better in the 4 year system from what I've heard.

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:32:45 AM PDT

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      •  You should look into Freelancers Insurance Co. (4+ / 0-)

        My husband and I recently joined Freelancers Union (free to join) in order to purchase the insurance. We're in NY where private (non group) policies are insanely expensive. This is a good plan at a not insane price. I am not sure they have expanded to every state, though that is their goal, but it is well worth investigating.

      •  That is not a 'surprise' to those who understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird

        the intent of the ACA.

        It was written to take the 'responsibility for health insurance' off governments, and to provide an avenue to folks who can afford to buy health insurance to buy it at the equivalent of 'group' rates (including those folks who were precluded from purchasing, not because they couldn't afford to pay a premium, but because they were 'uninsurable.')

        But because of the way it is written, there will be 'winners and losers.'  

        With Medicare-For-All, this would not have been the case.

        But 'good for you.'  

        I for one, do not begrudge those who will benefit from it.  

        I simply wish that it had not been written in such a 'scattershot' fashion.

        And certainly, if Mr. M and I are among those who lose our 'group coverage' due to the ACA (as it appears that we may be), I'll be VERY vocal about it 'all over the 'internets,' LOL!

        I will definitely call attention to the 'bug' in the law that is responsible for such an adverse outcome, for literally millions of folks!

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:46:01 AM PDT

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    •  Decoupling health care from employment ? (0+ / 0-)

      Meaning more security and autonomy for hourly employees?  

      Yeah ... the US Chamber of Commerce is certainly going to encourage THAT agenda !

      Now, this may be a misunderstanding in the light of "we don't know it all yet", but my understanding of "exchanges" is that those "covered" by employer provided health insurance will NOT be eligible to purchase from Exchanges.

      Much would depend on whether the Courts interpret "covered" as meaning "offered and accepted" or only "offered".  

      Are you sure your  interpretation is the operational one?

      Can you show me some reassurance on this one?

    •  Respectfully, agree to disagree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, HCKAD

      If we want universal single-payer, we need to first rid ourselves of for-profit insurance companies (which is the case in much of Europe).

      The ACA simply 'entrenches' the for-profit insurance industry, IMO.  It will make it more difficult, not less, to achieve Medicare-For-All (MFA).

      Not sure what you mean by:  'nobody is forced to buy what their employers are selling.'

      If employers offer 'qualified' plans--meeting affordability measures and the minimum established quality measures--which we now know are very low--since 'skinny plans' 'pass' as meeting the quality test--an individual will NOT qualify to shop in the Health Exchange, much less receive subsidies to do so.

      So, unless you mean that an individual has the right to turn down their employer's group insurance plan, in order to shop in the exorbitantly high-priced private insurance market without a subsidy, I'm not sure what consolation we're supposed to find in that.  ;-)

      And anyway, weren't we 'assured' that if we have insurance, nothing would change?

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:28:46 AM PDT

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